Setup before Installer

Hi, today is Saturday and our antenna installer is coming on Wednesday.
Besides installing the HDD today…
is there any value to hooking up the Quad Tablo to our home network?
(channel setup won’t be available until the antenna is installed)

If you are talking about a network quad versus a HDMI model , you could probably verify that all of the devices/apps can find and connect to the unit.

Thank you for the reply.
Yes, it is a Quad model. Since the installer is charging by the hour…I’d like to have as much ready by the time he arrives.

I added the hard drive but have not powered on the unit.
Can I format the hard drive without adding the antenna/coax cable…or do I need to wait until the antenna is installed before completing the format (I know I cannot scan for channels until the installation/adjustment of the antenna’s direction)

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Are you asking if you’ll break it by powering it up without an antenna connected? No

Do you want to know if you can run the network and drive format without an antenna. Yea, the last step would be to scan for channels - with antenna. So you could go through everything, except scan for channels. This won’t otherwise render the device useless.

If you power it up along with the drive connected, without an antenna - if you want to accomplish anything you’ll need to connect it to your network. “Yes, it is a Quad” doesn’t explicitly answer "network quad versus a HDMI model " …all of this presumes non-HDMI, networked Tablo Quad.

Unless it is an HDMI device - it’s not optional.

Thank you. It’s a networked Tablo Quad (non-HDMI) thank you for asking for the clarification.

Based on your reply I can
-plug it in
-go to the my tablo site to format the hard drive
-download the Tablo app onto the Roku

once the antenna is installed
-hook up the coax cable to the Tablo
-run channel scan from the Tablo app

is this correct?

That should work just fine.

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I hope the antenna install goes well and you’re happy with your reception.
You seem to be OK taking the plunge! I think most people would prove out they get good reception before committing to the Tablo. Then again, most probably wouldn’t hire someone to install the antenna as a first step and may end up wasting time and money on cheap antennas that just cause frustration (me included).

Thank you. I ran the rabbit ears report before purchasing the antenna ( Clearstream 2Max). I tested the antenna indoors once received, hooked it up to our TV and picked up a lot of channels (we are 20 miles from most transmitters so I was expecting strong signals). The installer will be able to mount it outside and connect the RG6 to our existing cable (which will then connect to the Tablo). I also purchased a Pre-Amp “just in case”.

Hopefully the installer leaves you with a list of stations with low signal to noise ratios - not signal strength.

You’ll find several post from users with issues… then to find out “over amping” is a bad thing. From other’s experiences, try without first, so you don’t have to learn the hard way :wink:

If you get such good signals, consider splitting the coax and connect directly to your TV as well. (there is a lot of over-hype about splitting weakens your signal. Technically it does, but if you’re good and strong it will have no real impact)

My antenna is in the attic. The cable comes down directly to my equipment room, with a single 2-way splitter, one side to the Tablo, the other to a distribution amp feeding all the TV locations.


Hi, the antenna is up and no pre-amp was needed. The installer also used the Antenna Point app (recommended by Antenna Direct) and the Tablo tuner showed 140 channels. I do notice there is a significant delay changing channels using the Tablo App on the Roku.

The added delay is due to transcoding. Whether you’re watching a recording or live TV, tablo steams everything which means in needs to be transcoded, the stores (buffers) to storage - then steams. There are numerous topics and post covering this.

Kind of why it may have been suggested to split the antenna to your TV. Use your TV’s turner for "just watching [live] TV. Tablo’s strong point is it’s DVR abilities.

Once you decide which channels are worth ever watching/recording, you can cut down the list of “saved” channels.

I wish you and enjoyable tablo experience. :smiley:

Thank you for explaining the suggestion to add the coax to the TV. I’ll have to see if there’s info on the internet about how to push the TV sound to our A/V system (instead of it coming from the tinny TV speakers)

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A typical splitter is a 3db signal drop. That’s 50 percent. May still be fine, but that drop is definitely significant.

I don’t have a db meter to know, my TV shows a “signal strength” and “signal quality” I realize these are just consumer gauges.

My antenna is ~25’ up, next an distribution/amp slitter. One goes straight in the house and split between 2 TVs and a Tablo. The other branch run 50" the length of the house, the split between a TV and Tablo.

I have on antiquated antenna, been in use for ~30 years (pre-HD era), next to trees aka woods.

Maps show straight line is 45mi to towers. There’s a whole bunch of obstructions between here and there.

So there is loss with cable runs and splitters - I still say it’s over-hyped splitting your cable run will cause channels… just because of a split. This of course presumes there a decent signal strength and quality to begin with.

My TV has a signal meter and all the main network channels come in at 65db+. So I have no idea how 3db is 50%.

No such thing as an antiquated antenna as long as it’s in good shape. It receives and RF signal within its designed frequency range no matter what digital or analog stuff is on that frequency. Yeah, there are new designs but the good old yagi is still at the top for directional gain.


I can sure agree with that! I have 2 old, 45 yrs, Radio Shack big antennas in the attic and have splitters on both for 3 TVs and Tablo. I pull in about 115 channels of which I only use about 30 on Tablo. (Phx area) I record a lot of old vintage movies on sub channels at 480 and on many the picture is amazing good. I have been told that much of that goodness comes from the fact that they used high resolution recording cameras even in the 50 and 60’s

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dB (deciBel) is a logarithmic scale. So yes, 3dB is half of your signal. Typical 2 way splitter cuts your signal in half, plus a little more loss from connection and impedance mismatch, so a lot of them say -3.5 on them.