Tablo explains recording quality

This was an interesting article by Tablo. It clarified the four quality options. The big thing is that each level has their own bandwidth and storage rates, no matter if the channel is 1080i, 720p, or 480i.

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You beat us to it :smile:


Great article. Question though, the Mbps you quote, are these the max bitrates or the average?

My internet connection has a 10 Mbps upload speed and I can only stream remotely if I use the 720p Roku / Chromecast quality setting. The regular 720p and 1080p settings cause buffering.

@theuser86 - in an earlier thread I remember Tablo stating that the bitrate (3, 5, or 10) was fixed. It did not vary (adapt) like a Netflix stream might. Not sure if the same holds true for remote Tablo streams (but my guess is yes - will be fixed at whatever rate is selected for remote).


I set my remote streaming quality to Full Quality because I do not want to use a tuner to transcode the video for viewing remotely. Hence my question.

If one has a big display device (or sits very close to a smaller one), the difference between 720p and 1080i is quite noticeable. At least, it is to me. 720p is acceptable, but it doesn’t look as good as 1080i, unless there is a lot of motion. And even then, it seems like it would be highly dependent upon how well Tablo handles the de-interlacing from 1080i to 1080p.

As far as disc space is concerned, for someone like me who would be transitioning from SageTV, where the files are not compressed at all, Tablo’s numbers don’t seem all that daunting…probably about half of what I am used to.

What I’m wondering is whether Tablo does a good job of down-rezzing the recordings for use with mobile devices. And not just via LTE, but also via less-than-ideal WiFi connections. I myself have not yet been able to make internet streaming work, so I just don’t know about that, but 1080p seems to work fine with my WiFi. Not sure if that’s because it’s getting compressed, or just because my WiFi is fast enough that it doesn’t matter. I do have a wired network though, so the Tablo itself is hard wired.

These are early days for me…I’m a Tablo newbie, so I really hope it lives up to its potential.

@theuser86 if your upload speed is 10mbps and the Tablo streams at 10mbps (which I’m thinking is an average) then it will buffer when viewing remotely because there will always be some overhead for the internet connection. So you may have a 10mbps upload speed you’re paying for but after error correction and transmitted packets it’ll be more like 9.7 Mbps. So because of that it won’t be able to keep up

@MrMark - I’m also a SageTV user and bought a 4-tuner Tablo as a way of transitioning to a supported platform (although my SageTV platform has been rock steady for years…knock on wood!).

I can tell you that Tablo does a fantastic job of down-rezzing for mobile devices. I’m always surprised at how well it streams to my Android phone and tablet, and my Chromebook, when away from home. I use the 1.5Mbps Tablo Connect setting as my TWC cable is only 2Mbps upstream, but I have been extremely satisfied with this aspect of Tablo. And I should note that I record everything in the Tablo 1080p setting, because a) I can b) 65" screen and c) as you stated, compared to full MPEG2 recordings from SageTV, storage space hasn’t been an issue, although I will admit I look forward to Tablo supporting larger than 2GB drives.

Good to hear from another SageTV refugee…it had amazing potential as well. I am already missing the commercial-skip functionality, and I still have mine running!

Nice to know the remote streaming is working well for you. I wish I could say the same. Hopefully it will be fixable. I have read some conversation about double NAT being a problem, but the reality is that anyone who has U-Verse has a high potential, since their Residential Gateways all have built-in routers that essentially cannot be turned off. I work at home, so my house is somewhere between a typical home and a typical business. My world depends upon Internet connectivity. I can’t get anything done without it. Comcast is fast, but it didn’t take me long to realize that they don’t take outages very seriously. Their last one here lasted three weeks. If I had not had U-Verse as a backup, I would have been in serious trouble. I would just switch to AT&T, but alas, U-Verse is just too slow. And while they are much more responsive to outages, we did have an issue with them as well that went on for months. From a business perspective, I need redundant ISPs. That’s why I spent the money for a multi-WAN router (and the ongoing expense of redundant internet services).

Until Tablo, it served me very well. If Tablo is the only offender, then I will have little choice but to lose Tablo. But I really am hoping that it won’t come to that. Hopefully, somebody here will have some ideas on how to make it work in my environment. Once I get it to work on the local LAN, then I can work on remote access. Looking forward to that.

I’m not too worried about the storage limitations. I’ve been living with 2 TB with SageTV, and I’m sure you know about what that yields. It is enough for a lot of recordings. I have never maxed it out, but then too, it is very simple to move recordings around with SageTV, so if I want to record a million hours of the Olympics (or whatever), I can always offload some recordings to another drive. I have also enjoyed the option to copy recordings to a USB drive for use at a friend’s house. Still I will get about twice as many hours of recordings with Tablo, so it may work out okay. Not that I wouldn’t like to see them address both additional storage and the ability to archive recordings.

I’m currently on TWC, but when I last had ATT Uverse, I put my own router behind the residential gateway monster they provided without issue. I had to put the router in the gateway’s DMZ, and that eliminated the double NAT - all NAT was done via my router behind the gateway, which simply provided a WAN address to the router.

Hope you can get yours working with Tablo Connect.

@theuser86 It’s technically the max. The higher recording qualities will always transcode to a higher bitrate, so it’s sort of the average too. However:

@mbellaire Is also right. While the Tablo can’t adapt its streaming quality on the fly in response to how the network is performing, the video itself helps determine how many bits need to be encoded depending on the content.

Yeah I was thinking it is more of an ‘average’ because when I stream “720p Roku / Chromecast” recording quality, the bandwidth graph looks like this, which is more than 3 Mbps.

In theory then regular 720p quality that is a max of 5 Mbps stream without buffering on my 10 Mbps upload speed, but it doesn’t.

@ChrisFix, that’s an interesting thought. I don’t remember seeing a DMZ option when I was trying to configure the U-Verse RG, but I’ll look again. But then again, the way Tablo is currently authenticating, I can’t think of a way to make it work unless I keep it locked down on one WAN. I certainly hope they will re-think the current approach, but I am guessing that they have bigger problems at the moment.

theuser86, that’s pretty much how my network utilization log looks no matter which bandwidth I select. I don’t mind the bursts so much, but I would still expect the average to change. And if I select the option for “audio only”, then I wouldn’t expect to see video. Right? Or am I missing something?

Audio only for Tablo connect does not work as intended. It is a much higher setting (higher than 500 Kbps).

The remainder of the Tablo Connect remote streaming quality settings have worked for me though. When the remote internet download speed has been slow I have been able to watch recordings still or live TV. You could tell the video quality was lower.

Well, that’s very good to know snowcat. It would be super-cool if Tablo would publish facts like that so that I could stop chasing myself in circles! So then, do any of the other settings work as expected?

@theuser86 - thanks…good to know it can work. Now if I can just figure out how to make it work for me… or at least how it works…