Recording failed due to weak signal - new

We’ve used Tablo for years and suddenly half our shows aren’t recording. Nothing has changed on our end. What causes this? Do OTA antennas need to be replaced every few years?


The antenna, probably not. The cable to the antenna, maybe.

Where is the antenna mounted? Are there trees near it that have grown past it? This time of year is when you’ll really notice it if trees come into leaf near the antenna.

Bad weather could move the antenna.

There’s the repack too.

This is a ByOne antenna. The cable and antenna are all one unit.
There are NO trees in our area. New development.
The antenna is mounted high on a window.
There was no rain or snow at the time of the failed recording.
Most of our recordings are for CBS and I checked and it shows 5 green dots for signal strength.

Not sure what we know the 5 green dots actually show. Strength and quality are 2 different metrics. Tablo shows me 5 green dots on stations I know are unwatchable. But to be fair, my TVs ALL scan those stations and add them to the list as well.

I’m looking for ideas on what to do. Recording has worked fine until recently. Now its very uncertain. Nothing has changed in my environment.

I checked for CBS where we having the problems. There is a co-channel warning. See below and attached.

Our ByOne OTA is mounted high on a window about 10-12 off the ground. It’s heading is 180 degrees which is not too far off from the 153 degrees below.

There is no split signal and I’m not using any extra amplifier.

We are in a 1 story house and the OTA is up as high as possible on the window. The TV and Tablo are also right by this window.

We’re not opposed to buying a new OTA if that will help.

WIVB-DT (Digital)

Channel: 39 (4.1)
Network: CBS
Maximum ERP: 790.000 kW
Coordinates: 42.659227 -78.625581

Effective ERP: 790.000 kW (Adjusted according to your location)
Distance: 28.3 miles Azimuth: 142 degrees Compass: 153 degrees

“There are a few changes you can make to improve your Tablo’s reception:

Make sure the antenna is as high up as possible.

Try to avoid splitting the coaxial connection - there is a significant DB loss to the signal when you split the connection.

Reference to ensure that your antenna is pointed in correct direction.

Here’s a link on optimal antenna placement:

Shorten your coaxial cable; the longer the cable, the more lossy the connection will become.

Conduct frequent channel scans to test your changes (Settings > Edit channel lineup > Rescan)”

TVFool has incorrect information for that station. You’re in the same market as me.
Channel 4 moved from the southtowns I think over a year ago. They transmit from Grand Island from the same tower as channel 23 (the CW) and are on RF 32 with CW.
If your antenna faces 180 degrees, it would need 145 degrees of effective beam width to get the stations from Grand Island. (CBS, PBS, CW, Fox)
Right now the southtowns towers have channel 2, 7, and 49. And notice channel 7 is entirely missing from tvfool’s prediction.

Aaaand… I just noticed you’re ON Grand Island :smiley:… you’re so close to those towers you could be over driving your tuners. How are channels 2, 7, and 49 coming in for you?

We record 99% of what we watch and almost all of that is CBS or CW. There have been problems with not recording on both, but the majority of problems is CBS. But about half the CBS recordings work. And when it fails it doesn’t seem to be weather related.

What does over driving your tuners mean and how would you correct it?

I disconnected the antenna from the Tablo and connected directly to our Samsung Smart TV and scanned.

There is a blue bar/line which I think shows signal strength and it looks like about 9 out of 10 for CBS, so it seems strong.

OK, I have Samsung TVs too.
You went to Menu -> Support -> Self Diagnosis -> Signal Information… ?
Mine has a 1 through 10 sort of meter for signal strength and also shows SNR and that number updates constantly.
Do you have that? I know some models may show it differently.

Because you have your tablo for years it could be the power supply to your tablo going bad or the hard drive.

Sorry… I missed this question…
Overdriving your tuners basically means they’re getting too much signal. Too strong. Sometimes, too much of a good thing is still a good thing, but not when it comes to antennas. :slight_smile:
I saw a good analogy about this… it’s kind of like when you turn your music up REALLY LOUD!!!.. so loud that it starts to distort and either your ears or your equipment can’t handle it. If your tuners get too much signal it can distort and then the tuner begins to reject it.

You are SO close to those Grand Island towers that it puts you at risk for overdriving. Your 1ByOne antenna … is it the amplified one?
If yes, remove the amplifier and see if this improves your situation.
If it isn’t the amplified one, AND if you’re overdriving, then one easy way to cut the signal strength a bit would be to add a splitter. A 4-way splitter will cut your signal strength quite a bit. A 2-way splitter, not as much. Ideally you’d want to put terminators on the unused ports of the splitter, but if you try a 2-way splitter you can just run the “extra” port to your TV.

If you’re not overdriving your tuners, then none of this is helpful, but I think that’s a pretty fair explanation of overdriving.

My recordings all started failing since the most recent upgrade. They have NEVER failed before. They would record even when the signal was bad with tiling issues. I’ve had no reception issues lately yet the recordings all are failing.

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Are they failing with reception errors? If they are, try running a channel scan to get an updated look at your antenna’s reception. Don’t hesitate to give us a shout, either.

I get 2 tabs for the show I wanted to record which both say the “Recording failed due to weak signal". I just got done watching a news show live on NBC which came in crystal clear yet the recording failed. The only change in my system has been your firmware upgrade. I have NEVER had a failed recording since I bought this system.

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Same issue since update some recordings fail due to weak signal rescan and then those stations do show up.
After latest update is when this started.

I was having an issue with one channel after the recent update.

Contacted support and Clark told me: “We believe this is a coincidence. Nothing in the update interacted with the devices tuners.”

I then contacted the station engineer. He told me: " Lately, I’ve spent a lot of time at our WKCF transmitter site with the install of a new channel 23 transmitter for the upcoming ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard going into effect on January 17th. So have kept a close eye on our current WKCF transmitter readings and signal analysis just due to it’s proximity. Haven’t noticed any changes of late. Forward power remains at 100%. Pilot frequency within a few hertz of perfect. The tower here has also seen much activity in preparation for this upcoming FCC mandated frequency repack . But nothing that affects WKCF. Yet."

But, after my contact with the engineer the problem disappeared. Coincidence or maybe he realized there was some issue. Channel problem had nothing to do with Tablo.

Ok my issue is channels disappeared after update and failing to record. What happened is was watching live channel on Tablo and after show move to settings saw the update did the update then went back to channel and it said weak signal along with 3 other ones.

@tksmith2 Open a ticket. They may ask you to put unit in heartbeat mode so they can look at what’s going on…

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