Preamp for tablo 4 tuner

Hello all,

Just wanted to check in and see what kind of preamp are you guys running with your tablo tv 4 tuner, my current setup is a clear stream 4 with vhf adapter. I get solid signal out of it but occasionally especially during the day when it’s hot I get signal loss and pixilation on tv. It isn’t bad but enough to scramble audio. When it rains I lose most of the signal.

What I did was my antenna is in the attic pointed via gps. That shouldn’t be an issue I took the line going to the tablo wall plate and took it off the main house splitter and joined it with a short cable to the antenna with a coupler. Like I said this works pretty good.

In hopes to fix pixilation I bought this

It’s weird it would not find anything when on and channels were scanned. I even added a -7.5db 4 way spitter to bring it down from a 16 db gain. It wasn’t until I got a 2nd 2 was -3.5 db splitter that if found 3 channels but they were terrible strength.

I am just curious if anyone has any recommendations. I don’t really want to move the antenna out bc I already patched dish holes from prior owner. I am going to return the amp as it was 58$ and didn’t work.


Poor signal in differing weather conditions can be due to multipath distortion. Without the amp try minor adjustments of your antenna direction, both vertical and off-axis. Very small adjustments can have incredibly large effects… (Slight changes in vertical tend to be more effective in working around multipath, but results vary based on way too many factors to list)

Thanks for a quick reply. My initial install was without the preamp. I did adjust the antenna for about 30 min which consisted of me in my 120 degree attic lol. It was pretty warm during the setup so I hoped it was best timing. I’ll have to schedule sometime maybe early early am to give attic a chance to cool off its been nuts here in FL

Sorry for the suffering… I would likely focus on your worst channel, and start with a slight (5-10 degree) upward tilt…

good luck!

They also make smartphone apps to help you align your antenna, I found it helps to have that (name depends on if you use iOS or Android) (on iOS I use TV Towers ) … you can use the app to help get the general direction

Do you have any splitters between the power injector and the preamp? I have a CM-7778 and it was a marked improvement. No problems with the install for me but when I helped a friend install one it was doing what you described. I figured out that it was having problems passing the power up through the splitter to the preamp at the antenna.

If it’s not a splitter issue maybe you have a defective power supply. You can check how much power the preamp is receiving by disconnecting the cable from it and using a multimeter to see how many volts is coming up the cable from the power injector. Check it at the injector first and see if it is the same strength at the preamp end. It should be about 15V DC.

I though maybe my house had an extra splitter for some reason after the main one so I bypassed the line and put the power supply in attic with a long extension cord and that didn’t help.

I may get another one and see if it makes a difference if either the preamp is bad or the dc adapter is . I am curious if I am over amping the signal bc my strength is really good and I scan about 52 channels without splitter before the summer kicks in.

16db gain for a already good signal might be a lot? Which I did try with splitter to drop it but dunno

Glad it works for you seems like a nice amp.

My experience in measuring signal strengths throughout the year has been that on a really hot day (88+ degrees) with humidity above 40%, the signal strength drops by 6 db (about 20 to 30%). Conversely by the fall, signal strengths pick up by 20 to 30%.

The Kitztech 100 is a variable gain preamp with a noise figure at 0.4 db (excellent). I’ve used one to dial down the amplification. It maxes at 20 db gain (from zero upwards). The Kitztech 500 has been my best preamp over the years outperforming both Channel Master and Winegards; it is also has a variable gain control maxing at 36 db with a NF at 0.85 db (outstanding)!

Channel Master preamps used to be great until a few years ago when Channel Master was bought by a Chinese firm. The original CM preamp has been redesigned with cheaper parts and lousier manufacturing. It has become an average performer even eliminating some functionality it used to have.

For inexpensive medium gain preamps (bang for the buck) I prefer the RCA TVPRAMP1R. It has good overdrive capability for a mix of weak and strong signals.

Did you go with a splitter to lower signal to your tablo or is it a direct feed from the antenna to tablo ?

I have a 4-way splitter before the Tablo - to 3 TVs and the Tablo. Antenna goes through a Kitztech 500 preamp to the splitter. The Kitztech has a variable gain control allowing me to set the gain I need.

I see. I have the antenna with a 10 foot cord for now to the pre amp. Then a line from there to the tv. So it’s not at the mast like it could bc where in attic I can get to but close. I may move it later but I’m curious if I still have too much gain. I may try a splitter. Channels did get better more than with the channel master

I redid my setup. I got the RCA and it’s been working great. Got a 3ft cable from antenna to preamp then removed my cable and pulled the house cable out from the clamps on studs and went from there to amp. And then tablo is right to the box. I had enough signal to even use a splitter on the tv and tablo so I can use tv and TV guide as well as use my Amazon Fire stick to load DVR content and pause when I know I’ll be in and out. Wife’s a fan of just watching via tv. The fire stick wifi is weak and buffers a ton even tho the tablo is wired.

My wife tends to do the same thing - watch live TV through the TV tuner (not Tablo) but when she leaves the room she switches over to the Tablo to buffer the program for when she comes back. Or if she knows she wants to watch a show after a certain amount of time but not at the beginning, she will let the Tablo buffer it for awhile.

haha thats exactly it. She wants to watch the tv during the day especially as background noise so being able to boot the tv and have something instant is good for her. She does love watching her shows on the iPad in bed from the tablo. I really do enjoy the Tablo now that i have the preamp setup. my biggest gripe is not being able to keep the program streaming while having the guide up. Hopefully in a later revision.

That’s a good one - the TV as “background noise.” We refer to our TV (constantly on) as our “fireplace.” Heck at Christmas time we even put on the fireplace video to run all day! My wife especially likes to run the sub-channels all day that have old TV shows. They’ve become our “wall paper” (like on a PC).

In the olden days, the radio used to perform these functions. My mom used to keep it on all day.