Live TV Tablo Problems

I have just recently decided to cut the cord. Two weeks ago the Best Buy Geek Squad guy sold me on the Tablo and cutting the Xfinity TV out of my house. I have one TV in the Family Room and Three other TV’s in my finished basement. Geek Squad told me I could buy a Tablo run it through the house Wifi box or router and then just stream it through the Roku that I have on all the TV’s. After a few hours of initial set-up he had it all hooked up. I had a $30.00 powered tv antenna going into the Tablo and then into the router. Live TV broadcast was working on all the TV’s but very poorly. It is constantly freezing up. The Tablo then breaks in and says “Frequent Buffering” and " Check your network connection" When I check the connection it is all good. I called Best Buy and they said it was likely my internet connection. I called Google Fiber and switched. The Google Fiber guy moved the Tablo to the Family Room, and hard wired it to the router in my office. I also bought a $70.00 powered antenna and moved it to a window sill next to the Tablo. Again, the streaming of Live TV is horrible and almost unwatchable. Today I went back to Best Buy and bought a splitter and 25 lf of Coax, I split the coax from the antenna and ran one straight to the TV, then scanned channels directly on the TV (Samsung) and I am getting GREAT Live TV straight from the antenna. The problem is that I am not going to be able to watch live TV on the other 3 TV’s in the house. Has anyone else has these issues? I know that my internet is very good (2g and 5g are both very strong) all streaming of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, are all very good and working. Just very bad Live TV when run through the Tablo. Thank you if anyone has any advise for me. Sam

tablo does not use the internet to stream to your devices in your house. It’s all done on your local network. Helpers are doing to need to know what devices you’re using to watch the tablo with (I understand there are different versions of Roku) and how they are connected to your network as well.

There are some very helpful users here. Many have worked through some of the same struggles – you’re not alone and things do work.

I have the Roku Premiere, I cannot remember why but that is what the Best Buy Geek Squad guy told me or recommended that I use.

Welcome to the Tablo TV community, Sam!

90% of the work done when you are streaming is done by the device, not the TV. In your case, the Roku. First thing I would do is update to a Streaming Stick plus (or Ultra) even if you don’t have 4K screens now - you will - so you max out or at least increase your horsepower greatly. Maybe a 4K FireTV if you have not tried the Amazon side lately or at all, just to see, and the latest 4K stick is a beast processor wise, also. There are pros and cons for both and a balance works best, really. You can use “4KFIRETV” code on Amazon to get a stick for $25 right now, pretty sure.

Never use a cheap antenna. The new flat ones are 99% junk, especially if you have even one VHF channel left (actually using broadcast 2 thru 13) in your area. They don’t support VHF at all regardless of what they claim. I put an Antop AT-400B on mine, and it was the best $60 I ever spent. (400BV if you need VHF stations 2 to 13, around $35 more). These are refurb / open box prices. Make it $105 (400B) and $143 (400BV) for brand stinking new.

Unless you are less than 15 miles from all of your intended towers, add a decent ($25) or top end ($45-$50) amplifier as well.

That should get you to the 90% point. Use good stuff, RG6 coax instead of RG59, quad shielded, etc. You’ll be glad and save yourself another round of tweaks.

One thing people try to sneak by is looking at TVFOOL or to get details on your local stations and whether they are or will be affected by the FCC “repack” which moves them all to channels 14 - 51 mostly, with a very few (2%?) staying in the VHF 2-13 spectrum. Don’t! Again, penny saved is $10 earned in future pains.

Good luck, and ask questions…

Connecting antenna to TV

suggest antenna quality and alignment is good. There may be channels with issues, but not all, so antenna should be alright.

Although Tablo’s Blog post - Best Streaming Devices to Use with Tablo OTA DVRs in 2019 doesn’t explicitly mention “Roku Premiere”, as for Roku devices:

All current-generation Roku streaming boxes and sticks (running Roku OS 9.0+) are compatible with Tablo OTA DVRs.

So his player should be adequate, unless it’s a clearance model.

If your Roku was introduced more than 4 years ago, it’s time for an upgrade.

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Oh, I agree that what he has should work, and be adequate, and don’t intend to suggest that he just “throw money” at it.

The point is that the latest models of both sides (Roku & Amazon’s latest steamers) are much improved over even recent models. I don’t suggest that you update an Ultra to “Ultra 2019” model because you might get some of the claimed 17% better CPU specs, but… I am suggesting that you want to try the small stuff first, like a new $25-$50 stick as opposed to a new TV. I was truly surprised when my 4k Roku TV performed much better from the 4k FireTV as opposed to the built-in Roku side. The CPU in the new TCL 4 series is apparently just not strong enough to keep up with the latest CPUs in the 4k FireTV or Roku 4k streaming stick plus model. I am moving things on my TV to a new Roku because the performance is noticeably better. I don’t think that is universal, but it opened my eyes to the possibility that the problems I was happening (FireTV stick apps were aost always working better on an external stick - of either kind), wasn’t because of the app itself. It was the TVs built-in CPU running out of steam. I went cheap for the TV. My 3D Samsung 2015 model was showing its age and I didn’t want to put much $$$ into a 4k HDTV set with the changes making the overall change much more significant for the past few years than ever. My expectations were that in 3-5 years I will want to upgrade again, so it made more sense to me to buy a $500 throwaway set instead of a $1200 one, because the latest and greatest 2023 models will run circles around it no matter what I picked, and will likely cost half as much.

It turned out that timing was great and suddenly right about Thanksgiving this year I could buy a 55S525 for $278 instead of the $500 I was expecting to spend. It will still look great in my niece’s room when I buy that über 2024 model for $400 - or whatever (and it will have 8k Nano/Quantum/minicell / etc, weigh 1/2kg, roll up like a newspaper & run on solar power so I can take it with me wherever I go. Yeah, right! But I can dream…

I’m surprised none of the tablo-pros haven’t suggested any cures…

but yea, it’s almost ridiculous how cheap affordable TVs and related technology has become lately.

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Yep, me, too. I know that my Tablo works better from the FireTV side - and from a Roku 4k stick. You would think that the best performance would be using the Smart TV native (it’s a Roku TV), but that is not the case. I discovered early on that the bumpy playback and occasional jaggies went away with the FireTV stick.

Especially when you are using anything that causes two or more apps to be accessing the database (recordings) in any way - you are better off with more raw horsepower, and both the FireTV and the Roku 4k stick+ have it . It also eliminates minor related issues with the TV itself. If I try to use one of the catalog programs to move / copy a recording to my tablet, unless I am viewing with either of the two sticks, I get messy results. With them instead, not (I. E. Viewing a recording with the FireTV stick while the Roku stick is copying the track, I am fine). Kind of odd, but obviously the TCL folks “rightsized” the CPU just a bit too tightly? hmmm… Absolutely ZERO headroom, obviously. That being said, there are zero issues with the TV otherwise.

Well, I returned one of the Premier Roku sticks and bought the Roku Ultimate. Installed it on a new LG Smart TV in te basement directly under the Tablo about 20 lf in front of where it sits on the floor above. I am having the same issues with lagging and freezing until te screen goes to a Frequent Buffering notice. I have the Best Buy Geek Squad guy coming back out next Friday. I will see if he has any other advise. I may just see if he can get an antenna directly hardwired to these two TV’s in the Basement, then I can just bypass the Tablo altogether if/when this frequent buffering happens.

Another issue I have noticed is that I have tried to record tv shows twice now and it says that they failed due to not have storage space. I have plugged and New 5TB hard drive into the Tablo. Is there something else that needs to be done for the Tabo to recognize the storage space. When I go into the system setting I can see that the hard drive is installed and the memory space is available.
Thanks for the advised to date!

Tablo settings that you may want to take a look at is the Recording Quality and Live TV Quality. I recommend that you start no higher than 720p 5mb (for both), and if this works well in you home, then push it up one step at a time.

Internet TV “streaming” is very “bursty” by nature, not a smooth, constant speed. Many routers, especially older ones, have a difficult time transferring this data consistently to the Rokus or other set top boxes.

I had all kinds of problems, like yours, with my Tablo until I switched out my router to an TP-Link Archer C7. That was more than 4 years ago. Performance to my Rokus, even the older ones, has been rock-solid ever since. Your mileage may vary, though.