Some people have mentioned that the Tablo will not pick up a signal even though it appears to be strong but televisions show that channel. A conclusion is that the Tablo tuner isn’t that strong. One sees this complaint with other DVRs constantly - TV tuners outperform them.
However it is possible that the Tablo tuner is strong but that another factor is at play. I noticed the other day that my televisions were picking up three channels that my PC based tuners were struggling with. This despite that my PC tuners were newer with better chipsets than any of my television tuners. I couldn’t figure this out until I noticed that the error rates showing on PC signal monitors were quite high. It appears that the televisions couldn’t care less about these error rates and went on happily displaying the channels. The PC tuners on the other hand appeared to be trying to handle the error rates with some sort of correction algorithms and failing. The dumb TVs couldn’t care less about “correcting” the signals and just shoved them through.
The PC tuners being “more intelligent” probably were trying too hard to “correct” the signal errors and screwing up. I’m guessing that tuners inside digital boxes “try too much” error correction because of a box’s smarts and fail to JUST pick up and convey the channel whereas the dumb ole TV just passes a channel through errors or not. It may be advisable for digital box designers to just allow a signal to get through and forget the “error handling” stuff.
Sometimes dumb beats smart. BTW I’ve noticed this problem for the past several years where television tuners continuously outperform ANY DVR tuners even though both get their chipsets from the same manufacturers…