Tablo problems playing back live tv (and some recordings)

So I’ve had the Tablo since around Christmas. It’s worked really well but I will say I’m not sure how much live tv I tried to watch through it and maybe we just started really watching ABC, but from what I remember, all of this used to work really well.

Nothing has changed. I have a Mohu Sky in my attic running directly (not split) to the Tablo. I have a 4 Eero wifi network that is rock solid and is running about 80mbps. No other network issues streaming other apps or playing my Sonos system. I noticed a problem when my wife was trying to watch recordings of the bachelorette on ABC. It was almost like buffering and hanging up like the show was corrupted (not like normal pixellation we sometimes see). I didn’t spend a lot of time on it because we have Hulu and she can watch that show on there.

Anyway, now I’m trying to figure it out as it’s continuing to happen. Any ideas on things I can try? I don’t recall changing any settings and I have it set to the recommended recording quality (HD 720 5mbps). If I run the cable directly to the TV, every channel is crystal clear.

So in summary, live TV has trouble playing through Tablo on almost every channel, but most recordings are fine. Recordings on ABC have problems…recently.

What firmware version are you running on the Tablo?


Does the live TV video ever generate an error message? Or is it more of a skipping/pausing/buffering issue? If you lower the recording quality to 720 @ 3Mbps, do you have the same issue? This setting impacts live TV as well as recordings.

I have similar issues on a Fire Stick connected via wifi but actually see more “tablo lost its connection” message than buffering. Moved my wifi router closer and getting constant 100-350mb speeds. I lowered the quality recording to the recommended but still see issues with live TV. I have a Fire TV direct connect and while i get intermittent playback issues with Tablo they are not to the degree of the Fire Stick/wifi. Logic would point to the wifi but I literally cannot get the access point much closer. Signal strength is Good to Very Good per my fire stick, and I have a wifi app to verify speeds. I am using a Seagate Expansion drive, 2TB. Have not seen this one on a “not recommended” list.

I’m having similar issues with apple TV. It is constantly getting ‘stuck’ when watching LIVE tv. Any other suggestions?? My apple TV is connecting wirelessly to my Tablo, and my Tablo is connecting wirelessly to my Router. Thank you.

I have never seen an error message for the problem on ABC. Every blue moon when watching live TV I see a “weak signal” error but haven’t noticed that issue be channel specific. It’s really random, it happened on NBC the other day and that’s probably the strongest, most solid channel I have.

I will try lowering the recording quality and see if that helps. I’ve never changed that setting off the recommended.

Lowered the recording speed to 3mbps and that did not help. The main problem I am seeing is with playing back live tv. Most recordings are actually fine now. I’ll start watching live tv on various channels and they never play more than a minute or two and start “buffering”. Why would watching live tv be a problem but the recording of that same show later is fine?

Just recently updated to the new 2.2.16 firmware. FYI

I noticed the same thing happening on a couple of my channels.
Live TV didn’t buffer, but it would pixelate, and occassional report no signal at all.
Recording on those same 2 channels generally resulted in good recordings.
Drove me nuts for weeks, until I realized the difference was me sitting on the couch blocking the anntena from clearly reaching the TV signal from the tower behind me.
Apparently, my fat head blocks TV signals.
Who knew?
I was also wondering what those voices inside my head were trying to say. :wink:

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While humorous, I think your post is a great example of why one person has 0 issues with Tablo and then another fights it for months and often give up… We are dealing with radiowaves… Whether its for the TV signal or Wi-Fi, they can be tricky.

LTE interference, microwave interference, cordless phones, multitudes of conflicting W-fi signals, and any other electronic device. Your head, various wall dimensions and building materials, the list goes on and on.

Personally it has taken me countless tries, multiple antennas and at least 3 different signal amps to get the channels I wanted, but in the first house, Wi-Fi was never a problem.

At a second Tablo location, I had little issue with TV reception but despite using a newer router, took me weeks to get the signal through the extremely thick old farm house walls. Finally having to disable all “Smart” signal routing in the router to keep it from working against itself.

Once I got it through the walls, then I had issues with the Roku remotes interfering with the signal, then the Microwave and even once I had a Roku mounted too close to a refrigerator and every time the compressor kicked on, the signal would drop.

I know some will disagree with me but I applaud Tablo for TRYING to work within so many variables. I think they are nuts for even trying in the first place but am very glad they did.

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I left a similar posting related to the sound. Never had a problem before, until version 2.2.14 of the firmware. The sound skips intermittently, as if some process in the Tablo gets delayed. I notice it more on NBC, although it also happens on other channels. Interesting enough, I notice the sound skip on some segments, but if I rewind the recorded program again, you can’t see the problem exactly where it happened before. So the problem is not in the recording itself, but in the way it is displayed. But I have noticed mainly the issue on the sound. Hardly anything on the image itself. Now, I use closed captions almost all the time. One day I decided to turn it off, and the whole problem went away. It seems that the closed captions from the Tablo content is passed to the Roku box, but when I play movies off other apps, such as Amazon video, this problem is not evident at all. I wonder if these problems are related, since you were using the same firmware. Do you use closed captions? I also tried firmware 2.2.16, but this didn’t help. I do know that the whole problem started with 2.2.14. For the mean time, I have kept the closed captions off while viewing the Tablo to prevent the problem.

Not everyone posting, including BigDog43, is mentioning how they watch Tablo (i.e. Chrome, Roku, Firestick, Apple Tv) and that’s likely the issue.
I just posted on another thread that I get freezes every 4-7 seconds, but only in Chrome, and only on one of my computers. That same video plays fine in Firefox on the same computer.
Sophonnica, how is playback of recorded content? Can you eliminate one of the wifi connections? Like run a ethernet cable from the Tablo to the router?

We dont watch live through it, but we do record. This is a new device. At first, it worked well and we were impressed. After some time the recordings are virtually unwatchable. Thats on any device. Skips, blurred video, etc. Its hooked directly to the router and we have good strong signal in the house. So we are about to send this thing back as a failed experiment.

Check your signal strength. But don’t go by the dots. Try a recan of your channels. A weak signal can cause issues like this.

Even a failing hard drive or bad hd cable. Make sure you are us No an approved hd as well. It may take some tinkering with both find and eliminate the problem.

Reach out to support if you need to.

I understand the frustration, And it is definitely possible you have a defective Tablo, tuners CAN fail but other factors could be at play as well…

I am not sure if my situation applies to yours but as mentioned above, in my first install, I went through multiple antennas, amps and filters. The rest of the story is that when I first connected everything, it all worked with a single small antenna in a corner of my attic…

It worked fine that way for a few weeks, maybe even longer, then suddenly one channel became unwatchable, then another…

That is when I bought a signal strength meter. I re-positioned the antenna, got all but one channel back. Shortly thereafter I again started having issues with another. NOTHING had changed in my home, yet the meter clearly showed the signal strength had went down.

So I bought a larger antenna, problem improved… Added a signal amp and a better antenna combiner, problem solved, for over a year… Then I lost one channel. This channel went from working PERFECT for over a year to suddenly being completely unwatchable, seemingly overnight.

Added a larger amp, still did not get me that one channel back but strangely enough, I got a new one I had never received before. Added the LTE filter mentioned in another thread here, finally got all my channels back.

Long story short, again, radio waves can be tricky. All of my problems were caused by outside interference. From changing dynamics in the atmosphere, weather, solar radiation, temperature and seasons, to increased LTE interference. Even time of day can influence how a signal behaves.

In the end it was worth it to me, I have saved well over $3000 and enjoy the TV experience much more than before. But it may not be worth it to others.

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Thanks for the all the input. You’re right, I should’ve mentioned my streaming device. I think I probably didn’t because I had ruled that out in my head as I have three different devices and they all do the same thing with Live TV (Apple TV, Firestick and Roku).

It’s possible I’ve had this issue all along and just never watched much live tv and the problem with that recording got me investigating…alerting me to an issue I’ve always had, but who knows.

I do use closed captions…all the time. I turned those off and oddly enough it does seem to be working better lately. It’s hard to say if it’s directly related to that because I’ve made other changes on my network and I’ve lowered the recording speed. I also had a longer than needed coax running from my antenna to the Tablo which I replaced with a shorter one.

I think our support team touched base with you today. But if you have any other questions, or want more details, don’t hesitate to reply to your ticket or give us a ring at 1-844-TABLOTV (822-5688).

Yes, thanks. Slowed recording to 3m so we will test that tonight (NBC 5:30 News). There are only 11 channels picked up here with 9 very strong and 3 basically blank. The Big 3 come in strong, tested on a variety of antenna, including and ancient Rat Shack unit. I never throw much of anything out lol. Only recordings are on a couple of the big 3.

Slowing to 3M has much improved playback. The tablets play well enough with very few breakups. The laptop tends to skip sometimes. Its an i7 with a lot of RAM so its not a slouch. The Tablo ap, casting to an older Chromecast from a Galaxy Tab A is almost a total fail. Not sure which component of that chain is more at fault. Stop casting and playback is normal on the Tab. YouTube and such cast just fine from the same device.