Fragmentation, Reception, or Unit?

I have a refurbished Dual Tablo (64GB storage), served me well for 2 years now (and out of warranty, of course). I usually have no problems, but occasionally I do have issues. I’ve read through the Troubleshooting articles and they lead me to believe the cause(s) are within 3 areas.
My setup:
• I have dual (GE “attic or outdoor use” rated at 50 miles) antennas, attic-mounted in a wood frame house, about 25 feet above ground, joined together using a specific combiner (not a splitter used backwards), with an RG6 coax run of approximately 35-40 feet.
• I have a TV with a built-in signal meter—bar-type with descriptions (“Poor,” “Medium,” “Good” instead of numerical signal strength numbers)—which I initially used to mount each antenna separately (in attic), then checked the combined signal before attaching at rear of Tablo. All 10 stations show a signal in “Good,” with the bar to nearly full strength.
• I used TV fool and compass to direct antennas: CBS, Fox, and ME TV are same tower, located 6.1 miles away to the northeast; ABC, NBC, and CW are one tower located 14.1 miles distant to the northwest and PBS (4 channels, same tower) are 7.7 miles to the northwest also. TV Fool shows 294 degree for first tower and 332 degree for second tower; I split the distance between the 2 numbers, centering antenna at 313 degree.
My issues:
• Signal Reception: I’ve mostly discounted this because both antennas are correctly aimed (per TV Fool), all 3 towers are within 14.1 miles, and with signal meter readings, I would think that I’m not even close to a “Digital Cliff” at any time
• Pixelization: Rarely get this, but it happens infrequently and lasts maybe 5-15 seconds. Troubleshooting article states that the problem is “signal strength or quality,” but based on my setup (described above), I’m having a problem seeing this as a cause?
• Fragmentation: This doesn’t happen ‘regularly,’ but happens enough that it can be annoying. Troubleshooting article states that if it occurs on a specific channel or time of day, signal strength or quality is likely the cause. But if it’s random, it could be a storage issue. I’ve never plugged in an external drive, always used the on-board storage. My understanding is that if I wanted to try plugging in an external USB drive, the setup will erase existing on-board recordings—I do have a couple I’d like to save, but I would be willing to do this is the consensus is that the problem has to do with failing on-board storage?

I realize this is a long post, but I wanted to explain everything and see if anyone can see any problems with my setup or my diagnoses? I appreciate any comments. Thanks!

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While the dual 64 cpu/tuners have enough power, you can get pixelation if you watch a recording as it is being recorded or both tuners are recording and you watch an already recorded show. The flash just doesn’t seem powerful enough to recorded 2 shows and also suck a recording back for playback. And my units, including a dual64, are direct connect.

If I wait long enough for one out of 2 recordings to complete or I don’t watch a show as it’s being recorded the pixelation stops. But that is just me and my dual64. And since I only use the dual64 for sports I just ignore the problem.

As an FYI, you can add an external drive and per this article it won’t delete the recordings on the internal storage, just all new recordings will be done to the external drive. I know your unit is 64GB but same logic.

“For the Tablo DUAL 128GB DVR, you can connect any compatible portable hard drive via USB. Once formatted, all new recordings will bypass the internal storage and be saved to the new external drive. Recordings still on the internal storage can continue to be played back, managed, and deleted.”

Thanks for you comments. I record a lot of sports (and other stuff, too), I’ve never tried to notice if this happens when I’m recording one show and recording another, or if it happens when a sports event is still recording and I start to watch it from the beginning. I’ll try and see if this is what’s happening. Thanks.

Nilex, thanks for the info. I thought that I had read a while back that moving to a portable drive erased all internal recordings during setup. I think I have a small Passport of equivalent somewhere, I’ll see if it’s compatible and give it a try. Thanks.

realisticdave, FYI I’ve been using TabloTools to pull recordings off the Tablo and convert them to portable .mp4 files. It actually connects to my Tablo Quad OTA more reliably than the web app. Now I don’t need to lose my important recordings.

jeffb, thanks for the note. I’ve never heard of TabloTools before, but looked over the info on Tablo Community and read some of the info on github. I’ve downloaded the app and had it search for my unit and downloads. I’m going to spend some time looking over and experimenting with it in the coming days. But thanks again for the info. (I’m also going to add a USB storage unit, I think. Don’t want to mess with things this weekend, I’m taping and watching drag races, our state high school BB tourney, and soccer, so I’m ‘busy!’)

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If anyone is still monitoring this thread, just thought I’d let people know that about a week ago I downloaded Tablo Tools and set it up, and also added a Toshiba USB drive. Recorded a number of events/shows since, and no pixelation, fragmentation, and hard drive is recording fine. So thanks for comments, information, and suggestions from all!

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