How to make your Tablo and Roku more stable

First, is my list of Roku problems with various apps.

  1. Roku reboots when fast forwarding.
    Sling TV
    (Notice Tablo is not in this list, and there is only one problem.)

Tablo loading performance…
Tablo reloading issue only occurs using Roku Wireless-g on untuned to 720p channel, and occurs 1 to 3 times very quickly only at the beginning. Does not reload on 1080i channel.
Ethernet connected loading recorded program averages 3 seconds, and 4 seconds loading after FF or RW.
Ethernet connected loading live TV averages 18 seconds, and 3 seconds when already tuned to that channel.
Wireless-g connected loading recorded program averages 6 seconds, and 6 - 21 seconds loading after FF or RW.
Wireless-g connected loading live TV averages 20 seconds (1 to 3 split second reloading may occur only at very beginning), and 6 seconds when already tuned to that channel.

Here is my list of ways to make your Tablo and Roku more stable.
This list is purely from my own experience with my own equipment, which is listed at the end.

1.a. Place the Tablo vertically, on its side.
This dissipates heat better than the horizontal position.
Heat kills electronics.

2.a. Replace your Roku enhanced remote, a.k.a. gaming/WiFi remote, with a Roku standard remote.
The enhanced remote’s WiFi Direct feature doesn’t require line of sight from the remote to the Roku, and allows you to play games, like Angry Birds on your Roku, but creates serous problems with the Roku, including remote unpairing, and Roku reboots.
The Roku standard remote uses IR, infrared, which requires line of sight from the remote to the Roku.
Recommend purchasing the Roku standard remote directly from Roku to ensure you’re getting a real one, and not a knock-off.

2.b. After you have your replacement Roku standard remote, remove the batteries from your Roku enhanced remote so that it won’t try to communicate with your Roku anymore.

3.a. On the Roku remote, press the following buttons to get to a secret menu screen to change the Roku’s bitrate from Automatic to 3.5Mbps…
Home (5 times)
Rewind (3 times)
Forward (2 times)
Setting my WiFi connected Roku to 3.5Mbps bitrate fixed my Tablo loading problem.

3.b.Reset your Roku’s bitrate back to 3.5Mbps after every Roku reboot.
The Roku resets its bitrate back to Automatic after every Roku reboot.

4.a. Use the Tablo’s Ethernet port, and the Roku’s Ethernet port, instead of WiFi.
WiFi is more flexible, because hey, no wires, but has to deal with a lot more interference than cabled Ethernet.
Also, the Tablo is more likely to have the loading problem via WiFi.

4.b. Connect the Tablo’s Ethernet cable, and the Roku’s Ethernet cable to the same physical network switch/router.
This makes for the fastest, and most reliable network connection between the two devices.

4.c. Use short Ethernet cables for the Tablo, and Roku.
If your Ethernet cable lays on the ground, and is stepped on, it can break.

5.a. If using the Roku’s WiFi, choose Wireless-g.
Wireless-g goes thru walls, and greater distances than Wireless-n.
Roku is also very unresponsive when using Wireless-n at 70 foot distance thru 3 internal walls, which manisfests itself as severely delayed Roku remote button executions.

Tablo Preview app
v2.0 build 9

Tablo Dual
Model #SPVR2-01-NA
Firmware v2.2.2
Wired network: Gigabit Ethernet Switch

Tablo Settings…
Active Subscription
Auto-Delete Recordings - enabled
Recording Quality - HD 1080p
LED - enabled
Remote Access - enabled
Remote Streaming Quality - 1 Mbps
Don’t Record Duplicates - enabled
Extend Live Recordings - enabled
Enable fast Live TV startup - enabled
Enable Leanback mode (TV interface) beta - disabled

WD Elements 2TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive (WDBU6Y0020BBK-NESN)

Roku 3
Model: 4200R
Firmware 6.2 build 3672
Wired network: Gigabit Ethernet Switch w/Tablo
Roku standard remote

Roku 2
Model: 4210R
Firmware 6.2 build 3672
Wireless network: 802.11g (~70 feet from wireless router; 3 internal walls between)
Roku standard remote

Linksys SE2800 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch

Asus RT-N66U wireless router
Shibby Tomato Firmware v1.28.0000 MIPSR2-112 K26 USB AIO-64K

Razzolink Fixed Wireless 3Mbps download, 1Mbps upload
~15ms latency
Wireless tower is on a mountain top around 9 miles from my house.

The heatsink for the Tablo is on the bottom, with the plastic case over it, though it does have a gap. So turning it on the side could in theory create a chimney effect.

… which makes me think about a Peltier Junction plate between there, with the Tablo on it’s side or up side down. Whatever the deal, I don’t get the thought process behind putting heat dissipation at the bottom and for all intents, smothering it.

My unit is in the shade, below a shelf where an open window resides above. The wind blows pretty good off the ocean… keeps things cool.

I do find that I’ve got to reboot the Tablo periodically as the “Loading” time gets longer and the whole thing gets jerky in response.

My ROKU 3 standard remote is a direct WIFI. What needs to be done is get the direct remote WIFI on a separate channel from the network WIFI. Thus less interference. I ended up using a WIFI over power line adapter to which I hooked both my Tablo and my ROKU. This has resulted in pretty much perfect results. Haven’t had any issues since.

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Unfortunately, the WiFi Direct channel follows your wireless router’s channel, thus causing the interference.
You can temporarily work around this, by changing your wireless router’s channel, but as soon as you reboot your Roku, your the WiFi Direct in your remote will wonderfully change its channel to match your wireless router’s channel.
I hate that remote, and opted for the standard infrared model.

Here are my tips:

  1. Make certain you actually have a clean Internet connection and no because some other streaming channel works does not mean you have a good connection. There are many tools available on the Internet to test your connection. Use them. If you can’t maintain a high bit rate over an extended period of time you have a problem. If you have slow ping response, you have a problem. If you have high jitter, you have a problem.

  2. Home network system - hard wire with quality Ethernet cables and switches. No that ten year old switch your buddy gave you is not going to get the job done. Buy a quality modern switch. Buy a quality router, same thing here, that old one your mom gave you is not going to get the job done. Wifi, there is way too much noise in home environments to guarantee clean wireless all the time unless you really know what you are doing. Have neighbors, a microwave, metal duct work in your house, yup they can and frequently do mess up wireless communications in your home. Wifi can successfully be run but it’s a lot more complicated than people want to believe. If your home is wired for cable but not Ethernet, Moca adapters work well and will run well over a good cable system in your home. Your house will be wired for Ethernet once they are installed. If your Ethernet cables show any kinks, throw them out. Buy new ones. I highly recommend Monoprice for cables. They are low cost quality cables.

  3. Antenna, actually put an antenna on your roof or alternately in the attic and point it properly. If you are splitting the signal to go to multiple rooms use a quality distribution amplifier. Every tap on a splitter functionally cuts the signal strength in half. Use a distribution amplifier.

If you do these things you will have a rockin system that is largely problem free and capable of streaming high bit rates reliably.


I’m having issues with Roku connecting with Tablo. The Tablo connected fine to my wife and my phones. The Tablo was connected well for over a month to 2 different TVs through different Roku 3s. Then the connection dropped. This is what I tried w/o success.

  1. Unplug and plug I’m Roku
  2. reboot Tablo
  3. reset Roku to factory settings
  4. remove Tablo channel unplug Roku for 30 seconds, plug Roku in, re-add Tablo channel.

I have No issues,With Sling, Netflix, or any other Roku channel.

Any suggestions?

Your smartphones can connect to your Tablo, but your Rokus cannot, correct?
That is strange.
Did you rename your Tablo, like I did?
Maybe there’s a space or some special character the Roku Tablo app doesn’t like, so it can’t find it.

Other than that, I would…

  1. Power off all Rokus.
  2. Power off Tablo, like this:
    2a. Briefly press the reset button.
    2b. Quickly unplug the power cord.
  3. Power off router.
  4. Wait a minute.
  5. Power on router.
  6. Wait 2 minutes.
  7. Power on Tablo.
  8. Wait 2 minutes.
  9. Power on Rokus.
  10. Enjoy watching HDTV via Roku Tablo app.
  11. Send Radojevic nasty-gram if it doesn’t work.

This may be neanderthal, but, I went on my router and reserved the IP addresses for my Tablo and all of the my devices that connect to the Tablo (Roku’s, Nexus Player’s, iPad, Phones, PC’s). I understand that this essentially negates the advantages of DHCP, but as soon as I did this, my Tablo system (et al) became rock solid. All stability issues disappeared, no more “Cannot Find The Tablo” messages.

Not really sure why this made such a difference. Perhaps it is because the devices always know which IP address to look to for every device. Somebody smarter than me about networks will have to postulate why this helped.

I also run hard wired ethernet to every device possible, hooking every hard wired device up to a single 16 port smart switch. This seems to have improved my network performance, I can now record everything at the highest bit rates. My router is only used to connect wireless devices and to provide internet connectivity.

No this is not the neanderthal way, tablo is a server and we do set servers with static address, teh best way is to put a reservation in your router (find the MAC address and reserve an IP address for the device. Ihave done this for my Roku, Tablo, receiver and printer.