How Robust is the Remote Connection Feature Part 2

There has been a lot of discussion on this topic recently. Thought I’d update my experiences to date having more than a year of experience with multiple Tablos at different sites.

Tablo 1: Hooked up thru a modem that has port forwarding capability. The remote connection has been rock solid, totally reliable, for more than a year.

Tablo 2: This modem also had port forwarding, and the connection was also 100% reliable. But the modem couldn’t handle (apparently) Tablo’s bandwidth and was unwatchable, constant buffering. Setting the stream quality up or down had exactly zero effect. I finally gave up and removed that Tablo. Should note it worked fine on the LAN at that location. Should also note the (soon to be discontinued) Slingbox at that location streams just fine.

Tablo 3: This modem has UPnP. It set up with no port forwarding required. But, the remote connection typically lasts about 3 days and then drops. It can be restored by resetting the Tablo. I am very annoyed that the Tablo set up just tells you everything is fine when in fact it isn’t. Also annoyed that this modem doesn’t allow port forwarding. But when it’s up and running it works great. Oh, and again, the Slingbox there stays connected 100% of the time. It even survived a modem replacement (the new UPnP one) with no problem.

Some general observations about Tablo in general:

  1. It has significant bandwidth issues, if that is truly the problem. I can remotely watch 2 different Slingboxes on different TVs in our house with no problem. Can’t remotely watch Tablo on 2 different TVs, either trying to watch connected to a single Tablo, or trying to watch with each TV connected to a separate location. it buffers non stop continuously if you try.
    2. It’s rediculous you can’t set the local time for a given device location in the Tablo settings. Totally stupid!
  2. Having a remote reset option in the Tablo settings would be useful. Yeah, I get it, if it’s down the remote reset won’t do you any good but it would still help with my connection issues with Tablo 3. Come to that, maybe the reset function could be set to go automatically at specified time intervals. Then maybe Tablo could accurately claim the UPnP set up is good to go.

So, if your modem has port forwarding and sufficient bandwidth to support Tablo’s apparently lavish requirements, and you’re technically proficient enough to do those settings (doing this on the modem for Tablo 2 took about 12 hours, lots of worthless time spent with AT&T tech support who don’t know anything, and finally hoping the error messages saying you’re about to shut the modem down are wrong), and you only have a single end user for any Tablo at a given time, it works great.

I bought these things as replacements for Slingboxes. Based on good experience with Tablo 1 I bought Tablos 2 & 3. Fortunately I still have the Slingboxes to back up the Tablos and they were used for that purpose a lot. Regardless I will keep Tablo 1 for my wife so she can have unfettered access to network TV and it works pretty well. She loves the interface.

I will be looking for other solutions for Tablos 2 & 3.

For clarity, when you are saying modem, are you referring to a combination router/modem device? Generally a modem wouldn’t have port forwarding functionality unless it’s also a router.

You’re right. It’s the router. Sorry.

Should also note (for Tablo #2) AT&T not only has a crappy router provided with their service but there’s no way to replace it with a better one. And, can’t say with 100% certainty that the router is the problem but the internet speeds are blazing. However, anything that gets piped through the router, including power line wifi extenders, gets throttled down.

Yet the Slingbox streams merrily away with no problem.

To further clarify:

Tablo 1 is on a router that hooks up to a modem.

Tablo 2 uses a combination modem/router

Tablo 3 uses a router connected to a modem but it is the least capable router I have ever seen, at least in term of features the user can control.

So you run multiple sling boxes over this connection for hours at a time? Do you get acceptable picture quality? Any idea how much bandwidth they consume?

Seems like a better solution might be a VPN, which would allow you to discover and connect devices as though they were all local to a common network. This would eliminate the configuration problems, and leave you likely with a common non Tablo specific problem, limited upstream bandwidth with your “home” connection.

Table’s remote connect appears to have been created with the idea of more casual connections; for example someone away from home trying to watch DVR content over a mobile device. That doesn’t sound like your use case.

Yes, we can run multiple Slingboxes for hours. The picture quality is mostly very good. Slingbox has settings for picture quality but they don’t seem to do much. It seems like it just gives the best picture quality it can no matter where you set them.

We can also run a Tablo and a Slingbox simultaneously, but not 2 Tablos.

For Slingboxes sometimes the internet clogs up. This can happen at our house or at the remote location. Sometimes it even disconnects. But mostly if the internet slows down the picture quality just gets fuzzy. And even if it locks up, or disconnects, you can usually just reconnect and everything is good again.

I really really wish Slingbox wasn’t going away. :frowning:

VPN would be throttled down by the AT&T modem/router at Tablo 2 location.

I’m not sure the Tablo 3 router would even support a VPN period.

Irrespective of the connection issue at Tablo 3 connectivity isn’t the problem. With port forwarding it’s rock solid 100% reliable, of course subject to the normal issues you encounter streaming anything over the net.

The main problem with Tablo is Bandwidth and buffering. You can blame the internet if you want, or blame anything else you want, but Tablo is the ONLY app we use that has this problem to this degree.

And maybe you’re right, if I just let my wife use it for herself so she can watch all the network slime she wants by herself things will be good. In fact that’s probably where it’s headed.

For the technically stout of heart (and that’s not really me) the link below shows a way to set up a DIY Slingbox that doesn’t require servers or subscriptions. Doesn’t requiring pairing either, all you need to know is the IP address.

I’m going to look at this real hard.