Hardwire decision: Tablo or Roku 3?

Up until now, I have been running both the Tablo and the Roku 3 wirelessly.

The router is in the back room (near the computer and where the DSL comes in the house).
The television/antenna/Roku 3 are set up in the front room (this is the only decent location for the antenna to get a good signal).

I have managed to get a single network cable through the existing holes in the floors/walls, but another cable is out of the question as it just will not fit (for a variety of reasons, drilling another hole or expanding the current hole is NOT an option right now).

So my question becomes: Would I be better off hardwiring the ROKU or the TABLO?

  • I have been (over)thinking that the ROKU might be the main culprit when it comes to my “Loading Please Wait” issues. When I watch TABLO recordings on my computer or phone via WiFi, there are no major issues or delays whenever I fast-forward. On the other hand, the ROKU can take a full minute or more to recover when I skip over commercials. (Some nights I just give up on the idea of fast-forwarding, because the delay in recovering is longer than the commercial breaks themselves.)

  • Logically, the ROKU is likely to get used more. I tend not to watch “Live TV” through the TABLO, instead I split the antenna to feed the TABLO and the television. The TABLO is only streaming when I watch whatever is recorded, while Network Apps, Netflix, YouTube, etc. can all go through the ROKU.

My plan is to try the hard-wire connection to the ROKU for some time (maybe a week or so), then swap the connection over to the TABLO to see if there are any significant differences in performance.

Has anyone addressed this issue yet?
I’m still going to run my own tests, but additional feedback is always welcome.

I’ll keep you posted.

Get a $20 ethernet switch and hardwire both of them.


You can use an Ethernet switch to hardware both devices to your router.

My 3 Rokus wired, all go through through ethernet switches in each room. Work just fine.

One week down with the ROKU hardwired to the router.
TABLO is still running wirelessly.

“Loading Please Wait” delays after fast forwarding through commercials have significantly diminished.
As it stands, the longest delay I’ve had all week has been about 30 to 40 seconds.
Prior to that, I was consistently seeing minute long delays.

Thanks to all for the switch suggestions, but it is counter to my idea of streamlining everything currently in place. I’m trying to avoid more wires, plugs, and boxes. The single network cable I managed to run is making things run “good enough” for my needs.
Plus, as “green” as any Ethernet Switch is likely to be, it will still be another device plugged into the wall.

I have always been of the opinion that you should hardwire the Tablo unit itself first and foremost. If you can hardwire the streaming boxes as well, that is even better, but if not, wifi should be fine as long as the boxes can get a good wifi signal.

That said, if you are seeing much improvement by hardwiring the Roku, then I would say go with what works. But it wouldn’t hurt to try hardwiring the Tablo to see if that does better or worse. If hardwiring the Tablo has similar results, then you would be in a better position if you wanted to add a Roku or other streaming box to another TV in another location down the road.

I hardwire where possible and for the TVs at the far end of the house I use PowerLine adaptors to route ethernet over the powerlines …