My Experience with Gen 4 Tablo 4 Tuner

I have been a happy Tablo customer since 2014 I have a previous generation 4 Tuner. I recently purchased a Gen 4 Four Tuner from Best Buy Online. Best Buy Online has a two week return window. I connected it using WiFi and have a Roku TV and all Roku devices at home. It crashes periodically because of some issue with closed captioning, which I need because of poor hearing.

I tried to configure it to use the ethernet port that the old tablo was using and found that the ethernet port on the new tablo device was dead. I tried various combinations of cables and ports, but it was always dead.

Since it was past the two week return window for Best Buy, but still less than 30 days, I submitted a support ticket to get a return authorization or exchange unit.

Tablo support sent some instructions, which I followed, but the ethernet port remained dead. In order to get a return authorization tablo support requested that I send them a video of me following their instructions and the device not working. Is that reasonable? I don’t think it is. I’d have to tear apart my network and rebuild it in an area with enough light so that everything could be seen, my only camera is a phone, I don’t have a tripod etc. It all seems crazy.

I to had a dead Ethernet port when I purchased mine last year. However the wifi was and is working very good so I just kept it. At the time I bought it the 4 tuner was in short supply so I felt if I returned it I did not know when they would be back. Bad reasoning when you know you have a defective product but the wifi is going strong so it sort of worked out. I agree with you Tablo is being unreasonable. They basically are telling you they don’t believe you. They don’t believe the customer is always right. It seems like poor customer relations and they just don’t want any returns.

I agree, that seems unreasonable. Wired ethernet is superior to wireless, or at least it is in my experience, with large files like HD video streams. I had an AppleTV playing content from a local Channels server, and on WiFi, it was laggy responding to FF/REW button presses, but when I switched to wired Ethernet, it was like a day and night difference, just like another AppleTV I had elsewhere in the house (that was already wired).

@TabloTV tagged them so they can see this post.

You can go wireless… having a good wireless router with a good chipset is the key. I have 2 SMB access points in my home. Streaming from the Tablo to my 7 Roku device doesn’t lag at all.

You buy a $50 router from walmart, you will get $50 worth of performance. Also need to confirm if you have good wireless signal in your home (inSSIDer on your laptop, is your friend).

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I’m still trying to figure out what you had to do to configure the ethernet port. I thought you just plugged the RJ45 cat6 or cat7 cable in. No configuration should be required if your router’s port is set to auto-config and full duplex.

Just for reference…

The ROKU TV in our bedroom was wireless and in network settings showed Download at 41 Mbps (Good).
Just this morning I connected it to my 2.5 Gps Lan.
The TV automatically switched to Ethernet.
I did a “check connection” and it now Download shows 85Mbps (Good).

I’m sure Wireless will be different for different people depending on their equipment.
I have a Netgear Mesh Network for things that can’t (or don’t want to) be wired.

That’s probably true if the ethernet port on the tablo is working. When it isn’t you have to erase the memory or it will always try to connect to the WiFi, or at least that’s what this one does.

IMO, support is being unreasonable. They are saying “we don’t believe you” which is very poor customer support.

You said:

This sounds like you tried to configure something before you decided the tablo ethernet port was dead. I thought the ethernet port on most consumer products had LED lights indication the port status.

Mine is defective, but it’s new device to me so I don’t know in advance how it should behave. Initially I just unplugged the old tablo and plugged the new one. But the lights on the router never lit up and it remained connected via wifi. I then did a factory reset and it still would not connect via ethernet. I then contacted tablo support and here is their response:

We are sorry that you are having trouble getting your Tablo online. With your Tablo connected to your router via ethernet, please try the following:

  1. Unplug power the unit
  2. Press and hold reset button
  3. Plug in power while still holding the reset button for a couple of seconds
  4. Release the reset button and unplug the power
  5. Reattach the power supply without holding the reset button
  6. The Tablo will boot up on its previous firmware load

If after this the light still does not go solid, please send us video demonstrating this, and that the ports on the router / tablos’s ethernet port are not lit up. Please also include a copy of your Best Buy order confirmation as proof of purchase, and your shipping address so that we can send you a replacement unit.

Yeah, that’s pretty lousy of them to do this to you within the 30 day return window. Since the takeover, it doesn’t seem like the same level of service. Which also sucks for me as one of my two Tablos is showing signs of failure. I will have to look at other options, but really wanted to stay with Tablo.

Yes, not believing you, requiring video proof is the worst of customer support. I’d be very unhappy with a company that did that, and might well move on to another company. A company that treats its customers that way will continue to insult you in other ways.Short of litigation the only real power we have as consumers is to take our dollars elsewhere.

On the other hand, you’ve already spent the money, so trying to get them to see reason might just work. Reading your posting would, I think, make anyone’s decision to buy this product an easy NO. So it would be in Tablo’s interest to just do the right thing. You’d think.

Sadly, no one from TabloTV is on the forums during the weekend. Hopefully they’ll see this flag and get to it on Monday. They’re usually thumbing through about 8a central…

I am reminded of a Steve Martin movie where a cop pulls him over (he’s sober) but requires him anyway to do all kinds of incredible acrobatics, handstands etc to prove he’s not DUI. Tablo seems to require a “field video test”.

I recall reading another post where Tablo wanted a video from the customer. That’s more than some customers can do, and it should really be enough for the customer to describe the problem, maybe verify hat they have tried to fix it themselves with help from the support desk, and then send the unit back at their expense. It’s too many hurdles to jump and I can imagine a certain number of customers just pitch it and never buy the brand again.

It made a positive impression on me when Roku sent me a new remote, just for describing the problem in a chat and giving them a s/n. I was happy even though the new remote ate batteries just as fast as the old one; at least they did not hassle me.

The reason I never made a warranty claim about my Tablo with the goofy sometimes on sometimes off LED was I didn’t want to jump the hurdles of the return policy and wait who knows how long to maybe get a replacement. Not worth the trouble.

When I had trouble with my Breville espresso machine, they sent me a link so I could have a video chat with a representative. I demonstrated the problem and at that point they arranged an exchange. I didn’t have a problem with it. They could have been helpful if I was in fact doing something wrong.

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They didn’t suggest a video chat, they wanted me to make a video and send it to them.

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