Pixelated Video and Unwatchable Recordings

My Tablo setup was a nightmare and support via Twitter was no help. It was these forums that ultimately helped me out so I’m wondering if there is anything I can do to fix the pixelated recordings and live TV when I interact with the Tablo via the Roku and any other device. It constantly loads, cuts out. Some shows are completely unwatchable. When I plugin the TV directly into the antennae, there is a glitch every once in a while but it is MUCH better than when routed through the Tablo. I mean I can actually watch TV. I’m out so many hours with this device and it was very expensive compared to some of the competitors. I’m looking to return this next week if I can’t figure out what’s wrong because the device simply does not do what it says it does and a $200 paperweight after hours of troubleshooting is not something I want to own. Any ideas? I’m beyond frustrated with this device.

Sounds like a reception issue. Haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve learned here on the forums we can use two or more antennas via a splitter. It’s on my list to try someday.

It might be a network issue.

I have a 4 tuner tablo with 3 Roku 3’s in different rooms of the house.  Two of the TV’s worked perfectly, but the third in the family room would load, cut out, reload, etc.  The Roku in the family room was the farthest from my router which was located in a back bedroom.  I downloaded an app on my smart phone to measure the signal strength of the wifi in different areas of the house and found the signal was in the poor range in the family room.  I relocated my router to a central location in the house so all three units could get a good signal and now all three units work fine.  The other thing I did was switch the Roku’s to connect to the router on the 2.4 gHz band rather than the 5 gHz band on my dual band router.  It seems that the 2.4 band penetrates walls a little better than the 5 gHz, so I got better signal strength in the various rooms.  Hope that helps.

The pixelation issue sounds like an antenna signal quality probpem. I have the same problem with one of two channels. The tuner in the Tablo is not as good as the tuner is most HDTVs. When plugged into my HDTV I can watch TV with some pixelation and audio dropouts. When plugged into the Tablo the pixelation and audio dropouts are too frequent to watch.

This happened with more than just 2 channels for me in my original setup but I replaced the antenna with a better one and now it’s only 2 channels that are broadcasting from very far away.

So I say you have some fixing to do with your OTA antenna.

@binxterdoodles We’ve got dedicated support (not just through Twitter) and you can get me directly here.

That being said - I agree with what most of the folks here are saying; it sounds like a reception issue. We did lots of testing to make sure the Tablo’s tuners were on par with a regular HDTV’s tuners, but there’s no making up for the fact that we have multiple tuners and need to split, whereas a regular TV doesn’t.

If your TV sees the occasional dropout or video corruption artifact, you can expect them to show up on the Tablo as well. I’d recommend checking out TVfool and making sure everything’s pointed in the right direction. If that doesn’t help, cross reference your results from TV fool broadcaster distances versus how far your antenna goes out.

I have this same issue with pixelation, but the channel in question shows up as having 5 green dots (strongest signal) on the tablo settings page. I used TV fool and a really nice compass to set at the exact/optimal antenna setup. My antenna has 2 outputs, main (going to tablo) and an alternate (going to a splitter and 4 tvs directly) and is power amplified.

Also 2 of the last recordings that were an hour long only recorded the first 40 minutes. The recording just went black and stopped at that point. Though I know I need to upgrade my router (n150, surprised it even works, but 4 rokus streaming at the same time actually works) for optimal playback and watching and to correct the “loading, please wait” message, the errors in the recordings are the same if I skip back and watch the same error again…meaning it’s either a signal issue (5 green dots) or a tablo issue. Hard drive is WD Elements 1TB.

Don’t trust the dots…

If you are having reception issues, you need to look at the antenna and your distances and direction to the towers.

I’m sorry, but I don’t think the tablo tuners are on par with a tv tuner. They are good, but not as good as a tv tuner.

All in all though, they perform well for me.

The tablo reacts badly to weak signals.

Riddle me this Batman… :smile:

Wouldn’t any pixelation be also seen during regular OTA broadcast as well (not only present on Tablo recordings)?

I have pixelation with ABC evening recordings on Tablo pixelating. However, I get no pixelation during the day or evening with live tv. I only see the pixelation on the playback recordings…

Notice, it is with only evening recordings on ABC…I do not see this anomaly during the day with daytime recordings on any channel…

Things that make you go hhmmmmmmmmmmm…

This is the digital all or nothing threshold. Tablos require somewhat more signal strength to function properly than do OTA direct to TV tuner input. Possible that the marginal stations are reducing signal output at certain times.
Time to get in the booth, don your cape and tights and bring on super-signal-man via bigger (better) antenna system.

This is probably the digital “Cliff Effect”. TV signals fluctuate, and while there was a gradual roll down the signal strength curve with analog TV signal, digital signal degrades to a point rapidly and then falls off the cliff.

Add to that, your Tablo is splitting the signal between its tuners so you are seeing an additional bit of signal loss that could be just enough to knock you out signal wise.

After you’ve checked your antenna position and aiming to assure that there aren’t any obstructions causing you an issue and that you’re pointed properly try a few of these things.

  1. If you’re using a splitter between your antenna and Tablo, try removing it and going directly to the Tablo.
  2. If you’re using an indoor antenna, look into a bigger and better antenna.
  3. If you can, try roof mount.

I went through this with the change of seasons because of my location every year. Spring brings green things and green changed my signal on the back side of the hill away from the towers. Fall dropped the leaves, but what I assume was the warm days and cool nights dorked up my signal and I had to readjust my antenna again.

I’ve had no signal issues since going roof mount and taking the time to aim it for optimal reception. When the green all sprouted this spring I didn’t have to reaim anything.

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I am having the same issue, to the point that the recordings are useless. It is NOT a reception issue, since I can watch the channels live without the problem. Thus, it seems the issue is that the connection between the device and the hard drive is too slow for the stream of recording data. Since the hard drive is high-speed USB3, my conclusion is that the issue is Tablo’s Mickey Mouse technology, that gets an indigestion with the data. I am trying to solve the issue reducing the resolution at which I am recording. We’ll see. Clearly, Tablo is not ready yet.

Could this be a hd drive issue then? Maybe a bad drive, bad cable? Just a suggestion. What make model of hd are you using?

Maybe try swapping cables or ports on the Tablo? Even trying a different hd.

I have this same problem. I don’t think it’s reception, because the channel is consistently strong. I’m able to record shows on this channel without any problem. It’s just when I start watching a show WHILE something is recording, that I get extreme pixelation. This does not stop until I stop watching. I have to wait for the recording to finish. I can see the pixelation start at exactly the time that I started watching the recording from the beginning of the show.

I tried upgrading my external drive, to a brand new My Passport 1 TB drive. This helped, but did not solve the problem.

Just looking for answers! At this point, I can’t really use the Tablo, but can’t find a good device with similar features.

You say you are going to upgrade your external drive. What are you using now, mate? Maybe the old drive is too slow?

Depending on where you live, it could possibly be “4G” interference from nearby cell phones or a tower. When I lived in densely packed military family housing, this was a real problem. Now, in a suburban neighborhood, we never have an issue with it.

Check the forum for information about Channel Master 4G filters (also made by others). Many Tablo users say they have really helped.

JohnLuther, no, I already upgraded my hard drive to a brand new WD Passport drive. This is one of the drives listed in the “supported drives” thread as “tested.”

jimzix No, it’s not 4G interference. The issues with extreme screen pixellation occur at the precise time I start watching a recording in progress, and continues for some time afterwards.

I wonder if the device is overheating? Because I haven’t seen this problem.