Stuttering on different types of video in same show

My wife and I were watching a segment on Robin Williams CBS This Morning today on our Roku LT over Wi-fi. The Tablo really struggled with just the Williams segment. It had several highlights from past shows, stand up routines, etc. Every time they showed clips from a couple of specific older clips the picture would start to slow down and then buffer. We paused it, then started it again. When video switched to something more modern it was fine again. The clips that gave it trouble seemed to be an old 60 minutes interview and a stand up routine that looked a bit more “film like”. I’m wondering if the Tablo is having trouble converting certain types of video even though it is part of an HD broadcast. We have had some other issues with buffering, causing me to order a Roku 3 to connect via ethernet. However, it seems that this particular issue is being caused by some software issue in the Roku. Anyone else notice something similar?

Based on what you shared, I would jump to the conclusion… The Roku LT struggles with high bandwidth streams.

Older TV segments are notoriously “noisy” compared to today’s ultra sharp/clear quality, which means, a lot more data has to be used by the codec (mp4 used by Tablo) to record all that soft fuzzy video noise. More data means more network traffic and mp4 video streams are dynamic in how much data they contain at each moment. …BUT… This doesn’t mean it’s the network traffic, at fault.

I don’t have an LT. I don’t know the bandwidth limits of an LT. I wouldn’t know how to make it perform better… But I understand it’s a hastily-to-market attempt by Roku to complete with the Chromecast device. That said, it’s “cheap” little processing power may just not be able to keep up with high bandwidth (segments) of video that Tablo throws at it from time-to-time. Maybe someone has access to the technical specs of what an LT is suppose to be able to handle, as far as mp4 variable bitrates?


  1. You could try Tablo’s 720p record setting. That may limit the higher data segments of the mp4 files, down to something the LT can more reliably handle.

  2. You could tell Tablo you need Roku’s to be able to connect via the Tablo connect feature (an existing feature request) and utilize that to provide a really low bandwidth stream to the LT.

  3. You could submit a new feature request for more Tablo record setting selections beyond the existing 720p and 1080p.

Good luck.

Well, we are getting a Roku 3 anyway, so it probably doesn’t matter that much if it is the LT. I do have the Tablo in the 720 setting. So, I guess once I get the Roku 3 I’ll know what the problem. 

Just hooked up the Roku 3 via powerline ethernet. Problem solved!

@markhag - Glad you got it sorted out! The Roku 3 has been pretty rock solid for use with Tablo.