Device Sold To Public Too Soon, Returned

This was my last electronics adventure. I purchased a Tablo 4 tuner knowing many features were still under development and was ok with that. I didn’t want to pay for cable so went the antenna route. Great reception and fantastic picture from a Windegard exterior amplified antenna. My basic requirements were that I could record shows off of an HD antenna, have no monthly fee after paying some type of larger subscription fees (long view > saving money), able to watch recorded sows on multiple tvs, and have good recording quality. I purchased the Tablo 4 tuner after being a former Aereo customer since it filled the gap of what I was used to. This plus I have multiple streaming devices so did not have to purchase anything since Roku and Chromecast were “supported”. Five days away from the 30 day return policy at New Egg I gave up and have to return the device. Chromecasts are totally useless, Roku MHL stick constantly goes to loading, Roku 3 I purchased and other devices have bad video quality, but hey the picture looks great on my cell phone. I am frustrated having purchased this device based on what devices were supported for streaming video to. Now between shipping, return shipping, and restocking fees at New Egg I will be out somewhere around 80-90 dollars and having nothing to show for it. I am not buying the wifi can’t handle this or the hard drive is the cause. For testing I have had two Netflix streams running, Hulu stream, and a T-mobile wifi call with no audio problems occuring all at the same time. I think my router is up to the task of streaming to one Roku MHL stick. For reference I performed numerous troubleshooting as per below.

Four days spent troubleshooting bad guide data. Finally had to change to a zip code in another county in New Jersey because the guide data could not be corrected for my zip code, multiple Chromecasts, multiple TV’s, moving televisions, moving the Tablo (3 places), checking wifi signals, trying 2.4 ghz and 5 ghz on my router, moving router to different rooms to remove interference as the cause, using Tablo as wireless and connected through Ethernet, multiple factory resets and soft resets, numerous channel scans, purchasing a Roku 3 (which I did not plan on purchasing), waiting for Tablo firmware upgrade, troubleshooting live TV streaming good quality as opposed to bad video quality while playing recordings, trying 1080i vs 720 recordings before and after Tablo firmware upgrade, changing both Roku 3 and Roku MHL streaming stick from 1080 to 720 while playing Tablo 720 recordings and 1080 recordings, ………………………….

At the end Chromecasts don’t work at all, Roku streaming stick can’t get through several minutes of video, Roku 3 and other devices have poor pixelated video quality (recorded video only), and I am out a bunch of money.

@BrianL I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had a negative experience. I don’t know if it’s too late, or if you’ve already shipped your Tablo back, but I’d be more than happy to work through this with you to get you up and running.

This week, we released a new firmware update: 2.1.16. It contains a new recording quality geared towards the Chromecast and Roku streaming stick. I’m not sure if this is what you’re referencing in your post or not. You’d need to switch to the new recording quality in the Settings menu of your Tablo - and keep it mind that it’s not retroactive. 

If you’d like me to walk you through this, please feel free to send me a note or give me a call at 613-454-5615 or 1-844-TABLOTV.

Brian sorry to hear u returned your Tablo. Like you I was an Aereo customer. And when Aereo got crushed by the Supremes I went looking for an alternative. Between Tablo, Simple TV, and Channel Master Tablo seemed to be the best fit (networked and 4 tuners I have a home with 4 tv’s and two children one screen would not cut it) so settling on Tablo I started researching and found these forums. All the problems you describe are listed here. I also have Roku 3’s as my OTT boxes. Upgraded my router and got powerline boxes for ethernet to them an the system works spectacularly. Consider looking into the powerline boxes for the Roku 3 (real cheap on ebay I got 6 monster powernet 200’s and one 300 for $95.00) makes a world of difference. As for ChromeCast and Roku stick I would instead get more Roku 3’s my wife barked at me about the initial cost but loves the $54.00 a month bill from Comcast. Good luck with whatever you decide but a network upgrade has only positive outcomes.


Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. It might be just that you had a bad Tablo unit or other network issue. But I had my tablo for the past two months and it is amazing. I am getting crystal clear HD pictures in all my three tv’s. 

I was in Germany for two weeks for work along with 80 of my co-workers. We watched live NFL(HD) in Germany and I attached my laptop to the projector at the hotel and got a great picture too. I did not have any break even for a second.

As Artemus suggested maybe try upgrading the network if you have not returned it or work with Tablo to see if your unit has the issue.

I totally agree with you BrianL, this product is not ready to sold to public, it is not what is presented on the web site For two months, I try to run my with my chromecast, I had to buy two USB drive, two Chromecast, I followed all the recommendation of the support from, I spent several hours trying to find solution, like you I try every possible configuration on my Cisco 3000 router-e, my TV is located less than three feet from my router, my is connected with a ethernet cable, etc. Despite all these tantative and the new 2.1.16 firmware. I always have a random problem where my video freez.Also since the new firmware, when I take my tablet Nexus 7 2nd to past advertising, it’s always while restarts from the beginning. I also have several channel where I do not have the TV guide(bad guide data). I asked the tablo team to give me the TV guide life for free for all this time, money and energy that I lost to test their products for them and they refused. For my part, I past my 30 day return policy at New Egg, I can no longer return the product. I’m really disappointed because I really love that it works as they tell us on their website. My Chromcast works great with Plex, YouTube, Red Bull TV, Vevo, Revision3. So I am convinced that the problem is not my Chromecast, both my works fine except with Excused my English, I am,french.

Best Regards,

Sorry to hear about the bad experience. I am in the midst of cord cutting and trying decide on the best PVR option, Tablo being one of them. After reading these blogs, I’m reconsidering the cord cutting. Perhaps the cost of cable is worth the “lack of headaches”


A lot of situations cause headaches. I haven’t heard the latest on the CRTC decision on OTA transmitters in Canada. Cable vision in Canada doesn’t come cheap even with package restructuring. Experiences are different for everyone, and change is hard for some - easy for others. You should discover the support for you and a Tablo is far superior from any you will receive from a cable company. Cable vision is ongoing cost, paying more for less. Tablo TV is one alternative.

My tablo ran out of the month “free” subscription and I just powered it off.  I installed the latest firmware but chromecast functionality is still not stable nor have any real controls.  I purchased a Roku3 for mainly OTT, but also to integrate tablo but sadly that is one of the worst apps I have ever seen and maybe through the Roku simple things like skipping through commercials are painful at best.  Note: I have this hard-wired and I am a network guy and my home has used W7MC flawlessly for many years.  Don’t let the advocates charm you on this site, this product is still BETA.

Since this was for the parents I had thought a real solution is in the works, but sadly I have missed the newegg return window (my fault).  I may just setup a PC w/ a HDHR tuner and go back to old reliable myth or W7MC which I can also cut commercials out totally.  Now that Plex is coming to XB360 this was the last barrier to using and extender and now I can safely sell off my roku for lightly used TV as my extenders now have all of my key apps (sans Pandora).  If Plex adds OTA integration it will be curtains for all of these products.

I have been through the Tivo, MythTV, ReplayTV (the best IMO), SageTV, BeyondTV, W7MC, and now Tablo.  Tablo pretty much ranks almost last above BeyondTV and I would place RTV, Tivo and W7MC at the top of stability.  This was just released too early to the public.

I think I read initially that this device was intended for the tablet only and then expanded into STB as they quickly realized to have any REAL OTT product it still has to be on a TV or flung to a TV.  So now they are playing catch up, and IMHO should have marked Roku/CC as BETA and not sold this as production solutions–fleecing unsuspecting people who just want it to work. 

I don’t know if this product will ever exit beta status–and yes this is still beta in my eyes-- (do they have the $$ for real development) but it looks like the platform is sound compared to the Simple.TV which they are now giving away–but I will have to take a very hard look at the Tivo OTA once it launches for the family, but that solution is extremely expensive and will require $1000 to get in a few rooms and stream.  At that price I just don’t see the ROI on Tivo, and you are better w/ cable STB and the $20 a month for broadcast.

And that is why cable boxes and their misery still exist.  It’s just not worth the hassle.

It’s so hard to not compare Tablo to windows media center. WMC delivered such steller performance for years, and back when device manufactures were making “extender devices”, the home integration options were so much fun. I recall mounting a flat screen above the dining table and playing music along with a huge library of scenic pictures. Such a conversation starter at dinner parties, people loved the slide show especially. It’s a real shame MS seems to be phasing out WMC. Thank goodness Chromecast came along. It’s actually much more fun to have everyone able to use their own smartphones to stream to my Chromecast, especially as a dinner party progresses through the night.

So has come to pass, the era of tablets, ultra low power processors and the transition of the internet to a real-time multimedia content delivery network. Now nearly anything can become a smart device and only draw around 10 watts of power, digital hording is largely unnecessary, and traditional media portals like tvs and computer screens are being overtaken by mobile solutions. This means a computer left powered on, is not a smart device but rather a dumb idea due to the unnecessary power draw and expense. But to each their own.

For years now, I’ve wanted to consume all forms of media from anywhere in and around my house. Think about it, I have chairs, beds, hammocks, bathtubs all around the house and I could never really install tvs and flat screens in all those places. I tried.

Then came Tablo and the promise of TV playback on all my mobile devices… (Well, someday) And it really is, so nice to have the capability to watch the evening news while on the can, listen to some Charlie Rose while cooking in the kitchen, watch a Nature episode from the hammock, and play a football game while in the workshop. Finally TV on my terms, leaving the big fluffy couch for truly social experiences like movies… And dare I say it… maybe someday sports via Tablo. If they can ever deliver a truly stable device I would be willing to use in front of others. Most importantly, all this for 10 watts.

Now does Tablo do any of this well? No. I could submit a dozen bugs about each and every interface. I can’t stand to use the product for much more than an hour at a time, due to the constant insult to my free time caused by the instability and constant clicking required to interact with it. So, I watch whatever I can via Netflix and Hulu+ and let Tablo be the catch-all for the local programming I can’t get otherwise. For now this works.

Ultimately, I’m just happy I don’t watch tv like I did with WMC. A plate of food, in front of the TV, desperately trying to watch all episodes of NCIS and Criminal Minds with family. Those seem like years lost.

For every unhappy customer, there seems to be at least a hundred happy ones, maybe a thousand.  It’s ok to complain, but most of us have been using the Tablo for months without serious problems, and it has gotten even better over time.

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My tablo has worked out so well I “cut the cord” months sooner than I had originally planned… 

My tablo has worked out so well I "cut the cord" months sooner than I had originally planned..

I’m still in the decision making part of the process. It’s nice to hear from those who like their 4 tuner model.

Would like to hear from some more users in the Southern Ontario part of the country that have had good success with the 4 tuner model and would they buy again?


Part of my decision making process was if my spouse was comfortable with the alternative solution to cable that I was trying out… Once I got the tablo setup and got a dedicated antenna for both it (and an antenna for the second tv in the kitchen + roku boxes) We went thru a “trial” period over the summer where I disconnected the cable boxes and tested the waters that way… After a few months and into the start of the fall 2014 TV season I asked her again if she was ok with the setup … (still had not used cable in a couple months at that point) and she was fine … She had thought I already dropped it!! … Anyway neither of us are sports fans so that made things a whole great deal simpler when making that decision to drop cable.

I’m attacking the situation the same way - keep the wife happy. I have one Roku, and it seems to be of value even without a Tablo, and I have TV’s with ATSC tuners plus an antenna setup (30 foot tower, amplifier, splitters etc.) I can pull in 30 HD stations around me (Buffalo to Toronto). I’ve always had the system as a backup to the cable - and used it many times. So now I’m wondering what I’m paying the cable company for. My last step would be the Tablo - just want to make sure that it will give me the features it advertises.

Looking promising so far. My next step would be an American IP address for my Roku.


@john848 My wife has taken to it.  I did get a few calls early on, but not so much anymore.  She’s even watching shows on her laptop.  

We’re using Apple TV as a front end connecting to a PlexServer.  It isn’t perfect but it’s definitely worth the savings.  It’s just a lot of clicking to watch a show.  If we were using the iPad app, I have a feeling my opinion would be different.   

I’ve echoed the same sentiment in other threads regarding the lack of basic functionality and the peculiar behavior.  I really do want to get behind Tablo and I’m hoping that they pull it together but it definitely is hard to swallow $299 for a device that’s BYOS and feels like it was rushed to market.  Fingers crossed they can get a product manager who can pull it together and iron out the kinks with the engineering team.

We initially started out with just the kitchen TV on an HDTV antenna because I was damned if I was gonna pay for yet another box just to watch HD, once I saw how many TV stations we could get even 40 odd miles away from the broadcast antennas I started to contemplate the entire pay-for-hdtv situation, more so since the only shows we do watch are either on the major affiliates CBS/NBC/ABC or PBS and those came in great with a cheap $40 attic mounted antenna on the kitchen hd ota tv… We are also mostly an AppleTV household as well (we had already been using PLEX with our iOS devices and airplay) I only recently added the Roku’s since I got a couple off of woot cheap.  she likes not having that extra step with the Roku devices … (would be nice if apple allowed 3rd party apps in the first place)…

Been using Tablo for 4 months now, no problems. It records OTA well and streams well to 2 Rokus. Even my 60 year old mother who is not technologically inclined figured out how to use it, this was the real test and thus cable was cut.

But I do see a valid point, could she have set everything up for the Tablo? No, this requires someone with some tech intelligence.

Yes, Southern Ontario works well with the Tablo. Best thing to do before buying a Tablo is get an OTA antenna, set it up and plug it in to your HDTV and see how many channels you get.

I guess we each have our own use cases and experiences. So far I really haven’t had any issues other than during set up because I happen to be doing that at the same time tablo had a DNS issue.  But other than that - pretty flawless.  I do think there are some holes in functionality and that I would love a cohesive UI across all devices - but so far none are issues worth not using the device.

The biggest “frustration” I have is having gone from WMC, not having the ability to view during FF or RW. Hopefully they can work on that in the future.

I have a 30 ft tower, antenna and amplifier. Am able to pull in 30 HD channels - more if I count the non-English channels. I had to put this in as a backup to the Cogeco cable system being down so much.

I appreciate all the feedback. Looks like I’m going to join you all in cutting the cable.