So Far, NOT so Good

I want to start this by saying I have been using Tivo for 2 years with an antenna and was desperate to find an alternative.  Too expensive ($15 a month), WAY to many ads and TIVO automatically adds channels to your personalized guide to name a few.

I did my research and picked Tablo and I really want to make the change.  My issue (have the same issues with both Roku and the web app) is Tablo VERY RARELY stream without an issue.  The first channel (channel 2, CBS) in the lineup streams most of the time.  Every other channel rarely streams.  The constant error is “Failed to Stream (unknown error)” and the web app states “Player Error” (…poor reception)". I live in Los Angeles and my reception is perfect.

I have called customer service.  I have done a reset on both Roku boxes and my router, removed then re-added the tablo channel on Roku, unplugged the hard drive (which formatted perfectly), re-scanned the channels and a plethora of other suggestions from customer support all to no avail. 

My biggest issue with customer support is the hours are 9 to 5 EST, so if you’re on the west coast it’s very unhandy (to put it mildly and politely).   I got up early and called at 6 am PST.  The line was still busy after 4 attempts.  When you do get through, unless you have an international phone plan (as Tablo folks are in Canada) the call will cost you. Given the time difference and Tablo’s support hours I have trying to get this fixed for a week.

I have been speaking with David and the last thing to try is a different Tablo box.  I am hoping this resolves the issue once and for all, as I would like a reasonably priced whole home solution and would love to see this start up company succeed.

I will update this post when there is a final solution, good or bad.

Thanks for the post, hope everything works out for you.  I have a 4 tuner ordered, but I’m having second thoughts with all these problems.  If there are these many issues, I might as well stick with my Media PC.

I’m really hopeful Tablo gets things straight and reliable, as I think there is a real desire for such a product.

I am in the same situation. I recieved my Tablo a couple of weeks ago and I have been emailing David, but it is hard to troubleshoot given the hours. I have tried everything to get it to work with no luck and now I can’t get a response from David. It has taken me months to convince my wife that we could cut the cord, bought all of the equipment and now it doesn’t work, now she doesn’t think it is going to work. Looks like I am going to be returning everything and getting hit with restocking fees.

hi marc in denver,

i would hope there is no restocking fees for a tablo device not working.  i have asked for a replacement box in a last ditch effort to get this working (as i had very high hopes for this product) and will post the results either way.  i can tell you my partner isn’t jumping for joy either.  channel master has gotten good reviews for their DVR Pro, but i didn’t go with that one because as of now, they don’t have a whole home solution.  It could be another option though for cord cutters if Tablo doesn’t turn out to be a viable option.

ps channel master device is DVR + (plus)

I bought it through Newegg so there may be a restocking fee. If I don’t here back from Tablo soon I am going to contact Newegg and find out about returns.

@marck23 - I ordered mine from Newegg as well.  I did contact them about restocking fees and as long as I don’t open the box, there aren’t any.  If opened, it’s 15%, but I’m not sure in a defective situation.  I know I’m gonna have to pay return shipping, but with all these problems cropping up, I think I’ll return it and watch to see what happens over time with Tablo.  That’s what I get for jumping on the bandwagon too quickly.  Anyway, I’d keep bugging Newegg if you don’t get a timely response, they are usually pretty quick about responding.

Again, I really hope Tablo can get it together.

@millerprm - I had the previous version of the channel master DVR.  Returned that one as it got super hot and it was also pretty buggy.  That’s when I went with Tivo, which is pretty nice (it does have some quirks though… just sayin’), but it’s really expensive when you factor in the guide fees (per device, not account wide).  Which is what I was trying to get away from with Tablo.

The current CM looks interesting, just not a whole house solution.

Honestly (and I hate to say this), building a Media PC is saving me at this point, and makes me more likely to return the Tablo.  It’s a bit of a pain to manage, but you can automate some stuff so to the end user (read: wife) has a pretty easy use via Roku.  That’s with an auto transcode of MCE files with MCEBuddy to a folder that is read by Plex (and thus Roku).

I know that’s a lot for some people to get into, and even though I know my way around Window$, I just wanted to watch/record/stream TV.  That’s why I wanted the Tablo in the first place.

I was once a Media PC (WMPC) user but find I don’t miss those days much… it was too, TV… plus I really like having my TV content, home automation, climate control, and surveillance all accessible from phone/tablet/PC. Tablo fits well into this because of it’s low power consumption and cross-platform accessibility. Anything locked to a single platform or device is just an old joke.

Now… when it comes down to dollars-and-cents, Tablo makes sense.

An always on media PC consuming 250 watts/hr (the most efficient I ever built) costs over $750 annually to operate… at an annual average electric rate of $0.35/kwh in CA, which assumes an always on PC pushes you over baseline into higher tier rates.

A Tablo and Roku consume 17 watts/hr and so cost $58 annually + $60 for subscription fees.

I would call this cutting the power cord. 

@millerprm -

How is your tablo connected to the network?  wifi?

How about your clients that you are trying to connect with? 

Newegg was awesome to work with. It is going back today. I really had high hopes for this product, but it seems like it is still too early in development.

to pix64 in plano  

tablo was connected with the internet cable provided by tablo.  streaming errors were via roku and web app.  i don’t have a tablet.

to marck23 in denver, sorry things didn’t work out!  i know just how you feel.  i will be updating my post after i receive my replacement box and let folks know if that corrects the issue.

also,  i purchased my box directly from tablo so as i asked for a replacement all i have to do is ship it back via fedx using tablo’s billing number.  even though time difference and hours make customer support a challenge, they see to genuinely want to fix the issue and offer good support.


I will be watching these forums. I was going to be switching my internet to Comcast once I was comfortable that I had all of the cord cutting bugs figured out. Looks like I am going to take advantage of some of the new customer TV deals for the next 6-12 months through Comcast and re-evaluate my antenna DVR options.

@marck23 - can I ask… did Newegg hit you with the restocking fee?

@millerprm What have your results been like with the new Tablo? Don’t hesitate to give me a shout if you have any other questions. 

VegasSteve they didn’t charge me a restocking fee.

hello tablosupport

i haven’t received the new tablo yet.  as soon as the new tablo comes i will set it up and let you know the outcome.  thanks for your tech support!

Just fyi, my Tablo dual is a dud as well… I just ordered my RMA through Newegg.  

@marck23 - thanks for the info!


This product has a lot of potential and I hope the company is able to resolved their product reliability issues.  Please keep us all up to date on this progress.  Good luck!