Buffering Different for Different Channels

I got the Tablo up and running today and am very pleased so far.  Streamed to 4 devices HD wirelessly with no major problem!  Kudos Tablo!  Much better than DISH’s Sling.

But I do have a minor issue.  On my channel group with the weakest signal, I have a buffer issue when getting it started.  It happened on this channel with 4 streams and it happens the same on one stream.  This is day one so maybe it is a coincidence it happened three times.  But this channel seems to need a larger buffer?  Does Tablo make adjustments for weaker, maybe variable signals by increasing buffer?  I ask because it happens at channel start up (live) with some pixelation visible, so start and stops with larger and larger buffers according to indicator line and then calms down.

If this is not just my imagination or utter nonesense, is there a way to tweak buffer time in settings so I get my pain out of the way up front rather than putting up with small fits and starts for the first 5 minutes?  I may be the only person suggesting a longer buffer option might be a good thing!

@ugadog In the tablo settings uncheck the “enable fast live TV startup” option.

If it’s too weak of a signal the tablo will buffer again and replay the last 15 seconds or so. It will continue to do this until it gets a stronger signal.

Yes this buffering issue you speak of may just be use to the OTA signal being too weak for the Tablo. The quad tuner does split the signal 4 ways for the 4 tuners so there is some signal loss.

@UGADog I think @KyleR’s suggestion is a good place to start. Try disabling the ‘Enable fast liver TV startup’ toggle at the bottom of the Settings page on http://my.tablotv.com/ to see if it improves your results.

Thanks for the tip guys.  Guess I should have poked around settings to find Fast TV Startup.  Tablo is working great now.  Now if I could only fix that problem station…  That’s the real problem, not Tablo.  A station that fades from good enough to not good enough occasionally.  Luckily it is usually good enough.   

@TabloSupport is there an official reason why so many cannot run the fast startup?

It cannot JUST be a network issue because I have a rock solid LAN setup, All 1000 Mbps modems, router (newest Nighthawk), switches. Everything is CAT 6 cabled with no wireless connections, and 50 up/down service. If that cant run fast nothing can.

I thought it was just a very few having issues when the feature was introduced but over the last few months many more have raised the issue and now even you are suggesting people turn it off.

Is there a fix being investigated?


I know the issue was first discovered due to how the Roku handles HLS streams.

I also had the buffering issue at startup on a fast all wired setup . . . .until the recent firmware upgrade to 27 and then 28. Something in that firmware upgrade seems to have eliminated the problem and I can now enable fast startup without buffering. Not sure why but I’ll take it.

Hmm, I will give it another try.


This hasn’t been changed since we implemented (and enabled the switch to turn it on and off). I think there’s likely some skew here on how many people have it turned on vs turned off - just due to the nature of the forum.

That said, there really isn’t too much to this feature. With fast live TV startup enabled, the Tablo sends fewer segments to its devices and starts the stream earlier. For some networks and devices, this buffer is too small, and can lead to buffering - in some cases, it never recovers.

With the feature turned off, the Tablo waits for more segments before hitting ‘play’ on the device.  Bigger buffer, less wait time.
It cannot JUST be a network issue because I have a rock solid LAN setup, All 1000 Mbps modems, router (newest Nighthawk), switches. Everything is CAT 6 cabled with no wireless connections, and 50 up/down service. If that cant run fast nothing can.
This is one of the more common misconceptions we see. The 1000Mbps is an advertised, or max speed, and the 50Mbps up/down service is referencing your upload/download speed to the Internet. These don't represent the LAN speed. There used to be some really great (and easy to use) tools to accurately test your LAN speed from one IP to the other. But we've recently seen a lot of these apps/services go extinct or have their prices driven up to the point where we can't recommend them.

In all fairness, though - the LAN speed should be (or typically is) faster. And even then - if you're on all wired connections, it's even weirder that you'd see buffering. I can't explain that. I'd lean towards the max bitrate of the Roku being exceeded in most cases, but I can't say that for sure. Depending on how far you want to investigate this, we could take a look at some measuring tools to see the speed you're actively getting.

@TabloSupport Understood.

Regarding LAN speed. I was referring to the fact that every piece of equipment I have on my network is “advertised” at 1000 Mbps. This along with all Cat 6 Cabling and no wifi connections should be about as good as you can get for a home LAN setup.

@TabloSupport So I checked the fast startup box last night and I can report that with the latest Roku and Tablo firmwares and the Roku preview app, I get no buffering.

I don’t know what has changed but this is the first time since fast startup was introduced that I can turn it on and not get buffering and I did test it on 2.1.27, with Roku 6.1 FW and the Beta Roku app. I’m not sure which rev of the beta it was however.