Does the Tablo display PSIP information?

Does the Tablo fall back to using PSIP information in any of the displays (at least watch live tv) when one doesn’t have a subscription?

FYI: PSIP stands for Program and System Information Protocol. It is the information about the station and show that is transmitted with the OTA broadcast. On my TV (when the antenna is connected directly to the TV) I can see this information by pressing the “info” button on the remote while watching TV. Most of the stations I can pick up show the current show and next show which I can scroll through.

No. It uses the downloaded guide information only.

there was a post a long long long time ago when they talked about how PSIP isn’t consistent or even always right (or even often not even there, lacking detail etc) … so given how “ify” it can be the opted to not use it. {or something to that basic effect – not exact wording but you can go search for it … but I dont think the thread used PSIP term … }

I know it came up when I asked about using the electronic program guide ( EPG ) data when the internet is unavailable. Would make a Tablo in a true cord cutter situation actually usable.

Funny, my TV has never lied to me about the show that’s currently on when it shows PSIP info.

Including this data with manual recordings would be useful for those people who do manual scheduling. Or using it when/if the curated data is unavailable would be very useful.

I think if you search the forum for PSIP you will find a thread that has your answer. PSIP data is required to properly populate/matchup the guide data. So tablo does seem to have some amount of knowledge of PSIP data.

I don’t think that is guaranteed, mate. I usually get the show title and a bit of information when I put “Info” on my tv, but sometimes I just get the time.

I don’t recall ever seeing a thread that implied this. Tablo matches the guide data to broadcast channels via the zip code specified. I’ve never seen any official Tablo post saying otherwise.

1 Like

I guess the October 2016 thread is too hard to find:

Update: The Tablo support team looked at my unit after I opened the
support ticket. They confirmed that Smurph was dead on, it is an issue
with the PSIP data. Channels 51.1 and 51.2 that I receive with my
HDTV’s and my iView 3500STBII are not sending the PSIP data or not
sending the correct data. Thank you to everyone who participated in
this discussion.

I assume from that post that the info on their HDTV was incorrect, not the info on the Tablo.

I’m not sure what thread you read. The original problem described in the thread was that the HDTV finds and tunes the channels while tablo doesn’t.

The problem had nothing to do with the HDTV. It was the PSIP in the OTA transmission stream that was incorrect. And this caused tablo to not find/tune the channel.

I do find it unusual that tablo depends on the PSIP in the transmission stream but can’t provide a guide based on it. But then maybe that is a business decision.

I think the crux of the problem is the show information is not always consistent from station to station / market to market… so given the unreliability of content they opted not to rely on it …

What’s to rely on? If you purchase the guide service the tablo would use the guide service. If you don’t why wouldn’t the program guide be populated with whatever PSIP data is available. And none of that would prevent manual recording.

Of course I would always buy the guide service. But like Tivo the charge for the guide service can be a cash cow. So why would tablo make it easy to bypass the guide service.

Because writing the software to use two different incompatible sources of guide data would be a lot of work, for no gain (from the Tablo POV). And then you get the inevitable customer support issues from a dual approach. Lots of issues, no upside.


My free trial of guide data recently ended, so I can now see what the Tablo is doing with PSIP data. The Tablo is, in fact, using the broadcast PSIP data for the Live TV interface already. Otherwise I shouldn’t see what is on on each channel, right?

It is also pretty obvious by the way it loads that it is scanning the channels. It must be scanning each channel to pull the PSIP data.

Assuming my guess is correct, it would be pretty trivial to populate the metadata fields for a given manual recording with the PSIP data when the subscription data is unavailable.

This obviously wouldn’t work for picking shows to record (you are still stuck with manual) but would go a long way to help people sort through the content they scheduled for recording manually as you would get the show name and (sometimes) episode name, season, episode number, and short description.

It also shouldn’t be too hard to add in the simple logic: if there is no guide data, then use the PSIP data (if available) from 10 minutes into the recording.

Why 10 minutes? Because some people like to start recording a few minutes early (like the Tablo does automatically with non-manual recordings). 10 minutes should be more than enough time to catch the right metadata without risking it being the next show (there are some kids shows that are 15 minutes long).

From my understanding even without a subscription the guide data is from the guide provider, it is not scanning each channel to obtain the info. This would require the Tablo to tune to each channel individually.