I’ve seen this a lot over the years but it never really bothered me enough to pose the question. It still isn’t really bothering me because it’s easy to fix. But it’s time to ask.
First, my Tablo is setup to not record duplicates. And it doesn’t always do what I’m describing below. Most of the time it only records one occurrence of each episode.
Why does Tablo setup the same exact episode to record twice at the same time but from two different channels? One channel is to my north the other to the south, both MeTV. Normally this would not cause a conflict with a two tuner Tablo, but it is also doing the same exact thing with episodes of Barney Miller on Antenna TV at the same times. After removing the duplicates for both Petticoat Junction and Barney Miller the conflicts are now cleared.
In the schedule screen options settings you can change from the default of ANY channel to the channel of your choice. But as to why it does this Tablo support will need to answer. Unless the Guide data for each channel is slightly different so it looks like unique shows.
Yes I do this for some of the shows I record and they work fine. But many more I do not specify a channel preference. And for those most of them only schedule one occurrence but sometimes they schedule both and create false conflicts. Like you said there is probably some minute detail that causes Tablo to think they are different. Funny thing is if I leave the conflicts there, when it comes time to record, it only records one of them. Seems at that time it detects the duplicate.
The guide data is likely incorrect so the Tablo thinks they are different episodes even though they are the same. This has happened to be before. Usually future guide update fixes the issue itself, or I have to manually unschedule one.
Since you have two MeTV channels, maybe the issue is caused by the episodes in different “markets” or areas being identified with different episode IDs. I have no idea how the backend of the guide data works but it’s likely an issue with it.
Hmmm makes me think. I have duplicates for most of my networks due to the fact there is a major market 50+ miles north and another 50+ miles south of me. I likely see this guide issue more often than other people. It is easily a weekly occurrence for me.
For most of my duplicate networks I have both channels in the guide. During the warmer months there are times where the north or south channels are struggling with the weather/atmosphere. This way there’s always a backup channel for the same show.
This is indeed the likely culprit.
Sometimes for these old shows the broadcaster doesn’t provide the same level of metadata as they do for more current shows.
Using the advanced recording option that lets you choose a specific channel will help with this.