External hard drives

Bruh… We all got lives, but the difference is… We got a working Tablo in place. Due to US, even me, listening to our fellow forum users advice.

Again, if it’s working on your phone… That means the recording is good. Phone is good. Tablo is good. and not your roku I would check the wireless signal of your Roku, so see where it’s sitting at.

Confirm it has nothing above -70dbm signal. That is a very low signal. If you put a load on it, it will fizzle out.

Again, telling us your Roku streaming works is a different scenario then streaming from the Tablo. It’s a solid 12-15mbps client to client transfer. Again if you have an all in one residential router… They use the same chipset for the routing/ switching / wireless. May be running out of horsepower. But I think it’s a low signal issue to your Roku. Roku have VERY small wireless cards and they dont have good range.


Quick question on this. I do understand this is a Tablo forum and we are talking Roku. But where exactly do I see this measurement? I looked at Roku settings → Network. But I’m not seeing anything that seems to provide that info on db.

I see the signal strength says Excellent and my Internet download speed is 43 Mbps. But I suspect that internet download speed is meaningless for these purposes as the Tablo is local.

In pondering the Tablo device settings I also recall seeing one Tablo article that discussed configuring the Tablo itself to record at lower quality. But I don’t see anything like that in my Tablo settings. Maybe that’s a quad tuner thing? Im pretty basic and not caring about things such as 4k for TV or movies.

Yesterday I did manage to open a support ticket with Tablo. Hopefully I’ll hear from them in a few days. In the interim, I disconnected the hard drive and playback is peachy smooth from the device.

As an aside, I believe this may be tuner related. I find that while my overall TV reception dramatically improved after mounting an antenna on the roof, I still see pixelation and occasional freezes when watching live OTA. Primarily when it’s windy and rainy. I don’t believe there’s any way past that. But I have to say the tuners in the Tablo seem to be much better than those in the TV. The Tablo recordings seldom have the hiccups I see on the TVs when viewing live.

Appreciate all the info and assistance.

There are some “secret” Roku key presses to enter different menus. I’m not going to search for them RN because I’m a little busy, but you can probably find them sooner than I am able to get around to it.

There is one that involves looking at your wireless signal, etc and this is the only way I know how. I’m hoping @KimchiGUN will share another, easier way, if he’s able.

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If your download speed show 42mpbs, that looks like 2.4ghz band. Unless your internet download speed is at 42mbps. Ghetto way of showing which band you are on.

Log into your router’s GUI and there should be a client page, that shows signal strength. Of each client.

If you are having these issues on live TV. I think you’re coming in to HOT from the antenna. It’s like opening the oven door and all that heat hits you in the face. The tuner feels the same way, when too much RF is coming in.

not all tuners are created equally. Turn off the Tablo internal AMP and retest. Also turn off the amp splitter and retest.

They do have unbalanced splitters, so less/more RF signal can go to a port versus others.

Hello again folks

So I was typing a reply to a discussion in a different venue where Tablo was being discussed and something occurred to me.

What occurred was likely the reason Tablo makes the recommendation on minimum hard drive size.

I wonder how accurate I am in my observation here.

The Tablo 4th Gen 2 tuner info boasts 50 hours of recording time. But as I’ve learned in this adventure, this is because of the transcoding that occurs to convert the originally recorded format of MPEG2 to the much smaller MP4. I’ve seen several folks state that the MP4 is about 1/10 the size of the original MPEG2.

So while I was thinking that 128 Gig is sufficient for internal storage, 256 is about double that so why not? But I wasn’t considering the file sizes for hard drive storage are so much larger.

I really think the Tablo folks should point that out as a footnote in their drive recommendations.

As an aside, I’ve ordered a new Roku device that allows a wired CAT5 network connection. I’m interested to see how that plays out.

Thanks again… Rick :wink:

We currently have 22.5 hrs recorded on an external 1tb ssd, and Tablo reports 87.8 gb used. Looks like around 4 gb/hr.

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Clicking on that very link from their support page brings you:



For 1080, yes.

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Some shows are 1080i, some are 720p. So my example is a mix of the 2. All of it is OTA TV.

I suppose it would depend on fps?

The same on the wireless if you have the same wireless signal in that general area. They use the same wireless card.

hardwired, different story. Hopefully you have a decent switch or a cable modem gateway, with a decent chipset. Cheap Chipset do tend to puke when under load.

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Really wish there was an option to do BOTH transcoding AND external storage, kinda dumb that you could essentially 2-4x the storage and basically still record the exact same amount of shows simply cause it forces transcoding off when having a drive connected.

I don’t care that the quality is “slightly” less, it looks just fine to me, a slight unnoticeable quality tradeoff for fitting 3x the shows is worth it. It really shouldn’t be “this device only supports it cause it’s necessary to have it function at all with what little storage is included” and not allowing it when you “fix” said problem.

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I decided to add an external hard drive after seeing how terrible the 480p channels looked after being compressed. However, I do wish there was an option to let us choose if and when compression could be applied to files on our external drives.

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Being a bit if a gearhead, I like the availability of advanced configuration settings such as controlling encoding formats. However, the vast majority of consumers likely don’t even speak this language, and don’t care. They want an inexpensive device that is PnP and just works to watch “free” TV. My bet is this is exactly Tablo’s target market. Just watch their TV commercials.

As far as adding storage to the Tablo goes, it is easy and really cheap these days. Compatible multi-tb USB drives are under $100. Even 1-2tb ssd’s can be had for under $100. Those wanting more space just need a couple of clicks on Amazon. I wouldn’t overwork it. :slight_smile:


Happy to report that everything appears to be working now. Apparently it was a wifi bandwidth issue for my Roku. I ordered, received, and installed a new Roku device. This one connects to my Internet via CAT5 cable. After installing a cable run and swapping the Roku it seems to be working well.

My 256 gig drive seems to be performing admirably.

Appreciate everyone’s support!


Which model roku are you using? Thanks.

Roku Ultra LT.

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