Horrible experience

Tablo, the company, has some problems.The product was introduced to the general market too soon.The release to the beta testers, which I was one, was a great idea. The beta testers provided a lot of feedback for the various platforms that the apps were developed for. I know all too well how easy it is to get overwhelmed by trying to simultaneously develop apps for multiple platforms instead of concentrating on one.

There was a breakdown somewhere in the three layers involved in the product development. Some people will blame the poor engineer for the product not being ready for prime time. It’s totally possible that the early intro was driven by the marketing layer wanting to appease the powers that be in the company by bringing the revenue stream on line as fast as possible.

To intro a product before it is ready points to a breakdown between engineering and marketing. Engineering and marketing are normally at odds with each other anyway. In the beginning, engineering and marketing will get together to pin down the product definition. Engineering will then go off to their corner and work up the required skill sets needed, staffing for hardware and software development, development systems/tools, etc… All of this should give engineering a good estimate of development time and cost. Most engineering managers will give a reasonable bit of padding to both knowing that marketing will want to cut the development time and that top management in the company will want to reduce the development cost. The poor engineer is caught in the middle.

Something happened to cause engineering to slip the schedule. It was my assumptin that they were going to IOS, Apple TV first then others will follow. Considering that marketing has to determin the market size and estimated sales based on the price point that they set, it’s possible that marketing might have caused a change of direction to slow down on IOS and accelerate Android since that is a much larger market, roughly 72% vs 27% market share. There could be various reasons why they chose IOS for the initial development. One is that most of their development systems were geared toward IOS which would allow faster development and quicker to market.

I believe the thing that hurt the most was the decision to drasticly change the user interface, gui. That change made the project more of an exercise in software development because it’s a complete departure from he legacy device. hardware was not a problem but starting software development from scratch is a real bear.

All of this is just guess work based on my experiences as the engineerin manager, marketing manager and the one of the people at the top pushing everybody.


Not only did all that not fix the problem, it created a new one: now the guide text is in unreadable gibberish and I have no idea what’s on any channel.

I have deleted and reinstalled the tablo app 4 times now on each TV.
No change

That is great insight, Astrojimbo, I’m stunned by the fact that they would admit that they have “a known issue” that they are not fixing and yet they are still selling this thing and taking people’s money for it in the meantime. That’s dishonest if nothing else.

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I’ve been using a tablo for over 8 years and never had problems until now, customer support has aways been great that is until they released the new white tablo now they are trying to fix all the problems it has and forgot all about the old black ones. tvOS has broke the legacy app and was told from support that it not a priority to fix. It’s been over a month and it’s still freezes up with the program guide. In my opinion they should have taken longer and fix the problems with the new white in beta before selling them to the public and continue support on the older tablo. It would not be that bad if the new ones worked with Apple TV but now neither one work with tvOS . Please release the new app for both the new and old tablo’s so people on tvOS can use their tablo’s.

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I have to admit that I am satisfied with the gen 4 unit. I guess my past experience makes me more tolerant and understanding. There are a few irritating bugs that I can live with. They have been mentioned in different posts and will be worked on.

I see so many problems that people have with the gen 4. I haven’t had most of the same problems that others are plagued with. I guess I’m the lucky one. When looking at problems, I keep in mind that we are dealing with two disparate software programs, the one in the gen 4 and the one in our interface device like my Android Mobile device or the Roku. They have to interact for everything to work properly. Half the time the problem is finding which is at fault.

I believe the gen 4 is more than 90% there and the major problems are with the interface devices. A lot of people might disagree but I say that the gen 4 software should be considered stable enough for now and only change it to correct problems that impact all or most interface devices. All efforts should concentrate on the interface devices for now. That’s my 2 cents worth


Cd1515 - Sorry to hear the fix didn’t work for you.

I am in the same boat. I use the 4th gen on Rokus and my Android phone, and both are working well for me. I mainly use my legacy Tablo on my computer since I am on it a lot of the day.

I really like the MPEG2 support, since I watch a lot of football on CBS. I used to use a separate antenna on game days to my tv directly, but now I am fine using the 4th gen unit on a Roku.

I am surprised by all the issues that others are having (and the quarter screen on the Roku with the rest green is something I cannot recreate on any channel).

I was surprised the 4th gen Tablo was released before the testing was complete on it. I think they could have used another month to at least get all the apps ready. I hate to think of the issues the smartTv and AppleTv apps are going to have.

I have officially given up.
Set the World Series game last night to record and it recorded three clips of two, three, and six minutes, but didn’t give me the option to play any of them, just delete them.
Who knows where the other 2 1/2 hours went?
Thanks to all those who tried to help (excluding of course this terrible company, who has done nothing)

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It really is a good company, and many of us here have owned Tablos for well over five years.

This new Tablo just has been a struggle to support. It will be better, but it will take some time.


Funny, I don’t remember seeing that in the ad when I bought the product, “it will be better, but it will take some time.”

And if it ever does get better, I won’t be around to see it.

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Good luck with your next DVR.

Uh. Two options IMHO. Tablo is a very different company, actually with many iterations since their conception. I tend to favor that view. Or, it’s the same company, but with everyone involved going insane over time.

In the beginning, I saw a company with great potential. It’s hard for me to view the current company that way at all.

IMHO, the only thing that stayed “constant”, was the brand name Tablo.


Up until the latest owners bought the company, I believed that leadership was making better decisions than TiVo has been in the last few years. While TiVo made bad decision after bad decision, it seems that Tablo leadership was trying to position themselves to benefit accordingly. That was erased once the new leadership released Gen 4.

They wanted to surprise everyone with the no fee DVR. However, they should have looped in a bunch of us long-term Tablo users to flush out the bugs in the new DVR as beta testers first. Getting these in the hands of real users would have exposed these bugs to developers to fix BEFORE the public release. Doing that would have maintained the customer goodwill that Tablo worked hard to earn.

Another mistake is not offering a four tuner version of the 4th Gen unit. That’s a mistake that TiVo made and is contributing to their eventual downfall with Antenna DVR customers.

Mistake No. 3: Not having the iOS and Apple TV support work out of the gate. Even though Apple TV doesn’t have the unit counts that Android/Google TV and Fire TV and Roku do, the Apple ecosystem is still important to support.

In short, this was rushed to market too quickly. Hopefully, the current leadership will learn from this and do more beta testing next time to ensure that most bugs are handled prior to release.


This is nothing more then a poor software development process problem. Poor product management, program management, development , and quality control.

And I don’t assume that many issues weren’t known before product release. You prioritize problems and some fall below the cutoff line for the next release.

Not unlike the 2014 initial product release. And I don’t assume that there is a chinese manufacturer that is willing to make a limited production run of legacy units at the proper price point.


They emailed the instructions to their current users - before you or I (and countless others) activated our Tablo devices. I even replied to one of their staff here, suggesting that they send this email to everyone who activates going forward AND post the instructions openly, in a conspicuous post her & on their support site. They didn’t respond. So I hear your frustration.

But that fix does work; I just think there’s something important missing in the info:

Since you already did the setup, follow the steps Gatorgogo gave you - but with one very pertinent addition: Turn off your app on the Roku TV and do the setup entirely on your smartphone with the Tablo 4.0 app. Because the bug is in the Roku app.

The email’s instruction was to power reset your Roku for it to lose the bad lineup and acquire the correct one. Since yours are Roku TV’s, I’m guessing to try turning your TV off & on - or locate a system reset option in the menu. A sure-fire way would be to uninstall & reinstall the Tablo app on the Roku.

The simple info that Tablo needs to put out to Roku users: Do your entire channel guide setup on the smartphone app, period. When you situate it there first, it works and it shows up on every Roku device you install the Tablo app on.


A sure-fire way would be to uninstall & reinstall the Tablo app on the Roku.

Actually that’s not sure-fire at all because I’ve done it now 5 times on each TV and nothing changed or improved.

I gave up and returned the piece of crap.
This awful company doesn’t deserve my money or my time.

Well you’re quoting me out of context. The most important part of what I said - and I’m trying to help anyone reading this - was that everything to do with channel scan and selection of the lineup, must be done via the Tablo smartphone app.

Your issue comes from a bug inside the Tablo Roku app, and its process of scanning & selecting channels. The part about “uninstalling & reinstalling the Tablo app in Roku” was simply about clearing it any previous jumbled channel lineup.

Without using the Tablo smartphone app to correctly establish the channels, yes, the result would be what you experienced: the uninstalling & reinstalling of the Tablo Roku app alone wouldn’t fix issue.

I’ve stopped using the damn thing. Nothing but issues with the channel line up problem and now, it seems, when I am able to select a channel to watch, I get channel info and time in the upper left corner of a black screen. That’s where it stays, unless I reboot the unit and start again. Luckily, I have a quad-4 device that I do not have any issues. Money wasted on this gen 4 device! BTW, I’m using a ROKU device for the new and old TABLO app.

I was getting the same thing when I tried to watch a recording on my Roku to an older TV. Turns out my TV could not handle the sound signal coming form Tablo through HDMI (probably included surround). I changed the Audio settings in Roku to the following and it’s been smooth sailing since.

Audio Mode = Stereo (this one was set to auto)
Preferred streaming format = Auto (didn’t change this one)
Digital output format = Stereo (this one was set to auto)