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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Takes 11 seconds on the television and five seconds on the iPad or iPhone for a channel to run. No improvement when I updated my Roku device from a 2017–2021 4K streaming stick. No difference between hardwiring and Wi-Fi. Screen mirroring from the iPad is faster than using the Tablo app. I think there’s something about the RokuTablo interface that slows things down. Is this what others are experiencing?

8-20 seconds (20 seconds is real worst case I’ve seen) from “cold” non-tuned channel on Live to watching on Roku 3.

Maybe 1-3 seconds if already tuned.

IMHO, nothing surprising.

I mentioned this in another post about Roku. Roku has issues with their 10.5 update. There are issues opening and playing many streaming apps including the Tablo app. I have been reading through many of the complaints with Tablo taking so long to transcode and play a channel. Seems like the average has been between 10-20 seconds. Initially, Roku was by request changing people back to 10.0 because everything seemed to operate much better. Some people have mentioned that Roku seems to be changing people back to 10.0 automatically in the past 24 hours. Our Roku is still slow to transcode (about 10 seconds). I just checked, we still have 10.5.

None of my Rokus have gone back to 10.0. I know there have been rumors, I’m just not sure if any of that is true (I have 4 Rokus in active use).

Roku just started changing back yesterday. It’s probably going to take a fair amount of time. If you go to the " Captions on Roku 10.5 appear to be broken" topic, you will see several members have had the 10.0 reinstalled. My Roku’s have not changed yet, but the first Roku 10.5 update installed about 2 weeks ago and the last was less than a week ago. This was over a month after they started installing the update. If going back to 10.0 is anything like that update, we are talking about a month to month and a half.

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