Tablo buffering with 208 Mb/s ethernet connection

Just took a speed test using the Ethernet cable that was connected to my Tablo, but temporarily disconnected and then plugged into my Chromebook.

The wireless connection was running about 65 Mb/s, but now with the Ethernet, it is up to 208 Mb/s.

However, watching live TV on a strong channel, with the lowest possible setting for live TV on the Tablo it still buffers.

I also do not understand why my OTA signal buffers at all. When I just had my rooftop antenna without Tablo, nothing ever buffered. Added Tablo, and all the joy is gone.

I just need some guidance before I throw Tablo out the window with my after it.

Some buffering is to be expected because Tablo is transcoding to a format that is more easily “streamable” within your home network. It will not be as quick as a direct antenna connection right to the TV.

Assuming that you’re having trouble with buffering when watching LIve TV (not when first tuning into the channel), you could try a test by running the Tablo with no hard drive attached If Live TV doesn’t buffer then it could point to a HD or USB cable issue.

Agree with what @smess said, the signal is transcoded for playback on multiple devices, which takes some time when a channel is selected.

Because my Tablo is close to my TV, I just split the antenna feed (to TV and Tablo) then I can watch live TV directly and rely on the Tablo to record programs for later viewing.

There is a Tablo HDMI unit that does not transcode (it records in native MPEG-2 format), it connects to your TV with an HDMI cable.

The expectation of buffering may be an misunderstanding as tablo has several support and blog articles to resolve issues -

Buffering via ethernet with lowest video setting is… odd.

One often suggestion is to disconnect your drive (first power down your device) and try watch live TV no drive. If you have no issues then, maybe USB cable or even the drive may be the problem.

If you still have buffering… other helpful users will likely pass by and you can always

You explicitly state the Tablo is connected via Ethernet cable to your router.

But your playback device? What is it and how is that connected to the router? If via WiFi, that could be the issue.

Also what is the make and model of your router? Maybe it’s time to upgrade the router for better WiFi.

I am not sure what you mean by playback device. I have a Samsung HD - Non-smart TV. It connects via HDMI from a Roku device. Roku is connected wirelessly.

Quite honestly, I have no idea how Tablo and Roku work together.
Tablo gets the OTA signal from what looks like a 75 Ohm cable. There is also an Ethernet connection, a USB to the HDD, and a power cord. The Roku simply has an HDMI to the TV and a power cord. Those two wires are attached to the IR gizmo for the remote control. I assume the wireless signal is somewhere within the gizmo.

I can understand when or why Roku programming sometimes buffers. Oddly enough Netflix rarely buffers. When it does I assume it is because of usage from everyone doing the same thing at the same time, it just exhausts Netflix. Not necessarily because of the wireless connection.

Someone suggested I take the hard drive off-line from the Tablo. I have not tried that yet. If the HDD is dying, that could cause the buffering I experience when replaying a program.

What I don’t understand is why watching Live TV via Tablo anything buffers? In my mind, the OTA signal just happens to pass through the Tablo. At that point Tablo serves simply as a channel guide. And the channel guide is driven by a wired connection.

The router is a Linksys model EA 7500 that I bought in 2017.

Not true. There is no pass-through, at least on the non-HDMI units. On all network Tablo units, the received signal is transcoded from MPEG-2 to HTS.

Would suggest checking this article out then as this assumption is incorrect:

If you’re seeing buffering even on Netflix, then it’s very likely that your home network is struggling.

I’d suggest using these instructions to check the WiFi signal quality coming to your Roku:

You may need to make some of the suggested improvements in that piece to ensure your local network (LAN) is fast/strong enough even though your WAN (external internet) is speedy.

I appreciate your input, however the most buffering comes when using Tablo, not Roku. When I try to watch Live TV or use the DVR attached on Tablo, I get a lot of buffering.

I have the Tablo connected to the router via Ethernet cable. When I unplug the Ethernet cable and attach it to my Chromebook, and do a speed test, it shows almost 200 Mb/s. I assume if the Ethernet cable delivers that speed to the Chromebook, it can’t be that far off when it is connected to the Tablo.

Also, I have set Tablo to deliver the lowest tier of quality for both live and recording.

Thank you, but while my TV is not brand new, it does have an HDMI connection, as does my Tablo Quad.

There’s no such thing as a Tablo Quad with HDMI. The only Tablo unit with HDMI is the most recent Tablo Dual HDMI.

When you playback a recording on the Tablo the stream goes like this:

  1. Tablo to router via Ethernet.
  2. Router to Tablo app on Roku via WiFi.
  3. Roku to HDTV via HDMI cable.

Your issue here is likely due to poor/weak WiFi signal between your router and Roku (the Roku is your playback device).

The Tablo Quad DVR is not directly connected to your HDTV by any means. Please read those above links and if you still don’t understand the situation, please get someone to help you who does.

Yes, thank you I confused Roku and Quad. At my advanced age I am shocked this was only the 6th thing today I confused.

Thank you. This is clear. I just never understood the Roku/Tablo relationship. I thought Roku delivered the signal for just their set of channels. Tablo delivered OTA stuff. I did not put how the Tablo, not connected to the TV directly, could possibly provide images. I missed the link between the OTA antenna cable to Tablo but not to TV.

Sorry to be a pest.

What would happen if I bought a Roku with an Ethernet port? Would that solve the problem of the buffering?

That would mean the Tablo would get a weaker wireless signal. How would that impact the buffering issue?