Tablo 4 Tuner Recording Problem


I purchased a refurbished Tablo 4 Tuner during Black Friday for $99 to replace my Channelmaster DVR+ which I loved, but it eventually died.

The problem I am having is I can’t record more than one show successfully at a time.
If I record more than one at a time it breaks up into several small fragments because it has rebooted multiple times, sometimes I can record two shows at a time and it will record each successfully, but rarely. Live TV reboots if I start watching one channel then switch to another. I can watch one live channel fine. But can’t switch channels without it rebooting.

I’ve been emailing Tablo tech support for several months now and have tried everything they have suggested.

I have an exterior Clearstream 4max antenna. My hard drive is a 1-TB Toshiba Canvio HDTB410.

Customer Service said it might be the signal. So I added an amplifier, and still the same problem. The last thing they suggested was that my hard drive might be failing, so I reformatted it on my computer, checked it for errors and it has nothing wrong with it.
The only thing I have left to try is a hard drive with its own power supply. I’m pretty convinced this Tablo is just a lemon that I’m stuck with.

I would buy the new hard drive if I knew for sure that will fix the problem. I really don’t want to spend anymore money and it not fix the problem. Has anyone else fixed this problem with a hard drive that has its own power supply?



Try a new hard drive.

If that doesn’t fix if, fragmented recordings due to rebooting is usually caused by poor OTA signal.

Or if the Tablo is actually defective the refurb comes with 1 year warranty so they should replace it for free.

I had almost the same exact issues and it it turned out to be a hard drive issue but I do not want to rule out a reception issue. Does this happen only on certain channels or does it always happen regardless of channel? One test you can perform is to record multiple channels that are typically Ok when watching or recording alone and also have multiple playback streams at the same time and if the problem gets worse then it could be your hard drive or hard drive cable. It still could be the Tablo but if you have trouble doing this then I would seriously consider replacing the hard drive.

No warranty, that was clear when I purchased it.

It happens on any channel. Which hard drive did you end up buying?

I’ve had reboots to alleged drive issues:

Hi there,

Thanks for contacting Tablo Support.

We have had a look at the log your Tablo sends to our database; it seems that the Tablo has been experiencing frequent reboots due to the hard drive disconnecting while it is being recorded to. As well, the Tablo log shows the hard drive as being 0% used. It seems as though the drive may be beginning to fail.

My response…

I did try a different drive with the same results. Both tested with no errors. I wanted to save my recordings so I copied them via rsync and there was absolutely no errors (obviously this involves just disk reads, no writing) while both were connect to a pc. Before starting over I used ffmpeg to save the shows via the tablotv device. Again, no errors from either.

I cleared the first drive and factory reset the tabloTV. I haven’t encountered any issue yet after about a week.

Thanks for your input

To be nice I think “drive issues” is a generic response to something’s flubbed up… I dun’o.

To be fair, this was my experience. That’s not to say drive issues don’t happen and, of course, we know drive do fail.

It does state


but goes on with…

Refurbished Units Refurbished Tablo OTA DVRs are lovingly restored at TabloHQ. All DVRs are tested, updated with new software, and include all parts and accessories. These units are covered by Tablo’s 12-month warranty policy but are NOT eligible for Tablo’s 30-day return policy which is standard on all new units. To learn more about refurbished Tablo units, please see our store policies.

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Refurbished units come with a 12 month warranty. That I am sure of.

Thanks for that info! They don’t see anything wrong with it so I don’t think I will get anywhere with the warranty :unamused:

Take your setup to a friend’s with a different antenna. If it fails after replacing the HDD then it’s likely the Tablo that is defective.

That’s not an option, my friends use cable.

Could also be a bad USB cable. Try swapping that if you haven’t already.

I will try that, thx!

Every once and a while (cleaning or moving), my drive will get bumped and the cable pulls out just a bit. Enough to be “sort of” connected.

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Not sure how much you’re paraphrasing here, that’s 2 might be anything other than them honoring your warranty… until it’s too late - “several months now”. Unless they give you a your log says… You know, the logs on the device you paid for - but have no access to yourself. But they are often just vague references there in minimal support provided - it “might” be something.

They have remotely accessed my device several times and I’m assuming read the logs. Haven’t been able to help me yet. They are going to check the hard drive and unit again tonight.

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WD - My Book 4TB External USB 3.0 Hard Drive - Black
Or a nearly identical model. I only paid $90 on sale and it works great so far.

Thank you!


They replaced my Tablo. Have been using it for two weeks and so far so good. Hopefully it will continue. :slightly_smiling_face: