Proximity to Antenna or Modem/Router?

I am cutting the cord this week! I’m trying to determine this best set-up location for my Tablo considering my antenna and modem locations. Am I better off (as far as both TV channel reception and streaming performance) having my 4 tuner Tablo sit on the 2nd floor of my house with my Clearstream 4v antenna (and thus connected to antenna and Winegard lnas200 preamplifier via very minimal coax footage) but connected to my 7M home internet network via WiFi, or am I better off with my Tablo in the living room connected physically to my modem/router via Ethernet hard connection but connected to my antenna/preamplifier via much longer coax run (coax would run from 2nd floor down to basement and then back up to 1st floor living room)? Note: I will be viewing Tablo live and recorded content via Amazon Fire Stick in living room.

That is a hard one to answer due to the vagaries of OTA antenna reception. All things being equal, if you can get a clean, strong OTA signal to the Tablo, having it hard-wired to your LAN is best. If the trade off in having a longer OTA coax run is a weak signal, then you are probably better off putting it where the OTA signal is strong and seeing if WiFi is sufficient to work without issues. You could always do a powerline ethernet run to get a hard-wired solution to the location close to your antenna.
WiFi simply isn’t the best choice for connecting Tablo, but if your WiFi is solid, it will work. Just adds a variable that you’ll have to potentially manage.

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What would be considered a “strong” signal?

Well, one way to tell is to run your channel scan with Tablo…If it looks like this, you have a strong signal…

Also, I do have the option of moving my modem/router up next to antenna on 2nd floor, but I was advised (not on this site) that the WiFi router would prob cause interference issues with OTA signal and that they shouldn’t be near one another. Is that incorrect?

I’m sure you can find an example where it does for some reason, but no, it really shouldn’t be a problem. They are different frequencies and unless the router is sitting on top of the antenna, it shouldn’t be a problem (and really shouldn’t be a problem if you had the router sitting on the antenna!).
My Tablo happily lives about 10 feet away from a wireless access point (Tablo is hard-wired) and my attic antenna is literally directly above the access point, again maybe 10 vertical feet, and has been rock solid.

Sweet. I think I’ll def give that a try first then, having antenna, modem/router, and Tablo altogether on 2nd floor. Thank you!

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I think that is a great choice to start with…
Fine tune as needed, but hopefully, you’ll be all set.

For what its worth I kept my Tablo as close to where the antenna comes into the house … the tablo itself is using an ethernet hard wire connection to connect to my home network directly into the router… from there it gets sent out either via wifi from the router or via POWERLINE (ethernet over power) adaptors to the more distant wifi problematic areas of the house (we have two powerline adaptors to send a network connection to the far side of the house and to the family room below ground level)… I figured the weak link in the system is the antenna run from the tablo to the antenna … the rest is just over a digital network and should be far more resilient.

Tablo and router can be in diff rooms.


I would put your Tablo as close to your upstairs antenna as possible.

Connect your Tablo to your router through your AC House wiring using TP-LInk Modules. Then you have no hassle of moving the router.


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I went through the same decision. My Tablo and antenna are on the second floor with my router and I have no problems. I have good wi-fi signal and having all the gear upstairs cleans up the electrical gizmos in my family room.

Depending on how you have it wired and signal strength, you can put the Tablo where you want it. I have 30’ of RG6 coax between my first splitter ( 4 way 7db loss) and my antenna/. preamp and all but one of my channels are all green dots. All of my tech stuff is located in my basement so it’s not cluttering up the living room.

If I split it differently or had a 4 tuner tablo as my only connected device I’d have twice as much signal strength.

I originally avoided a long 70 foot coax run from my antenna to my 4 tuner Tablo, based on an ~90% - 10dB combined less between the Tablo 4 way splitter and attenuation of the transmission line. In this configuration I had about 70 foot of ethernet cable (CAT5E) between my router and Tablo.

In an attempt to reduce / eliminate frequent crashes / reboots of my Roku players, I shortened the ethernet cable from ~70 ft to about 2 ft. This forced me to add about 70 feet of coax to go from the relocated Tablo to the antenna, dropping signal strength and no longer receiving 2 TV channels in the process. The penalty of fewer channels was justified by a reduction in reboots.

I bring up this trade-off only because I originally optimized my set-up based on RF / signal strength considerations but ultimately needed to trade this for stability, a much needed benefit. Clearly WiFi -connected Tablos may have an analagous issue, where short antenna feedlines combined with long WiFi distances will gain channels at the expense of latency / stability, and conversely, will suffer antenna signal attenuation and channel loss if long feedlines are used to get the router and Tablo in close WiFi proximity.


Could a low noise (< 1 db noise) variable gain pre-amp at the antenna such as a Kitztech help? The variable gain control would help in case of signal overload for the stronger channels.

Yes, and I have used Winegard, Channel Master, and Pasternak ultra low NF preamps for years to improve performance when big splitter and cable losses are encountered. I am hoping to restore my prior short coax long ethernet configuration after the reboot issue has been fixed, and may also do some additional redesign with a 2nd Tablo on a separate antenna with optimal pointing for my Canadian channels.

Even very good GaAsFET preamps intruduce phase distortion, VSWR mismatchs, and often sacrifice MER for signal strength, so some channels improve while others degrade. I personally put the real emphasis and bucks into antennas and pointing and try to maximize both, using a preamp only if neccesary.


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I’d be curious Larry about your second antenna for the second Tablo. How would you position it with respect to the first one? I have a vertical stack of ChannelMaster 4228s joined through a two port power tapper (not a splitter) that has only 0.2 db insertion loss.

I live in a suburban area near Buffalo New York, and have two clusters of channels, American broadcasters to the south and Canadian broadcasters to the north

My DVR system for the last 11 years was a PC based system with two tuner cards, each connected to a separate antenna. The software for the system segregated my recordings into those from the Canadian channels which were recorded on tuner card 1 with the north facing antenna, and the American channels were recorded on tuner card 2 with the second antenna. The two antennas were positioned many wavelengths apart to avoid lobe formation / phased arrays.

I have not yet gained enough confidence with Tablo to purchase a second unit, disk drive, etc. given my reboot issue, but would hope to do so in the near future if this problem is solved.

From an engineering perspective, I would hope to locate each Tablo very close to its respective antenna, and use the four tuner box where I have more programming and stronger signals from the US, and use the two tuner box where I have weaker signals and fewer programming events. It will be a bit of a hassle managing 2 separate systems, but will restore the variety of programming which my wife and I enjoyed for over 10 years with our Sage PVR.

I also recommend a hard wired Tablo as it eliminates any potential performance issues on your LAN, but if you can’t do it then place your tablo where it will get the best wifi reception. Option is to also use power line adapters as suggested by others.

For instance take a look at your wireless RSSI and Noise values … RSSI is received signal strength indication and is usually from 0 to -100 scale. That scale shows the loss of the signal from the AP thus the closer to 0 the better. Normal very usable RSSI is around -50 to -60 if you have more loss than that you may see slowed connectivity.

Noise is just that, how much unusable signal is present. Noise comes from any RF source. The higher the negative number the better.

Do you have a microwave? If it is used while using Tablo with WiFi, it could cause some problems depending on the distance between them. But you being an engineer most likely knew that already.