Tablo Quad improvements over Tablo 4 tuner

#1

Has anybody here had issues with the Tablo 4 tuner that the Tablo Quad corrected?

I’ve always had issues with the Tablo 4 tuner buffering when playing a live broadcast which Tablo support was never able to resolve. And I’ve tried it with them several times even replacing the Tablo box.
I’ve seen that this is an issue that happens to a lot of people. Before people start wanting to blame my network. I can assure you there is nothing wrong with my network. I am a network engineer and have been over it multiple times. Everything on my network is Gigabit and I don’t have any issues streaming from other sources that have a higher bandwidth than the Tablo. The issue is the limitations of the Tablo hardware. I do not have any problems when playing back a recorded program. Also if I happen to be watching a live show and recording it at the same time the buffering will occur during the live broadcast but I can go back and play that recording with no issues. The recording playback resolution is set to the same as the live streaming resolution. I have been all over the settings on that even reducing the resolution until it was at the lowest setting which is an unacceptable level as it is extremely noticeable on my TV. This issue gets worse when recording multiple shows and trying to watch a live recording. Plus as others have mentioned the Tablo gets extremely hot. The issue gets worse as the Tablo heats up. I’ve also connected the Tablo both wired and wireless with it happening both ways. All my other devices for playing TV are wired. My switches are Cisco 3560X configured to give the signal from the Tablo top priority for QOS. I don’t even think that the issue is that the 4 tuner only has 100Mbps nic on it as if it had anything to do with the transmission bandwidth then I’d have the same buffering when watching a recorded program. I’m not going to try to resolve this issue with this box anymore as I’m sure the issue is with the hardware limitations of what the box can do.
Aside from the transmission speeds of 1Gig wired and wireless 802.11ac, the only other spec that Tablo shows is different is the 8GB Flash instead of 1GB. Both boxes still only have 1GB RAM. and I can’t find anything that mentions the CPU or capabilities of anything else in the box.

I just don’t want to spend the money on a new box if it’s going to have still have the same issues as my current one. Which brings me back to my original question. Has anybody had issues with the 4 tuner that the Tablo Quad has remedied?

Thanks

#2

Given those symptoms I would be suspecting low disk write speed. Have you tried different hard disks or cables?

#3

I came to the same conclusion as @FlyingDiver even before I read his response. I had almost the same symptoms as you have and they were resolved when I replaced the drive.

#4

I’ve tried several different drives some recommended by Tablo and some not. I’ve even tried an external SSD. I don’t have to be recording the show for the buffering to occur. It occur’s just about any time I’m watching a live program.
Again I’m not looking to resolve it with this issue. I was just wandering if anybody else has had issues that were fixed with the Quad.

This actually does bring up another question I have. Are you able to increase the RAM on the Quad (or any Tablo) or is it built into the board?

Thanks

#5

If you have a hard drive attached, any time you’re watching Live TV you’re actually recording the show as well. That’s how the rewind feature works.

Switching to a Quad could certainly solve your problem, but my guess is that it’s because there’s actually a HW problem with your unit rather than a design difference. I have a 4-Tuner and have never had the problems you’re describing.

1 Like
#6

I’m only on my 1st cup of coffee, but did you mention which media player you’re using?
Roku, Fire TV, …
And, how does the media player connect to the network?
Wired, wireless?

The only buffering issues we have is with a Roku 2 (2015) utilizing wireless, across the other side of the house from the wireless router, and Tablo.
We have 3 Tablos: 2 4-tuner OG units (gigabit network switch -> router); 1 2-tuner OG unit (wireless-n @ 2.4GHz).
The buffering Roku connects to a hardwired Tablo 4-tuner OG unit.
A hardwired Roku connecting to the same Tablo has no buffering issues.

#7

Thanks. I originally thought it was something wrong with the Tablo unit and tech support sent me another one after trying everything they could to figure out. This one had the same issue. I’ve actually seen in other forums and facebook groups that there are several people who have this issue.

#8

I have a Roku Ultra, a FireTV Box (not the dongle), and a FireTV Cube. All are on different TVs. All are wired. Cabling is Cat 6. It happens on all of them. It happens if I have multiple TVs running or just running one TV.

#9

One of the things I forgot to mention was that we actually tried running it with the HDD disconnected. It still had the buffering issue.

#10

Your Tablo should get very warm but I would be concerned if it gets extremely hot. Many have used laptop coolers or just fans. I have mine raised on a wire rack with plenty of ventilation and separated from the external hard drive by several inches. Have you looked into these potential environmental issues?

#11

Only major difference between your setup, and mine is I don’t have QoS enabled on my router, nor network switch.

#12

One more concern about the heat. I currently don’t use an amplifier and my Tablo is merely warm. I remember it being hot previously and it may have been when I had an amp in play. Does anyone know if using an amplifier, possibly over-driving the tuners, might add extra heat to the equation?

TBH - I had my amp incorrectly setup just before the Tablo, thus possibly adding to the problem.

#13

Yes I have mine on a wire rack also with several inches from the HDD.

#14

I didn’t originally have the QoS configured but tried it to see if it helped the buffering.

No it didn’t. But I’ve kept it configured anyway.

#15

My understanding of QOS is that it provides priority for packet streams by throttling uplink acknowledgement/packet requests- meaning that it’s less likely to differentiate data content streams between local network nodes. QOS is not likely to make a difference to the Tablo.

I previously had a 4 Tuner Tablo, and didn’t see the buffering problems you experience, although I did notice the heat (i used to have it mounted on four scotch bottle corks, to provide some convection air flow from underneath). I was never that impressed with the tuners on the 4 Tuner model- the signal lock would tend to drift. Anyhow, I managed to over tighten the RF connector on that unit, blinding it to reception, so I eventually replaced it with a Dual 64. I’ve found the Dual’s tuners to be much more selective, and stable. The temperature is better, as well. I’m not sure if the internals have changed between the models, but the tuning feels “better”- which is purely subjective. I suspect the Quad may offer better results for you as well.

#16

Are all involved devices hardwired to the same network switch?
If not, I’d test the Tablo being on the same network switch as one of the media player units.

#17

Radojevic Yes everything is on the same switch. While I appreciate you all trying to help, that wasn’t the intention of my post. I’ve already been through this and tried just about everything. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.

Also thanks to those of you that have mentioned improvements you’ve noticed in the Quad. I’ll probably be giving it a shot. I wonder if there’ll be a discount on Amazon Prime day coming up in a few weeks.

Thanks again.

#18

The reason we’re giving suggestions is that the same model is performing without buffering for us, under similar conditions.
However, I understand the urge to replace a unit that’s not working in your environment for whatever reason.

#19

Exactly - I know we strayed but we hoped to identify the root cause of the issues instead of just trying to make up for the issues with newer hardware. Since you already tried two units I am concerned you will have similar issues even with the Quad. I’m also concerned with the high temperatures. Are you amplifying the signal and if so, what is the dB gain and where is the amp positioned? Perhaps you are overdriving your tuners. Tablo support could check the signal strength the tuners are receiving. Maybe I’m beating a dead horse here but, , ,

#20

I do understand and appreciate the effort. Like I said this is an issue that has been gone over several times in several groups with several calls to Tablo support. Just about everything that has been mentioned has been tried multiple times. I just didn’t want people to be wasting their efforts on things that have already been tried multiple times.

I do hope that this doesn’t come across as me being ungrateful. I really do appreciate everyone I just didn’t want to waste their efforts when they could be better served helping someone else.