Guide update takes forever

This is an issue directly for Tablo to solve. (@TabloTV, @TabloSupport)

The guide update takes, what feels like, forever. Some of our issues here are solved by updating the guide. We’ve demonstrated it and many of us have gone through it. I can honestly say there is nothing more frustrating than waiting to fix a problem by going through a slow update process. Please, for the love of $deity, improve this aspect of Tablo. Patience is a virtue except when troubleshooting. Giving the Tablo a couple hours to update its guide is just flat out aggravating.

You didn’t mentioned what a couple of hours means. Is it really 2,3,4, or more hours. Or how many channels are being updated, Or what your WAN speed is. Or if the tablo is being used. And since updates typically take place in the middle of the night, are the updates you are describing at night or being requested in the middle of the day.

Wan speed: 25 Mbps

The given english language convention for a “couple of $whatever” is 2

Since I am talking about a guide update in the context of troubleshooting it is safe to assume I’m awake when performing it :smile: and attempting to use the Tablo but since I’m troubleshooting the Tablo it is also safe to assume it is not being used to view anything currently.

I will flat out say I don’t care what time of day I’m trying to perform a guide update. I expect it to be performant when it is needed and that expectation is not unreasonable given the troubleshooting context. I don’t care how long the automated nightly guide update takes as long as it completes before the guide data downloaded expires. I care about the forced update being fast which it is not.

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Well actually you can find people describe a couple of hours as anything between 61 minutes and 120 minutes. And much like multiple people describing what a crook looks like, you can get many descriptions. None of which are correct.

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My guide data is updated automatically once a day, generally overnight. Thus the guide info is always up to date. I don’t care if it takes 3 min or 63 min overnight when I’m sleeping.

Why are you manually forcing an update?

Why? As part of troubleshooting and attempting to resolve issues. This has been previously stated. Waiting even a half hour to get a device to display channels, guide data, etc. once again (which a guide update can sometimes resolve) is beyond frustrating.

Again, “I don’t care how long the automated nightly guide update takes as long as it completes before the guide data downloaded expires. I care about the forced update being fast which it is not.”


I just updated my guide and it took 8 minutes. I only tune to 11 channels. But I was recording 2 football games while playing a recording. So maybe you have a different problem.

That is a massive difference and thank you for the comparison number.
I assume you mean that you only select 11 channels for display. How many possible channels can you receive?

I have a theory that the guide download grabs data for all possible channels but just filters for the displayed channels.

The tuner can receive probably 16-17 channels. But since I don’t speak a word of Spanish I only have 11 added for the guide. And I use to update the guide during the day (just for heck of it) and I have never seen it take longer then 15 minutes.

I just ran the update for the 8 minutes test. I only keep around 100 hours of recordings on the tablo. I delete them once they are watched.

Whether this may or may not make a difference, currently I don’t have many episodes scheduled. I’m sure how busy the guide server is makes a real difference.

There is a large difference between our max channel counts (max 51 on my end). I will test out selecting a tiny subset of channels compared to the full list to see if that impacts guide update time.

I am fairly certain the Tablo stores show data on disk w/ video recordings. Probably following cablelabs spec which would include the video and xml description file as part of the asset (recording). This would eliminate the need to download guide data for any recording.

I would hope the guide data is downloaded based on zip code and channel in a dynamic manner. I haven’t captured the network traffic from the Tablo to verify (because they aren’t paying my salary [hint hint @TabloCEO ]) so I can only envision/speculate a smart way to handle the dynamic differences between Tablo guide possibilities around the world. Either way, if the guide supply systems are so overworked or the logic is so complex that it slows things down I would pressure them on horizontal scalability deficiencies.

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My theory that the full guide gets updated was wrong. I slimmed my channel line up down to just 7/51 channels and the guide update went much faster. I may have to experiment a bit but it seems to be an above-linear increase in time to complete vs channel count.
Ie: 2 channels takes 2 minutes for complete update but 8 channels takes 9 minutes for complete update… and so on up the scale.

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To test the reverse side of this… enabling all 51 channels available at time of scan and requesting a guide yields an extremely slow update. I can easily say this has been going on now for over 3 hours.

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I would assume the guide update speed is a function of the number of episodes to download and probably not as much the number of channels.

Over a 14 day period a major network would have many 1 hour episodes. While a sub-channel would many more 1/2 hour episodes.

I have several classic movie/western channels with large time blocks to balance the small show sub channels out.

The cablelabs spec employed in xml even with thumbnails and previews covering 1028160 minutes of programming wouldn’t take 3 hours to complete a download, extract, and database load. There’s gotta be something going on.

Seriously… a movie needs at most about 100K of data for meta info and thumbnail. If we assume every channel only does 30 minute segments that equates to 34272 possible shows. If we assume absolute worst case of zero re-runs and all original content in every single time slot possible (no series) then we take 100K per asset (30 minute show per timeslot)… that’s a total of 3.5GB to download and process.

Convert the actual 3427200KB of data from bytes to bits and we’re at 27417600Kb… spread that across a 3 hour window for download and we should be pulling at least 2.5Mbps of network traffic for a full guide which is child’s play for on demand video streaming.

Guide is at 90% and we’re now over 4 hours though so the actual rate is much lower than the above figures. This tells me something is grossly wrong with guide data transfer and Tablo ingest.

I have the same issue. I am in the San Francisco Bay Area with a lot of channels. It is not at all clear what channels are in languages I can use, and so I find myself constantly editing my channel line up which in turn causes a restart of updating the program guide database. The iOS app says that guide updates can take up to 2 hours, but I find that it can take much longer (sometimes double that). My internet connection is 125Mbps down, so I don’t think the internet speed is the issue (!!). Eventually I’m sure I’ll get the right channels in my lineup, but for a new users trying to see which channels to use the configuration is going to take me days of work at this rate.

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Go to and check out all your channels and then load the ones you want on Tablo. I get 76 channels here, but only use 32 on Tablo. Takes about 45 mins to load guide.

I noticed this long time update just today. I assumed before it was just a going off line thing. Please do something about this.

My guide data is updated automatically once a day, generally overnight. Thus the guide info is always up to date.

Are you forcing a manually update?