Regular and reoccurring disconnections

Hi folks - sorry to add to the noise here, but would greatly appreciate any help anyone can provide.

I’m in both the fortunate and unfortunate position of having elderly parents live with me. Tablo (or rather, OTA TV) is their life. We cut the cord about a year ago and went with Tablo and Plex. However, since then, we’ve had a constant string of problems with Tablo. And when it has problems, they make sure I have problems, lol.

The reoccurring problem is Tablo becomes “disconnected,” and cannot be reaccessed without pulling the power and resetting.

Our setup:
Tablo 4-tuner
USB Hard drive that works, but isn’t officially on the supported list (an older WD)
Cat6 to the Tablo box
Accessed by a FireTV box, with Cat6 (ie. there is no wifi in this entire configuration)
Statically assigned IP address to the Tablo box

I’ve slowly taken things out of the equation, as it was originally setup on wifi, accessed by a smartv, etc. However, I’m out of options at this point. I don’t know of any other troubleshooting tips, unless you’re going to point to the unapproved hard drive. They rarely use recordings anyway, so is that the next logical step, to remove the HD? I’m not interested in buying an “approved” model if I don’t have to - as I’m highly skeptical.

My last test was watching tablo on their TV, while watching tablo from my PC via my.tablotv.com. It went 4-6 hours (didn’t catch it at the exact time of failure), but eventually failed. I had thought until that point maybe it was an Amazon FireTV problem and had prepared to replace it (it’s an older model). But at this point, I think I can effectively take it out of the equation.

Any other troubleshooting tips I should take before I’m forced to replace Tablo with another solution?

Thanks for any help provided.

A number of us suffer from this phenomenon.

There is speculation that it may have something to do with the recording quality that you set in Tablo - or it may not. You could try, depending on what setting you have and how noticeable another setting’s quality options will be.

It may be that the “best” solution is to connect the Tablo to a smart plug and give your folks an app on their phones that they can power-cycle the Tablo with. :slight_smile:

Some of the more valued posters here have suggested that for my issues I should consider having a defective tablo, or an issue with the HDD - neither of which I know how to identify, since Tablo exposes nothing of that nature in its user interface. Seems you need to put a call in to @TabloSupport for them to instruct you to put your Tablo in remote mode - they then may or may not be able to determine something from inspecting the logs they can access.

Or it may be that the issue is in the Tablo firmware and that a forthcoming revision of the firmware that is now being tested may resolve the issue.

It most often seems to happen on those that use Roku, so you’re out of the norm there.

For myself, since I also have that issue of “if my wife has problems, she makes sure I have problems too”, I was lucky enough that a friend gave me a Tivo Roamio. Now I will tell you the UI on that thing is nowhere near as familiar as the Tablo UI and so that may be a learning curve you will have to deal with.

Since Tivo is a singe-TV solution (unless you buy Tivo mini boxes for the other TVs) you should know that.

finally, there are other single-TV solutions out there that are significantly cheaper. Some folks here have mentioned them, but the names escape me.

Since the least disruptive route is to get your Tablo more relilable, I’d strongly suggest you get @TabloSupport involved first, though.

You may want to try putting the Tablo on its side or putting it on a laptop cooler. I have had mine on its side for the last three years, and it never disconnects.

https://www.tablotv.com/blog/how-warm-should-my-tablo-be/

As an aside, I can’t figure out when the software here puts a little synopsis in the page and when it doesn’t. :frowning:

Hey guys - really appreciate all the feedback!

After I posted here, I stumbled upon the potential for overheating. My Tablo is warm/hot around the RG6 connector. I’ve positioned it on it’s side now, and we’ll see how it holds up. I’ve also ordered a decent USB-powered fan, and will strap that sucker on it here in a few days to see if that improves things at all. It’s located in the ceiling of a basement with good airflow and with no heat sources - but yeah, I guess it could be poor design on Tablo’s part.

Will keep you guys posted. If there are any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them. However, if Family Feud is interrupted one more time, you may not hear from me ever again…lol.

If you already have a Plex server in operation you might add a digital tuner for remote tv viewing. I have one on my Plex unit to “play with” even though my primary DVR is Tablo. Another advantage of this tuner is a more detailed tv signal analyzer program that comes with the win-tv application.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?A=details&O=&Q=&ap=y&c3api=1876%2C{creative}%2C{keyword}&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlYmIuLTQ2AIVl0wNCh367gblEAQYAiABEgKigPD_BwE&is=REG&m=Y&sku=1190931

I’m sure if you open a ticket and put the system in maintenance mode tablo support could determine what the problem is.

But when using an older drive you need to make sure that it’s firmware is up to date. And the WD drive support page is of no help when it comes to new drive firmware. You usually have to load the WD firmware utility on a PC, plug the drive in and run the utility.

In the tablo WEB browser on the setting page is usually the model number and firmware level - such as below.

WD Elements 10A8 1049 (1000 GB)

Definitely interesting, and I looked into it when Plex finally released LiveTV. The issue is, the guide sucks. Especially for the older generation who have been looking at TV Guides and Tablo guides their entire lives. I’m not sure why Plex doesn’t recognize this and do something a little different. How exactly are you supposed to see what’s airing at 9pm tonight, without typing it in the search box (with an Amazon Fire remote). Yuck.

Thanks for the suggestion!

Zippy - probably should have stated that in the original post - firmware is up to date. That was one of the troubleshooting steps I took. Only thing else I know to do at this point is replace that drive…but going to wait until the next “episode” of unresponsiveness before I do so…

Thanks.

Ok - a lock up this evening. When I went to reset it, it was only mildly warm - certainly no where near the temps that were discussed in the link provided by Bardel earlier.

More interesting than that - when I restored power, the USB hard drive provided a harmonious sound of death. Removing it and bringing it into the server room confirmed: It’s dead.

So now it’s up and running without a HD until Newegg can delivery a new one. Guess I’ll be able to confirm if an external USB hard drive was somehow related to Tablo locking up.

Thanks for all the thoughtful ideas and troubleshooting steps.

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Get an approved hd. Don’t use a usb stick.