That “Failed to Load Video” error message you show is an HLS error - the protocol used between Tablo and streaming device. Something is happening at the packet level to distort the video stream of HLS packets sent by the tablo. The problem is that it doesn’t happen with Plex and Hauppauge.
Yes, historically my problems have been a roughly 50/50 mix of “Failed to load video” and “An unknown error has occurred”. At least the error messages. A portion of the problems have been just a frozen picture with the spinning/buffering circle, and the rest the even split of those two error messages. That’s with the Fire Sticks. During the few days I played with the Roku, I never saw an error message, it just kept cutting to a black screen with the spinning circle. I think it’s probably safe to assume that the cause of the problems with the two devices are the same, just the manifestations are different.
I find it best to get to most basic and simple setup possible if you are trying to troubleshoot an ongoing problem like this. If it were me, I would bring the Tablo, TV (even a small TV to test with), roku, and router to the cable closest to where it enters the home. Hook the Tablo up directly to the antenna without any other connections or splitters. Turn the WiFi completely off in the router settings. Just connect the Tablo and Roku with an Ethernet cable all in close proximity. This will remove as many external factors as possible. You have to get to a point where the problem doesn’t exist first, so going extremely simple with the setup is a must.
I know you’ve tried variations on all of this at one point or another (except maybe turning the WiFi off in the router). I wouldn’t have made it as far as you have, but if I had half of your motivation and ambition, I would go for a full on extreme isolated test at this point.
This test has been suggested, but I just haven’t been able to find the time (or cooperation from my wife, at this point) to go that extreme. I did disable the WiFi and disconnected the modem at one point to test it without any chance of external stimuli, and that didn’t fix it. As for carrying everything to the basement – I understand the reasoning, but sometimes it takes hours to see errors, and I didn’t feel like spending a night sitting on the washing machine watching TV.
I tried another new hard drive last night. No luck. At that point I made the decision to throw in the towel. I ordered the Hauppauge tuner card and found a good deal on eBay on a used i7 CPU/motherboard/RAM combo. I’ve already started the days-long process of ripping all of the recordings from the hard drive.
I don’t feel particularly good about never getting to the bottom of this, not just because of the time I wasted but all the time that so many of you put into trying to figure it out. I appreciate everybody’s help along the way. But at this point I feel like I’ve been chasing ghosts. When I was relatively ignorant of other options out there, and had fewer demands on my time during the winter months, it was easier to justify devoting the efforts to troubleshooting the problem. Now, I’m aware of a really good alternative, and I have too much to do to keep spending time on this. Our taxes are still barely started, and spring yard work is looming. The dogs are confused as to why they’ve suddenly become unworthy of my attention after work. The scales have tipped for many reasons, not the least of which is my wife’s foot firmly on the side of Plex.
Once I’ve gotten everything I want to save from the hard drive, I’ll list the Tablo and my lifetime subscription for sale.
Don’t feel bad, I don’t like giving up on problems (I don’t like feeling like they’ve ‘beat me’), but you’ve put way more time and effort and money into it than I ever would have.
I also considered Plex, it seems like it could be more robust. I liked the interface of Tablo, the simplistic installation, and thought that the family would pick-up on it easy enough. If it were just me, I probably would have gone for Plex myself.
Other than a few minor issues, I’ve been lucky so far (about 2-weeks in). My Tablo has been running very well. No buffering, no disconnects, it just seems to work. I do have a issue with a channel, but I don’t think that is related to the Tablo.
Good luck with the Plex, it will be nice if you find something that just works.
Much respect to you @BlueCalcite. Seems like you have a very specific scenario and Tablo just isn’t the solution. It’s great there is an option that does work so you can get your life back!
One thing I don’t like about Plex (unless I’m overlooking something) is that there is no channel up/down functionality with the remote. You have to hit the back button twice to get back to the guide to select a new channel. Obviously not a disqualifying quirk, but an annoyance nonetheless.
This strikes me as really funny now.
Wasn’t there a new thread that asked how many channels your tablo received? And didn’t you just post:
“54 channels with a directional antenna, with 51 of them consistently good strength. Most of them 15 to 20 miles away.”
After 428+ thread posts - now that’s funny.
It does receive that many channels. It just doesn’t transmit them over my network.
Good luck with plex, I use both and they both serve a purpose. Lots of avenues and options going with plex.
How’s it going with your situation? Just curious to see how you are making out…
Very happy so far. I found a used board/RAM/CPU (i7) combo on eBay for $225 that I took a chance on. It arrived Friday and I got it installed Saturday night. I managed to get it to recognize my hard drives (2 mirrored OS/program/data drives and 2 mirrored media drives) with very little difficulty, so my fear of having to reinstall everything didn’t come to fruition. The 4-tuner Hauppauge card is working great so far. There have been just a couple of hiccups with temporary pixelation/stuttering, but that was early on while the OS disks were still syncing and the whole thing was running a little slow. They had gotten out of sync because the first boot was with just one OS disk installed, and, surprisingly it took the better part of 24 hours for them (500 GB) to finish syncing. Everything has been smooth sailing since then, and my wife is happy to have functional TV/DVR capabilities again. I still wish there was a way to change channels without having to backtrack to the guide each time, but that’s not a huge deal. My wife also noticed that, by default, there are no thumbnails to aid commercial skipping. I see that’s an option I can enable, so I’m going to do that. I know I can also just choose to have Plex remove the commercials. I’ll probably try that on something unimportant, but I’ve read that it’s not perfect and it sometimes removes parts of the program too. In general, I’d rather just skip through commercials than take a chance of missing part of the show.
All that’s left now is to find a buyer for my Tablo. Maybe this forum isn’t the right place for that after all – maybe not a lot of people browse these forums in advance of making their purchase.
Glad to hear you got something working. Might be hard to sell the OG Tablo now that the new QUAD is out.
Great to hear you are finding a solution that works for you. Your saga is now documented for future generations and is listed in the dictionary under perseverance.
My hope is that somebody would view the difference between the two models to be insignificant enough to make mine tempting at less than half price. Aside from that, maybe somebody who doesn’t yet have the lifetime guide wants to buy mine and add 4 extra tuners for a bargain price.
Actually, because of the outrage when the billing chance was announced I’m a little surprised you haven’t had some inquiries already. There were several people that seemed to be frustrated they wouldn’t have that opportunity and this is that opportunity, on a platter.