Received my DUAL HDMI - Initial impressions

Hi Tablo, I downloaded the update, and taken it for a test drive.

I can report that the update is a huge improvement over the previous version. The guide runs better and a few other problems that I didn’t detail here have been fixed.

I want to very clearly state that I appreciate how Tablo has handled this situation. I received some off line emails, and the new version has been delivered in short order. So, thank you Tablo !!

Bearing in mind my appreciation noted above, I will comment that the entire DUAL HDMI has gone from nearly unusable to just OK. I still don’t like how the guide works. Trying to dynamically load program info as the channels are scrolled, and holding the up or down button on the remote will still over run the ability of the unit to process. When scrolling up or down past too many stations the show titles will still eventually be blank and the cursor stops moving. If the user let’s off the up or down button and waits a second or 2 the unit will catch up, the show title will fill in on the grid, then the show info will populate in the area above the grid, and finally one can continue up or down to find the channel you want.

I would still prefer the following:

  1. Eliminate the show info area at the top of the grid
  2. Stop dynamic data population, just show the title of each show in each grid cell
  3. Allow moving up and down a page at a time (This would REALLY be nice)
  4. If I want to see info about the show I’ll click into it.

So, again, THANK YOU for your prompt response. Because of this update I will keep my DUAL HDMI, I was seriously planning to return it if no update was available before my 30 day trial expired.

I am hoping that software enhancements continue in the future. Maybe someday I will create a post of all the software changes I would like to see :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

1 Like

Glad to hear you’re enjoying the update!

Just like all Tablo DVRs, new firmware updates will keep coming for the Tablo DUAL HDMI. We still have a lot of things we want to add so the update velocity for HDMI will be a bit faster than on the networked DVRs for the next little while.

(That being said, an update for networked DVRs is coming in early 2021 so we haven’t forgotten about everyone else!)

And we always appreciate feedback and suggestions. In fact, it’s about time for our next customer survey so stay tuned!

I just received my Tablo Dual HDMI. I am transitioning from a Channel Master DVR+

Here is my Tablo:

  • the latest firmware 2.2.31 (2033219) as of Dec 2.
  • Western Digital Purple WD82PURZ 8TB hard disk in an OWC Mercury Elite Pro USB3 case.
  • I have a Stacker antenna on the roof (from dennysantennaservice).
  • the Tablo connects to my Denon 3600 AV receiver via HDMI.
  • Tablo audio is set to Passthrough (the HDMI to my Receiver).
  • ethernet connection (Tablo WiFi is turned OFF).
  • my antenna is pointed at the Walnut Grove, California, antenna farm (near Sacramento).

The installation process was straight forward and the Tablo came up quickly. The setup process was fine, but it saw that new firmware was available and downloaded it. I had to re-turn off WiFi after this firmware update. Note sure if that is typical, or just due to the update during initialization.

The initial 24-hour guide population process took 8 minutes. The rest of the 14-day guide was populated in the background. I assume there is initial overhead for this first acquisition since 8 minutes seems really slow for simple text info.

The Tablo found 58 channels. Of those, I selected 34 channels to go into the Guide. See my channel comparison comments below about DVR+ vs. Tablo. The bottom line is that both units found the same channel portfolio and signal strengths seem comparable. A viewing test of some of the weaker Tablo channels demonstrated that they were indeed watchable so to first order the Tablo receiver seems comparable to the DVR+ receiver.

The Tablo CH+ remote’s channel-to-channel flip time is 4-7 seconds and feels painfully slow. The DVR+ time using CH+ on its remote control is 2-3 seconds.

My lowest RF channel is RF9 (6.1, PBS) which corresponds to the 2nd longest elements on my antenna. On the DVR+ recordings, this channel is sometimes blocky/pixelated due to signal issues. In watching the Tablo for a bit on this channel, there is some pixelation.

The Guide scrolling of the Tablo is very responsive, but it doesn’t pre-populate the entire Guide. It only populates when you get to a blank portion of the Guide.

At this point, I am happy with my Tablo Dual HDMI. It seems like a lateral move from my DVR+ and is functional. Compared to other products that I considered (Tivo Edge, Amazon Recast, etc.) I especially like that the Tablo has an HDMI connector and outputs the full-resolution broadcast stream. And I like that it works with my 8TB hard disk. Colors are vibrant and the picture is sharp. The sound is good but I wish that the Tablo would map broadcast stereo into 5.1 (or the 7.1 that I have). It sounds hollow just in stereo.

Action items for the Tablo developers:

How do I disable the Screensaver? There isn’t a choice for OFF. There should be.

The 14-day guide needs a Search function. As-is, trying to find shows is a treasure hunt.

Need to add the “name contains” function that the DVR+ has for specifying recordings. This is extremely useful.

the Guide should pre-populate the entire 14-day window with text. Not wait to populate until someone scrolls to a blank portion of the Guide.

Here is a comparison of the Channel Master DVR+ (135R) receiver with the Tablo Dual HDMI (2.2.31) receiver with my antenna and distance from the broadcast antenna farm. The DVR+ quotes signal strength (0-100) and signal quality (0-100). The Tablo quotes number of dots (1 to 5).

Each channel is shown that the units auto-scanned. The DVR+ was measured from 4:00 to 4:40pm (it took awhile to write down all of the numbers). The Tablo was measured from 5:20 to 5:35pm. Same RF cable, antenna, etc. since I moved the various cables from the DVR+ to the Tablo then went through its initial start-up sequence.

Both units found the same channels and the signal levels seem to correlate.

    DVR+             Tablo Dual HDMI
    3.1 100 100      3-1 *****
    3.2  100 100     3-2 *****
    6.1  100 52      6-1 *****
    6.2 100 59       6-2 *****
    6.3 100 62       6-3 *****
    6.4 100 62       6-4 *****
   10.1 100 59      10-1 *****
   10.2 100 59      10-2 *****
   10.3 100 58      10-3 *****
   10.4  100 59     10-4 *****
   13.1 100 100     13-1 *****
   13.2 100 100     13-2 *****
   13.3 100 100     13-3 *****
   19.1 100 100     19-1 *****
   19.2 100 100     19-2 *****
   19.3 100 100     19-3 *****
   19.4 100 100     19-4 *****
   23.1 94 100      23-1 *****
   24.1 81 79       24-1 *****
   24.2 82 79       24-2 *****
   24.3 80 83       24-3 *****
   29.1 100 62      29-1 *****
   29.2 100 59      29-2 *****
   29.3 100 57      29-3 *****
   29.4 100 62      29-4 *****
   29.5 100 65      29-5 *****
   29.6 100 62      29-6 *****
   30.1 71 38       30-1 ***
   30.2 71 41       30-2 ***
   30.3 72 39       30-3 ***
   31.1 100 100     31-1 *****
   31.2 100 100     31-2 *****
   31.3 100 100     31-3 *****
   31.4 100 100     31-4 *****
   31.5 100 100     31-5 *****
   33.2 100 73      33-2 *****
   34.1 100 49      34-1 ***
   34.2 100 50      34-2 ***
   38.1 77 0        38-1 *
   38.2 80 0        38-2 *
   38.3 81 0        38-3 *
   38.4 84 0        38-4 *
   38.5 85 0        38-5 *
   40.1 100 100     40-1 *****
   40.2 100 100     40-2 *****
   40.3 100 100     40-3 *****
   40.4 100 100     40-4 *****
   51.1 81 61       51-1 ***
   51.2 80 62       51-2 ***
   51.3 81 55       51-3 ***
   51.4 77 58       51-4 ***
   58.1 100 100     58-1 *****
   58.2 100 100     58-2 *****
   58.3 100 100     58-3 *****
   64.1 100 100     64-1 *****
   64.2 100 100     64-2 *****
   64.3 100 100     64-3 *****
   64.4 100 100     64-4 *****

Note that the various 38.x and 38-x channels had a black screen on both the DVR+ and the Tablo. There is no channel 33.1 nor 33-1.

The one that stands out are the 6.x channels. I feel that the DVR+ metric is more appropriate than the Tablo metric (based on my previous viewing experiences). This channel can sometimes be problematic for me and Tablo’s 5-stars doesn’t jive with DVR+'s more appropriate signal quality metric of 52 to 62.

Update at 8:16pm: channel 6.1 has broken up on the Tablo and it suspends viewing and presents a popup box. I keep hitting Resume and it keeps presenting the popup box. This popup box is useless… The DVR+ was always more graceful and would just keep trying. So originally when the Tablo scanned, channel 6.1 was 5 green dots, now it presents a Weak Signal popup box that requires continual button pressing.



I agree that the channel to channel flip, and even selecting the first channel to play upon entering the live grid is slow. I remember the DVR+ as being instantaneous

At first I felt the same way, but the “TV Shows” screen is so nice that once you get used to it a search function doesn’t seem necessary. Say for example you want to find “Nash Bridges”. Enter the “TV Shows” screen and scroll down to the “N” section (which is painfully slow) and then you will see every show that starts with an “N” in alphabetical order, regardless of what channel it is on. It’s really a pretty nice way to find any show that is anywhere on the current 14 day guide. Of course the “Movies” and “Sports” screens do the same thing for those filtered items.

Preach Brother… :slight_smile: Most of my comments in this thread are about the data population and speed of the grid.

I agree 1000%. What the heck is the purpose of the “failed to decode audio” error message, and why do I have to click “Retry” ?? Just have the unit recover and continue. If there is a problem with the quality of the audio (or video) and I find the the signal quality is low, I can decide if the problem is bad enough to remove that channel. Also, I sometimes get that error on the strongest station in my area, that doesn’t make any sense to me.

I much prefer that live signal strength and quality meters that the DVR+ provided. Thank goodness I had the DVR+ when I set up the antenna I’m currently using. I was up on the roof and my wife monitored the signal meters for various channels. We talked via cell phone and I was able to accurately position my antenna for the best signal across several channels. That can’t be done with the Tablo.

Send us one of these in the meantime:

ChannelMaster discontinued the DVR+ a few years ago

I have 2 ChannelMaster DVR+ devices at my house in the country, the older one is having lots of issues, the newer one is still OK.

So when I needed another OTA DVR device at an apartment I have in the city, I first tried Sling’s AirTV.

Total waste of time.

Then I got the TabloTV Quad and love it.

When TabloTV came out with the Dual HDMI box I got really interested, to replace the older DVR+ at the house.

I constantly have to program in the shows ALREADY programmed in the DVR+ device. and even after that effort, sometimes the shows “added to the series” don’t record.

Looking at the Dual HDMI very closely, but holding off until I get a better feel for it. I really appreciate SteveB’s posts and videos.


So we will PAY for the 14 day Guide but only use the free 24 hour Guide data?

Just like the network Tablos, the 14 day guide is used mainly in the Prime Time, Tv Shows, Sports, Movies, etc sections. It makes it easy to find a show and set up a recurring or one-time schedule.

Even if your turn off the 14 day live TV grid, the 14 day guide data is available in another aspects of the UI as snowcat explained above.

I also had a DVR+ and just bought a Tablo Dual HDMI. See my comparison above between the two.

At this point, the receiver in the DVR+ appears to be better (more sensitive) than the receiver in the Tablo Dual HDMI. A fringe channel (that I watch a lot) on the DVR+ is less watchable on the Tablo. The Tablo reports it as 5 green dots; although I suspect that it is reporting signal strength, not signal quality. And it is signal quality that breaks-up the picture. I already have the best antenna, so I just bought a lower-noise antenna preamp and will climb up on the roof and try that this weekend to see if that helps the Tablo.

Other than that, I think that many of the remaining issues can be addressed by Tablo via firmware updates.


Thank you. I’m debating doing a full video review of all the screens and what I do and don’t like about each of them. I think the DUAL HDMI has potential, I’d like to see it develop into a mature product.

I really need a search feature. The alphabetical list of shows is painful. And I can’t find what I am looking for. For example, PBS has a series called Secrets of the Dead. It isn’t in the alphabetical list, so I can’t set it to record. I checked the internet, and there aren’t any airings in the near future. So basically, I need to check the Internet every two weeks to see when the next show occurs, then find it in the Tablo Dual HDMI list, then set it to record.

This is where the DVR+ shines – I could tell it to record shows even when they didn’t appear in the list. I would use the “name contains” option, type in “Secrets of the Dead”, and it would look for it.

The DVR+ needs the ability to record shows that don’t appear in the 2-week guide.



The DUAL HDMI interface doesn’t have a search function at all?

Nope, no search feature. We have to look through the alphabetical listing. This is a problem for shows such as “The Flash” – should it appear in “T” or “F” ? The Tablo Dual HDMI seems to ignore “the”, so it would appear in “F”. Ditto for “The Real” that appears in “R”.


Do you have a Roku? The Roku interface has a search function when you go under “TV Shows”. A Roku can connect to the DUAL HDMI over the local network.

I don’t have a Roku. My Tablo Dual HDMI connects directly to my TV via the HDMI cable. I only use the ethernet cable for the Dual HDMI guide updates.


I mentioned previously that I was installing a new preamp. I now have a Winegard LNA200 in the BT1000 configuration. So it talks to an App that shows signal strength for each channel. I should have the preamp at the antenna terminals, but I have a 20-foot length of low-loss cable there to keep the preamp out of the elements.

According to the App, Ch 6.1 (KVIE, RF9) is 20 dBm signal-to-noise (SNR). I tried it with the built-in distribution amp on and off. It didn’t affect the SNR but the picture seemed more stable. With it on, it breaks up a little after 8pm. With it off, it doesn’t break-up as much after 8pm.

Now, using this App, I’ll be up on the roof this weekend to try pointing my antenna a little better.


The preamp can be outside, install it at the antenna mast. Install the power injector inside of course.

Yes, but I prefer to have it down where I can get to it. I’ve gone through 4 preamps now. The antenna went up once, and will only come down when the wind knocks it down :slight_smile:

So I don’t have access to “up there”. The preamp is in the attic at the end of the antenna’s 20-foot coax cable. That is as close as I can conveniently get. The output of the preamp goes to the 80-foot coax run to the living room.