Frequent buffering and general slowness on Tablo DVR

In the past couple of days I’ve noticed dramatic degradation in the performance of my Tablo OTA DVR.

It is buffering very frequently (sometimes every 30 seconds), even after I’ve decreased the quality to 3MBPS.

I’ve noticed the Tablo is very hot, and there is a heat wave in our region, can that be related? Can the Tablo be impacted from the heat?

Does Live TV buffer as well? If yes, as a test try running the Tablo with no HD attached. Live TV will still work. If buffering goes away could point to a hard drive or USB cable issue. … or possibly a weak Tablo power supply.

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All electronics are affected by heat. Several people have used laptop coolers to keep their Tablo’s cool.

But typically buffering is usually WIFI issues. You don’t say if it is a network or HDMI Tablo or is you are using wired or wireless. What streaming device do you use, is it wired or wireless. A wired network is optimal.

My Tablos;’ are all wired as are my streaming devices. I have never had a buffering issue since 3/2014.

Yes it happens with live TV.

I disconnected the Tablo and reconnected after few minutes and so far no buffering, so maybe it is indication that the issue is heating?

It is connected wirelessly, but it was connected the same for the past month and working fine, the only thing that changed recently is the heat.

This could just be due to some network congestion. If you run into this again, try power cycling your router and Tablo. Keep in mind the change you’ve made to the recording quality setting will only be active for new recordings, and not existing ones.

It happened today as well, restarting the Tablo fixes the issue, but I suspect it might happen again.

Maybe it is some bug in the new software? Or maybe issue with heating? I’ll be happy to provide any information that can help to debug it.

6 years ago when my Tablo was brand new I was experiencing a similar problem especially if I was using 3 or 4 tuners at the same time. I purchased a laptop cooling pad and haven’t experienced that problem since.

I currently have 2-4 tuner Tablos with 2-5Tb Seagate USB harddrives sitting on the cooling pad and they have been running for 6 and 4 years with no major problems.

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I honestly don’t think it’s acceptable that external cooling solution will be needed. If that’s the case, it’s a big defect in the product.

I don’t think anyone is saying it’s needed. Some people have just chosen to do that, myself included.


We haven’t made any changes in this area as part of the most recent firmware update. I’d recommend taking a look at the knowledge base article to troubleshoot buffering, and if you still have problems after trying the steps there, give our support team a shout with the details.

What model of Seagate drives are you using? I’m looking at increasing our capacity and want to make sure that the new drive is compatible.

@Jim1951 I’m using Seagate Expansion 5TB drives.
I don’t believe this exact model is still available since I purchased the first drive in 2015 and the second drive in 2017. Both drives are still working fine and are approximately 75 to 80% filled. I keep a lot of recordings but try to maintain around 1TB free for new recordings.

I haven’t tried them with my Tablo, but I have used multiple WD Elements Harddrives, both 8 and 12 TB sizes that I’ve shucked from their cases and then used in my NAS’s. They are currently available and on sale from time to time at Best Buy. I would highly recommend the WD drives for durability.

Thanks for the info!