Tablo Internet Usage + Guide Performance

So I’m new to the Tablo and I like 90% of what it provides, however I’m surprised at guide’s poor performance and the amount of internet traffic it generates.

What do I mean by this?

  1. Guide Performance: When using Amazon’s Fire TV (not the stick) the guide for Live TV quickly degrades in performance the more shows are selected while navigating. This only happens when channel shows are highlighted, if you scroll down the channel list by highlighting the channel name this issue does not occur.
  2. Internet Usage: I’ve been monitoring what the Tablo is doing on the network. Initially it fetched all updates and guides, it continues to update the guides. No concerns in regarding updates and scheduled guide updates. However as soon as I start navigating the guide the Tablo starts generating an significant amount of internet traffic. Since guide information is downloaded regularly I don’t understand why Tablo device using up to 3mpbs+ of internet bandwidth when navigating the TV guide.

I live out the in the country, internet is extremely stable (dedicated bandwidth not DSL), however bandwidth is at a premium 3mbps max. The guide performance is almost unbearable and I need to make a decision of keeping the new device.

So I’m wondering if the two observations are related. If so is there a way to reduce the amount of traffic I’m generating by navigating the TV Guide? Also would a proxy will solve my issue?

Any thoughts out there on this topic?

Quick Note: The web browser TV Guide creates the same amount of traffic, however it doesn’t impact my ability to navigate the list. All traffic generated is always coming from the Tablo device, not the FireTV or web clients.


PIck up a splitter for your antenna, attach a $65 HDHomeRun connect to it, use Live Channels on your Fire Device after setting up the HDHomeRun and have a great, instant (and FREE) guide experience, change channels with no lag - and attach your Tablo to the other splitter output and use it for what it’s good for: being an OTA DVR.

Post not intended to be negative to Tablo - post intended to solve your problem. I believe the Tablo is the best OTA DVR on the market. I believe it’s the worst possible replacement for a “guide”.

Guide performance and channel changing slowness is what caused the Tablo to fail the Wife Acceptance Factor in our house.

As a result we now have a Channel Master DVR+ on the TV in our “Theater Room” and Master Bedroom and she has been much happier with that setup. The DVR+ works well and thus far there are no complaints.

I still use the Tablo for watching live TV and recordings in my office and our exercise room. It does a good job as a DVR, but the live TV issues were just too much for my wife to put up with.

I will have to look into the Internet traffic usage.

If you want just live TV, just use a splitter and connect the 2nd cable directly to the HDTV.

1 Like

How are you monitoring this internet usage? Are you sure you’re not just looking at the WiFi speed rates of local data being transferred over the LAN?

If the Tablo actually used 3 Mbps of WAN (aka Internet) all the time when using the Tablo, I would easily go over my 100 GB cap on my internet. I do not.

True, but if you want to retain the “live tv on every device” experience that is a major selling point of Tablo - that $65 investment is SOOOOO worth it. Tablo is a really nice DVR - but the live TV feature on all streamers is a key selling point that can be had other ways without diminishing the value of the Tablo’s core competency. That, and what I didn’t expect was that the tuners in the el-cheapo HDHomeRuns outperform both the Tablo and that of all of my TV’s (mostly samsung).

I do a lot of traffic shaping due to my limited download speed, so most of my monitoring is done through RRP graphs and real time traffic monitoring (with tie backs to IP addresses) built into my router. Please note I’m seeing this as burst traffic, not a constant stream of data. So it is occurring only when I’m navigating the guide.

Meaning that when I’m watching or recording TV I’m not seeing any traffic over my internet router. However as soon as I start to navigate the guide I reach 100% internet bandwidth usage. This quickly clears after I stop navigating the guide. This traffic is directly associated with the Tablo device by IP address.

This doesn’t mean a lot of data is being sent back and forth, for instance the requested amount of data may only be 500KB of data per show listing viewed. But when quickly navigating through ten TV show listings 500KB could quickly amount 4MB burst of downloaded data from the internet. It takes about 10 seconds to download 3MB of data on a 3 mpbs connection. This insignificant to 100GB data limit which would allow for 104,857,600KB of data to be downloaded.

To be fair, I observed when using the web based TV guide, the Tablo did not seem to request data when re-selecting a show. At least within a few selects of the last click.

I didn’t deep dive into this, it is an observation only. But there is a strong correlation between the TV Guide, Tablo, and internet activity. I was hoping someone else was aware and could provide feedback. I suppose I could run some experiments and throttle data transfer rates for the Tablo device, but that is more work than I want to put in for a Saturday. :smile:

Edit/Note: I’m aware of HDHomeRun DVR, however that isn’t where my interest is. Tablo is a good device, the guide seems to be its only real limitation I’ve noticed. I still have my TV’s hardwired to my antenna.

@jbox, I don’t have an Amazon Fire TV so no comment about that, but you must have a wrong assumption about internet usage. My internet service was out for over a day about two months ago and during that period I was still able to browse the guide, watch live tv, watch recordings, etc using my ipad and Roku without any issue.

1 Like

@jbox How much bandwidth are you seeing used while browsing the live TV screen? How many channels are in your guide?

The Tablo fetches guide updates overnight - and it requests the images when the apps connect and request the data. With this in mind, it makes sense that you’d see some traffic while navigating the live TV screen.

We’ve never heard of it negatively impacting the experience before, or even using up too much data. In my own personal experience, Tablo typically takes 0.02% of my relatively small data cap.

I rarely watch live TV which I’ve found to be the weakest link in the Tablo system. My temporary solution using splitter, is to switch from Tablo to my direct to TV input for instant channel selection. When finished browsing I switch back to Tablo for viewing. Not as elegant as Homerun solution but serves my needs.

Or switch between inputs. Direct to TV for surfing, back to Tablo for viewing with pause and FF functions.