How to Retrieve Signal Quality Data

I’ve been asked by a user of my signal quality iOS app for HDHomerun (Signal GH) to investigate adding Tablo support. So, I’ve bought a Tablo—even bought a lifetime subscription—and would be happy if there were a license compatible library somewhere to frequently poll signal strength/signal quality, get/set the frequency and retrieve the broadcast standard.


Been requested more than a few times. This doesn’t exist yet for the Tablo units.

(Talking about polling signal strength. There is an API)

So, there’s an API somewhere for getting the signal strength (but not quality) but not one to set/get frequency?

My reply was needlessly confusing. There is an API for the Tablo. But there is no way to monitor signal strength/quality or frequency.

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I have been on the fence about over the air recorders because the manufacturers don’t brag about their RF tuner performance.

The fact Tablo doesn’t seem interested in showing Signal Quality concerns me that Tablo doesn’t care about their tuner’s RF performance.

Please help me understand what Tablo does to assure awesome RF tuner performance in their devices.

So, “the TV” manufacturers often have their own “proprietary” ways with regards to “tuning”. And sadly, you can’t just tap into that as an outsider. So, you’re pretty much left with the providers of tuners that are available. Tablo, like others, use that technology. With that said, I don’t see their tuners as being “bad” and some have even said that their tuners are better than some of the off brand TVs out there.

If you’ve ever used something like a Hauppauge tuner, especially under Linux, then you know that channel scanning is very slow and you might not have those “live views” into signal strength. I’m not saying that the Tablo won’t have such a feature someday, just pointing out that they don’t have it right now, and I do not believe that it has anything to do with trying to hide anything with regards to their tuner’s performance. It is the first place most fantastic tuner on the face of the planet or perhaps the entire universe? I’m going to guess, and say “no”. Are they the worst tuners ever? Again, I’m going to say “no”. I think their tuners are decent and don’t see that much difference between them and what I get with a Hauppauge tuner card (I own multiple versions of those).

So, it’s hard for me to say if Tablo tuners “assure awesome” or not. I’m just one of many happy Tablo owners. It performs very well. I actually own two of them. Are their tuners better than average? I have no idea. To me, they work quite well.

Thank you for your response. I’m not interested in Tablo’s how they implemented (the proprietary part) but their end result of performance (what they claim their RF performance will be).

I just recently bought the Amazon TV Recast and had to return it because it had poor RF tuner performance. When I setup Amazon’s TV Recast the exact same way as I did with four other TVs in my house (Samsung, Sanyo, LG and Vizio), the Recast could not get the primary channel I was interested in. All four of these TV’s could with out problem. Needless to say the empirical data showed the Amazon TV Recast RF tuner performance was below these four average TVs.

On the bright side it turned me on to the Tablo products.

Hopefully Tablo’s Quad RF tuner implementation will be designed correctly and live up to at least the four TV’s I already have.

My point is that it’s very very possible that they can’t match the proprietary (secret, unknown, unbuyable) tuning technology of your TVs.

“Hopefully Tablo’s Quad RF tuner implementation will be designed correctly and live up to at least the four TV’s I already have.”

Multi-tuner DVR’s have an internal splitter. If you already have a low signal to noise ratio it isn’t going to get better without an amplifier and/or better antenna.

It all really depends on Tablo’s RF designers.

I don’t think Tablo has engineering elf’s and cobblers working as RF designers.

They probably are using Maxlinear tuners and Xcode processors. And I doubt that you can 100% compensate for signal loss arising from splitting a signal. And if the signal is already marginal before the split you are probably SOL.

Your HDTV tuner has no splitter in it, the Tablo has a 1x4 splitter in it, which will always result in mild signal degradation / loss even though it’s an amplified splitter. You are comparing Apples and Oranges.

What you are describing is the digital cliff effect, your OTA signal is so borderline currently that adding a 2nd splitter in the mix pushes you off the cliff. Don’t jump off the cliff is my advice. The only way to solve it would be to remove your current splitter which you’re using to drive 4 TVs and connect your antenna directly to the Tablo, or get a preamplifier for your antenna, or get an amplified distribution amplifier, or lastly a larger / better OTA antenna.

Is there a Signal GH app for Android? I have a HDHomerun but only want to use it to test signal strength of my antenna. I am using my Tablo for DVR/viewing but can’t find a signal strength app to use. I did a search in the Google Play store, but don’t see anything called Signal GH. Anyone have suggestions?

All I know is the four tuner works a heck of a lot better than the latest hdhomerun dual using the same antenna…based on recent side by side comparisons.

I only have a iOS version. Sorry.

Thank you for the reply. I thought I saw someone made an android version, but maybe I was wrong. Does your iOS app work on iPods?

It probably works with a relatively recent iPod Touch, although such a beast doesn’t have a compass, so parts of the tower map won’t work, but you probably sorta know where your stations are.

I finally received my Quad Tuner and the RF tuner design works awesome. I get all the channels I expected. Unlike the Amazon TV Recast, that could not pick up the channels I wanted.

Nice job on your RF tuners.



I want to build an app for the Tablo that monitors signal strength but the Tablo API currently doesn’t support that feature. At least not the last time I inquired. I built an app for my Roku TV that does it and it works a treat with the data they give you. Very nice when you are aiming your antenna. You should become an SDK partner and let them know you also want to build an app for signal strength… I’m more of an Android guy and it sounds as though you are an IOS guy so that would give the consumer an app for each.