Tablo – In a disaster it fails Tablo user’s needs completely!

My Tablo is rendered useless unless because it has to have internet connectivity to work. Without internet access the TV Guide is unable to load and I am unable to select a station to obtain potentially life-saving news including evacuation orders or simply when and where clean drinking water is available.

I live in an area that has frequent internet outages due to poor provider performance and severe storms, including hurricanes and tornadoes. I purchased the Tablo specifically to access Over-the-Air content in the event of an internet outage or natural disaster. This I cannot do because the Live TV Guide must download before I can select a channel to watch. No TV Guide no TV.

This is a major design flaw that renders the Tablo, TV antenna, televisions and electrical generators useless when they are needed the most. Instead of being able to accessing life-saving information during a natural or man-made disaster, I am unable to access anything. This is precisely not what Tablo user’s need.

  1. Why does the TV Guide rule everything?
  2. Why when the Guide is out of date, and the internet not available, is the Tablo rendered useless?

As long as the Tablo has “Active Channels” and has been previously configured and used, the Tablo community should be able to select and watch available Over-the-Air channels in the absence of updated TV Guide data. But this is not the case.

This also means that if the TV Guide servers are impacted by a disaster or has simply lost internet connectivity the area serviced by those servers is unable to use their Tabols.

Without Internet connectivity the Tablo cannot be accessed to even play recorded TV movies or shows. Precisely when you need the TV to entertain and comfort children in a disaster, precisely when potentially life-saving Over-the-Air news is needed, the Tablo fails. Most of the local Over-the-Air stations maintain generators (required by their licensing requirements) to ensure they can broadcast during disasters. It is a shame we cannot receive them simply because the internet is unavailable.

The local internet provider has been known to be down for a week or more. During that time it may be critical to obtain Over-the-Air information to know when and where to evacuate to. It may be critical to simply know when and where disaster relief or even clean drinking water is available. This is exactly when the Tablo fails.

This renders the Tablo useless to me at all times. Knowing that I cannot rely on it when it is critical to obtain potentially life-saving disaster information makes owning it a determent to my family’s and neighborhood’s safety.

Updated TV Guide data is of little value when compared to the potential to save lives, entertain and comfort children and inform all, during times of crisis, when the internet is not available.

Respectfully submitted,


An inexpensive DVR ($30) such as an iView or Homeworx gets its guide from the OTA transmission itself. It’s only 8 to 24 hours but it’s functional without the Internet. As well the reception is often superior to the Tablo’s and has HDMI connectivity for a better picture. I use the Homeworx as a backup to my Tablo.

While I’m not happy the Tablo relies so much on a live internet connection, I don’t see the Tablo as a life saving device, it’s a convenience device.
In times of disaster, I would connect the TV antenna directly to…
the TV.


Provided your power is on…guessing that’s usually the first to go…

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I grew up in the midwest in the land of tornadoes and blizzards. Most everyone had a portable 3 or 4 band radio for information. Power and TV were always going out for extended periods. (Left there as soon as I could - but took 24 yrs)

Split your antenna feed. Simple solution

I agree with all your comments and feel your pain, yet - the internet requirement was never a secret prior to your purchase!!:exclamation: :exploding_head:

WHY, would you not use your TV??? to save anyone’s life!? Did you actually rely on your cable provider to be online during a disaster?? What if the power fails… how will you “know when and where to evacuate to” ???
I’m refraining from some derogatory comments, but I feel they may be implied :neutral_face:

The Tablo is marketed as a cord-cutting tool. I don’t care one way or another about recording shows. If the backup is a splitter on the OTA TV antenna it’s not the device for me. I’ll look for something else and return the device tomorrow.

Craig - I agree with you completely.

DVR for cord cutters!
All product info states OTA DVR

I hope you find what you need - suggestion, carefully read the labeling and marketing info first.

Thanks. That’s super-helpful.

This has to be one of the most ridiculous complaints about Tablo ever posted.


Right, for emergencies I have a C. Crane CC Pocket AM FM and NOAA Weather Radio with Clock and Sleep Timer here: C. Crane CC Pocket AM FM

  • AM/FM and NOAA Weather Band Pocket Sized Radio
  • Excellent selectivity and sensitivity for its size, 5 one touch memory presets
  • Built in speaker or can be used with included earbuds
  • Backlight, Sleep timer, Clock and Alarm, Removable belt clip
  • Runs on (2) AA Batteries

Nice radio, Lysander. My ‘go to’ emergency radio is a Sangean that has AM/FM/NOAA weather and can be charged via micro-USB/built-in solar panel/hand crank. It’s worked well for me for the last few years.

Thank You for all of your comments. Some of you did not notice that I mentioned the generators I maintain others suggested radios. Yes, I have hand cranked multi-spectrum radios.

While radios are a good source of information they cannot show you what roads are open, which bridges are intact or where recovery resources are available. Knowing where the rivers and bays are flooding is important. Knowing where ice and medical care is located is equality important. Those are best visually represented.

Some of you have not been through a hurricane. Power will be off for weeks, flooding can take days to manifest. A visual representation of the ground situation in very important when deciding if evacuation is necessary.

One of the effects of a hurricane is the removal of all of the landmarks you use on a daily basis. Everything green is gone, ripped off the trees and plants by the winds. In hurricane Andrew the only branches left on many trees were branches pointing west. Many street signs were missing. People spray painted their address directly on the houses so that family members and insurance companies could locate them.

Perhaps a hurricane is worse on children who don’t understand. They cant play on the computer or watch cartoons. This is where the Tablo should shine! Instead a decision was made to make the Tablo valuable only under the best conditions (internet availability). After a hurricane it can easily be months before internet service is restored and the Tablo can be returned to service.

A better choice might have been to reduce the Tablo’s overwhelming dependence on the Internet. Perhaps after one minute of no response from the internet allow the Tablo to access prerecorded movies and tune in channels already in the guide. It would also be nice to be able to record without the internet so that news could be recorded for playback when the neighbors are gathered around. No time stamp needed.

Here is another place where the Tablo fails. I took it to our cabin in the mountains expecting to be able to watch a prerecorded movie or two. At the cabin there is no internet, phones, cable service or even cell signal. The Tablo is unable to function in any capacity at the cabin.

I have about $300.00 invested in my Tablo including hardware and the TV Guide. A suggestion that the back up to my Tablo is a splitter, a $6.00 investment. I will need a digital to analog TV converter a $25.00 expense to run the small analog TV’s we stock for storm usage and portability. So we are talking about a $31.00 investment versus a $300.00 investment a difference of $269.00.

Having done this analysis, thought about how great the Tablo could have been. I just cannot justify the expense of having a device that only works when times are good and the internet is fast.

The Tablo as implemented is a tragedy to me. Management made a conscious decision to make the Tablo completely internet dependent. Why is the big question in my mind is why, to stop piracy? They made a decision to be a luxury item not a necessity.

I have cable TV and internet. It is an understatement to say that these services are fragile. I purchased the Tablo as a backup to cable. I have spent a significant amount of time trying to get the Tablo to accept a time signal from my internal network without any luck. I have examined my IP routing and IP blocking tables to find a work around with no luck. I even installed an external time standard on my network. I cannot find a way around the Tablo’s complete and total dependence on the Internet.

I feel as if I have gone to a gas station pump and paid for gas without having a car or gas can.

With that in mind I have decided to sell my Tablo and purchase a couple of digital to analog convertors, saving myself the cost of a splitter, and have a reliable source of information the next time a natural disaster occurs. I will continue to purchase DVDs for the kids to watch after a storm.

Bon Voyage and best wishes Tablo.


It’s not for Roku users.

Respectully submitting an analogy, you went to the gas station pump, and paid for gas for your car, but the streets are flooded, and you really need a boat.
Your car may float for a while, but it’s not a boat.
Just trying to use the wrong tool for the job.

I seem to remember when I ran dd-wrt router software on my linksys router. You could set the ISP router to bridge mode and use the DHCP/NAT server on the linksys with no problems when the internet down.

You could set the time on the tablo by using a cell phone and performing a channel scan with update.

Roku worked fine. All of that has been deimplemented?

If just the internet is down, all clients work with the Tablo except for PCs, smart Tvs, and Xbox.

The problem is that if the power goes out as well, which is usually why the internet goes out in the first place. If the power comes back on, but the internet is still down, then connections cannot be established to the Tablo for some weird reason.

It is an issue I hope that can be addressed at some point

Help me understand…

  1. Internet drops.
  2. Disconnect coax from Tablo
  3. Connect coax to ANT connection on TV.

What’s the issue?

Some people may not have their Tablo and antenna near a TV.