Not receiving "known good" channels

I just installed a Tablo QUAD [OTA] yesterday. I’m in the Greenville SC area and this unit won’t pick up channels 16, 31, and their sub-channels. We’ve carried three different TV’s to the Tablo, removed the cable and put it in the TV. All three TV’s pick up those channels perfectly.

The Tablo doesn’t find them even with a weak signal. It doesn’t find them at all. Is anyone else in the Greenville area having this problem?

Do I have a defective unit? What’s my next step?

One possible cause is that the Quad has an internal antenna splitter (4-way). You may need an antenna amplifier (placed close to the antenna). If the antenna signal is near the “digital cliff”, then that could account for why the TV works (direct antenna connection), but the Tablo does not (4-way splitter).

Our antenna has a Winegard LNA-200 installed.

The only other thing I can think of as a test, would be to temporarily move the Tablo closer to the antenna, just to see if that makes any difference.

Also make sure that the LNA-200 amp is actually working, if you unplug the amp do you lose the stations on the TVs?

The antenna is on the outside of the wall and the Tablo is inside against that wall. They’re about four to five feet apart with the cable going directly through the wall. There’s no way to get it closer without moving the Tablo outside.

Yes. If the amp is unplugged we lose a few stations, some others become pixellated, and others still come in strong.

I’m in Simpsonville and I normally get channel 16 and subs with no problem but 31 is a no-go for me with my older version Tablo 4-tuner model. I don’t remember ever getting channel 31 at my location with the Tablo but I do get it with the antenna connected directly to my Samsung TV. The Tablo is splitting the signal between 4 tuners plus I don’t think the tuners are as sensitive as the one in my Samsung TV.

My antenna is an RCA ANT751E with a Televes preamp. Antenna is mounted outside but not on the roof. I have it mounted outside of a 2nd story bedroom window.

Is there a tv close enough to your antenna coax going to your Tablo so that you can disconnect the Tablo and connect directly to your TV. If so, scan channels directly from your TV to see if the TV picks up channel 31 from the antenna and that should at least let you know if you are actually able to receive that channel.

Yes. We carried three different TV’s to the Tablo. We removed the cable from the back of the Tablo and screwed it directly in to each TV. A channel scan for the TV’s picked up >60 stations including 16 and 31. The Tablo doesn’t seem to be trying them?

I found this online for channel 31.

WDKT-LD, virtual channel 31 (UHF digital channel 15), is a low-powered GEB America-affiliated television station licensed to Hendersonville, North Carolina, United States.

I am not sure where the station is in relation to where you are but it is almost due North of me and my antenna is pointed more north-west. Seeing as this is a low-power station, I wonder if you can turn your antenna more towards Hendersonville if it is not pointing close to there already. You might be able to get it with some adjustments to the antenna direction but then you ‘might’ lose some of your other channels. It is basically a ‘trial-and-error’ process where you hope to find an antenna direction that gets the missing channel without losing some that you are already receiving.

For me, I can just reach out of my 2nd story bedroom window to rotate my antenna by hand but other people’s setups may not be so easy to adjust.

Other than that, perhaps the solution would be a different, higher gain antenna depending on what you already have.

Tablo Support might be able to offer some suggestions, too. I have found them to be very helpful in the one situation I contacted them about a few years ago.

I can receive both 7 and 62 just fine. They’re a few degrees different but 31 is so much closer… Less than half the distance from my location.


I’m using an HD Stacker antenna with the Winegard LNA-200 amp.

Although I have no experience with the HD-Stacker, it looks like it would surely be enough antenna.

We did months of research before we even started this process. The main selling point for this antenna was the Anderson and Greenwood recommendations. TV Antenna Selection South Carolina

We’re much closer to Greenville and we figured we’d receive good/better reception.

Thanks for your insights. They’ve been very helpful.

Fingers crossed… I put in a support ticket yesterday so we’ll see if they can figure something out.

Let us know what Tablo Support says about this problem.

I received an interesting “solved and closed” reply from Tablo support. It must have been from a first tier technician using a canned response. Through the “techno babble” they more or less said either:

  1. We don’t know why every TV you own can receive a signal from 13 miles away (even though you can receive channels as far away as 40 miles with the Tablo) and we don’t care to look into it further.

  2. Our tuners are inferior to every TV tuner in existence, even the cheapest models.

It seems really disingenuous for them to take this dismissive attitude. Occam’s Razor suggests that I have a defective unit, they aren’t scanning for those two channels, or their equipment is actually inferior (which I don’t want to believe).

They should have at least escalated this issue higher up the chain instead of dismissing it entirely.

There MUST be a reason why the Tablo can receive a signal 40 miles away (and closer) but NOT receive a signal from 13 miles away. My equipment is not the problem.

  • Other anecdotal evidence that this particular unit is defective - I own a home in another part of the country that uses a Tablo. In that location the Tablo picks up stations from 120 miles away that my TV tuners cannot receive. That’s why I selected this system for this location.

Here’s their response…

Hi there,

Thanks for reaching out!

It is not unusual for the Tablo to miss channels that your TV can pick up.

This is because your television only has one tuner and it is designed to deal with the signal in the raw form, the Tablo has multiple tuners so the signal strength is split between them, and the Tablo needs to then transcode the signal to a format that can be played in the Tablo apps, so interference can affect the Tablo more than a traditional TV.

In most cases, this type of issue is being caused the digital cliff effect, simply put, the signal is just strong enough for the TV to pick up but just weak enough for the Tablo to miss.

The only fix for this is to try to boost the signal, or improve the overall signal coming through to the Tablo in order to pick up the missing stations. For more information on this please click here.

For more information about improving your antenna setup please see here.

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

I understand your frustration but based on the actual text of their response that’s not quite what they more or less said. Having said that, I do agree they should have escalated your issue.

The comment about the tuners being inferior is a bit disingenuous. They were explaining that you cannot apples to apples compare connecting your antenna directly to your TV to connecting it to Tablo because the Tablo has an internal splitter that is going to affect the signal strength.

Stepping back, since it appears to be a channel that has a transmitter closer to your location than the other channels you are picking up fine, is it possible that signal could actually be overdriving the Tablo tuners?

Thank you for your reply.

Of course I’m frustrated. You pose this rhetorical (at least I hope it’s rhetorical) question and I wish I was expert enough to answer. I’m not, and I’ve asked the people that should know the answer, but the ticket was closed, I was summarily dismissed, and then thrown to the curb with absolutely no help at all.

Not really. In my “anecdotal” experience with an old 4 tuner WMC system and entirely different system running a Tablo (see above), neither have experienced the lack of reception that this new Tablo is experiencing.

That’s why I think this unit “may” be defective. I just want to know why it’s failing and not be dismissed like a toddler asking for a cookie.

The initial request asked for the MAC address so they could perform some kind of testing or log reviews? What did they find? Did they even look? Are there any diagnostics they can perform?

Being summarily dismissed is hard to take when you’re asking for assistance from the company you just purchased a product from.

Hi @Tridder - The system we use for processing tickets will automatically marks a ticket as closed when it’s been replied to. If you ever want to follow up on a ticket, don’t hesitate to reply to it and it will automatically be re-opened.

That was sorta what I was getting at. If you have another Tablo in another location working fine, then it really can’t be inferior tuners overall or both would be having issues. Out of curiousity, what are the models of the two different Tablos? Like is one an OG Quad and the other the newer Quad model, etc.?

The one I’m having issues with is a new (just purchased) Tablo Quad OTA model TQNS4B-02-CN

The other is a refurbished Tablo Dual Lite OTA I purchased for “testing” purposes. It’s performance was so outstanding that it made me comfortable in making the Quad purchase.

This wasn’t an overnight impulse buy. It was a months long carefully studied, planned, and executed install. Even so far as to what coax provides the best signal. Hence my frustration that this box can receive a crystal clear signal from 40 miles away, but not 13.

It’s also why I’d like to know definitively if this Quad is defective and needs to be RMA’d.

This was definitely not clear from the statement “Your request (XXXXXX) has been solved.”

Granted, after I read the word “solved” I didn’t bother to read any further where it mentioned I could reopen the ticket. My bad. Thanks for pointing that out.

Sorry, wasn’t intending to imply it was.

I totally understand your frustration and everything does seem to point toward a possible bad unit that needs to be RMA’d. I think what makes me think even more so now is there seems to be anecdotal evidence through other forum posts that the Tablo QUAD tuners are better than some of the OG Tablo tuners.

I’d definitely re-open the ticket and see if they can review the logs, etc. and hopefully get you a replacement.