Need more "timers"

During my 1st week with my Tablo, I had figured out that the unit did not work well with lots of shows scheduled. After deleting a bunch of scheduled shows, everything started working smoothly, but then after about 10 days, the scheduled shows build-up again, and the 1st symptom of impeding doom was my morning news recording being split in two (at the 7 minute mark) 5 days in a row. So last night it finally dawned on me, that I had fallen into this trap for the 2nd time. I am used to my Tivo’s, that can handle many many timers without problem.

So the question arises… how many scheduled shows (timers) can the Tablo smoothly support? Right now, I have eliminated all schedule conflicts and reduced the count down to around 2 dozen (I have a Tablo Duo 64gb). All is working smoothly again, but I am afraid to add new shows to the schedule (instead I am back to manually adding individual programs from the “Live TV” guide)…

Do the newer Tablo’s support a larger number of scheduled shows? Maybe the quads support more? It seems to me, since I own an older unit, the newer ones might be better, because maybe they have more RAM and / or faster processors… but I don’t know for sure.

I have 51 shows in my “Scheduled” tab right now. I’ve never noticed a problem with a large number of shows. Mine’s an original four tuner.

Are you sure it’s the number of shows, and not the specific show you’re trying to record?

Yes. An example of the problem, in the extreme, I had last night… my recording of Babylon 5 was split into 4 pieces and I had trouble gaining access to the unit. After deleting a bunch of scheduled shows, all cleared up… access was granted quickly and no further recordings were interrupted. After surveying my existing recordings, I found many had been split without my knowing. So I am pretty sure I am overwhelming the unit with too many scheduled shows. Now let me be clear, if I request to record a single episode… then I can do many many of those. If I request to record a series and there are only a few episodes scheduled over the next couple of weeks, then no problem… I can do loads of them. But if I try to record a show like Law & Order or Chicago PD, then those 2 shows alone probably have a 100 episodes airing over the next 2 weeks… I get swamped fast. And with 90 channels in my market, 33 of which I watch routinely, there are lots and lots of good shows in rerun that I want to record, the typical show like that has 30+ episodes airing over a 2 week span. I try to record a series of that sort and things spin out of control pretty quick.

Hmm. That’s a very strange failure mode to cause the split recordings. Just curious - are the failures all for shows recording early in the day? I’m wondering if processing the guide update against that many series is overwhelming the processor, causing the failures. Which would clear up later in the day when it’s finally done figuring out the list of shows to be recorded.

I have a second Tablo that I use to record reruns from MeTV and Heroes & Icons (mostly, some LAFF). It’s only a dual tuner, so I only have a dozen or so shows set to record. My market only has a couple dozen channels, of which I have 6 set up on the main four tuner and maybe 6 more on the dual.

@pawnslinger There’s no such thing as ‘too many schedules’ unless you have conflicts (obviously). Split recordings are usually caused by a reception issue or drive failure.

If you send a note to support they can take a look at your Tablo and tell you exactly what’s happening.

I guarantee their diagnosis will be quicker and more accurate than guessing :wink:

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Is your Tablo in a well ventilated area? If you are doing a lot of continuous recordings, your unit may be rebooting because it is getting too hot.

When I bought my first 4 tuner Tablo I had problems with split recordings and the Tablo locking up at times. I placed both the Tablo and the harddrive on a laptop cooler and my problems went away.

I still occasionally have recordings split in two, but now it is definitely due to a signal problem (bad weather, large planes flying overhead, etc.). Sitting on the laptop cooler, my Tablos are just barely warm to the touch. By the way, I have 78 series scheduled on my first 4 tuner Tablo and 77 on my second 4 tuner Tablo. Many of those series are currently not airing new shows or may temporarily be off the air, but if, or when they are back on the air, I’m ready to record them.

The problems were not limited to a specific time of day, but were mainly clustered in 2 time periods, 8pm-midnight, and 7am-11am, the guide usually updated at 3am (approximately), so I don’t think the guide update was related. The first show that I noticed being split was the morning news, 9am-10am. It split at the same time everyday for 5 days straight. It was recorded on a station with a very good signal, I noticed it, because I watch it everyday at 11am (approximately). It always split at 7 minutes after 9, when I first noticed it, I thought nothing of it, I didn’t even realize it was split, just thought I got a short recording - not really unusual, OTA recording can be quite variable. By the 4th in a row, I was suspicious… after day 5, I started noticing other shows being split, and Babylon 5 was split 4 times in 1 hour, well the system started becoming totally unusable shortly afterward. That’s when the “light bulb” in my head came on and I started deleting show schedules - about 15 minutes later, things were back to normal, and I began building my schedule again, 1 episode at a time (instead of recording series wholesale).

This is not a huge problem, I actually like going thru the schedule daily and building up what to record. But I am tempted to record series, and well, over a week or two, that gets me into trouble. This pattern has repeated itself twice.

I am told that there is no limit to the number of scheduled shows… maybe that is the problem… if there was an actual limit, it would stop me from requesting too many. I know I ran into that with my 1st Tivo, 10 years ago. They had a limit of 100 timers, if you tried to exceed that it would give you an error message. Since then (with newer Tivo’s) they have raised the limit, and I have never hit it – so I don’t know what it is.

I am also told that the problem is actually the number of show conflicts in the schedule… well with a dual tuner Tablo, it does not take long to start getting schedule conflicts, at my peak I think I had about 30 schedule conflicts (I didn’t count them, but it seemed like at least that many). In a small market, like one with 12 good TV stations, you don’t run into my issues as easily. I have about 90 stations in my market, 33 of which are very good stations (for me, anyhow).

If I lived in a really big market, like LA – I would really have trouble. I hear from guys over there that they have upwards of 150 stations in their market. That’s just a crazy number of stations.

Well, I split my schedule too… I have 3 DVRs, 2 x Tivo (a Roamio and a Bolt), and the Dual 64gb Tablo. The Tivo’s are dedicated to the major network channels (CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and PBS). The Tablo is being used for old movies and shows (ION, RetroTV, MeTV, Justice, Antenna, etc)… and yeah, one of the best channels is called “Antenna”… hehehe, very creative! But good programs. I like all kinds of old stuff, like Andy Griffith Show, Hazel, Green Acres, Gomer Pyle, Petticoat Junction, Gunsmoke, Have Gun - Will Travel, etc, etc… the list is endless. I just like too much, and there is plenty being broadcast.

Disk issues can also cause split recordings. Especially if you are recording on all your tuners at once and have multiple playback streams. Try running a test to do just that - max tuner recordings and as many playback streams as you can at once (up to 6).

Disc is running very smoothly, as far as I can tell… cool and quiet. Since this is my 1st Tablo, it is in “quarantine”, i.e. I am the only one in the family using it… everybody else is still using the Tivo’s. Once I am happy that it can be “put into production”, I will roll it out. At the moment, I am watching shows on my Android tablet, and recording on both tuners constantly. Besides this timer problem, everything else is smooth… playback is a dream (a good dream).

I have the unit in a well ventilated area – when it goes into production, it will be much hotter, in a semi-confined media center. So if it can’t take the heat now, it will surely fail when I try to replace a Tivo.

I am sure you are right. However, I am in a testing phase at the moment, trying to determine the limitations of the unit. Trying to decide if I should commit to it, as a replacement for my family DVRs… so far, I would say it looks like a limited success - hopefully future units will represent upgraded abilities.