Channel reception issues

I’ve been a tablo user for a couple of years now. Once of the best decision I have made.

However, the last year or so, I have been experiencing bad reception on most the channels that I watch frequently such as ABS, CBS, FOX etc. My zip code is 53024 (greater Milwaukee area) and I have a Mohu Leaf 50 which should be more than sufficient for what I need.

The antenna has always been in the same location and I have made no changes. This issue happens I would say 50-60% of the time where I see pixelation, sound going in and out. There are some days everything is ok. Other days the issue is present, but I can still watch a show and follow along. Occasionally there are bad days where a show is unwatchable.

The logical assumption here is the issue with the Antenna and not the Tablo device.

The question I have is, how do I figure out what is wrong?

  • Is it something wrong with the Antenna (unlikely since I get clear reception for some channels and to be safe I got an antenna which is more than what is required for my location, leaf 30 would have been sufficient in theory)
  • Did anything change in the way networks was broadcasting? Would be great if there is anybody on this forum in the area who can verify they are able see local channels without issues (my zip code 53024, north of Milwaukee, WI).
  • Could it possibly be something wrong with tablo?

Regardless wife is not amused. Appreciate any help or insights you guys may have.


Consider also LTE interference (cell phone towers and smartphone signals). It is becoming more and more prevalent. Symptoms are - picture pixelating like crazy for several minutes, picture freezing or blocking (streaks running through it), channel dropping completely out for a few minutes (then coming back), sound being lost. There are several threads addressing LTE 4G interference on TV reception at this forum. This interference will affect BOTH weak and strong channels at random moments during both night and day.

Just something to factor in for consideration…

Thanks a lot for pointing me in this direction. I did see the other thread and will try out a 4G LTE filter to see if it does the trick.

@lashanw Have you re-scanned your channels lately? Tablo’s signal strength in the app is not live so something may indeed have changed in the broadcasting parameters.

I have these same issues described above though to a much lesser scale. I’ll have a day or two of skips, pixelation, brief audio dropout, picture skipping. Usually this is associated with rain, snow or wind. But some days I’ll have a perfect weather day, not to hot or cold by upstate ny winter standards and I’ll still have minor issues like this even though Tablo says my signal is pwrfect. Same leaf 50 where a 30 should’ve sufficed in theory

Heheh, the wifes the only reason I know there are problems with reception/recording, I have no idea how someone can keep up with so many different series. I think I spend more time working on the thing then I spend watching it (not a reflection of tablo, though it is far from perfect, just my inability to leave anything alone).

Have you tried hooking the antenna directly to the TV to eliminate Tablo problems?

It could possibly be corroded connections. It’s a good idea to seal the connections with boots or electrical tape after they are cleaned or replaced.
Some people use dielectric grease but I haven’t tried that.

Yep, tried this a few times… I do have the full signal strength for all the channels I am interested in.

lol… I have learned the hard way… if it ain’t broke don’t fix it (or improve it) :slight_smile:

Thanks for the responses folks. I have ordered a 4G LTE filter… will try it out and update this thread if it works.

@TabloTV, how about implementing a live signal strength meter under settings or somewhere.
It has been a feature request!

UPDATE: So looks like the 4G LTE filter did resolve most of the issues. I do still see a bit of interference, but ABC and FOX is now watchable and I no longer miss large parts of the conversations. Thanks @MarkKindle for the the suggestions.

Not quite sure why I still get some interference. I only spent around $7 on a relatively inexpensive 4G LTE filter on amazon. Maybe (or maybe not) a higher quality filter or maybe the interference I have remaining is caused by something else.

@TabloTV while this issue is in no way an issue or limitation in the tablo device itself, it would be great if tablo can implement some type of diagnostics to help diagnose issues with picture quality. Maybe a signal meter to start with.

I ordered both the CM ($25) and this one ($7). Did not notice any difference in their performance. Apart from the fact that this one has a 4 db insertion loss and the CM 2 db.

Do you have a preamp with the Mohu (I believe it comes with one)? I tried installing the filter before the preamp and after the preamp (in order to avoid any loss going into the preamp). Try both situations…

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The Mohu antennas, the white rectangular device you plug into a power source that they call an amplifier, is it a preamp? If so, when I had my Mohu, the amplifier was not installed at the antenna like a preamp should be, it is all the way at the end of the cable run. So I was wondering if it’s just a power injector and the amp is built into the antenna?

The white rectangular device is the preamp (AKA the Jolt). Mohu’s assumption is that the antenna won’t be that far from the TV so the amp can go at the end of the chain and not be amplifying a lot of noise picked up in 50 to 100 foot cables or losing strength. What’s built into the antenna is the balun equivalent for coax transmission.

I see so even with the Mohu Sky 60 where the cable run from your outdoor installation to inside where the TV is the preamp could be installed quite far away from the antenna.

Yes I know the Sky 60 comes with a 30 foot coax cable. But it just seems counter intuitive- everywhere I have read the preamp should be closest to the antenna as possible.

I have a RCA preamp that comes off a Clearstream 4V where the cable is 6" only from the antenna to preamp. Where should I install the LTE filter here?

The Sky 60’s amp is a circuit card built into the antenna unlike the Leaf 50. If one opens up the Leaf 50 (remove the 4 screws), all one has left inside is the balun equivalent (a ferrite core with two wires). Opening up the Sky 60 (8 screws) shows a thin 3" circuit card that has the preamp logic.

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Ideally the LTE filter should go before the preamp. However if the filter diminishes the signal (4 db insertion loss) sufficiently (going into the preamp) one can put it after the preamp. The RCA preamp boosts up the signal by 17 db which is just enough for the filter to still isolate and reject the unwanted frequencies. I had asked that same question to the Kenable folk over email last week and their tech support said one could go either way although the first way is better. I’ve done it both ways and it works fine before or after.

BTW not knowing what to do with two filters (and not wanting to send one back), I put one before the preamp and one just before the Tablo - no way any LTE interference from tower or cell phone in the house can sneak in LOL. I want my recordings absolutely clean…

Interesting - cause the white rectangular device for the Leaf 50 and Sky 60 look the same, guess they must have different internal components and one functions as a preamp and the other as a power inserter.

Thanks, I’ll likely attach the LTE filter directly into the RCA preamp from the cable coming from the antenna (aka before the preamp).