Just 1 Channel won't record without glitches

Hi, I’d posted on this before, thought I’d fixed it, but now it’s back. When watching either Live TV or a recording of that channel (10-1) I get skips, dropouts and pixellation. On phone it buffers constantly. Yet at the same time, when i check the antenna feed directly into TV, the signal is fine, a full 10 bars signal strength. The other channels are fine.

According to my TVfool chart this channel is not the weakest channel. However, during bad weather this channel is the first to start breaking up. I’ve tried testing live tv without the hard drive connected, rebooting the Tablo. Tried no splitter of antenna signal, going direct into just Tablo. The only thing I haven’t tried is a new router. But since other channels are fine, that doesn’t make sense.

Again, the TV is decoding the signal fine… not a single glitch. But at the same exact time the Tablo will be unwatchable… constant glitching. Seems like something with the Tuner in the Tablo?

Any ideas?

My system:
Tablo hardwired to router (tried different ethernet cables, no change)
Roku 4, hardwired
Netgear WRG614 v9 It’s wifi G
Android Moto X phone running lollipop
Hard drive: 500GB WD 3200H1U
Winegard HD7084P Antenna with Channelmaster 7777 preamp
Digital 1x2 splitter (splits signal to TV and Tablo. I tried with no splitter, just tablo, no change)
have no other 2.4Ghz traffic, no kids in the house anymore, microwave
off, no 2.4 phone, etc.

How is it on your hard wired Roku 4?

I would suggest upgrading router and getting one such add the one one mentioned in best router for most people.
The Tablo itself has a 4 way splitter in it. Is your distance from 10-1 the same as other stations?

Thanks, but why would all the other stations work fine, if it’s the router? That station is exactly the same distance, same location as the other transmitters. Granted, it’s signal strength is lower at 44dbm, but it’s not the lowest… I get another station about 10dbm lower with no problems.

Here’s the $64,000 question… if the TV is receiving it fine direct from the antenna, why is the Tablo having so much trouble? I highly doubt it’s an over-modulated signal issue… if that was the case then my storngest signals would be having issues, and more importantly, the TV itself would have issues.

And to make matters a little worse, I’ve now determined it’s intermittent:
-it occurs primarily at night, regardless of weather… from around 6:30-11pm or so. It did it all last night, with clear skies and solid signal on the TV.
-If the weather is really bad during the day, and I’m getting glitching on the direct-to-TV too, then of course it also occurs.
-Right now during the day it’s fine… no issues at all.

I thought about possible RF interference but I can’t think of anything that’s doing it. I live in the country, the nearest house is about 300 yds away. No other devices in my house are on that aren’t also on at night. I guess it’s possible there’s a Ham radio somewhere near here. But again, I keep coming back to this: the direct feed from antenna to TV is perfect pciture, 100% strength… only the Tablo has a problem with this channel.
I’m stumped…

Oh, to answer your other question, all the problems I’ve described are occurring on the hardwired Roku 4, using the Tablo app. Same problems occur on phone as described, or on a PC/Chrome browser.

The Tablo has a 4 way splitter. What is your zip code? I was going to look at www.tvfool.com to see what the real broadcast channel is, and then google to see what the RF us and see if it is a Ham frequency.

[quote=“beastman, post:5, topic:6648, full:true”]
The Tablo has a 4 way splitter.[/quote]

This… I think Beastman hits the nail on the head.

I had the same problem with one channel. Pixelation and drop-outs. I’m using an attic mounted DB4 antenna and all the other channels were fine. I added the VHF add-on to improve reception for about $20 and my problem was solved.

My guess is your signal for this one station is marginal and the Tablo splitter exacerbates the problem. Throw in some time of day atmospheric conditions unique to your area and you see issues. When going direct to the TV the splitter is taken out of the equation and the signal is sufficient for a good picture.

If the problem was really the Tablo I’d expect it to be consistent and not time of day related.

Edit… I just looked up your antenna. It’s true VHF + UHF whereas mine is technically just UHF and needed the VHF add-on. Hmmm… Might still be the Tablo splitter but I’m not sure what your solution would be.

Is said problematic channel VHF or UHF?

I see it is a virtual 10-1 but don’t know real but op has a VHF uhf antenna. Might need amp or aim. I don’t get some uhf stations exce]t using the Winegard with the smp. I’m not touching it since I found v the sweet spot.

Yeah I’m starting to see your point on the splitter. Zip is 12302, it’s WTEN 10-1 but real ch 26, so yeah it’s uhf, but as SGinAZ said, my antenna is both. I’m 20 miles almost directly north of the transmitter.

So given your point on the splitter, I’m starting to think a small Dist. amp may help… I may have a 10db amp kicking around somewhere, I think I’ll try that. The coax run is 55’ from the antenna/preamp. Then the 2 way splitter to TV & Tablo.

Any other ideas? I do plan on moving the antenna in the Spring but it’s going to be a while before the ground thaws here in upstate NY.

Do you happen to know if the Tablo has an internal dist amp? Double amplifying certainly won’t help a low signal.

I’m now also thinking that maybe a 40 db preamp may help… the 7777 i have is 30 db. I also researched loss of digital OTA at night, and apparently falling temps can often cause loss of signal on the edge, which is where I am for that station.

Thanks for the help… I sure appreciate it!

I read somewhere where someone built their own simple customized folded dipole antenna using 300 ohm flat cable to resonate at a specific channel that was giving him problems. Not an elegant solution I admit but it worked where his high gain outside antenna failed.

1 Like

I think I solved it. I added an old variable gain amp and last night it seemed to work much better. I’d still get an occasional hit, maybe every 10 minutes on average, so that’s a big improvement. It’s an old Archer (Radio Shack) UHF/VHF/FM amp, and as far as I can tell from the documentation it provides 15db-25db of gain. It also has an FM trap and I engaged that too. The noise floor is 6db, so now that I know it works I’ll see if I can find a cleaner unit. But I like the variable gain, in case I later find that some channels are overmodulating.

Your point about Tablo’s 4 way splitter put me on this track, so I really appreciate the help!