Tablo 4th Gen - 4 channel - inconsistent thumbnail availability

When playing back recordings, the fast-forward and rewind thumbnails are often missing, or recently stopped midway of recorded OTA show. I try a different TV, and they work, same problem from multiple TVs, not consistently 1 TV or the other. Only recording 1 show at any particular time, but issue is seen randomly across different shows and recordings. I am using older and newer ROKU devices as the app isn’t natively available for my Samsung or Sony Smart TVs. Any ideas or tricks to make them consistently work?

How long after the recording is finished are you watching the show?
It takes time and a spare tuner to generate the icons.

How Fast-Forward Preview Thumbnails Work

Tablo Support - David

Tablo Support - David

  • Updated 1 year ago

Fast-Forward Preview thumbnails are supported by all Tablo applications except iOS devices (iPhones and iPads). These thumbnails are created after the recording is completed. This is done by re-processing the recording using one of Tablo’s available tuners. This means Live TV and in-progress recordings will not have any Fast-Forward Previews.

I know it needs time to index and create it magic after it’s done recording. IDK how long.

I know my wife starts recording Survivor and starts watching when it’s about 30-35 mins. During that moment, the thumbnails are not there, but FF/RW works. She has her formula down on plugging the trigger on the play button when the shows comes back from commercial.

I’m a full Roku home too.


I would try force quitting the app on the devices acting up, then clearing the cache.

Have you rebooted the Tablo itself?

Sometimes, thumbnails don’t show up if I start ff right away without giving the Tablo time to catch up.

You could also try force quitting the app, clearing data, rebooting, and see how that works

Otherwise, thumbnail problems have happened when there was a slight interruption in the signal, even if it’s unnoticeable to us. Sometimes the glitch happens during an ad break so we don’t see it

IMHO, in this circumstance I don’t think a reboot is necessary. If as @KimchiGUN says it is “working it’s magic” after the recording has completed, rebooting might be more detrimental than helpful if it hasn’t completed the magic. Performing the other steps could help but possibly by the time it takes to force quit, clear cache, etc., the magic could be done and it works as expected leaving you to think those other steps worked but in reality it didn’t. I have a whole Roku house with 4 different devices and have not experienced this issue but then again I don’t normally watch my recordings until day(s) later.

Currently, rebooting is necessary in many other scenarios with Gen 4. Hopefully it will become less and less necessary as the product improves. I’m just not sure about this scenario.

I was thinking to refresh the thumbnails. It may not be necessary, but giving as many options as I can that might work. It can take anywhere between five and ten mins if there’s a tuner available.

If it’s been a day or so, you’re it out of luck.

But maybe it can help for those in the future…

That makes sense and I agree it should always be an option.

I have a question regarding this as I have never experienced it since I’ve always owned a 4-tuner Tablo, either Legacy or Gen4: What happens when on a 2-tuner device you are recording back-to-back shows on Tuner 1 and start another recording on Tuner 2 at the same time as the second show on Tuner 1? With no tuner available will the thumbnails take 5-10 minutes AFTER one of the tuners becomes available?

Thanks for the feedback. Playback sometimes varies, but the timing could be an issue. I will pay attention to that, and look back at some old and new recordings to see if anything correlates. We usually watch GMA in the AM, but usually about an hour+ after it starts.

OK, thanks again. I have seen some thumbnails while watching, as the live show is still going on… I think. But will pay closer attention to your feedback. Thanks for your time.

I appreciate everyone’s feedback. Thanks again!

From what I understand as I’ve seen others post, it would do this processing AFTER a tuner becomes available. This might be something that could test yourself by recording a few things in a row on both tuners and seeing what happens. Then report back your findings. I know I’d be interested in what you came up with!

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