Help -- Tablo Affecting My Happy Wife and Happy Life


#82

Wait, is that disk temperature reading in C or F?
I thought Hard Disk Sentinal reports temperature in C?

If it’s C, then the current hard drive temperature value reading is 124C, which is no bueno.
Anything over 45C is questionable.
Some newer hard drives operate just fine at 50C, and even 60C, but that’s not the norm.


#83

124C. I could just put my cup of coffee on top of the disk drive and watch it boil away.


#84

No, that can’t be what that number means. I just plugged the drive into a different computer, also with HD Sentinel, and it reads a high number there, too, but either 24C or 31C on two other interfaces. It says the historical max is 38C. I wouldn’t have been able to touch it if it was that hot. It was cold to the touch.

It’s Disk 4 (bottom of the 5 drives) on the left side of these images.


#85

124C is around 255F. At 124C your disk drive would probably have caught on fire and burned your residence down.


#86

Update: new hard drive lasted maybe an hour, and now NBC is frozen and spinning on 2 TVs via WiFi and ethernet. ABC currently still streaming fine in living room. 1080/10. Amp still bypassed. No attenuator pads currently connected.


#88

I was wondering if there could be a router setting that could be allowing me to stream Plex and Sling with no problems, but could interfere with Tablo. I’m pretty good with hardware and software, but am not a network guy. Would MU-MIMO affect my ethernet-connected Fire Stick? It’s freezing too.

Not long after I reported “ABC still streaming fine in the living room”, it gave me the “tuner reassigned/disconnected” error. My temptation is to start putting some attenuator pads back in the line (maybe starting more conservatively than the 18 db that gave me a weak signal error during the snow this weekend). I haven’t yet tested the combination of the new hard drive and, say, 12 dB attenuation. I’m also still waiting to hear from Tablo Support about my observation that removing the hard drive entirely doesn’t fix the problem. I’m really hoping these magical logs of theirs can actually tell them something.

And I just got disconnected from NBC in the bedroom. Fox (weaker signal) now streaming via ethernet in the guest room, no issues yet but it’s only been 45 minutes.


#89

Weaker Fox signal was still streaming in the guest room when I woke up this morning. That one is still connected by ethernet, but I think I’ve already convinced myself that it’s not a WiFi vs. ethernet problem, so I’ll probably disconnect that soon.

Since the relatively weak Fox streamed all night while the strongest channels (ABC, NBC) struggled last night, I added a 12 dB pad back to the line this morning and tuned the living room to NBC and the guest room to ABC. Less than an hour later I observed on my phone app that ABC was already released by the tuner (won’t know if it’s frozen or disconnected until my wife wakes up and checks). NBC is still streaming fine in the living room.

My apologies for this thread getting so long, but it’s the easiest way for me to log everything I’m trying. I’ve already forgotten half of the combinations of things I’ve tried and have to keep coming back and reading through it to figure out what to try next.


#90

I am certainly not an expert on WiFi. But in trying to help my daughters, I have learned just enough that I avoid it.

MU-MIMO uses 5GHz which has a more limited range than 2.4GHz. So even with beam forming there could be WiFi reception problems. Apparently it is better for more simple devices. And it is only good for up to 3 or possibly 4 streams from the router.
From: https://www.networkworld.com/article/3256905/mobile-wireless/13-things-you-need-to-know-about-mu-mimo-wi-fi.html

Your picture which showed your router had a blue Tablo cable, a yellow ISP cable, 1 white cable for your computer. What are the other 2 white cables for? And then you have all of your WiFi devices.

I think you need a spreadsheet with an inventory of all the equipment using your router. (Whether Ethernet or WiFi.) Perhaps the router is being overloaded. Perhaps by equipment that is only occasionally active.

  1. Do a simple test. Disconnect the hard drive, and leave the attenuators out. Then try streaming FOX to the FireTV stick with the ethernet adaptor. (One stream only)

If there is a freeze then did your router freeze too? If it did then you may have problems with other devices connected to the router. If there is a freeze which did not affect the router then your Tablo has some intermittent problem. (The problem is not the hard drive, not WiFi and apparently not the router.)

  1. If it runs for hours then: Redo the test but this time stream FOX via WiFi to the FireTV stick closest to the router. (One stream only)

If the first test was successful but this test fails then the WiFi/router is an issue. (Of some sort anyway.)

If you have any indication that this might involve your router, I would verify that your FireTV Sticks are NOT using 5GHz. If they are then I would change that and leave the 5GHZ to other simpler devices.

EDIT: You have 3 FireTV sticks. Are they all on 5GHz or 2.4GHz. Or is there a mix?

EDIT 2: You seem to have much less trouble with FOX. The FOX station in my area broadcasts 720P. If yours does too then perhaps the Tablo has a lighter workload in live streaming FOX.

EDIT3: The local ABC affiliate also broadcast in 720P. If yours does too, then ABC would also be a lighter workload. You always seem to have more problems with NBC then FOX or ABC.


#91

Thanks for that link. That’s an informative article.

All 3 of the white/light gray cables from the router are going to computers, though it’s not as heavy a burden as it sounds. I have two desktops sitting in there, one of which used to be my main computer, and the other is an older one that I repurposed as a Plex server. However, 99% of the time I need to use a desktop for anything, I just use the one running Plex (usually just web browsing). This system is also always running utorrent (through VPN), but is only occasionally moving any data. I turn on the other “main” system maybe once every month or two. It’s the cable to this unused system that I’ve disconnected and stretched across the hall to the Fire Stick. The third cable is going to my wife’s Mac, which is on all the time but not used that frequently, certainly not for any bandwidth intensive work.

WiFi devices should just include the three Fire Sticks, a wireless printer, my Android phone, my wife’s iPhone, her iPad, and two cheap Wyze security cameras. Compared to families I’ve read about where every TV has a Fire Stick or Roku and every adult and child has a smartphone and/or tablet, I think ours is a comparatively low WiFi traffic house.

I’ll try that test tonight. I have a feeling that Fox will keep streaming for hours and hours, because, other than during the snowstorm last weekend when it gave me a weak signal, it hasn’t had many (if any) problems. But I also haven’t spend as much time testing it or CBS (the other “weaker” station).

For what it’s worth, with all of the freezes we’ve experienced, we’ve never noticed any other Wi-Fi- or ethernet-connected devices acting up, though I’m not sure that we necessarily would. Probably the best observation along those lines is that my wife has absolutely given up using the Tablo and has gone exclusively to watching Sling downstairs, often while I’m troubleshooting/monitoring Tablo streaming upstairs, and she’s never said anything to me about Sling freezing or otherwise giving her problems while I’m battling the Tablo freezes elsewhere in the house.


#92

You have 3 FireTV sticks. Are they all on 5GHz or 2.4GHz. Or is there a mix?

I didn’t manually set them to either, but I’m pretty sure I remember investigating that (on one of them) and discovering that it was connected to the 5 GHz signal, so I assume they’re all set that way by default.


#93

My wife reported that the guest room TV that was streaming ABC by ethernet had a black screen, and pressing the big round button on the remote brought up the Fire Stick home screen, not the typical “tuner reassigned or Tablo disconnected” error. She restarted the ABC stream a little before noon and my phone app says it’s already died again.

Meanwhile, NBC is still streaming over WiFi in the living room (more than 6 hours now).

Again, ABC is my strongest signal and NBC is second. At 12dB, have I found the amount of attenuation that brings NBC in range but not quite enough for ABC?


#94

I am afraid that you are misunderstanding what you are seeing. A still image from the video is probably always a problem. But a ‘Black’ screen is not.

With my TV set turned off for hours, when I turn it on and select HDMI1, I get a ‘Black’ screen. When I press the info button on the TV remote it shows 1080p indicating that it is seeing some video signal from the FireTV stick. When I remove the power from the FireTV Stick the ‘Black’ screen goes away and I get an “Unsupported Video” message from the TV set.

So the ‘Black’ screen is just the FireTV Stick sending blank video to the TV set. It is 1080p video which the TV set recognizes but humans see a blank screen, black screen, or nothing. (And we are unable to determine the origin.)

Clicking a button on the FireTV Stick remote wakes up the FireTV operating system and it displays the selected video source, or the FireTV Home screen.

From: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=202104920

Sleep Mode

Your Fire TV device automatically goes into sleep mode after 20 minutes of inactivity. Amazon Fire TV (1st Generation) devices go into sleep mode after 30 minutes.

You can also manually send your device into sleep mode. Press and hold the Home GUID-C09D2CA8-0F83-43AF-AE64-74500835A5C0_en-US.png button on your remote to launch the Quick Access menu, then select the Sleep option.

Note: Before going into sleep mode, your device can also show a screen saver, depending on your screen saver settings. For more information, go to Amazon Fire TV Settings Basics .

To wake up your device from sleep mode, just press any button on your remote.

So if I walk off and leave a program running for some period of time, when I return I will see a black screen. I believe that is because the program ended and after some period of time the Tablo stopped sending data. Then the FireTV stick is putting out that black screen and later goes to sleep, leaving that black screen going out to the TV set.

Edit: There have been times when I clicked on the FireTV remote and I was back on a Tablo video page of some sort. But most of the time I am on the FireTV home page. It is a little bit aggravating not to understand what to expect or which device to blame. LOL


#95

So the Firestick will sleep even when it’s displaying something? (like Live TV?)

Can the Tablo “binge watch”? That is… play recorded content one after another (like if you recorded a series and now want to start with episode 1 and then when that ends it automatically starts episode 2, etc?)

I just wonder if the Firestick would sleep even if given a continuous stream. I would think watching Live TV would be a continuous stream but watching recorded content would remove any goofiness related to the antenna and signal. And believe me, antennas are goofy contraptions :slight_smile:

Always, always always (and did I emphasize “always”?) run your antenna directly to a single TV from which you can check signal strength. Check all the channels. Check them at various times of the day. Check in summer when there are leaves on the trees and in winter when there are none. Only when you can reliably determine your signal strength can you start figuring out what the signal SHOULD be after it’s run through a splitter. Figure out the splitter loss. Compensate with a pre-amp if splitting is making a decent signal weak after splits. If the signal is weak, you can boost it a little. But if it’s crap you’re just amplifying crap. Unless you’re pegging your signal strength and I mean pegging it, you shouldn’t be willy nilly sticking attenuators in there. I have stations at 37 miles and stations at 7 miles. They are 45 degrees apart. I know the beam width of my antenna. I point it more towards the distant towers and pick up the close ones off the side. That way the close ones don’t overwhelm tuners. And I can still get the distant ones. It takes a bit of fiddling to get an antenna aimed in this situation, but you can adjust the antenna to get the most even distribution of signal across all of your channels. There’s your starting point.

The preamp on mine gives all devices a signal strength around 75%. I have it split 4 and 2. (A 4-way splitter with lines to 4 devices and at the far end one of those lines is split 2 ways.) there’s a heck of a lot of loss splitting like that, hence the preamp. I have a 4-way distribution amp as well but it’s not in the system as I’m pretty sure I can work without it. AND… using a distribution amp WITH a preamp can introduce other issues, especially if they’re closer than about 50 cable feet from one another. See what I mean about goofiness?

Now you start messing with different devices, some wireless, some ethernet, and making lots of changes and I would be amazed if you could remember it all :slight_smile:

I’m following you though this because I really want to see how it resolves. And which device/system turns out to be the weak link.


#96

I am afraid that you are misunderstanding what you are seeing. A still image from the video is probably always a problem. But a ‘Black’ screen is not.

I didn’t mean to suggest that I equated the black screen as the same problem as the frozen video frame, or the tuner reassigned/tablo disconnected error for that matter. It makes sense that that is what I would see if the Fire Stick was going to sleep. What I don’t understand is WHY it’s going into sleep mode.

So the Firestick will sleep even when it’s displaying something? (like Live TV?)

Can the Tablo “binge watch”? That is… play recorded content one after another (like if you recorded a series and now want to start with episode 1 and then when that ends it automatically starts episode 2, etc?)

I just wonder if the Firestick would sleep even if given a continuous stream. I would think watching Live TV would be a continuous stream but watching recorded content would remove any goofiness related to the antenna and signal. And believe me, antennas are goofy contraptions

You beat me to my point. During the many months that the Tablo was working great and, occasionally, for several-hour stretches that it’s worked fine even during the recent problem era, I never witnessed it go into sleep mode. When a program ends, it’s never waited for me to select the next program I wanted to watch. If I tuned to NBC, it continuously streamed NBC, from one program to the next, until I manually told it to do something else. When it was apparently going to sleep while streaming ABC today, it was after no more than an hour on both occasions (I tuned it before leaving for work, and my phone said it was no longer tuned to ABC when I got to work an hour later; my wife then restarted it before she left for work at noon, and it was done sometime around an hour later). Is there a camera embedded in the Fire Stick that’s monitoring to see if anybody is there watching it? Short of that, I don’t understand what it’s now interpreting as inactivity worthy of going to sleep after such a short period of time, regardless of whether a program ended, when I’ve previously watched the same channel for hours at a time without it caring.

Fox has been streaming via ethernet, without a hard drive, and without attenuation for the better part of 2 hours. However, Tablo Support just e-mailed me and asked me to enable remote access for them to take a look at it. I’m going to stop my testing and revert it back to its original configuration for their examination (old hard drive and no attenuation, though I am leaving the original amplifier bypassed since I’m fairly confident that it was never necessary).


#97

Is the fire stick powered by usb?
My Roku streaming stick is powered by usb. There was an unused USB port right there on the back of the tv near the hdmi ports so I plugged it into that. Worked great! Until the TV went to power save mode after a period of time with no input. That shut down the usb . Turns out the tv had auto-updated its software and that somehow reset the power saving to default. I have since purchased a usb extension cable and plugged the Roku into its wallwart. Hasn’t happened since. The Roku won’t sleep if it’s tuned to a channel. Only if it’s sitting on one of its own screens (home, settings, channel store, whatever…)
Just tossing out ideas.
If the fire stick loses communication to the Tablo while tuned to a live tv station, what happens? You could check easily enough by unplugging the Ethernet to the fire stick, or turning off wireless on your router. See if the behavior is the same as what you’re seeing.
I have a pretty strong feeling that this will come back to a hard drive/usb issue.
If that Ethernet connected firestick runs fine with the hard drive pulled, and then screws up when you plug the hard drive back in, that would seem to point to the hard drive. Spinning down? It shouldn’t. If it’s streaming live Tv I would think it’s reading and writing like mad. So it shouldn’t spin down.
Definitely would like to hear what the Tablo support detectives find


#98

The Fire Sticks have their own power supply.

I’ve already experienced the freezing with the old hard drive, with the new hard drive, and with no hard drive. But most of my testing has been with my two strongest stations (ABC and NBC). The test I started tonight (but cut short to give access to Tablo Support) was with Fox, which has a recent history of streaming much better than ABC and NBC. It’s the seemingly different behavior with stations of different strength (ALL strong, though) that makes it feel like there is some fine tuning of my signal strength that needs done, but I think my testing has shown that can’t be the whole story and maybe not even a significant part of it.


#99

Does this freezing occur on other devices? Roku, Apple TV, Android phone, etc?


#100

Admittedly, there’s been an insufficient amount of testing on anything else. A week ago or so I tuned my Android phone to the same channel as the Fire Stick in the bedroom and let them play side by side for hours, with neither of them freezing. Who knows what would have happened with the phone if it had frozen on the TV. I’d have to go read through everything again to see why I didn’t try again the next night, but I obviously got busy with some other test.

Recognizing that NBC streamed all day today on one TV with 12db attenuation, and the ABC problems were apparently some other cause (I need to read more about the Fire Stick’s sleep habits), I’m kind of intrigued to test things more with that amount of attenuation, but for now I’m just waiting on Support to do their thing.


#101

BlueCalcite

I would just remove all the attenuators. That will give you more fade margin and help you deal with the snow.

You will still have reduced the signal level by 15db when you bypassed that amplifier. You definitely want to leave that bypassed until summer.

And I don’t believe that your signal level is too high. It was, but not now.


#102

I think most modern tuners are far more tolerant of “too much signal” than they were a decade or 2 ago. You’d have to really bash the new ones to get them to the point of being overwhelmed. The AGC is pretty capable of squashing a hot signal.
Do you have cell towers nearby? I have one within a mile and a half and had weird issues and found I needed an LTE filter on my antenna. Some FM transmitters, if nearby, can also interfere. If that happens you need an FM trap. Is your antenna outside and clear of most anything around it? Signal REFLECTIONS can do what you’re seeing as well. A nearby house on the backside of your antenna reflecting signal back to it (now out of phase) will give you multipath issues.
I live near an air base. Refueling tankers. The approach puts them between me and the most distant towers and believe it or not, that can cause a momentary blip in signal.
The reason attenuators would be giving variable results is that if your problem is NOT a simple matter of attenuating a hot signal, then you’re attenuating relections (out of phase signals) and LTE or FM interference along with your TV signal. In essence, still a messed up signal but now a weaker messed up signal.

I know you’re trying to figure this out and I’m not criticizing as I can see you’re trying about everything you can think of to try, but I also think throwing attenuators at the issue might not be the answer. Working fine for an hour and then messing up, if it’s a signal issue, sounds a lot more like an interference issue. If it was a hot signal issue then without attenuators you’d be hot all the time. And yes I know this can vary based on seasons with trees leafing out or being bare. But I’m 7 miles from a few of the major broadcast station towers and using a 17db gain antenna so I can pull the ones from 37 miles and I don’t overload anything. I do get interference here and there. And as I figure out what’s causing it I either filter it or move the antenna to a better spot.

Antenna goofiness. UHF Digital is actually much less forgiving than the old VHF. I’m reading that ATSC 3 will solve a lot of these issues, but that’s still years out.