"Loading, Please Wait" issue - Is "Hope it gets fixed in the future" really the only solution?

Apparently I’m not the only one who has trouble streaming to their ROKU 3.

I was going to take time today to track down all of the firmware versions on my ROKU, Tablo, router, etc. and ask for advice, but as I started typing I noticed the “Your topic is similar to…” listings next to my own message.

Reading through a chunk of those messages, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus placing the “blame” on either product.
As for my own experience, my setup includes a MOHU antenna in living room window, along with the Tablo, Harddrive, Roku 3 plugged in beneath the television. The Wireless router on the opposite side of the house (about 30 feet away, through 4 pretty standard wood studded, sheetrock walls)

Watching on the ROKU the other night, I stopped counting at 20 instances of the “Loading, Please Wait” (LPW) buffering coming up. A 1 hour program, took me about 75 minutes to watch (and that factors in my advancing through the commercials). (Note: After about 10 times, I was going to “reboot” both boxes, but I happened to be recording two other shows at the time and didn’t want to lose anything.)

This afternoon, after rebooting both units, I started watching another hour long program on the ROKU. It made it through just over half of the show before I got my first LPW instance. It then ran fine for another 15 minutes. And in the last 15 minutes of the show, I got another half dozen instances of the LPW screen. In total, with all the ‘buffering’ to load between LPW and fast-forwarding through commercials, that hour long program took just about an hour to actually watch.

As I’ve been writing this, I have had my computer (hardwired to the router) playing a different recording at the same time I’ve had my phone streaming (over wifi) the exact same program. Neither has had any kind of buffering issue.

I guess my biggest frustrations are:

  • Is this going to continue to be an issue with ROKU product(s)?
  • Do other products (Chromecast, Fire Stick/TV, etc.) have the same issues?
  • Is it worth me spending MORE money on one of those alternatives to see if it works any better?
  • My biggest reason to own a DVR is watch television on MY schedule and cut that time by skipping commercials. (A 30-second pause after advancing past commercials is frustrating, but acceptable. Taking 75 minutes to watch 60 minutes of programming is anything but acceptable!)
  • Have I made a mistake? Should I cut my losses, give up on the Tablo and just keep cable and the cable provided DVR?

I have kept the cable subscription hooked up for the last month as I have worked through these issues of setup and understanding what the product can do. Now I approach the end of my “Free 30 day” subscription to the program guide service and I face the renewal cost of that, on top of the possible expenditure on an additional streaming option, and continued cost of another month of cable television.

I don’t want anyone to read this the wrong way. I have such high hopes for this product. I want it to work for me. Even if I need to spend just a bit more money to find the ideal setup. I guess I just need some reassurances that I haven’t made a huge financial mistake with this undertaking.

Thanks for reading.

Use wireless-g to connect your Tablo, and Roku to your wireless router.
I bet you’re using wireless-n, which does not go thru objects, like walls, very well compared to wireless-g.

LPWs can also be caused by reception problems (antenna issues).

My loading please wait issues were all solved by getting off wireless. Use wired (even if that means power line Ethernet).

Roku is a bad streaming box imo. I bought one with my Tablo and returned it after a week. If you can wait a bit the new Apple TV will have an app and it should be much more reliable, else the Nvidia shield is probably the best device on the market right now to enjoy the full Tablo experience.

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I’m using Roku streaming sticks (3400X & 3500X) which are probably the Roku devices with the lowest amount of processing power, and rarely get the “Loading Please Wait” issue on my TVs.

There were a couple of things I did when experiencing problems early on with Tablo. Initially, Tablo was connected to my router wirelessly, and the Rokus had major problems connecting to it. Moving the Tablo next to my router and connecting via Ethernet cable solved that issue for me.

Initially, my amplified antenna signal was coming in to a splitter, and from the splitter went to each of my 4 TV sets, and the Tablo. Because the Tablo has an internal 4 way splitter, the loss was just too much to get decent reception on all channels I wanted, so I ditched my external splitter and ran the amplified antenna signal directly to the Tablo. Weak signal at the input to the Tablo can result in missing some of the weaker channels and also can cause LPW issues.

After doing all this, I still had some issues. Now, even tho I thought I had a pretty decent router (good enough for web browsing, emails, and even streaming Netflix and Hulu among other OTT services) it just wasn’t good enough for the demands imposed on it by the Tablo, at the quality settings I wanted to use. I could have degraded video quality by going with a lower bit rate setting and tried that, but instead, I upgraded my router to a TP Link Archer C7 and virtually all my issues went away to the point that Tablo is very stable and I view it as a highly reliable appliance.

One other thing… there were sereval versions of “bad” software that I went through, for the Tablo as well as the Roku software. At one point, Roku software was so bad that I bought a Nexus Player just to be able to watch live and recorded content on the Tablo. The Roku software has since been fixed, and the Tablo software as well, not to mention the Roku Tablo channel. So make sure all the software is up to date.

Unfortunately, every situation is unique. Antenna selection and positioning is important, and I suspect many folks go through several before they get something they’re happy with. Your home network is also crucial in getting Tablo to function properly. Some folks have had success, where possible, in connecting their Roku to the router via Ethernet… and if it wasn’t in the same room as the Tablo, using Ethernet powerline adapters.

Anyway, I hope you find some of my experience useful in working through your issues. I’m really happy with my setup now.


Your Roku needs to be hard wired. Ethernet over the power line is a fantastic option to do this. The Only Roku that uses 802.11ac the new standard for wireless is the Roku 4. But unless your cable modem/ router uses the same it will not work for you.

Another 40 dollars with two ethernet cables your in.


Both of my R3s are wireless and they have been working just fine for almost 2 yrs with Tablo. I think the key is the quality of the router and LAN. A lot of people have floundered around and when they upgrade their old modem and router things get a lot better. I have a second WAP on the other end of the house and everything works great - and we love our Tablo.

I too use all our Roku 3’s via WiFi (we have 3 and 1 old “2 XD” also WiFi (only)).

WiFi is pretty bad technology. So it really matters getting it “right” so to speak. We use “g” because of it’s reliability distance wise and it’s plenty fast enough for streaming. With that said I think I can force an LPW by using the microwave.
Just goes with the medium choice.

My Tablo4 is connected with the ethernet wires, and my Roku3 is wireless. I used to have a lot of the “Loading please wait” until I upgraded my router. Now all is happy and joyful in the house.

My Tablo 4 is connected to the router with power line ethernet and I have 2 Roku tvs, a Roku 2 and a Roku stick, all connected wirelessly. I initially had a Comcast rental gateway and had some “loading please wait” issues. I returned the gateway to Comcast and purchased a good modem and wireless router and now have the recording quality set at HD 1080 8 mbps with no issues at all.

My setup consists of network switches and a separate stand alone router which handles LAN IP address assignment (DHCP) and Internet network traffic, but otherwise is not involved at all in routing internal LAN traffic, that duty is handled by the switches. I also have a cheap Lynksys wifi router configured to work as access point only (that way it is acting more as a bridge and less like a router), it only handles the wifi traffic; however, I try to have most of my traffic on the wired network (2 roku 3s, 2 PCs, home media and backup server, game consoles, home audio device, tablo, IP phone, etc). The only things using wifi are 1 roku 3, two smartphones, one laptop and one tablet. I have no trouble whatsoever.

The routers you can buy these days include network ports, wifi, and in some cases even also serve cable or dsl modem functions are way over burdened. I’m sure there are some very good consumer products out there, but do you really know what hardware is inside your router? Is it actually powerful enough to handle all the traffic you are pushing through it?
A switch on the other hand has nothing else to do other than to push packets from one port to another with minimal routing logic. They are not much more complicated than ‘packet came in on port 3 and needs to go to an address somewhere down port 5, off you go’.
Look at how companies setup their internal networking. They too setup switches to handle all the internal traffic, keeping it away from their routers which are thousands of dollars more expensive than anything someone would buy for their home.

I couldn’t agree more with this setup. All of my LPW problems disappeared when I adopted this exact setup. I have hardwired everything I possibly can to the switch, leaving the wireless router to only handle internet traffic (and of course wireless traffic to my laptop and phones). IMHO, you are asking for trouble (or disappointment) when you try to route HD level Tablo TV traffic over your wireless network. My Tablo is set at the highest resolution possible (1080-10Mbps, 720@60FPS) and I can simultaneously watch Tablo content on three TV’s with no LPW issues, the switch is probably not even breaking a sweat . . .

We should have a rule that you aren’t allowed to complain about LPW issues until you have hardwired your connection from the Tablo to the network and the network to your streaming box. If you still have LPW’s, then you can crab about it. Otherwise you have a wireless networking issue that Tablo is not responsible for. And yes, I will admit that Tablo could emphasize that wired connections are greatly preferred over wireless connections, something like “For best performance, wired ethernet connections may be required”. They probably won’t do that because they don’t want to scare off potential customers.

Likewise I also got a Nexus Player during that time. To bad Google discontinued it. It provided the best Tablo experience and I still use it. It’s connected using WiFi but I have a TP Link Archer C7 router.

I have four TV’s hooked up to the Tablo, between these four TV’s I have three Roku 3’s and three Nexus Players. The Nexus players were added to the mix when the LPW issue with the Roku’s, even when hard-wired with ethernet, was intolerable. I now just look my current situation as an insurance policy; hopefully both the Roku and the Nexus Player interface will not both be broken at the same time by some future firmware update.

I connect the Nexus Players to the wired ethernet through a micro USB to RJ45 adapter. So I guess I am drinking my own Kool Aid (hard-wiring everything possible).

Is your Tablo hardwired too? Is it cat5 ethernet or is it poweline? Are there any hubs (as opossed to switches) anywhere on your network?
Also, someone mentioned that low signal strength sometimes manifests itself as a LPW message onscreen, I have seen this too. How many coax cables (and thus splitters or connectors) between your antenna and the Tablo? What is the location of your antenna and what is its sensitivity? In my case I have an omnidirectional antenna in the attic and a single run of quad shielded coax cable staight into the Tablo. Before I set it up that way I just couldn’t watch my local NBC station and the local FOX was completely missing; NBC would work intermittently, so recordings would freeze randomly. After rewiring there have been no signal problems at all.

Everything on my network is cat5 ethernet connected, no power line adapters. I don’t use any hubs, just a DSL modem in bridge mode (to get my internet from Centurylink), a DLink AC1750 wireless router for my internet routing and wireless duties, and a DLink 16 port switch to hook up everything else. My Tablo is cat5 connected to the switch, just like everything else is.

My antenna is a roof mounted RCA ANT751. My TV towers are located only 20 miles from my house and they are all located next to each other, so no need for an omni-directional antenna. The antenna is grounded with 6 gauge copper wire to a grounding post pounded eight feet in to the ground. I use a Wineguard LNA 200 pre-amplifier to push my signal down 75 feet of grounded RG6 quad coax (to get the signal from the roof to my basement). Before entering the house I use a grounded lighting suppressor on the coax line (just in case). Once in the basement, I run a CM3418 8-port distribution amp to send the signal to four TV’s plus the Tablo. All of the coax hooked to the dist amp is RG6 quad coax.

I get excellent TV reception. I got to this setup by some amount of trial and error and you just have to work with all of the components to figure out what is needed based on your circumstances. I started out with the antenna mounted in the attic, splitting the signal with a cheapo unpowered splitter. That didn’t work at all well. I added the dist amp, then moved the antenna to the roof, then added the pre amp. This became the magic combination that is 99.9% reliable, even in a thunderstorm. It is about $200 worth of equipment, but it beats the crap out of my former $190 a month cable bill.

Too true. My DirecTV was not that high, it was just a tad over 100 per month, but the Tablo, coax cabling, and antenna paid for themselves in just 3 or 4 months. Everything else I already had except for one if the Rokus (which I got at a very good discount from Sling TV (that is for my 5 year old)).

I had bundled Comcast, with cable, internet and phone. If I threatened to disconnect, I could get them to lower my bill to about $150. Then it would slowly climb back to $190. This cycle repeated about three times until I decided to cut the cord.

So now I have Centurylink 40mbs download at $25/month for two years, plus Sling at $20/month. I have Amazon Prime, but use it mostly for the free two day shipping, not the video, so I don’t count that as part of my monthly cost. The Tablo rounds out the setup.

I couldn’t be happier with my cord cutting, the cable companies can go pound sand as far as I am concerned.

An additional thing to look for is which frequency band the Roku is connecting on. I have had a Tablo for over a year with NO problems on 8+ Rokus, all running wireless, even up to the 10MB setting. But then I set one up for my parents and despite the smaller home and newer router, I would get the LPWs constantly…

I tried every “trick” I could think of. Loaded software that allowed me to walk around and create a WIFI heat map of coverage… Unplugged every possible conflicting electronic device (Microwaves, refrigerators, freezers, cell repeaters, etc). Walked their property looking for neighboring homes Wifis and ensuring we were on a different channel… No help.

Long story short, the router I was using (Asus AC3200) has a “Smart Connect” feature that is supposed to help keep devices on whichever band is the best. No matter what I did, the Rokus kept defaulting to the 2.4Ghz band. I would get the Roku connected to the 5Ghz band, but by the time I got the Tablo channel up and running it would switch back to the 2.4…

Once I turned off smart connect and forced the Roku to the 5Ghz band, ALL problems went away. Before this, we couldn’t even get the 3mbps setting to work, after this change, I had 3 streams @ 10mbps running for over 3 hours without a single loading screen.

I didn’t want to give up on the Smart connect for other devices as it worked just fine so I set up a guest network on the 5GHz band, labeled it “Roku Only” and connected them accordingly. Been great, again, even on the 10mb setting, for over a month now, not a single LPW…

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