Streaming fails in SD? (4 year old thread)

I’ve set up two ROKU 1s.  One connected to an SD television (closer to the WiFi router) and another connected to an HD television (much further to the router).

When attempting to stream live TV on a ROKU set with SD resolutions, the app attempts to fetch data from my 4Tuner Tablo and quickly returns to the channel list.  The ROKU on the HD set is fine.

If I set the working ROKU to Standard Def (4:3), the live streaming fails.

That’s a documented bug in other threads… The TV has no HDMI or component inputs?

This is an older SD set with only 480i capability.  I tried using an HDMI->SVideo converter that downscales HD resolutions but I’m having issues with that box.

@sdesros Can you try changing your Tablo’s recording quality to SD in the settings menu on the web app? Let me know if you can still reproduce this.

I tried changing my recording quality to SD on the web app. When I restarted the Roku App, LiveTV still wasn’t streaming properly. It would attempt to connect, sometimes show the “Retrieving” and quickly revert to the TV listing.

P.S. The same issue occurs when trying to play back a recording. (Haven’t tried a recording saved in SD format however.)

I have seen the same thing on my new 4 tuner model I got today. My set up…
… Tablo 4 tuner
… Roku 1
… Composite (analog) output (RCA cables)
… Roku screen setting of 4:3
… Tablo resolution 720 dpi

I tried to set the Tablo to standard resolution but that did not appear to fix the problem.
I did a power reset of the Roku- no luck.
TV is older analog model so no chance of HDMI.
Try to play Live TV - you get a screen trying to load the channel, but will fail and bring you back to the guide. I have not tried a recording but other posts indicate issue not solely with Live TV so I assume this will not work either.

I tested on HDMI with the 4:3 and 16x9 settings (which outputs 480p) and I have the same issue.

I am running into what appears to be the same issue.  4 Tuner (2.1.10 firmware) connected to a Roku3 and the Roku3 connected to the TV via HDMI.  I try to stream any 480i channels using the Chrome web ap the screen stays on “initializing” until I use the web player back arrow to go to the guide.  When I choose any other channel and the web player crashes displaying "

Player Error

No tuner / transcoder is available for remote adaptive bitrate playback.

At this point the Tablo reboots and after approximately 30 seconds I reconnect and am taken to the Prime page.  This happens anytime I try to stream a 480i channel.

@sdesros I've spoke with our Roku developer, and after some testing we've been able to determine that: composite cables are unable to transmit enough data to meet the requirements of an HD video stream. So, unfortunately, the Tablo will not be able to output video on a TV connected to a streaming device via composite cables. 

@Fubie The error you've posted above will only show up if you're attempting to connect remotely while all of your tuner's are in use. I'd recommend checking any active Live TV streams or recordings, and trying to reproduce this when you have available tuners. 
I mistakenly thought I was having the same issue as everyone else here.  I'm not so I'm taking this directly to support.  Thanks.

TabloSupport - so there’s no setting on the Roku or Tablo that we can change to reduce the data load so that the Roku can work with composite RCA cables?   If not, do you have any suggestions on how we can use Tablo with older analog TVs?

@TabloSupport There isn’t a way for the Roku to scale the stream or to have the Tablo transcode the stream down (potentially taking an extra tuner?)

@herzog @sdesros I’ve spoke with our Roku developer in regards to this issue. As you know, we want the Tablo to function on many platforms as possible - but also a stable as possible. We’re going to look at this for a possible test case, and see if we can determine whether this is a viable piece for the road map. In the mean time, you can try lowering your recording quality to standard definition (in your settings screen) and recording at 480i to attempt to mitigate this. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to test this as we don’t have an Analog TV in the office to test this. 

You can test with a Roku1 (possibly Roku 2) and HDMI if you pick 4:3 standard (or 16x9) Standard.  It will be a 480p HDMI stream which also seems to fail.  Roku 3 does not have that option.

Changing the recording to “Standard Definition” didn’t appear to fix it for Live TV when I tried it.  I also have a mixture of devices HD and SD devices that I’d like to use.

I understand that it might not be the highest priority and it might be possible to get around this via other avenues (i.e. a PLEX plugin might be able to use PLEX’ transcoding capability to support SD devices.)

Tablo - thanks for listening and responding! Providing customers with straight answers is a sign of a good company. Please keep it up.

I also tested this on a HD TV with the Roku 1 set for SD and just like sdesros said, it failed as well for Live TV. I'm curious as to whether I can play SD recorded shows back in this set up, so I will give it a try this weekend.

A suggestion - if the Tablo - Roku (1 or 2) - SD set up will not work, please make that clear on your website so people who still have such a setup (i.e. spare bedroom setup, kids play room, etc.) will know that this may not be a good solution for them. Better to explain this up front than to explain after they purchased and find it doesn't work.

P.S. If you want to buy my old analog TV, I can let you have it at a good price! ;)

I did get an HDMI->SVIDEO/Composite converter which downscales HDMI signals down to SD (<40$).  This is a cheaper converter that doesn’t handle aspect ratio nor outputs that great of a signal, but will allow the Roku Tablo app to work once the resolution is bumped up to 720p.

I’m guessing if you want a good quality converter, it will probably cost you more then a new HD TV.

I was having trouble with my Roku2 with the composite cables.  I was concerned about compatibility, so I brought my Roku2 to my living room TV and plugged it into the HDMI port, set the display to HDTV 1080P, and it worked perfectly.  I then re-connected it to the other TV with with the composite cables, i didn’t touch the display settings, and now my tablo works fine.

That trick works on my Roku1 as well. Except the aspect ratio is still off if you have a 4:3 SD television.

I tried ktipman’s method and got it to work as well for both Live TV and recorded. As sdesros said, the aspect ratio is a bit off, but considering the old analog TVs are for the spare bedrooms this may work until I decide to upgrade the TVs.

Thanks for the hint!