Live TV Loading time - Why?

I had read somewhere that the reason for the few second delay before the live tv shows up is because it has to write some to the hard drive before it can play it back.

But I’m curious as to why this is true and/or the case? Because my old Tivo HD - which I presume is essentially the same thing as the tablo - minus the streaming ability, doesn’t do this. As soon as I tune to the live channel it begins recording that channel - of course I can’t rewind much as soon as I tune to it.

Does the tablo really do this because it has to write to the disk in order to stream it versus the tivo can simultaneously output the signal and record at the same time since it’s not streaming?

Just because they’re similar devices on the surface, doesn’t mean they are similar on the back end. I don’t know what TiVo uses but Tablo uses something called HLS. This post explains it well, courtesy of @CraigRoyce

Right I understand they aren’t the same but I was curious as to if anyone knew why tablo works that way. It’s not an issue for me to wait 3s for it to load, I was just thinking last night - I wonder why I don’t have to wait for Tivo to load?

My assumption is that tivo records in some type of propitiatory format as their recordings end in .tivo - but I thought I read once years ago that it was very similar to mpeg

@jbsmith_05 - TiVo connects directly to the TV so they don’t have to transcode the video at all before feeding it to your viewing device (TV).

Because Tablo sends video to all kinds of devices including Roku and mobile, we need to take the video and cut it into pieces that are more easily sent over the network. These devices require several video pieces (segments) to be available before playback begins.


Any chance we could get an option to disable transcoding and have the pure signal sent over the network (and recorded) without transcoding? I am sure this has come up before, so I guess its more a matter of “is it possible” and if yes, is it something the development team is considering for the future.


@Andrroid - Unfortunately that’s just not possible. The majority of devices we support just don’t support it.

That might be true but some devices do support it (shield TV is a great example). I am asking if it is technically possible to have an option to disable the transcoding for those devices that do support the source format.

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Isn’t this what the Tablo Ripper does? Pulls out the native recorded file - but you’d then have to have a distribution method - an internal server of some sorts.

The distribution method most people use with tablo ripper is plex. But that still doesn’t address the idea of a pure live stream.

Ripper just take files transcoded by the Tablo and puts it on a local hard drive.

If you need native DVR captures, there are other options than the Tablo. The Tablo is all about supporting as many devices as possible, so there are some limitations.

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Have you considered splitting your antenna and running both to the Tablo and directly to the TV? Then you could change your channels quickly.

Sure, that is a tried and true method. But its not a Tablo solution, its a solution that skirts the limitation. It also introduces a need to change inputs. And for those using an AVR, this might mean changing inputs on two devices (TV and AVR).

As snowcat said, I understand the original design of Tablo was to transcode so as to support as many devices as possible. Thats fine. What I am asking is if it is technically feasible to implement an option to disable transcoding (similar to what you can do with an hdhomerun extend).

As an added bonus, wouldn’t sending the pure signal be a way to provide 5.1 audio support, something people have been clamoring for?

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Tablo’s hardware was not designed to record both types of streams simultaneously so we made the choice to use HLS to support the most devices possible.

Plus, very few networks would be able to support streaming in full quality as it requires 2 to 4 times the bandwidth to deliver this type of video.


Sure, but thats not quite what I am asking. I am asking if it would be possible to disable transcoding/HLS and ONLY record/stream the source format.

Thats probably true, but thats a limitation on the user end. I am asking if this is technically feasible on the Tablo. Is it technically feasible that an option could be added to disable transcoding/HLS and provide just the original source over our networks. You let us worry about the bandwidth.

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Its probably technically possible but to confuse users for the benefit of .001% who would actually want to do that.

You can have a HD HomeRun and a Tablo on the same network (even using the same antenna). I do just that.

@Andrroid - It’s literally not possible because Tablo was not designed to do this.


That was the answer I was looking for, thank you.

Now we can direct people here when they ask for said feature.

I feel the same way. :slight_smile:

It’s just impractical to watch live tv with a 10-12secs delay every time you switch channel. Basically Tablo is rendered as a recording device, not for watching live tv. Until Tablo 2 come out with better hardware and solutions for instant live tv, i don’t see myself getting one.

I shared your feeling for a while, until I set up scheduled recordings on more and more of my favorite shows.
Now it’s rare that I watch live TV at all.
Also, my big problem now is I don’t have enough time to watch all my recordings. :slightly_smiling:

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