Powerline Ethernet? Or...? Need help connecting Tablo!

Here’s the deal… All my network gear is in my basement. It’s where my Verizon FiOS comes in, it’s where my rack of equipment is, AV, Network, everything. Basements aren’t known for their strong RF signals though (at least for TV reception anyhow! :slight_smile: ) So I have my tablo up 2 flights of stairs in the guest bedroom with it’s power Leaf antenna basically attached to the window. I get decent signal although my area isn’t known for having tons of channels, nor super strong signals. For the record, i’ve never tried putting the tablo in my basement but I just suspect it would be awful for reception.

Going 2 flights up, Wi-Fi is spotty in that area of the house so I have a 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz “repeater” for some devices like the kid’s room Amazon Fire TV box and for when he wants to watch something on his iPad – but I really didn’t want the tablo to connect via a WiFi extender…

My first powerline AV box was a Linksys PLS400 or some such nonsense. The link would drop and I’d have to reboot the AC boxes to get it to re-establish. Not a very fun thing to do, especially when you’re in the middle of a show and the stream degrades to nothing.

I did some EXTENSIVE research and found that the ZyXEL PLA series had excellent reviews (maybe a little costly) and a lot of people used for streaming media extension type situations like this. I just pulled up a Tablo stream and looked at the ZyXEL config tool and it looks like 78Mbps down and 51Mbps up from the remote AC adapter.

However every so often I do think I need to reboot the power adapters. The stream going from my Tablo to my Amazon Fire TV box gets garbled or just freezes… sometimes it takes forever to start up a stream… and I reboot all the devices – AC Powerline Adapters and Tablo usually – sometimes I go so far as to reboot the Amazon Fire TV. It’s usually when i’m pressed for time and just want to get it back up and running quickly. I will, however, start to only reboot one device at a time and see what works to solve the problem. But most of the time it works fine… just that 5% of the time when I want to rip everything out!!!

So my question is this… are there better Powerline Ethernet Adapters that people have used for this application that I should consider? OR is there a technology that I should try instead? Or a design change to what I have??

Basically… i’m looking for any recommendations that might help stabilize this!!!

Thank you!

Do you have cable outlets near your Tablo, networking gear, and your FireTv boxes? If so, you may want to consider getting MoCA adapters. They aren’t the cheapest option, but I have had them in my house for over three months, and they work just as fast as if I had all those ports hardwired with ethernet cables.

MoCA stands for Multimedia Over Coax Alliance. While Powerline adapters use your home wiring to make connections, MoCa uses your existing cable outlets to provide a much more stable connection.

I have three adapters in my house, one connected to my router, one connected to a switch in my main TV room which has my Tablo, Roku, and a PC, and one connected to my daughter’s computer room. I have 250 MB internet, and speedtests at both remote connections have the full upload and download speeds, just like my computer that is directly connected to my router.

I use these, and you can buy them in pairs. http://www.actiontec.com/338.html

I have 2 tablo’s and a roku connected into a gigabit switch which are connected to a netgear gigabit powerline adapters - into a gigabit router. It’s av2 compliant. It drives 150 to 187 Mb across two different circuits.

The powerline adapters haven’t been rebooted in over 18 months. read the product reviews. It’s worth the extra month for a product where people don’t complain about needing to reboot the adapter. And the router hasn’t been rebooted in over 2 years.

Thanks… i hadn’t considered that… but i actually don’t know the status of the coax… i had cable, then dish, then FiOS but i think some of the jacks are disconnected … then i vinyl sided over the coax up to the 2nd story assuming that i’d stream whatever wanted to… so it may be worth a test… but just not sure…

Hey - can you give me the model #???

And do you know - can you only have one powerline adapter plugged into your house at a time???

You need at least two adapters to have anything useful. They mostly come in two adapter bundles. You can get additional adapters to work with the first two.

I use the netgear nano 5101 model. They don’t make that model but a newer model. My advice regardless of brand would be.

  1. pay the extra money for the plug pass through model.

  2. Since most people enable encryption, buy the number of adapters that you need and set them up all at the same time. Otherwise you will need to run through the house when you add an adapter to re-enable encryption on all adapters.

  3. There is a powerline adapter that runs from the wall socket closest to the router(server side). Since tablo is a headless device, no console, I plugged the client adapter into a PC/MAC to verify that the adapter and circuit were working. Once it’s working you just move the adapter to the desired wall socket and you are in business.

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Thanks much… Appreciate it! That’s what I did with my ZyXEL ones - just that I’m not entirely sure what I need to reboot them… hopefully it’s them and not the Tablo :slight_smile: But i did follow the same process of getting them up and running “locally” with a PC first and then moved it to where I needed it to be.

Hi Dennis. I came to this forum looking for more information re: Tablo, but haven’t made that leap yet. Regarding your question; I’ve had great success with Linksys PLEK 500 AV2 and Linksys switches. They may not however, work with your 400s.

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I have the zyxel pla5262 or 5626 models.

I will tel you one thing about zyxel, I spent over 1.5 hours on the phone with them troubleshooting some issues. They were excellent to deal with and I mean excellent!

I had to call them back and the original tech I spoke to was busy, the second guy picked up right where we left off. I cannot say enough about this experience.

I have four of them running in my house, connected to 2 atv 4’s and one aftv box. I also have “jack” in my office for working from home.

All of a sudden I could not connect one of the atv 4’s via Ethernet. After reboots, re-encrypting and syncing. They had me download a tool and in Named my power line network. Easiest way to describe what they had me do.

I had previously used some older model dlink power line adapters and they were ok. Overall, I am extremely happy with zyxel and after yesterday I will recommend them highly.

Are yours all on the same circuit in the house? That is one thing to check… if they are communicating through different circuits, it will impact the performance.

Are they all communicating to one another, part of my problem was only 2 at a time were connecting to one another…

Also check all of your Ethernet cable to make sure the connections are good as well.

You made need a firm aware update on the adapters, but I would talk to support before doing that yourself.

Give their support line a call before buying something totally new, it can’t hurt. Seriously, the support experience for me was a 10 out of 10.

Lastl,their tools are pc based only so you cannot use them on a mac.

If you call please post and let us know how it went.

If you are thinking of going the MOCA route, check out the directv DECA adapters. They use your existing coax and are a bit slower that the standard MOCA, but the adapters (you need 1 on each end) are very cheap on Amazon. and they really are simply plug and play. No configuration necessary.

You can find them for $10-15 and they work great. I am currently using them to get a hard line connection between my tablo and my router since they are on different sides of the house. I found them last year when I was researching MOCA and powerline adapters and decided to take a chance since the price was right. I was in the same situation as you are and wasn’t sure what my wiring situation was for the coax. But lucked out and all the wires were connected to each other under the house.

Link below is a set of two for $20.

Yep great idea. Check out the thread below about the DECA adapters


Here’s the link for 2 DECA adapters for $15.47 - for some reason the link in the original thread is to only one adapter. These are still the 2nd gen ones, and they come with power supplies to power the units.

I have lots of networking stuff in my house and went with Powerline because the router is in my wife’s office is in one corner of the house, and mine is near the back. I tried the Linksys 400, and was not happy. I switched to the Linksys PLEK500 (it’s a set of 2 Powerline adapters) which delivers solid uninterrupted service. I then expanded with another set of two that connected effortlessly. The only problem I’ve had was to power cycle an access point attached to the Powerline adapter furthest from the router twice in the past 6 months. The DECA solution looks like it might work for you if you don’t mind slower throughput, and you don’t have any plans to connect anything other than the Tablo.