My TabloTV Coax connector is broken!

I bought my Tablo exactly 24 months ago. A few months ago I found my not recording of many of my programs and some stations were not coming in, although they came in perfectly before. I did some troubleshooting and also found a defective Tablo coax connector was spinning. Channels still come in, but it had a big impact on how many channels and quality. I believe this issue with the coax connector is a ubiquitous issue and may not be identified easily because you still have a decent level of functionality. If you notice a stronger reception with your TV’s direct coax connection, then you may have an issue with Tablo’s coax connector. I called Tablo and they said my Tablo is out of warranty and basically it is now my issue. They did suggest a refurbished Tablo on their website as a replacement. I have multiple Tablo’s, a lifetime guide subscription, and I love the products, support is generally excellent, but this situation is a little disappointing that a seemingly weak point in the product is not better supported even if you are 12 months out of warranty. Again, I strongly support this product, hopefully Tablo will find a way to better address this issue. I will look into replacing the Tablos coax connection myself.

Well the OG Tablo 2 tuner was replaced by the Tablo DUAL Lite, so hopefully the issue won’t exist for that unit.

How did it become lose though? Did you move your Tablo around a lot or disconnect the coaxial cable to go back and forth between the Tablo and HDTV?

The Tablo DUAL Lite still has a TV coax connector, thus unless they specifically address this possible weak point, I would not assume it is better. I rarely disconnected the coaxial cable, my Tablo 2 tuner was stored in my home office desk that has a 2’x2’ space for computer and networking equipment. It does have a tray that some of my networking, storage, and Tablo sit on that pulls out for easy access. I rarely need access to this equipment and Tablo and even more infrequently pull the tray out. If this small amount of infrequent movement under reasonable conditions contributed toward the Tablo coax connector to go bad, then I would still consider this a weak point that needs to be addressed. The price of Tablo is not cheap, although the newer boxes are at a much lower price point, but to have such a crucial part that has plays a significant contribution towards how many programs you can access and the quality of your recordings, it seems like this part should be a primary focus in the design. The TV coax connector probably costs less than a couple of bucks, and if they were able to beefed up this point-of-failure, which various posting validate others have the same problem, with a more durable design (if possible), I believe it would be well worth it. Again, I would like to say, I love the product and support from Tablo, and I still highly recommend this product. I am VERY satisfied with the overall product and support, and this is the only issue that I have. I would give Tablo a 9 out of 10 overall rating. Still very good.

Fantastic ending to this story.

I’m not sure what brand of PCB (printed circuit board) connector/component the TabloTV uses, but I have had these connectors break on me before (On an omnidirectional antenna and even on my old Tivo when I had DirecTV). My Tablo thankfully has not broken, but you can imagine how a little too much torque can break the cylinder portion from the cube portion of this component.
After my Omnidirectional antenna broke, I put a 1 foot in length RG6 cable on my TabloTV box at this connection to the unit and I attach the rest of my RG6 coming from my antenna to the 1 foot cable via a dual female barrel connector. Luckily, I didn’t have much (if any) of a signal loss. When I needed to move the Tablo box, I disconnected the antenna coax from the 1 foot in length cable. It’s probably not the best way to protect this type of PCB component, but it does give me a little piece of mind when I need to unscrew the RG6 antenna coax.

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This issue happened on my 2-tuner. The connector has three inline pins the the above connector will not fit. The outer two pins is shield and inner pin is the center conductor. I did this a few months back and did not take pictures.

I did notice the the back of the connector is a RF shield that is held on with solder. Heat the edges a little and it will pop off. You need to work both sides back and forth to get it off. Then you can access the wire sub from the connector, hopefully it is long enough. I then un-soldered the broken center pin from the PCB fashioned a wire with a hook. I dropped the wire through the hole in the PCB and the hook on the wire stub from the connector. Soldered the hook to the stub and soldered the wire to the PCB. .Replaced the shield use a little solder to hold it in place. The 2-tuner is back in operation. Make sure to not over tighten the coax. cable.

Like I said this was for the original 2-tuner. I do not know if other TabloTV models use a different connector.

The only tricky part was getting the clear plastic LED light guide back in place.