Live TV is so slow - what gives

We’ve got a Tablo Dual and starting recorded items seems to go quickly enough, but the live tv is so slow. I’ve counted the spinny 15 times to start, but my wife has seen it spinning for much longer.

Both the tablo and roku ultra are on ethernet on the same switch - this is not a network issue.

1 Like

You didn’t say if you have the Fast Live TV Startup option turned on. Some people thinks that helps.

You also didn’t say what device you are using. Tablo uses the devices video player and some require more data to be pulled over before it starts playing.

Tablo Dual

Live TV Quality = HD 720 3 Mbps recommended

Device is Roku Ultra

Enable Fast Live TV Startup is ON - should I try OFF? How could it possibly be any slower?

The Tablo DVR has to tune the station, then transcode the signal so that your streaming device (Roku, FireTV, Computer, Tablet, etc) and stream the show. It also buffers a few seconds of video prior to starting the stream. I have wired connections on most of my devices, but I also have a few wireless. The wireless streaming devices take an extra second or two to start the stream.

I use the highest quality for all recordings & streaming, and I have fast live TV startup enabled. The one thing I have noticed, the stations that have a really strong signal in my area average 3-5 seconds to start, and the weaker stations can take 4-7 seconds to start.

Are these the delay times you are experiencing?

I’ll start timing it and see - will report back.


I also have a very slow loading time when playing Live TV. It normally takes 15-20 seconds for the selection to play on our Roku TV (Series 5). Is this normal?

I’ve been troubleshooting with support since the week I got my Tablo. I’ve tried Fast Live TV Startup both on and off. I’ve tried different different quality levels (8Mbps vs 5Mbps).

The Tablo and TV and each connected directly to the router via Network cable. Streaming services (Netflix, Disney+) start playing with 3-5 seconds.


I’m surprised it takes 5 seconds on netflix/disney+. Everything there is prerecorded and stored in a bit stream that matches your device.

No station tuning and transcoding is done.

Streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ do not transcode on the fly.

It normally takes my Tablo DVR around 10 seconds to start playing Live TV so 15-20 seconds is not that much more.

Those streaming services transcode before the stream is sent to you.
The Tablo Live TV does this on the fly, which is why it takes a bit to start viewing Live TV on a newly tuned channel.

The fastest performance I’ve experienced is 8 seconds from the moment an untuned channel is selected to view to the video being displayed.
Takes longer for channels that have have to tune in weaker broadcast signals.

Viewing a channel that is already tuned takes a couple seconds.

How quickly does Netflix / Disney+ take to play once you hit the play button? Thx.

Using a Roku Ultra…
It takes Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Google Play Movies & TV around 5 seconds to begin playing anything for me.
YouTube is faster at around 2 seconds.

1 Like

I don’t think you will find that netflix transcodes before the video is sent.

They typically use the DASH file format which allows for adaptive bit streams. So everything is pre-recorded in the desired number of rates.

I think the poster may have meant a set of pre-transcoded static files for streaming (maybe).

Transcoded (previously) vs transcoding on the fly.