Looking for some guidance for a better experience

I’ve had my tablo for just about 6 months now and I still haven’t quite dialed in an experience that I think I should be getting. My main issue is the “loading” screen and then repeating the last 2-3 seconds of the program. Sometimes it will do that three or so times in a row before it buffers enough to keep going. It’s a problem that is just prevelant enough to be annoying.
Here is what I’ve tried so far…

I thought at first that the roku stick just want powerful enough to handle it so I bought a roku 3. Not much change other than the speed at which the screens load.
My second assumption was that my antenna wasn’t strong enough even though it was advertised as a 25 mile antenna and I’m barely 10 miles from the farthest tower according to various websites. I upgraded to a 50 mile antenna and put it on a pole to elevate it. I made sure that the antenna was pointed in the right direction(all of the towers are in the same direction). While I definitely noticed a difference, the issue still remains.
Has anyone else had this issue and have any advice?



Sounds like your are doing everything right in working to improve your experience.

What remains is the Speed and type of connection to your ROKU 3
I have One ROKU 3 Connected by WiFi to my router and it works OK.

Hard wired from the Tablo to the router is best, followed by Ethernet Adapters if that is not convenient.


Here’s how I got my setup working really well. First, I’m using Roku streaming sticks on 4 TVs, which connect to my router on the 5 GHz band. Initially, Tablo was connected wirelessly, but my Rokus wouldn’t connect to it, so I moved Tablo next to the router and connected it via Ethernet cable. Initially, I thought my router was pretty decent, but Tablo imposes greater demands on it than web browsing and moderate Netflix streaming, so I upgraded to the Archer TP Link C7. Also, my antenna was originally going through a splitter so I could feed the signal to my TVs in addition to the Tablo. getting rid of the splitter increased the broadcast signal to the Tablo which gave me an improvement, as Tablo has an internal splitter feeding all 4 tuners. I noticed that the closer the Roku streaming sticks are to my router, the less prone they are to any loading issues.With the latest versions of Roku and Tablo software, my system is very stable, almost appliance like, to the point where I have a really good experience now. So much so that I just took the plunge and upgraded my annual guide subscription to lifetime.

One last thing… last year, when I was having some horrendous issues using my Roku devices, I bought a Nexus Player, which allowed me to use the Tablo virtually trouble free. The video looks to be better on the Roku though, so I rarely use Nexus for Tablo now, and tend to use it for other things.

One last thing… periodically, I reboot my Roku devices. Something I got into the habit of doing when I had issues with older software. Not sure if I still need to do that, but it’s usually the last thing I do at night before shutting off the TV.

My understanding is that the antenna should not be a problem with this. Your antenna is either strong enough to get a good signal or not. You get the channel or you do not get the channel. If the signal is weak, you may get the channel but experience pixellation or you may have some days where the signal cannot be tuned at all. However, buffering times should not be caused by the antenna. I could be wrong, but this is my experience at least.

The biggest factor with loading times will likely be whether your connections are wired or wifi. Having the Tablo hard wired with an Ethernet cable is the best setup. If you still have problems, having the devices themselves hard wired with an Ethernet cable will also improve things. My FireTVs work great wired and they also work great wirelessly if they are within decent range of the WiFi. The Roku’s have been more problematic, although my understanding is that most of those issues have been fixed. I don’t really use our wired Roku2 that often for Tablo (that is on my husband’s TV). The one place where I do use Roku occasionally is in the bedroom. It has an old Roku HD connecting wirelessly. It is about as far from the router as you can get in our house. That one does take a while to buffer and is slow with resuming after FF. I suspect it is because of the WiFi connection (but it could also be related to being an older Roku). That Roku does not have an Ethernet port, so I have no choice. The Tablo is very usable, but the experience is not the best compared with the other setups in our home.

Under the Settings page say on a computer, smartphone, or tablet, have you tried Unchecking “Fast Live TV Startup”? This can fixed the issue for some with LPW screens.

I did have some issues with a splitter ahead of the Tablo… pixelization on a couple of channels and signal loss on rainy days on a couple of other channels, and in one strange case, a missing subchannel… I was getting 8.1 & 8.3, but not 8.2, and getting rid of the splitter fixed that problem for me. 8.1 is the local CBS affiliate, and was the hardest to get, as it’s not coming in as strong as most of the other channels. Without the splitter, pixelization is gone, and I have all subchannels.

I have a mix of UHF/VHF channels in my area, and the broadcast channels are all basically south of me, about 11 miles away. But choice of antenna and height can play a major role in getting good reception. I’m using an amplified RCA ANT702F, about 3 feet off the ground on the outside of my house… not the ideal location, but it was easy to place there, and it’s working well for me. I also picked up an indoor antenna to do periodic checks for new channels (avoiding having to do a Tablo scan) which works as well as the 702F. Surprisingly, a 60 mile antenna I tried (the Mohu Sky 60) didn’t work as well as my less expensive antennae, so I ended up sending it back.

“One last thing…” Geeze, sounds like Steve Jobs on stage…

“buffering times should not be caused by the antenna”

In my case there is buffering during live TV when the signal fluctuates wildly (like on a stormy day). When the signal cuts in and out, the Tablo shows a “please wait” with buffering and attempts to replay the lost few seconds.


Yes, this is how the Roku handles errors in the video stream.

Never mind…I see your antenna supports VHF and UHF. Location is everything. My Winegard FL5500A is in the bedroom window because that is where I get the most stations.

I use Nexus Player and Roku 4.

Sign up to vudu on your roku. Then run the vudu bandwidth test. It checks your connection between the roku and your internet. It should max out if everything is working correctly. I had to re-position my wireless modem to get it maxed out.

Since I have a Roku tv hard wire was not an option. But since you have a Roku 3 it might be advantages to use Ethernet through the power setup so you can hard wire it directly to your router. The Lea Net Plug AV 2000 is good for the ethernet over your power. But it must be plugged into a wall jack and not a power strip on both ends.

I also use a channel master HDTV 2 port amplifier.on my indoor antenna. I found it does not tend to overdrive strong signals. Just works well. I currently have 49 channels at a 40 mile range.and record at the max. With no buffering on play back from the tablo.

Don’t have to do that; there are many Wi-Fi tool mobile apps that let you gauge things such as Wi-Fi reception and speed at a given location. Some router manufacturers even offer such tools in their apps. (Just make sure to use the same network configuration to get a good idea. e.g., A tablet or smartphone should be on the same 5 GHz band the streaming media device uses.)

I concur with what others are saying; take a look at your network’s performance. You already have the OTA reception covered.

Using another device say a smartphone or tablet in the same location as the streaming device (say Roku) does not provide a reliable indicator of what wireless speed the Roku is actually getting. So I would agree it makes sense to use a speed test app on the Roku itself to see what the WiFi speeds are like.

I don’t know of any Roku channels that let you test ‘local’ speeds, but there are many that will let you test the internet (aka WAN) speeds, which can be used to know what the minimum WiFi speeds you are getting as some people’s WiFi speeds may be in fact faster than their Internet speed.

Could you list the ones you know about (other than Vudu which is already mentioned). I would be interested in trying some of them.

I didn’t say it would be exact; more or less a general indicator of what to expect. Maybe I also should have said to use reliable devices for testing. The Roku devices are obviously pretty good at Wi-Fi reception/speed. If one also has a reliable device one can also get a pretty good idea of what to expect.

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This is the Speed Test channel, it is a private channel but works well. See links below.


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Thanks for the replies everyone. I guess I’ll start my next troubleshooting exercise on my network. I got an ac1200+ router that has dual band and N300 Mbps + AC867 wireless speeds. Should be plenty enough to stream.
One more question for those more familiar with how Tablo handles streaming. Does internet play a part in it at all (other than the guide of course)? In other words, should I be focusing on the health of my LAN or do I need to check my internet speeds when this happens as well? In my mind it should only be my LAN correct?

I have the Tablo hard wired to the router currently but all streaming devices will be wireless. I don’t think it is unrealistic to expect this scenario in most people’s homes.

Streaming video from the Tablo to your local device say a Roku uses only the LAN, WAN speeds do not matter.

Remote viewing is another story, that relies on your Internet’s upload speed.

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I’m experiencing the issue right now so I thought it would be a good time to test my network.
I did the speed test app and got 25mbps on my roku, ran the speed test on vudu and it is giving me “…shows that your home network and internet connection will be able to play videos up to HDX quality” and has the bar maxed out.

I guess I may be back to the drawing board on my antenna setup. I’m beginning to think that I may have some sort of interference that is blocking signal to my home. I have one cable coming in to the house from the antenna straight in to my Tablo, so I know it can’t be a “splitter” or line issue. I never thought it would be this hard to get OTA 10 miles outside of a MAJOR city. jeez.

The antenna is higher than the peak of my house off of my back porch… I guess my next step is to climb a tree. Or if anyone knows where I can get a Batman grappling hook to shoot my antenna into the oak tree in my backyard maybe that will work.

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