Horrible pixelation on the 4 tuner Tablo

I’ve had my Tablo since early September. It’s connected via a home run to a new ClearStream 2V antenna. It’s mounted to the roof of the house about 20’ up in the air. It’s not being blocked by any trees, buildings, etc. I am about 10 miles away from the towers in my area. All of my channels show 5 green circles (and I wish we could see this represented in dB as well).

After dealing with occasional pixelation (a few times per day) in the beginning, to trying to watch the Bengals vs Browns game tonight, it’s almost completely unwatchable. Every 10-15 seconds the entire picture freezes and I have horrible pixelation all over the screen for 4-5 seconds.

I have a new Roku 3 connected to a 24 port GBE Cisco SLM-2024 switch. I also see this on the other TVs throughout the house.

So as a test, I added a splitter and ran one 2’ coax cable to the TV and the other 5’ coax cable to the Tablo.

After performing a channel scan on the TV, I pulled in 39 channels and then flipped over to the football game. Absolutely no pixelation  whatsoever for the last 15 minutes that I have been watching it. I switched the input back to the Roku/Tablo and pixelation.

So what is this actually telling me? 

Do I need to add an amplifier to the signal?

Any other suggestions?

Just a FYI, I also have a reboot issue going on with my tablo.

Using the same antenna via splitter, if you have a clear image with your TV tuner but pixelated image with Tablo it means your TV has a better tuner or the signal to Tablo is insufficient either because it has a weaker tuner or because the signal is being split 4 ways (each tuner).   I’m going to be adjusting or swapping out my antenna this weekend for a similar issue with my 4 tuner Tablo as all the TVs have no problem with the signal connected directly whereas the Tablo has trouble with a couple of (VHF) channels.    

It would be helpful to know if you are getting pixellation/frozen picture on all channels or just a few?   Also, are the channels you are having issues with UHF, VHF-lo (2-6) or VHF-hi (7-13)?

1.  Verify all cable connections are tightly connected.    Use only RG6, quad preferable.
1.  Even though your TV receives all channels, verify that the antenna is optimally positioned.   Your CS antenna is better with UHF than VHF which might be a factor depending upon which channels are problematic.
2.  Install an amplifier which may help depending upon the signal quality.
3.  If above doesn’t work, get a better antenna.    www.solidsignal.com     

This is going to sound weird but certain fluorescent lights and LED lightbulbs interfere with OTA antennas. I had the same problem the TV would work fine all day. Then when my wife got home from work it would start pixelating and cut out. It took me a while but I finally made the connection when she got home she started turning on the lights. I had about six bulbs in my house that I had to replace some were so bad they would knock the signal completely out.

@7up - I watch and record shows from the following and this is how the FCC DTV map lists them:

WKRC  CBS  12-1 Hi-V
WXIX    FOX  19-1 UHF

Last night the issue was with 5-1 while most other days (especially Sunday football games) I notice it with NBC 12-1. I was recording Grey's Anatomy last night (ABC channel 9-1) and it had some pixilation but no where near what NBC 5-1 was showing.

I ran RG6Q and used Q connectors as well on both ends.

I may pick up an amplifier from Radio Shack this weekend to see if it helps.

What antenna are you considering?


I don't have any LED or CFL lights within about 10 feet of the TV but I will see if I can have the lights off on that floor and in the basement to see if it helps.

Thanks to both of you for your suggestions.

Sounds like you are on the right path.    There are lots of amplifiers to choose from.   Depending upon the length of cable run and number of splits you need, an amplifier is the best place to start.  I’m currently using a CM4221HD, which is good for UHF, but not so good for VHF-hi which tend to be the problematic channels here. We have easy roof access so plan is to go up this weekend and re-position to and see if I can tweak out a bit more signal and shorten up and/or reconfigure some of the cables.  OTA signal here is split 6 ways with Tablo just one device.   If none of the above work, I’ll switch a different antenna or add in VHF only antenna and call it a day.    

If you are only 10 miles away that antenna should be good enough(I have the same clearstream 2v antenna). I am close to 15 miles away for some stations. I did not even mount the antenna outside as then I would have to run a long cable from antenna to the tablo. Instead I put the antenna inside the attic and just ran a 6 inch rg6 to my tablo. And I never had any issues with the clarity of the pictures.

How long is your cable from the antenna to the tablo? If it is too long then try the amplifier.


My run is about 55-60' and until my testing last night, the Tablo was the only device on it.

I have a distribution amplifier on mine and the most offending led lightbulbs were 35 feet away from the TV and 65 feet away from my antenna. I found reports on other news groups of neighbors lights causing interference with the antenna signal. Does seem to be much worse on the VHF with mine. Since I’ve replaced the lightbulbs 5 months ago I have not had one issue.

One more thing I tried putting the LED bulbs in other places in the house no matter where I put them it interfered with the signal. Originally thinking it might be the fixture.

mb190e is correct that some LED bulbs can cause RF interference.

I’ve had a similar problem the last couple of weeks that may be related. Both last Sunday and today, I had periodic pixelation issues on my quad-tuner during football. It appears that it’s not antenna-related. Both times, the picture on my Roku 3 would actually speed-up for a split second…and then freeze for 1-2 seconds, followed by a couple seconds of pixelation, and then back to normal. This was happening every 20 seconds or so. Unwatchable. Everything in that cycle would indicate antenna reception issues…except for the speeding-up part. That seems like a transcoding issue. 

With that in mind, I unplugged the Tablo and plugged it back in. Both last week and this week, everything was fine after that.

@7up @DaFury @mb190e 

Yesterday, I tweaked the antenna about 20 degrees even though it has a 70 degree range. I actually used antennaweb.org, switched to terrain view, and put the pin on the spot of my house where I have the antenna installed. That shows several lines which point in the direction of most of the towers that I use. 

This morning I also added some rubber feet to raise it up a little higher. 

I’ll “short-press” reset and unplug it shortly to see if it helps.

@snzkicken - given the distance to your towers, your CS2 should be OK for UHF channels but if not get a preamplifier or amplifier if your pixelation issues persist.     If that doesn’t work you might consider a different antenna.


how about this one which I should be able to have delivered in a few days?


This would have to be installed right behind my TV (end of the run) since my antenna is outside and the RG6Q does not enter the house until about 45’ into the run from the antenna.


Its reasonable to start with the path of least resistance, ie behind your TV, for placing for placing the amplifier as if that works you’re done.   I’m currently using a CM3418 amplifier.     

@snzkickin I’m wondering if you can (at least temporarily) try testing with a shorter coaxial run? Don’t forget: there’s a climbing DB loss the longer your cable is.


I had a 5’ run while I had the antenna inside the house. It was pointing out the window and I still had issues with pixelation, although not as bad. That’s why I ended up moving it outside.

The location of the antenna is at the shortest distance possible due to the trees near the other part of the house that blocks the view to the south east.


I purchased an amp from Home Depot today and I will see how it works. Unfortunately it does not list any details on the dB gain or noise info. I want the Channel Master one if the one from H.D. actually helps. Unfortunately no Monday Night Football which would let me know 100% tonight. 

Monday Night Football?  That’s ESPN.  Thursday Night Football is CBS.
(just saying)

Specs for CM amplifiers can be found here:

Hopefully the amp will resolve your issues.