Help -- Tablo Affecting My Happy Wife and Happy Life


First, my assumption is that I can’t sell the subscription. Or am I wrong about that?

If I can find a testing scenario that works, then I would probably be inclined to spend the money to reproduce those conditions in the office. For example, I take the modem, router, and Tablo all to the basement and feed it the strongest OTA signal I can while still hardwiring it to my router, and see what happens. If it works, then that would tell me I need to find a way to reproduce a stronger OTA signal in the office. I think I get a decent WiFi signal down there, so it stands to reason that I would have a decent WiFi signal at least in the living room (if not upstairs) to monitor. If not, I could take the smallest TV to the basement.

That test will be a major pain in the butt, so I’m inclined to try the other things I’ve listed first, but if none of those work, and I also have problems with this test, then I’d be likely to not want to spend any more time on it. I know I wouldn’t bother with the Amazon DVR. The reviews aren’t encouraging to me, and I don’t like the 1 TB limitation. The Hauppauge 4-tuner card has stellar reviews and is only $100. The nearly $200 MORE that the Recast costs could go towards a better server.

Just last night, my wife asked why I had a headache. She gets them all the time. I rarely do. I pointed to the Tablo. She sympathetically said that I shouldn’t be worrying about it. “It’s not a big deal. I’m just waiting for you to realize that cable just…works.” :grimacing:


I think I’ve seen someone transfer a subscription with a Tablo at this forum.

You could extend the range of the router from the basement upward - there are various methods.

Personally I ran a Hauppauge tuner + PC for a year prior to Tablo and found the electricity expense too much.


Well, a desktop is running 24/7 with Plex Media Server anyway. I haven’t investigated what kind of power that is drawing, but I haven’t been alarmed by our bill. Maybe I should be better informed on what that’s costing us, but I don’t think it would dissuade us from doing it.


If cable is your “last resort” but you have excellent internet speed/stability, I’d suggest a full blown streaming service like DirecTV Now or see if your cable provider has a streaming service that works for you. I’ve looked at DirecTV now and YouTubeTV and Hulu Live. You just have to look at their package tiers and work the numbers. Any of them is cheaper than cable and all of the major ones seem to have decent quality.
Your issues are one of the reasons I wanted the Tablo in the system here for several months before I have to make a decision about ditching TiVo before the annual subscriptions come up again. Those are about $340 a year for us. DirecTV Now would be about $660 a year. Cable TV was costing us twice that at about $1200 a year.


I still use my Hauppauge tuner as a backup. This tuner is better than the Tablo’s. So using Plex might be the way to go with Hauppauge. I have never had a Hauppauge react to events the way the Tablo does…it is rock solid.

One big plus with Hauppauge - it comes with signal measuring software. I get precise numerical measurements - can even see how many errors per second at the antenna. And one can add cards to expand the tuner set.


That’s really interesting. Those are the numbers I’d love to know right now.

I thought of one other thing to test tonight, while I work on mapping out the coax runs throughout the house. I’ve read about issues with the Tablo’s AC adapter. If it’s really sensitive to the quality of the power, consider that the Tablo, router, and modem are all plugged into a CyberPower UPS. This UPS used to give me more than an hour of battery backup to my desktop, modem, and router at my old house. A couple years later, the desktop is on a different battery, and this thing, during a couple power outages, has died within a few minutes with only the modem, router, and Tablo on it. The batteries are shot. Does that affect the power it passes through? I don’t know, but I’ve disconnected everything from it and plugged them into a standard surge protector instead. Worth a try…


Does it have the AVR (automatic voltage regulation) feature?
It helps with brown outs.


A numerical signal meter would put to rest once and for all your signal quality question. I leave the Hauppauge signal meter running for hours and check it from time to time. It is not a one time thing. It monitors the antenna stream on a second by second basis. It is not a static “5 dot” image.

I can distinguish what ABC comes in at compared to NBC numerically. 5 dots for each does not give enough data on a channel.

As well it will show how many errors occurred at the antenna level. A signal may be strong but error prone from interference. I once saw a very strong physical signal for NBC but with a ton of errors.


Was just going to look into that when I got distracted by the baseball game suddenly turning into a big “unknown error occurred” message. So much for that.


Wouldn’t it be more helpful if Tablo told us what the “unknown” error was? :sweat_smile: Before proceeding with any other enhancements, turn the unknown into a known…:thinking:


And these playback errors occur on all devices? Smartphone, tablet, computer and the set top box you’re using?


I’m sure it’s on their shortlist.


They occur on 3 Fire Sticks, my android phone, and my wife’s iPad. 99% of the testing has been on the Fire Sticks. The other devices have just been tried from time to time to confirm the problems in the Fire Sticks.


I know we’ve given you a 1000 options to try. Maybe try a Roku, buy it from Best Buy, it doesn’t work after 1 week, return it.


Found the cable that goes to a bedroom across the hall from the office. Connected the antenna to it, minus the amp. Moved Tablo to that room, struggled but eventually got it connected via WiFi, scanned for channels and got evidence of weaker reception on weakest signals, but 40+ channels still at 5 green dot strength. Started watching PBS at 1080/8 (while a show of my wife’s is recording at same quality). It took longer than usual to buffer at the start, then played ok for 5 minutes, buffered briefly, then the unknown error popped up a couple minutes later. Reduced live TV quality to the lowest (480/2) and it’s already buffered once. It’s only been playing about 7 minutes. I’ll wait for it to error again, then add the amp downstairs and start the process over.


For a test have you ever tried the Tablo without a hard drive attached?


Yes, early on I replaced the hard drive, with no improvement, then one of the first things Support had me do was disconnect the hard drive entirely and there was pretty quickly an error of some sort that made them conclude it wasn’t related to the hard drive.


Some advice for the future. If you don’t find a solution after having exhausted all possibilities, consider this. Getting signals through a yagi’s side lobes is not a good idea.

Aim the yagi straight in one direction and collect the channels strictly from that direction on one coax.

Get another antenna - don’t even climb on the roof - put it in the attic (at those high signal levels old fashioned rabbit ears would do in the living room) and aim it in the second direction. Collect the channels strictly from that direction on this coax. (Or revisit my advice to get a second antenna such as the @ben Antop to nail outside to the wall).

Join the two cables with an inverted splitter.

At 60 NM and 15 miles you have more than sufficient signal strength to have rabbit ears in your living room.

Just remember this post when everything else has failed…


I didn’t get the error message I was expecting a couple hours ago, but it kept buffering even at 2 mbps quality. After it froze for a couple minutes, I closed it and added the amp in the basement. Rescanned. Weaker channels stronger again. Watching WKYC (one of strongest) and it’s buffering every 10 minutes or so at the lowest quality. I’m leaving it as-is for the night and will try something else from the list tomorrow night.


File this fact away for future reference. A strong signal can still have a high error rate as I discovered with NBC in observing the signal meter through my Hauppauge. Something can be occurring at the antenna level in spite of the 5 dots that causes the Tablo tuner problems. It might not be apparent on the TV because TV tuners have higher tolerances for reception errors. Pity you don’t have a Hauppauge right now to observe the signals coming in.

*** One inexpensive test you could do is get an inexpensive rabbit ear antenna from WalMart ($10) and connect the Tablo to it. Set it to the strongest channel and observe how the Tablo behaves with the alternate antenna. ***