New ueser: brief connection loss at times, slow GUI

New user here. Coming from Fire Recast (unreliable for me), and Tivo before that (Tivo mini just failed, expensive replacement). Recently bought a networked (not HDMI) Quad Tablo, refurbished model — to save money in case this fails for me. Which it’s looking like it might do. … (?)

I put in a new 1 TB internal drive I bought online, and got the fan that various people recommended to put underneath. Unit is in a fairly cool area, so I don’t think heat will be an issue.

Not using wifi, but cat 5e/6 cables to unit and to two TV’s via second generation Fire cubes running the Tablo app. I have a pretty recent and good router with current firmware. Power cycling various bits of this equipment resolves nothing. My Tablo firmware is up to date.

The GUI on the Tablo is very slow — I see this primarily in looking at the live TV grid, scrolling horizontally or vertically. For example, I did a test this morning of scrolling ahead on the grid 5 days and counted 17 seconds before that portion of the grid was populated. This brings me back to the days of using a 1200 baud dial-up modem. I’d prefer 21st century speeds. Other stuff is erratically slow as well.

And I periodically get told that the unit has disconnected. I keep clicking the ‘reconnect’ option (or “try again” or whatever) and eventually it gets connected again. But the impression is of something that’s not stable, not reliable.

I normally use firefox as my browser; for no reason other than perhaps a limited development budget (?) this isn’t supported for watching TV on my computer, so I brought the Tablo interface up on Chrome and the GUI there is much faster. Not particularly fast, mind you, not as fast as my Tivo Roamio OTA (which is still running on one TV) or the erratic Fire Recast (still running this too for now at least, just to compare and contrast). But something I can live with.

However, it strikes me as reasonable to do DVR stuff on my TV(s) rather than have to walk into a different room and boot up a browser I don’t normally use in order to do DVR interface stuff.

Another question if someone can respond — I recorded some old movies, and when I look at the recordings in the GUI they don’t show me the release date of the movie. I.e., I’m not looking for when it was first broadcast by a local network, nor when I recorded it. I’m interested in the year that the movie was released. I would have thought that whatever TV guide data we get via Tablo would contain that basic bit of data; if so I just missed it; Recast and Tivo give this at any rate.

I got the Tablo because they have at least articulated a near-term ATSC 3.0 transition strategy. I didn’t get their ATSC 3.0 model because I really want the networked option. I was hoping — nothing clear from Tablo on this, but I was hoping that if I got a lifetime subscription now, at some point down the road when ATSC 1.0 starts to go away that they might offer a networked ATSC 3.0 option AND that they would allow transfering the subscription to that.

But if Tablo turns out to be as badly implemented, tested, and supported as the Fire Recast, then … rats. I guess the other thing that attracted me to Tablo was the idea that they’re dedicated to DVRs. For Amazon, it seems increasingly clear that they took a stab at it, but aren’t putting any resources in that area now. This is one reason I might be more willing to stick it out for a while with Tablo. Good read, or … ?

Sorry for the long post/rant (!), and thanks in advance for any helpful insights. I don’t know how long I have to return my Tablo if I decide to — 3 more weeks or so I think. Should be enough to decide!

17 seconds. To me, depending on the number of channels and which tablo app, that seems fast. But a 14 day grid is the feature eveyone who only wants a 1 day grid pays for. grid load time seems to linear. 10 day grid load for you might take 34 seconds.

But I’m not much into linear TV and if so 3-4 hours is more then enough.

For the GUI, how many active channels do you have? I have over 40. That means over 1600 programs, so it takes some time. If you are trying to schedule shows or just see what is coming up, it is better to look at the Prime Time, TV Shows, Movies, and Sports, depending on what you are looking for. There you can look at all programs or by channel.

Can’t say what their guide supplier is giving. Would seem Tablo would get data that is more useful over multiple streaming apps.
I am using without guide / internet but on my computer based offline guide the service I am using does have it but have to check it in the Guide App I am using. But after checking it does show for movies but not series, PBS or other.
For my use just use the top four in image. You can possibly consult support on this matter.

Interesting — implied is that this is normal behavior for Tablo. For those who have never use another DVR, maybe it’s something you take for granted. It’s so much worse than both Recast and Tivo however.

I’m not keen on stepping down to a dog-slow interface, but … I’ll try to keep my mind open here. Other parts of the DVR I do like. If reliability is better than initial issues suggest, maybe it will be okay.

W.r.t. the date of release — I look again on my PC and it DOES show the release date. So I turned on my TV just now and … nope, it does not do so there. And of course, that’s the place that I want to see it.

An issue with the Fire TV app perhaps?? At any rate, another thing that suggests to me that, despite being in business for a number of years, Tablo doesn’t have near the fit and finish, polish, ease of use, etc that Tivo has. I don’t mean that as an attack or anything, just an observation. Tivo certainly isn’t perfect either (!) or I wouldn’t be here.

Thanks for the feedback.

Ah, I failed to answer the “How many active channels do you have?” question — sorry. I have 46. Active ones. Of course a lot more that are not active. I expect that’s about par for the course in living near a major metropolitan area.

You’re right it’s a lot of data for a 14-day span. If we think in terms of an average of hour-long blocks then 14 days * 24 hrs/day * 46 channels comes out to over 15,000 sets of program data.

This is just text data, however, very small, fast to transmit. While 15,000 sounds like a lot, it should be trivial to slap that up in well under a second, though I suppose they might have cheap/outdated processing hardware on the DVRs.
What I presume is happening is that Tablo does a poor (or no?!?) job of cacheing such data in local storage periodically (very small amount of storage needed for that) for fast update. The way it acts is as if every UI movement command that results in a request being sent to their servers for that chunk of data to be obtained and downloaded. I would hope that it wasn’t implemented in such an inefficient manner, but it clearly isn’t anywhere close to being optimized for GUI speed.

What I was hoping was that this was an issue with my particular refurbished model and the community could assure me of that so I could pursue a replacement.

I appreciate the feedback in any event.

Could the speed by which a grid fills have anything to do with SDK/API’s being used. I have other Fire TV apps that sucked when filling a large grid. Of course a few years ago these apps might have been redesigned to split their grids into small ribbons with drill down…

I think it’s much more likely that the Fire Cubes just can’t render and scroll the data any faster. Not that the Tablo can’t provide it.

Fire cubes render the grid very fast for the Fire Recast DVR. That DVR certainly has problems too, but speed of the GUI isn’t one of them.

Admittedly this is Amazon’s own DVR, but I rather suspect that if there are Tablo Fire app issues, the fault lies with the folks writing the app (Tablo/Nuvvyo) to Amazon’s presumed SDK/API’s.

As zippy mentioned, I at least have no idea how good the interface is for Fire app developers, but having used various other Fire apps I suspect that the fault lies with Nuvvyo.

I suppose if I wanted to do some ad hoc looking at this, I should avoid premiere apps like Netflix (as a Fire TV app), because it could be they get special treatment/support. I’ll poke around and see if I can find a reasonable proxy that has a snappier UI.

Ah, easy proxy: the Roku Channel app on Fire TV. I can’t imagine that Amazon is going to give those guys any particular advantages (!).
Within the app there’s a live TV guide, quite the same sort of grid. It’s NOT instantaneous when scrolling down, but takes less than a second to populate the rows — obviously and much faster than my new Tablo does it.

Seems clear to me at least that therefore it’s not an issue with the API’s in the SDK, or at least the vast amount of speed issue is not.

I’ve been using an Android TV device (Tivo stream 4k), after years of using Roku, and have also been disappointed with guide response. Fire TV is Android-based, so we’re likely seeing the same issue. What’s really frustrating is seeing guide data appear then disappear as it is filling in.

The Roku interface is much faster, and also has better guide data, such as episode original air dates for TV series. On Android the movie year is shown along with the title on the guide, but is not in the description.

The big disadvantage of Roku is no Tablo Connect. Other than that Roku is a much better experience.

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Unless you have (you don’t) have an HDMI Tablo, “the GUI on the Tablo” …is the GUI of the device/app of the what you’re using to access your tablo - it’s a headless device. Not all devices have access to more than 24hrs of data via the grid. There are discussion of the lag involved. Just for testing, disable the option to have all 14 days in the grid.

Tablo Apps & Compatible Devices | Over The Air (OTA) DVR | Tablo They have changed the wording regularly. It’s not fully supported. Not officially support doesn’t mean it won’t work - they won’t provide support with issues you have. Many non-Windows users have been successfully using Firefox to access our tablo’s issue free.

That’s true, many “modern” PCs have HDMI ports… using them as Media PCs for “watching TV”. [off topic]

That may be a (big) short coming of the FireTV based apps. It shows in the web app - not all devices/app are exactly the same - Tablo Apps & Compatible Devices | Over The Air (OTA) DVR | Tablo

Thank you very much for that! I remembered this morning that I one of my TVs is a Roku TV, so I tried the Tablo that way and indeed it IS better. Scrolling vertically works well that way. Scrolling horizontally works a little better I think, but not much in that way — there just appears to be no way to scan the guide more than scant hours into the future without a lot of lag on any device. Again, I can only conclude really limited development staff or ability within the dev team, as the obvious fault here has to be not doing a nightly update of a on-device cache of 14 days worth of data. Wow.

But the Roku approach looks much better, and I’m not at all averse at this point to ripping more pieces of Amazon out of my life. A couple of years ago I decided to go all-in on the Amazon ecosystem, presuming that all of the pieces would work better that way. Fire cubes, Recast DVR, echo devices of various sources, Ring security system. It’s been a big disappointment in terms of interoperability. Amazon seems to just buy up small companies and develop other stuff in house, but spends little effort in making it all work together reliably.

Question: You say that Tablo Connect doesn’t work with Roku; I don’t understand that comment. I’ve not messed with Tablo Connect, but this is something between the Tablo and my router in order to allow connection to mobile devices. I don’t see how using the Roku app vs. the Fire app could impact that. ?

As a follow-up, I had submitted just the slow GUI issue to Tablo support and got a reply today. The suggestion was that I turn off 14-days of guide data so that the GUI would be faster.

Which I read to mean “Our development staff didn’t spend as much time on the Fire TV app, so it’s best that you cripple your functionality to deal with our shortcoming”.


If I stay with Tablo, I will switch to using Roku to access it. Key now for me is to use it for a while and see if the periodic “Lost connection with Tablo” issue occurs there too.

If you are looking for a product that matches the tivo grid experience it could be another tivo. But I’m glad I retired my tivo years ago. It sits in a pile with the other electronic junk.

What tablo was trying to offer was a better guide experience then others. And I have other OTT services that spend way more effort on the guide then the grid experience. And their grid is slow and clunky when accessed beyond 12 hours.

Tablo Connect allows viewing your Tablo when away from your home network. Android phone, Iphone, Android TV, and PC interfaces allow this, but not Roku. It’s very convenient when traveling.

Also, the last Android TV update removed the option to disable the 14 day grid. Apparently the shorter grid was causing problems. I tried it once and did not see any improvement in response.

I will also add that in 7 years of using the Roku interface, I can’t remember any disconnection or failure to find issues other than wifi going out. With the Android TV interface it’s a regular occurrence, but usually fixes itself with a few retries or occasionally restarting the app.

Great feedback, thanks. To rephrase what I think you’re saying, if I wanted to use something like a Roku stick in a hotel or Airbnb TV, I can’t connect that to my Tablo system at home. Practically speaking, I can do this with Amazon’s Recast DVR, and was never inclined. My wife and I spent a month in Puerto Rico early this year and we watched some Netflix there, but weren’t really interested in watching domestic OTA content from there.

Very glad to hear that you’re not having disconnect issues with Roku. I played around with my Roku TV some more this morning, and had a fine experience, none of the real irritants of the Fire TV app showed up.

I’m leaning hard now to buying a Roku Ultra for my other TV, and a better Roku remote replacement for the other TV.


I’m impressed you could find 46 channels with content that you are actually interested in. I consider myself lucky if I can find a dozen.

We have a vacation home in an area with very little OTA coverage, but our primary home has great coverage, around 150 channels available. It’s really nice to sync up an Android TV device with Tablo connect, then use it at our vacation home. We have no need to subscribe to any streaming services.