Maybe I just have a bad Tablo?

Others don’t seem to experience the excruciatingly long sync times I do.  Now I’m trying to use the Tablo with Roku 3 and that is also pretty much unusable compared with any other consumer electronics I have.  So I’m thinking maybe the problem is I have a defective unit since I don’t see any other complaints.  Is this an abnormal experience?

From Roku Home, press Tablo - 13 seconds later, I get the Tablo menu
Scroll right to recordings, click OK, Please wait… - 32 seconds later I get Sort By
Now it’s pretty responsive scrolling through the recordings…  Select one, and episodes/read more comes up with a second or two.
Choose episodes, Please wait…  15 seconds later I get a list of episodes
pick one, click ok, 18 seconds later I get Play/read more/delete
Click play, it starts playing in about 2 seconds.
So almost a minute and a half to find and start a recorded video.  And that’s actually a little better than typical.  Of course, that also measures going straight in and watching something.  Backing out, deleting, trying to see details of anything, I can easily spend more than 5 minutes just trying to get to the point where I’m able to put the remote down and just watch.  Is that the normal expected experience with Tablo and Roku?  None of my other Roku apps are like this.  Again, maybe I have a bad Tablo?

Those times are not “normal”. However, your network setup may have lots to do with the slow responses. If you want to do an easy first step de-bug to determine if it is a faulty Talbo, put every device on a wired ethernet connection. If you still have those long delays, contact @TabloSupport for assistance, because something is not right.

Every device except my Roku is on a wired connection.  The roku is 8 feet from the wireless access point and not where I can reasonably plug it in.  It has no issues streaming 1080p video. The problem is exclusively in navigating the Tablo Roku UI.  

@unclfuzzy how does tablo do on the web browser??

Every device except my Roku is on a wired connection.  The roku is 8 feet from the wireless access point and not where I can reasonably plug it in.  It has no issues streaming 1080p video. The problem is exclusively in navigating the Tablo Roku UI.  

I’ll repeat what I said, put the Roku on a wired ethernet connection (even if just to test it with a long cable hanging out of your AV cabinet) and see if that doesn’t fix the problem. 

Not having problems streaming other services via WiFi on your Roku (Netflix, Hulu, etc) is no guarantee it it will work successfully with Tablo. Does the Access Point have any ports you can plug into if it’s only 8 ft. away?
Easy way to find out if it is an issue with WiFi or the Tablo itself is to plug an ethernet cable into it.

From another post by the user, it seems he/she has a huge number of recordings likely causing this experience on the Roku.


How many recordings does your current Tablo have? Not shows, but individual number of episodes.

@unclfuzzy I think the source here is likely the amount of recordings on the Tablo. If i saw the other thread correclty, it sounds like you’ve got over 1200 recordings - is that correct?

Yes. 1200+ recordings.  My attached drive (one of the recommended/tested WD models) is about 1/2 full.  Are you saying that just having a lot of recordings is going to impact performance for all UI functions?  Having a lot of recordings overall may slow down bringing up the first page (though I doesn’t have to), but why would that make it take so long to show the one or handful of episodes for any given show?  Or to get to Play or Delete when selecting one specific episode?  None of this makes any sense.  There is no reason any page should take particularly long to load with the possible exception of the page with the thumbnails.  And that page shouldn’t necessarily take longer to load than a page with thumbnails of everything on TV in the next two weeks.  Storing, sorting, displaying meta data and low resolution thumbnails for 1200 objects is an extremely lightweight task.  There is no reason either the Roku or the Tablo should be doing any significant amount of processing or passing of network traffic.  Certainly nothing remotely in the league of encoding one much less four video streams.  Nothing about this should have to do with the network connection nor the number of shows.   

It certainly does. I’ve noticed clear differences between Roku 3 wired and WiFi. Give it a try.

I don’t have the patience to wait for it to load fully, but scrolling through the list of icons in the TV Shows page I get 53 rows of 8 (424 shows) just getting through the Cs.  So the guide is managing way more than 1200 separate titles before you even get to the level of episodes.  It’s not like the Tablo has to do something to the actual encoded file to show it in the list.  The list of shows and recordings should all be stored in either a relational database or more likely given the size of the dataset a flat file.  It takes just as long in the Roku to bring up a list of episodes from the guide as from the list of recordings.  

This really is a fairly small dataset as things go and there is no reason why the Tablo can’t manage it all and deliver results nearly instantly on any network connection.  It’s not even a new problem.  There have been nice speedy online TV guides with descriptions and thumbnails for many many years. Ones that worked just fine over dial-up.  

This goes back to my post on sync being the thing that will kill Tablo. It seems someone needs to go back and rethink the way this device stores and serves the basic meta data.  I just don’t see how the biggest complaint around here is the time it takes to start playback on live TV or when selecting a recording.  Those are about the two fastest things it does.

I really want Tablo to succeed. Not just because I’ve got hundreds of dollars on the line.  I p!ssed away lots more on Windows MCE before they capitulated to big cable and ditched the idea of extenders.  This was going to be the simple, rock solid solution to finally get me to cut the cord.  But it’s a long way off.  I hope they get serious about it and take it over the finish line soon. A prettier Roku UI and FF/RW thumbnails won’t be worth a damn it navigates like it’s reading the data off punch cards.
@unclfuzzy how does tablo do on the web browser??

It’s pretty speedy once it’s synced.  Definitely a useable experience assuming you use it often enough that sync doesn’t take 5 minutes.  And I get that this is what the Tablo guys had in mind when they first came up with it.  If you are someone who watches all your TV on an iPad, phone, laptop, and you watch something almost every day I’d say Tablo is the way to go and it’s pretty much already there for you.  But those are the people who have already cut the cord.  If you want to compete with and replace cable boxes you better make the experience remotely as good as the experience of using them. 

@unclfuzzy  then yea, Roku will take forever with 1200+ recordings because it does not cache data like the browser…

Get a Fire TV, it uses the web app and thus will sync and you won’t have to wait for your TV experience.

That’s my only suggestion.

OK. So let’s forget about my unmanageably vast library of recordings.  I’ll browse into the guide data on Roku.

4 sec to 1st page from Roku home screen
43 seconds to load "TV shows"
resorting (A-Z, Genre, etc.) only takes 1-2 sec. Scrolling through the list you can get ahead of the thumbnail loading, but the performance at this point is tolerable.
Choose a show (11 News Today - that should have a lot of episodes) - comes up in 1-2 sec
Choose “Episodes” - takes 52 seconds to bring up the list.
Back out, pick a show that doesn’t come on every day. - takes just about exactly the same amount of time (51 sec) to load the list of two episodes.  How is having a faster network connection to my Roku going to speed up the retrieval of that list of two?

So the Tablo just can’t handle 50 channels?  How few channels do you have to have for the guide to contain a similar amount of data as my recording library of 1200 shows?  10 channels x 24 hours x 14 days is 3360 slots.  Even running the same show every day in half the time slots it would still be more than my 1200 recordings.  

I know I have 10 channels and a little over 200 recordings. It works great for me

I don’t USE this notebook every single day for Tablo, but I DO leave a browser open to the Tablo, connected, so that its always sync’d up. My phone - I also sit and do whatever with it and occasionally simply connect to Tablo even if I have no intention of using the phone for Tablo that day. I guess I’ve gotten used to just connecting or leaving things connected over the last couple of months. 

Even the FireTV stick stays connected to Tablo so I simply change TV input to the FTV and I’m ready to go NOW.