This multiple display device, ROKU, NP, yadda, yadda, business is the weakness of the Tablo. There is no standard device which we can rely on to have the optimum inter-operability between the DVR portion and the display device. The Tablo becomes a victim of any change or update the device supplier sees fit to release. Table is always in a catching up mode.
A Tablo supplied device/feature such as a HDMI port in the Tablo would serve as the reference device/feature for testing & interface and put an end to this jumping thru the various hoops of have you tried this or that. It would also allow reduced programming costs for the Tablo company as they would have end to end control of the recording to display chain.
Allowing the Tablo to interface with other devices would keep the hobbiest happy and meet their needs for alternate interface platforms.
You could say the same about Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, Twitch, …
They all run on multiple platforms: Roku; Android; MS Windows; MacOS; PlayStation; XBox; …
They all have to deal with OS changes on each platform.
I would love everything to only be available for Roku, and those Roku apps to be optimized to the nth degree.
That would make me very happy.
I don’t think everyone who didn’t already have a Roku would be though.
The lack of any reference that is stable over time makes it impossible to judge the quality of the Tablo. Without this there will always be finger pointing in all different directions. Is it the Tablo? Is it the network? Is it the DD? If it were fitted with a HDMI port, a clearly defined standard of an interface used for communicating between devices or came with a Tablo display device(DD) one could refer to this to see if all is well in Tablo land.
I just want to be able to have a solution for my family that will reliably record our programs and allow us to watch them without any other hassles. Right now it isn’t the case.
Eckhard has a point though. The Tablo’s performance is only going to be as good as what ever device it’s playing through.
If my issue is with my Roku (or other device) then I’m going to base my experience on Tablo and not the device that’s interfacing it with my screen (TV, phablet or PC)
I would like to see future Tablos with the option for HDMI, or even better, their own propriety wireless HDMI interface so one could eliminate issues that may be caused by content devices.
In my case, I don’t think I can blame Roku solely as the issue goes away (or is at least abated) when I stop the playback and restart. Note: I am NOT restarting the Tablo app or Roku, only the recording.
This is not to say that it isn’t indeed Roku’s issue.
That said, while I can and have watched content from my Tablo on my phablet and PC, I don’t often do so as I don’t see the need to stream when I’m not home and when home, there isn’t a need to.
Tablo has asked me if I get the same issues while watching from my android/other but I can only honestly respond that I don’t often do that and don’t notice issues as it’s not a constant problem.
If you want a DVR with HDMI there are other options. Personally I’m not interested in a DVR with HDMI nor do I wish to see hardware embedded into the DVR for HDMI. Tablo has made a business choice that people agree with and if you don’t, there are other options (other DVRs one can buy with HDMI). Don’t see the need for encumbering the Tablo with additional hardware. Adding things just adds complexity and doors for more problems. Plus users have devices that present no problems at all for a Tablo.
“The Tablo’s performance is only going to be as good as what ever device it’s playing through.”
That’s only partially correct. The Tablo’s performance is going to be as good as the user’s reception (antenna) as well. Pixelation and stuttering occur from a stream’s signal quality (SNR) and error rate.
Most tuners will even abandon recording shows when the error rate of a stream is too high. My Hauppauge PC tuner will kick out of a show if the signal is below a certain quality for a continuous period of time. GIGO applies to reception\recording…
I got the same response from them when I was dealing with my Chromecast devices (no flames please everyone, just trying to contribute to the discussion!). They asked me to try this that and the other. Even suggested going out and buying a Roku and that’s when I got frustrated. Stop telling me to try everything under the sun till I find something that works. I bought the Tablo based on your specs of the device and tried to integrate into my ecosystem. I’m not trying to build an ecosystem from scratch around the Tablo. Tablo’s strength is also it’s Achilles’s heal. Should Roku suddenly make a change to their device a lot of folks are gonna be unhappy.
@ Ursan and @Eckhard have very good points. A reference point or line in the sand needs to be defined that other access methods are defined against.
I am seeing this same issue while watching recorded shows… However I was able to do a few other tests. We were watching a recorded show on NBC and it got to the point of almost not being watchable. First thing I did was check the antenna. I had a similar issue in the past and found that my connection was not 100%. Connection was fine…
Next I loaded up a live stream of NBC and it was perfect. No issues what so ever. The last thing that I checked was the same recorded episode on my Iphone and it was also skipping. Maybe not as bad, but still there.
These were all done at different times since the recording was from the previous day, so I can not be 100% sure that it was not a weather related issue. But to me it seemed like this was a Tablo issue… Not a streaming device although the roku may have inflated the issues. I will try to watch a live recording along with recording it to see if there is any difference in playback. Also a note I have not updated firmware yet. Once I get the alert I will give that a shot too.
What is the SNR of your antenna stream? When asked most people respond, “My TV is getting the feed without problems.” That however is not a good enough response because a TV is not doing the same functionality as a DVR. One can get an antenna feed at 50% (17 db or so) SNR and still have a viable picture. But a DVR may croak on that low figure (example my Hauppauge tuner\recorder does exactly that whereas the Samsung TV succeeds).
What exactly is the SNR for a user when he encounters problems? That is the only scientific way of measuring DVR performance, not a “well my TV is getting the signal OK.”
BTW weather may or may not have something to do with antenna performance. That is a holdover from the satellite dish days where rain fade occurs. My antennas perform great right through storm\rainy weather. In fact RF signal propogation is best on cloudy days, not on clear, sunny days.
Funny how people will spend $100 a month on cable (over a thousand dollars a year) but when they cut the cord they look for a skimpy $30 antenna…and expect cable type performance.
Alright, before you start beating people up on technical jargon, let’s remember what your average user base is here. Most people don’t have that kind of knowledge on RF technology and Antennas let alone know what SNR stands for (I asked my wife and she said “still no response?”). They only know what they can see and if they see that it’s working fine directly from antenna to TV they just assume it’s going to work the same going in to the Tablo.
@TabloFan shared some good info but you’re right that it’s not something the Average Joe would know. He’s just trying to explain that there are a lot of factors involved in a good quality signal.
Noise can corrupt the broadcast signal creating unwatchable recordings. We’ve seen people add an amplifier to a crummy antenna hoping for better performance only to have it amplify the noise along with the bad signal, actually making things worse.
Or they use a super powerful antenna because ‘it must be better’ even though they only live 2 miles from the broadcast antennas and wind up actually overdriving the tuner in the Tablo.
Sometimes a signal can be on the hairy edge of this cliff meaning the TV’s single tuner will get it OK most of the time with occasional drop outs but the Tablo realizing the signal is marginal, either won’t pick it up (because it’s not good enough for recording) or if you get it on a ‘good day’ will mark it as not being full strength in the channel scan.
The symptoms @Ursan described sound either like a signal issue or a hard drive issue. @TabloSupport would be happy to check and confirm if you send in a ticket.
But that’s not realistic and that’s not life. A doctor may ask you how you feel but in the final analysis he’s going to base his diagnosis on some scientific measurements. A car mechanic will do a set of tests in many cases using testing equipment to get measurements. So eyeballing a problem is not definitive in most situations.
“And if they see that it’s working fine directly from antenna to TV they just assume it’s going to work the same going in to the Tablo.”
Perhaps that assumption has to be re-examined and explained why it is not the case in many situations. For example a 100 yard sprint in track and field is not the same as a 200 yard one; in most cases the 100 yard runner doesn’t win a 200 yard race because that extra little distance changes the mechanics of running. However most people assume that running 100 yards is the same as running 200 yards in a race. Similarly DVRs and televisions behave differently although they share the same features.
My Samsung TV processes the antenna signal when my Samsung STB doesn’t at times. Both have the same chipset and were bought the same year - from the same company. Why? I’ve seen this behavior time and again over the past 20 years and have seen others write about this phenomenon.
Tablo has an excellent tuner (based on the industrial specs I have seen) but place a tuner chipset inside a box full of other circuitry and the tuner’s persona changes. I have a Hauppauge tuner which is marvelous; I bought a Hauppauge recorder box which uses that Hauppauge tuner and it is wretched! Wha happened??? Same chipset!
TabloFan, as I’ve mentioned, this issue has nothing to do with my Antenna. It’s a playback issue, as I’ve mentioned. The signal from this particular station is strong. Tablo doesn’t numerically define the signal strength, but my TV receiver places this channel on average over 85%.
As I’ve mentioned, if I stop the playback and restart, the issue goes away. This leads me to believe that this isn’t a reception issue. The playback otherwise has no pixelization or artifacts. The motion just stops while the audio continues while the video portion will update one frame at a time ever 40-50 frames or so. (~1 per second or two).