Blank Pictures When Fast Forwarding

I have a Tabl0 Dual 1Gb box receiving data from a Five Star outside HD antenna. There are a couple of shows that I routinely record on a schedule. I tend to wait the 3 min. or so after the show has ended to watch it, so I will have pictures to guide me when I am fast forwarding through commercials. We do not have Commercial Skip.

Invariably, when we are fast forwarding through commercials, the pictures will go dark. at some point. Frequently, stopping the fast forwarding and immediately restarting it will bring the pictures back

Does everyone see this effect? Is there some way to get around it? The problem seems to occur both, when I immediately watch the recorded show or when the show has been recorded for several hours before watching it.

I have noticed it when skipping ahead through commercials. I have commercial skip but sometimes I don’t wait for it to process the video before watching the program. I use the right arrow button on my Roku remote to advance through the thumbnails and sometimes run into the blank section. If you keep advancing you can find thumbnails with images again but it is slightly annoying.

I don’t know what client you are using to watch Tablo, but I seem to remember this being an issue/bug with the Roku firmware/player software. If you search the forum, there are multiple threads concerning this same issue.

It still happens on my Roku Ultra.

I also use a Roku Ultra and there are times where most thumbnails are there but there will be sections where they are missing, Just blank rectangles. It’s like it skips some of them when they are created. Or as was mentioned, maybe they are there, but a bug in Roku causes them to be blank. I’m not using comskip.

Thanks for your response. I am using a Roku Ultra to access my Tablo. What exactly would you search on the Blog to find similar problems?

Try “blank thumbnails”.

I have also seen some blank thumbnails in some recordings on my Roku. It tends to be recordings where there is intermittent poor OTA signal.

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My experience (I’m not the OP), I see this when moving through a recording on my Ultra. They are black, but if you wait, they fill in, but the idea is that you’re using the images to see where to go… and so when they are black, … well, hoping you get my point.

Note: My Roku 3’s haven’t had this problem, just the Ultra.

I see this on my Roku Ultras (I have 3 of them) as well. I don’t believe it’s related to signal quality, as I have strong signals. I don’t see it all the time, or on every show I record. It just seems to come up randomly. It would be nice if Nuvyyo could fix it, but I’ve resigned myself to just living with it.

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Your insight on this problem might be very important. We tend to see it mainly on a show that we record from one of our marginal channels. Perhaps what you’ve said is really important. I am also using a Roku Ultra and a Table Dual.

Here is a bit more info. about pictures vanishing during Fast Forward.

I have now learned that the latest Tablo firmware upgrade did not, in fact, fix this problem.

I am using my Tablo Dual with a Roku Ultra. The Roku Ultra is about 3 years old. Over the Holidays I bought a brand new Roku Ultra 4800R 2021. I found it also did nothing to get rid of this problem. That is true even when I record a show, while the new Ultra is being used, and then played back, while it is being used.

The problem seems to be more complex than I understood. If I Fast Forward all the way through a problem show (one that shows lost pictures, when Fast Forwarding through commercials), I will see fewer lost frames. If I Fast Forward all the way through that same show with the Roku Ultra faster speed, I will see no missing pictures/frames at all.

I have multiple tablos all using wired connetion to the router. I have an ancient Roku(4210) that is wire to the router that doesn’t have the problem I have another ancient Roku(4200) that uses 5Ghz Wifi that has the problem. And since tablo uses the devices(roku’s) video player what does that say.

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Thank you for your note. I am a bit confused.
Are the wired Roku 4210 and the wireless Roku 4200 connected to the same type of Tablo? If not, how do you know that the difference you see is due to the Roku being wired or the type of Tablo?

Or perhaps you have already tried trading things around and saw the exact same thing.

Assuming the critical thing is whether the Roku is wired or wireless, do you think that shows that this lost picture thing is all about data transfer rate?

I’ve used several Roku models, from Roku 2 (2015) thru Roku Ultra (2020), and experienced blank thumbnails when the Roku was wired, and wireless.

It’s definitely an issue when using Roku… whether it’s a bug in the Tablo app (most likely) or something in the Roku itself, I can’t say. But I recently “upgraded” my 3 Roku Ultras to the Amazon Fire Stick 4K max, and the problem doesn’t exist with them. I have never seen blank thumbnails on the Fire Stick.

I was watching a recording and when forwarding I noticed the blank/black thumbnail pictures. I stopped the playback, and then simply resumed - the blank frames were gone, thumbnails looked normal. I kept forwarding and found a second batch of missing thumbnails - same as before, stop playback and resume, all looked good.

I then stopped the playback and started at the beginning. I forwarded through the whole 2+ hour recording and all the thumbnails were fine.

So the issue doesn’t appear to be with the recording itself, acts like a memory management problem. Using a Roku Ultra (4670X).


Right! I have seen similar behavior. Except, when I stop and restart a Fast Forward during a thumbnail black-out the thumbnails do not always reappear. Sometimes they do.

I have also seen that I can Fast Forward through a problem recorded show, I see fewer or no blank thumbnails. When I Fast Forward at the next higher Roku speed, I never see the blank thumbnails.

People who have added additional memory to their Roku’s via a micro SD card, say that it makes no difference for the blank thumbnail problem.

Did you see the recent post to this Forum, which says this problem does not happen at all, if you are using Tablo with an Amazon Fire Stick? So, it does seem to be a Roku problem, though not necessarily related to memory. My Roku Ultra 2017 is getting more and more flakey. I may well look into an Amazon Fire Stick.

Has it been everyone’s experience that loss of pictures on fast forward does not happen with Amazon Fire Stick? And is it a particular Fire Stick model that DOES NOT show this picture loss?

What about with Google Android TV?

I generally don’t have any fast forward preview thumbnail issues on my Chromecast with Google TV. When I do have issues it’s usually a result of a signal problem where the show simply couldn’t be processed successfully to generate the thumbnails.

We switched from a Roku streaming stick to Chromecast with Google TV when the latter was released. We’ve found the Chromecast to be quite a bit faster, and blank thumbnail issues completely went away. I would recommend it.