Questions/Answers for a new cord cutter

You can experience issues related to antenna reception, network, hard drive, electrical interference, and power supply to name a few. These can manifest themselves as pixelation, failed recordings and reboots causing split recordings. Your best bet is to invest in the following in order of importance:

  1. Quality antenna, cabling, and placement typically outside or in the attic.
  2. Solid network with your Tablo connected directly via ethernet.
  3. If possible avoid WIFI for your streaming devices but if you must use WIFI, ensure a good connection.
  4. Quality Hard Drive, consider a device with a separate power supply.
    Good Luck!
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If you don’t plan to use it as a “smart” TV, you might just as well leave it disconnected. Maybe check for an upgrade, probably just for the part you’re not using or timezone updates.

But if there’s not real need for it, one less device for no reason taking WiFi space and open your TV up for data mining… if that matters. Of course Amazon already knows more than anyone can ever image, but why give more than necessary?

bbaorbb hit most of the typical trouble spots but I’ll add a comment… I think you can overdo the antenna end of this. I’m surprised that Tablo doesn’t have better AGC (Automatic Gain Control) circuitry. I live over 50 miles from the tower arrays that cover Houston. I have a small yagi in the attic so when I had reception issues, I ASSUMED I needed more signal and tried a line amplifier. To make a long story short, I finally not only removed the amplifier but put a 3dB attenuator between the Tablo and the antenna and ALMOST all my reception issues went away. I RARELY have a broken recording and contrary what others report, I have NEVER seen a reboot due to signal. I’d say don’t get too hung up on perfect, high signal. With digital, Tablo seems to be happiest with “adequate” but certainly not high signal strength.

Interesting. I had not thought of the smart tv’s using up wifi capacity. I have both tv’s connected to the network and just might take them off as you suggested.


Also interesting. This is really beyond my level of techie knowledge and I guess I will have to wait until I have my system hooked up to see what my reception is like and if an attenuator is required.


So, I was considering STACKTV so that we can access channels not available OTA. I read a review and many folks complained of constant commercials. Will the Tablo commercial skip eliminate this issue or does it only work on OTA channels?


Tablo today is an OTA only device. It only works with OTA broadcast television. And the commercial elimination works fairly well.

So, my experiences with Rogers and Cogeco were that their DVR’s were not forever. We replaced 3 DVR’s in 14 years with Cogeco and 1 DVR with Rogers in 2 years with them. All their issues were related to the hard drive packing it in. With that said, what is the situation with Tablo units as far as reliability goes? If it conks out, how do you get it repaired? I sincerely hope that won’t happen but electronics do mess up from time to time. I realize that with the Quad 1TB unit I would just have to replace the hard drive if it quit and start again but I am thinking of the Tablo unit itself.

I am also surprised that there have not been more posts on this thread about problems as the General Discussion section of this forum is filled with people having issues. Is it just a case of hearing only the bad news and not hearing about the majority having good experiences?


Another question:

Do I need Amazon Prime on my Firestick in order to sign up for STACKTV and ACORN or can I do that without paying $7.99/ month to Amazon?


From what I read, STACK is only available through Amazon Prime channels. I don’t know about Acorn.

I know there are positive comments… but my take on things, if you’re happy with (any) a device you spent a lot of money one - you’re enjoying the experience and not spending time telling everyone “Hey I really like this, a whole lot!” …although a lot of us do to some degree or another.

Have you posted about how wonderful your new TV is in the manufacturers community/support forum? microwave? phone? IoT smart devices? etc? I’m not sure if Fire TV is synonymous with Prime Video, so you’ll need to ask and/or research.

I have Acorn via Amazon Channels, have discovered Amazon limits HD viewing to Win/Mac (proprietary OSs only) - though virtually all browser are supported accross platforms. So I’m going to move to pure AcornTV

Well, I’m sure it’s negligible. Just my point, connecting it just for the sake of having it connected is …why. Yes, there will of course be data collections. Not that it’ll be an actual burden on your wireless… just another obstacle if/when you’re trying to trouble-shoot an issue.

If there’s a purpose, for you, to have them connected, cool. Otherwise, personally, I’d say it’s pointless and unnecessary. and I may be an alarmists :alien:

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I guess I am trying to get a feel for reliability of the Tablo as it has to be returned for repair/replacement where a Rogers replacement is at my home in 1-2 days from failure via courier. I have a feeling they do last but wanted to hear from some long time users.


Mine are fairly new around here:

  • tablo1

    "inserted": "2018-10-21
  • tablo2 (refurbishes)

    "inserted": "2019-10-24

Both Tablo Dual Lite - 2yrs and 1yr this past Oct and no break downs :heavy_heart_exclamation:

There are many here still running the first generation tablos !!! Since they all run the same firmware, as long as it’s working, there’s not so much of an “upgrade” (although they do use different tuners between generations). Most manufactures have engineered obsolesce.

I’ve had my 4 tuner (pre-Quad) unit for about 5 years. Never a problem that wasn’t related to a bad external disk or USB cable.

I’ve been using the original 2-tuner Tablo DVR since March 2014 with the same WD Elements external hard drive without any issues.

My 4-Tuner has been working flawlessly since November 2017. I did have a drive go bad but no other issues. The issues I have heard related to an actual Tablo problem are either related to a bad/dying power supply which is easily replaced and one of two times I have read in the forum that the coax connector separated from the internal PCB which I’m thinking might have been more an overtightening issue vs. a manufacturing defect.

I purchased my original 2 tuner April 2015. And am still using the same 1tb Fantom Drive external drive that was about 3 years old at the time. I have had very little problems with all of it. If I look at all the other electronic devices in my house I would put my Tablo in the category of top performer. I only remember contacting support once in the earlier days. Ultimately I needed to replace a very old router.

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Thank you to all of you who replied about reliability of the Tablo unit. My experiences with Rogers and Cogeco were always hard drive issues and it gives me comfort that with the Quad 1TB unit I am considering, I would be able to replace the hard drive myself if it conked out. With a new up to date router I think I would have a very good chance of success.