First, I have to say that email support has been less than helpful about this. When I bought my first Tablo years ago it refused to see (not listed in a channel scan) a local repeater only 2 miles from me, clustered with many of the other transmitters serving the area, and providing great signal levels to all the TV’s on my distribution system. Tablo service reps were great then. If I remember correctly the repeater comes out of a station 100 miles north of me that does not serve my local area except by repeater. Additionally, it’s a second CBS affiliate but has many subchannels that the local affiliate doesn’t provide. Tablo or the guide provider made a change and the repeater showed up with good signal levels in the channel scan… Until I recently purchased a new Tablo. It won’t pick up the repeater, but the Tablo tier one guy doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge that what shows up in a channel scan depends on something more than signal strength. Due to my previous experience I’m 99.9% sure that the scan also has to do with zip code and what’s expected to be available in an area, or perhaps it rejects duplicate major networks (2.x and 3.x) or something. Does anyone have direct knowledge of this? The tone of the email’s I’m getting back is making me wonder if support isn’t training up as well as they used to.
I get 76 channels with 24 being duplicates and no it does not reject any of them. However I do reject some duplicates when adding them to the guide. I have 41 channels in my guide.
If the virtual channel number is a duplicate, Tablo chooses the channel through the database based on Zip Codes. Maybe you can play around with the zip codes and see which gives you the right lineup. I have to use downtown Austin (45 miles away) because using my local zip code doesn’t give the right lineup. This isn’t Tablo - it is gracenote (I believe that is the company name) that provides the data for Tablo.
The zip code used before a channel scan does not have any bearing on the results of the scan. This has been the same since the Tablo was released.
However, the zip code does have bearing on the guide data assigned to the channels you add to the guide - this is often confused with the actual results of the scan.
If the channel itself appears and disappears in the scan, this is usually the result of a reception issue.
There are some rare cases that can impact the results of the scan, e.g if the broadcaster has misconfigured a specific channel and it does not follow broadcasting specifications, then it may not appear properly in scans for many OTA devices including Tablo.
Here are some more facts now that I’ve had time to play a bit. Tablo Tech Support is dead sure that it’s a low signal issue. Keep in mind that every TV on the antenna distribution system receives 2.x and that 2.x has a stronger signal than several others that Tablo will receive… So, I cut a new piece of RG6, I put a 10db amp within a foot of the antenna and drag the coax (about 70ft) directly to the Tablo. 2.x still doesn’t show after a channel scan. So I get out the old 4 ch Tablo that’s been sitting in the closet for a year and it picks up 2.x channels with 3 bars and a solid picture! I let the old tablo update to the most recent version. Still picks up 2.x fine. So what can be deduced from this? Either Tablo degraded the tuners in the newer models (but remember it picks up weaker signals than the problem one), or like I vaguely remember from the first Tablo, they had to throw a switch somewhere for me to get 2.x, or i have a defective unit, Comments?
There’s definitely no back-end switch that we can flip to alter the results of a scan - this all comes down to reception and broadcaster configuration. OTA devices/tuners often have differing results due to to the nature of OTA signals in general.
That said, if you can reliably reproduce two different results on two different Tablos, our team would be happy to do some remote testing on both units to see if we can gain any insight for this particular issue. Our team should be reaching out with next steps shortly.
One other possibility is that the coax connector on the back of the Tablo has a broken center conductor to the motherboard. This will cause a near-total lack of signal (as only the ones “next door” to your location will register. This is common when the ferrule of the cable-end of the connector is screwed on too tightly to the female connector on the MB.
I have had a couple of “F” connectors (for RG-6 and RG-59 cable) also “go bad” over the years, although never with my Tablo. In these instances, the center conductor “wipers” inside the connector no longer actually contacts the center conductor of the cable. This most often happens after changing cables.
Needless to say, I have come to really dislike RG 6 and RG 59 cables.