Changing channel steals tuner from another TV

I have a dual tuner Tablo used through Roku. Two TV’s in different rooms are watching same or different channels through Tablo. No recording is active or scheduled.

Often when I change the channel on one TV, the second TV stops its streaming and displays that the tuner has been reassigned. What’s going on here?

This is just a guess, but if you have recording quality set at maximum that requires two tuners for a given channel. It may affect playback when not recording as well.

I believe this only applies to 4 tuner models. It’s my understanding that 2 tuner models can record at maximum quality settings without using a second tuner.


Recording quality is just set at the lower default, and not recording anything at the time, nor have anything scheduled to record. But I will still recheck this anyway.

Assuming there are no recordings running in the background using up a tuner, and this appears reproducible, send our support team a note. We can take a closer look and see if we can help find the cause.

Is it possible that both TVs change channel at the same time? If so there may be a race condition with tuner assignment.

The channel is only changes on one TV, the other TV doesn’t change channel it just sops streaming and displays that its tuner was reassigned. Also just selecting the initial channel does not cause the problem, it’s only when the channel is changed to another channel that it happens.

Perhaps the problem is related to how the live program is launched. Normally it is recommended to click on the far left channel number. I believe if you click on the program it starts a buffer recording that could tie up both tuners on a dual unit.

I could see that happening, if both tuners were free, but one is already in use. So why would one TV steal an in use tuner from another TV, rather than just saying the turner is unavailable?

I always just click on the far left channel number when selecting the initial channel. However, if you are watching one channel and want to change to another using the up/down arrow, you can’t do that. Same with clicking the left arrow to go back to the previous program. Plus any of these procedures on occasion results in the same problem.

I am wondering whether it has something more to do the Roku app and not the Tablo unit itself? I know the Tablo asks to be updated, but I don’t recall the Roku app doing the same. So does it update automatically?

This problem continues. I did some further testing and it turns out no matter which TV I change channels on the other TV stops streaming with the error “Tuner has been reassigned”. Although sometimes the error is “Playback as ended”.

I can perform this test over and over from any TV with the same repeated results. However, after a half dozen tries or so the problem appears to go away, but then is right back again the next evening when we use the Tablo.

I need to get some idea of what the problem is. Is the Tablo itself defective or can the problem possibly be elsewhere like in the Roku app? The Tablo and all the Roku Ultra units are only a year old, but the problem has been getting worse for months.

Tablo had me put the unit in the monitor mode, but they could see nothing wrong, but obviously something isn’t right. Are there any others out there with this problem?

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