Tablo 4 Motion Jitter

I’ve been working with our Tablo 4 Tuner DVR for a couple of months. While most programming looks fine, I’ve noticed that programs with fast movement (sports in particular) exhibit a jitter that makes viewing very unpleasant. I’ve been trying to isolate the problem to see if its the Tablo or my infrastructure. I experienced this issue, initially, using a recently purchased Amazon Fire TV stick. I tried a number of things to isolate the issue. (1) Hooked my antenna directly to TV (no jitter). (2) Hooked antenna to Tablo and bypassed Fire TV by using my laptop (jitter is there). (3) Tried bypassing my WIFI by hooking laptop to router via Ethernet (still jitter). (4) I even went as far as to install a secondary WIFI router to offload traffic (tablets, iphones, VoIP phone, thermostats, etc.) from the primary router where the Tablo resides. Note: In all cases, the Tablo is hooked to my router via Ethernet. None of the above has made a difference. As such, its beginning to look like a Tablo issue. Any further suggestions on how to eliminate this problem. With all the time (and $) invested in trying to make Tablo performance acceptable, I’d hate to give up at this point. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like your workaround means you’re always watching sports from the TV with the Homewrx DVR. The primary reason that I had gone with Tablo 4 Tuner DVR was the expectation that we would not only be able to watch OTA channels (sports included) from any of our several TVs at the location where the Tablo resides, but also that we’d be able to use the Tablo Connect to watch the OTA channels from our other home where an OTA HD TV Antenna is not feasible.

If you have the highest recording settings and are watching a 720p station, sports look as good as from an antenna since it is being shown at 60fps.

The problem is if the station is 1080i. Because the Tablo is converting it to 1080p at 30fps, it will have an “internet look” like WatchEspn.

Personally, I watch live sports on an antenna and just record games for later replay. That way I get to experience the surround sound as well.

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I have the Max Recording Quality set to: “HD 1080 - 10 Mbps, 720@60fps”. This implied to me that it was converting the 1080i to 720p, and streaming at 60 frames/second. How did you determine that it was converting the 1080i to 1080p @ 30 fps? Did I misunderstand this setting?

Yes, you misunderstood. 1080i is only 30fps, so the Tablo can only convert it to 1080p at 30fps. 720p however can be broadcast at 60 fps (which is common for sports), and the Tablo can capture that at 60fps with this setting.

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Thanks a bunch. The info at the link you provided is very helpful. I don’t understand why this info is not included in the Tablo User’s guide???

yes, Tablo needs some updating on their docs. There’s good info, but in a myriad of places and some of it is ambiguous.

Did a little more research on this 1080i conversion. It seems Tablo may have made a design decision to convert the 1080i (interlaced) to 1080p at 30fps. When receiving the 1080i signal directly into the HD TV, it obviously does a different conversion than Tablo, otherwise, one would experience the same “jitter” on your TV that you see with Tablo. I found an article on CNET ( that explains it as follows:

“When your TV is sent a 1080i signal, however, a different process occurs: deinterlacing. This is when the TV combines the two fields into frames. If it’s done right, the TV repeats each full frame to create 60 “fps” from the original 30. If it’s done wrong, the TV instead takes each field, and just doubles the information. So you’re actually getting 1,920x540p.”

I’m no expert on this, but it sure sounds like Tablo chose the latter (easier) approach?? Perhaps Tablo Support will comment/clarify this??

8 days and no comment from Tablo Support? Does this mean quality sports broadcasting is not a priority?

This isn’t really a support ticket engine, but @TabloSupport does often reply. They might just be wanting to properly word a reply. I haven’t noticed any “jitter” as you say, but I record at the recommended resolution. Which also means no 60fps for me, but 720p.

The subject has already been discussed a long time ago, so there is no need for them to discuss it further. They obviously are concerned about sports programming, since they enabled the 60 fps option on 720p channels (everything used to be 30fps). There is just nothing they can do about 1080i sports.

As someone new to Tablo, I wasn’t around when this was “discussed a long time ago”. So I guess that you’re suggesting new Tablo users don’t deserve the same consideration that the old timers got. Not a very helpful attitude.

If the Tablo folks had to answer the exact same question every time a new Tablo user asks it, they wouldn’t get much work done.

I will help you out and post various threads about it:

The jitter, or choppiness is seen primarily when watching live sporting events, for example, the NCAA Basketball tournament. The reason that this is so obvious to me is that I’ve configured my setup so that I can easily go back and forth and view the same program with the antenna feeding directly to the TV or via Tablo. Since I haven’t actually stopped my cable subscription yet, I can also switch back and watch the same live sports program on cable as well. When switching back and forth, the Tablo issue becomes pretty obvious. Based on "snowcat"s response, it sounds like this issue was identified a long time ago and Tablo can’t (or won’t) do anything about it. If there was no solution to the 1080i issue, then my TV tuner should have exhibit the same issue, which it does NOT. If there was enough interest in solving the problem, Tablo should be able to implement the same type of deinterlacing algorithm that every current TV tuner in our house uses??

Thanks for the info. Guess this confirms what I’ve pretty much determined already: Tablo is an OK solution for folks who are willing to sacrifice viewing quality for cutting cable costs, but it not at a stage of development where one could say that is a true replacement for cable TV or even direct antenna input and a Tivo DVR. Between this issue and all of the other complaints that I see on this forum, buying Tablo was an expensive lesson learned. I should have checked out this forum prior to making my purchase.

What some people have done is buy a Channel Master DVR for a single tv and record sports on it. Yes, it is a limitation on the Tablo, but so is watching ESPN or FOX sports streamed on Sling or other internet options.

Besides for sports on 1080i channels, I can’t tell the viewing quality between the Tablo and any other DVR product (though the audio quality is different since it doesn’t support surround sound). I own the Tablo so I can watch TV on anything in my home, and there is no other product on the market that can do that (or at least as well as the Tablo). But if you just want to watch tv on tv sets, there are options that will give you better quality for sports.

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