Tablo First Impressions

I have been playing around with HDHomeRun w/DVR and Plex integration for a few months now. I recently found out about Tablo and from the images it looked more mature, so I decided to give it a try. I got my 4-tuner Tablo yesterday and set it up.

Setup was a breeze. I just switched all the wires from my HDHomeRun to Tablo, connected my 2TB USB drive, went to the website on the PC and it was extremely painless to set it up. It was sure nice having a channel grid again, after I lost it with HDHomeRun. And the DVR on the Tablo is working very nicely, and is well designed (I can watch a recording while its recording, from different clients, etc.). However there were a couple pain points.

(I am testing with Windows and Xbox One clients)

  • Channel scanning duplicates my channel 13. I have two 13-1, 13-2, and 13-3 channels. Fortunately I can deselect the duplicates. But why do they exist? They appear even after rescanning.
  • The guide is super slow to load and shows … on shows until they are loaded. This is actually a really bad experience; its by far the worst performing guide grid I have ever experienced.
  • Can’t see team names in sports guide data (i.e. NFL teams). It just shows time and channel number. How is one supposed to distinguish a game without team name information?
  • The Xbox One app and Windows app are not very stable, and crash often in many scenarios. Most crashes seem random, but some are reproducible, for example, the app crashes if I am playing back a recording while another device deletes the recording. The overall unstableness really gives the experience an unpolished feel.

In the end, I will give Tablo a few weeks, at least until the free trial runs out, but it really feels like I am trading off one set of problems for another set of problems. Not having team names in sports is probably the killer, I can’t believe there is a guide/DVR in the world that cannot do that. I can deal with the other problems I have experienced so far.

For the “Windows app” do you mean going to in the Chrome browser? If no, give that a try.

Thanks I will give that a try. I was referring to the Windows universal app from the Windows store.

Yeah, the Windows app was something I tried recently, and discovered the same thing… you couldn’t tell which teams were playing on the NFL listings. Maybe it’s in beta and will eventually be updated.

All other apps I use (Chrome browser, Roku and Android) have the information you’re looking for.

The duplicate channels are probably because you are picking up 2 different towers transmitting virtual channel 13. I have the same problem here with channel 17. should be able to verify this for your location.

Live TV is pretty slow. I very rarely watch Live TV though, that is why I got a DVR, so I could skip commercials and record shows that are on all hours of the day, and watch them at my leisure. will show you what games will be on when you select Sports. The Roku Guide will as well. If you are in the Live Grid, you should be able to select it and there should be an information option.

I haven’t tried the Xbox app or the windows app, but accessing through Chrome, and the Roku app, are pretty stable.

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I’m not familiar with the interfaces you are using. I use Fire TV to access Tablo.

But Tablo, IMO, is not ideal for live TV. It is, however, a nice whole home DVR. As far as the team info not being available, that must be an interface issue. But as I voiced in another thread, scheduling recordings is better accomplished through the genre interface rather than the guide grid.

I had my reservations when I first got my Tablo, but have grown to really like it as a whole home DVR. I believe it to be superior to any cable DVR I have had.

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Thanks for all the replies. I did try in a browser and wow its a far better experience. I get all the team names in sports. Plus the guide is very fast compared. And you are right, it works much better in Chrome. In Microsoft Edge there were several quirks and bugs. The conclusion is the Windows and Xbox universal app is just super buggy and very immature. However, this has me very very hopeful that the apps can get to the quality of the web app.

If that were to happen the only thing left is I get two 13-1, 13-2, and 13-3s. The original Xbox One TV integration, HDHomeRun, and various other PVRs didn’t do this. Below is the tvfool for me, and it does not show multiple sources…


Are both of them KCPQ (FOX)? The TVFool report shows two KCPQs (on real, physical channels 13 and 22). Channel 22 appears to be a repeater station for FOX. If both are identical, their virtual designation as 13.x will appear twice. One of them is VHF (13), the other is UHF (22). Some devices mask out repeater stations, others don’t.

I have the same thing where ABC has a repeater station in this area and ABC appears twice (both are identical); I have a choice of which one to use and I deleted the weaker signal from my guide. Normally one can’t access the central station and its repeater since both are meant to broadcast to different areas UNLESS one is located at an overlapping intersection of both signals.

Repeater stations are installed to widen the broadcast area for a station, which means two separate broadcast towers issuing a signal for the same channel on different frequencies.

This can also be the case that KCPQ originally broadcast on VHF channel 13 way back when (since both their real and virtual channel ids are the same - 13). Before the digital cutover (through the 50’s and 60’s) most stations were VHF. During the digital cutover they went to UHF (channel 22) as stations were encouraged to do without abandoning their VHF broadcast tower. Now they have their VHF broadcast facilities available for the channel repack,

Yup, looks like “real” channel 22 is also virtual channel 13. Just choose the one that comes in better.

Agreed, have had mine around 2 years now, and it is not any faster (except it is faster than when they had the replay bug where it sometimes took minutes to load after FF or RW). Now it takes several seconds, but should be instantaneous.

Guide is horribly, unusably slow. Tablo should have all the grid info to burst to the client to display in sub second speeds. Not several minutes of waiting while 1 show every 15 seconds fills in.

Should be able to watch live near instantaneous, with instant pause, swap, play where left off. Used to do this all the time with multi tuner DVR of live shows. Can’t be done, and channel swap is too slow.

They still have a ways to go. At least it costs nothing since I paid lifetime guide.