How to keep Roku "on"

This is obviously a Roku question.  Sometime when I leave the Roku on my selected channel, and turn the TV off, I can return hours later, turn on the TV, and the selected channel is still there.  Other times, when I turn the TV back on, the Roku has gone into its screen saver mode or back to the home page, requiring multiple button pushes to get back to Tablo > live TV > selected channel.

Considering that I am saving $120/month by cutting the cord, I consider this to be a minor issue. However, the wife, who is a techo-phobe, does not like the “inconvenience” (she is still looking for some way to cook faster than a microwave). So the basic question is: what causes a Roku to either go into the screen saver mode, or go back to its home page - is it a timer or some other function that can be adjusted to prevent this ‘feature’?

If the Roku is playing Live TV from the Tablo it should not go back to the home screen nor initiate the screensaver.

If left on the Tablo UI but no active playing of anything it will again initiate the screensaver after 10 minutes. But it will not go back to the Home screen. You need to press the home button for that to happen.

What Roku do you have?

Roku 3, less than 4 months old.

So, based upon what you said, if the Tablo is constantly providing feed to the Roku, the Roku should never drop back into the screen saver mode?

The Roku dropping back to its home page happens very infrequently and I think a small UPS will fix that problem.

Yep but screensaver mode is fine, press any button on the remote and Roku will go back to where it was in the Tablo channel.

If you keep the Live TV playing 24/7 in the Tablo you might burn out the tuner.

 If you keep the Live TV playing 24/7 in the Tablo you might burn out the tuner.

Seriously?  If I keep an antenna plugged into a TV and run the TV 24/7 there shouldn’t be a problem.  Why would the Tablo’s tuners be more fragile?  I could see a possible longevity issue with the external HDD and it constantly running, but why would 24/7 Live TV burn out the Tablo’s tuner?

@Whatzit I think what @theuser86 was suggesting is that any kind of ‘constant use’ for any piece of technology isn’t necessarily ‘good’ for its longevity.

That said, our customers use Tablo in plenty of ways - a few of them probably like this, and we haven’t heard of a tuner burning out due to extended use.


You think if you left your HDTV on 24/7 everyday your TV would last years?

I’m just suggesting there is no point using the tuners when not actually watching TV or recording.

we haven't heard of a tuner burning out due to extended use.

Thanks for the clarification.  I’m the PBX Tech on a little University campus, so I live in a world of “Five Nines”, and previously fixed consumer electronics at a component level, so I just thought the statement interesting.

OK, getting back to the original topic, it seems that after the most recent firmware update, the Tablo will drop back to the channel list at the top and bottom of the hour while watching live TV periodically. I have determined that each time my Roku has dropped back to its screen saver overnight, after leaving Roku/Tablo on a live channel, the Tablo has dropped back to the channel list from live TV. Which apparently causes the Roku to eventually drop into its screen saver mode, so it would appear that the Roku is not at fault.

Comments or suggestions?

@lewit57 Tablo will stay on the live channel for 10 hours as I understand. So was it longer than that?

@Jestep Good question. @lewit57 Any idea how long it’s been left idle when it returns to the main menu?

Interesting! This phenomena is happening either overnight or when I come home after work. I will keep a log of ‘shutdown’ versus ‘startup’ times and report back.

Well, it would appear that the Tablo does have a 10 hour shutdown timer. I shut down my downstairs TV at 7 PM last night, and this morning the Roku was in screen saver mode, and the Tablo was displaying the channel lineup for 5 AM, which is 10 hours after 7 PM.

Some questions for the Tablo development team:
1) The Tablo and Roku obviously have some sort of two way communication.  Shutting down the Tablo after X hours of inactivity make sense. But when the Roku ‘wakes up’, can’t you program the Tablo to go back to the last channel watched in lieu of returning to the channel lineup? Or at least make it a user selected option?
2) I remember seeing a thread on why it is difficult to display a grid like channel listing of channels vs time, like what is available on the Android pad application. Now the Tablo can display the channel line up for the current 1/2 hour, and you use the Roku up/down arrows to scroll the channels. Would it be possible to use the Roku left/right arrows to scroll through channels vs. time? In other words, pressing the right arrow on the Roku remote would bring up the channels for the next 1/2 hour?


That’s a great suggestion. Just to be clear, though: the shut down timer you’re referring to isn’t coming from the Tablo due to inactivity -  its live stream will stop after ~10 hours of constant playback. 

But the Tablo Roku channel won’t kick you out because of inactivity - that’s just a global Roku setting - it’s probably even sooner than that. Since the Roku doesn’t actually sync to the Tablo the way the rest of the clients do, having it ‘remember’ where it was prior may not be doable. That said, I’ll pass along the suggestion to the devs.

Your second suggestion is helpful, too. I can’t offer any insight on specifics or ETA’s, but we’re working hard on a Roku revamp that we hope you guys will enjoy. Stay tuned.