Tablo really needs to improve quickly or they'll lose even the early adopters

A bit of history first off. I was very excited when I heard about the Tablo and purchased one of the first four-tuner models. Here’s a quick recap of my experience so far:

-Since I already had a Roku & USB drive I thought my startup cost would be minimal - WRONG!
-Quickly found out that earlier Roku’s are not supported so I purchased Roku 3s for each TV
-experienced lock-ups and problems which was eventually diagnosed as an incompatible USB hard-drive - had to purchase one of the Tablo-recommended hard drive units
-I continue to experience frequent and frustrating reboots whenever fast-forwarding through commercials etc.
-Roku preview channel (newer Roku app) seems to be getting slower and slower with incredibly long wait times for initial playback or even following forward skips. This seems unaffected by whether I’m using a Roku that is hardwired or on wifi and even downgrading the resolution still results in poor performance.

So I’ve invested in a four-tuner Tablo (that advertised 1080p capability and yet it doesn’t even work reliably at lower resolutions), lifetime guide, new USB hard drive and new Rokus and I am still left with a product that I’m ready to ditch in favor of a solution that actually works! Very frustrating and Tablo blaming the continuous reboots and low resolution requirement on the Roku seems illogical when all other channels work as advertised.

Tablo needs to step up and quickly or they’ve lost an early fan. Anyone have any first-hand experience with either Tivo or Channelmaster DVR solutions?

You may not fully appreciate the differences between what Tablo is doing with live streaming (and the resulting transcoding for availability on multiple types of devices) and what the other Roku channels (e.g., Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime) are doing. Perhaps it is not as illogical as you might think.

I’m sorry you have had a bad experience. Don’t know if you have submitted a ticket to get Tablo help. While there is no doubt that Tablo is working through a series of issues, for some of us it works just fine with any resolution. In any case, I’m sure everyone hopes you find the solution that is best for you.

I think you mean what Tablo is doing?

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I had a SageTV setup for a number of years and bought a Tablo 4 Tuner last November to find a replacement for the unsupported SageTV system. I agree with much of what you’re saying, as the latest firmware releases take one step forward and two steps back in some regards. Most of what Tablo has done is really good, but the continued issues with Roku (that if anyone is being honest with themselves) started with the re-write of the Tablo firmware with 2.2.2, has been a big bummer…and you’re also correct that the Roku app is getting slower and slower in its performance as we move forward with new firmware releases…even with the more powerful Roku 4, the performance is a major step backwards.
So when Tivo had Roamio Basic refurbs units for $300 with lifetime, I picked one up for my main TV - so I have both now. My plan is to use Tablo as my multi-room dvr, as I have too many streaming boxes already, and to use it for place shifting (which would require buying a Tivo stream to do on the Roamio Basic), and use Tivo for my main TV with AVR.
The Tivo works perfectly with very good picture quality and DD 5.1! It does require more proprietary equipment to match what Tablo can do in both multi-room and place-shifting out of the box. A plus to Tivo is much more robust recording and delete options - something Tablo will likely eventually get to, but simply aren’t there now.
One thing I really prefer about Tablo over Tivo, is the interface - Tivo has a very busy interface and I find content discovery to be more difficult than by using Tablo’s Prime Time menu.

Based on the high concentrations of posts regarding reboots when fast-forwarding, I’d say it is a fairly universal problem. If you are one of the few who is not having issues, why hasn’t Tablo pursued the differences between your setup and experience vs. the majority of others? It’s also concerning to me that the solution to problems seems to be to slow things down or reduce resolution. That’s not what Tablo advertises and not what I thought I was buying.

This is why you have less problems.
My Tablo quality setting is at 10Mbps, and I have more problems, eventhough my setup is also hardwired, and using a Roku 3. (I also have a wireless Roku 2 2015 version, and a hardwired Roku 4.)
Makes sense.

My issues and workarounds:

  1. Takes 20 seconds to display untuned Live TV channel - wait 20 seconds :wink:
  2. FF/RW Roku crash - wait a moment before pressing the OK button.
  3. Loading, please wait when playing a recording on hardwired Roku 4 - use Roku 4 wirelessly.
  4. Loading, please wait loop when playing a recording on any hardwired or wireless Roku - use MS Windows 7 Google Chrome Browser, or Android Tablo app.

I know my Tablo settings are stressing the capabilities of the Tablo, and Roku.
I want them to, so I can report issues, have them diagnosed, and fixed.

That being said, the Roku Tablo Preview app is not the only app misbehaving on my Rokus.
YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV, Amazon Instant Video, … have all experienced the FF/RW crash issue from time to time.
However, we need to realize that the Roku OS and apps automatically update whether you want them to or not, so the FF/RW issue may exist for one app today, not tomorrow, and then again the next day, depending on which version of the OS and app you’re using.
Frustrating to figure out which OS and app version combination works best, and even if you do, you can’t prevent an automatic update hosing it.

I’m not sure you can looking at postings and conclude that something is “fairly universal.” Lots of people don’t post at all and lots of people without Tablo issues remain members of the Community but do not post. So not surprisingly, those that post are probably skewed towards those having issues. In the end it doesn’t matter whether the problem is fairly universal or not. In my house, the fast-forwarding and reboot issues don’t occur and in your house, they may occur frequently. As I don’t receive commissions from Tablo, I am not hawking the product. But I am trying to balance some of the postings on behalf of those of us (which very well could be me and 3 other guys - who knows) who are happy with the product.

No doubt that there are many variables in each Tablo setup (hard drive, router, network switches, LAN wiring, Roku versions, recording resolution, etc) - but it seems from most posts I’ve read that the one variable that has the biggest impact is recording resolution. You are using a fairly low resolution (3Mbs) which may explain why you’re not seeing issues others are having (such as myself recording at 1080p 10Mbs).
But I think @st1100pilot has a valid point that the Tablo “system” (including the supported streaming devices) should reliably be able to be used at full resolution - and when it can’t, there is naturally going to be customer dissatisfaction.
Before 2.2.2, I could record at the then highest 1080p setting (which is now the 1080p 8Mbs I believe) and had zero playback issues on Roku. If I use the 1080p 8Mbs setting with 2.2.6, I have the same issues of Loading Please Wait, and long resume from FFW times as I do recording at the higher 1080p 10Mbs quality - so something has changed - and for many, it was the firmware re-write that initiated the Roku issues (whether the issue is Tablo’s or Roku’s - that’s when it started).

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Well I guess perspective is everything. To say that “I bet many people use the settings that I use” and then “there are a handful of people having issues” could just as easily be spun 180 degrees to those having issues.
There is no quantifiable data to support either position - and sure, the issue isn’t “Universal”, but I don’t interpret the OP’s thread title to say it is, you apparently do.
And the supported old Roku app works poorly under 2.2.6 (at least with Roku 4) - loading the recordings screen (on a freshly reformatted drive) with five 30 minute recordings takes longer to populate (takes about a minute) than it does on the preview app. The resume from FFW does actually work a bit better on the legacy app however - so there you go.

I’ve had no reboots on my Roku 3 Model 4200 when using the Tablo channel.

I have had it reboot on me when switching the network from wired to wireless.

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Yeah, that’s been happening to me, too.

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You got that right. I sent a letter detailing the numerous issues with 2.2.6. I up until last Friday (the 23) night, would have strongly recommended TABLO, But not know.
I just had live TV -Tablo re-load 23 times ever 10 seconds. Software seems to get worse!!

Had to switch to OTA TV. No problems there. ROKU 3 and 2 work fine.

Could not load and watch any recordings before Oct 24 after update to 2.2.6.

Delivering software that works for some users some of the time is the classical description of crappy software. The amateur who writes this type of code usually adds that the hardware must be flakey, the user must be responsible, a virus is present, the network is bad, the dog ate my homework…

Good reliable code does not need these lame excuses. And experienced people view them as a sign of immature processes carried out poorly. No amount of fanboys, excuses, cheer-leading, or finger pointing fixes bad code.

People like Carnegie Melon and countless maagement and engineering schools have studied and described software process maturity for decades, and the pattern here is literally textbook “chaotic” and very “immature”.

In the engineering and management world out there, the solution is to either change the people through training or to CHANGE THE PEOPLE.

My recording quality is HD 1080 - 8 Mbps and everything is wireless. No reboot on Roku 3 with 6.2 ir Roku 4 with 7

Indeed a forum like this is going to be HEAVILY skewed to those with issues. Let’s face it - very few people go to the interwebs to compliment a product, and even if they do, those posts seldom get comments so fade to the backgrould quickly.

My story, Tablo is wired to my Frontier DSL router, which goes through a gigabit switch to my wireless AP (Archer C7 a.k.a. TP Link AC1750). Two TV’s use Nexus Player (gen 1) wirelessly. Following 2.2.6, went to the highest recording setting since I want my sports to look as good as possible, and two of my locals broadcast only at 720p but with sports sometimes they are at 60 PFS.

The most significant issue I have is when I first turn on the Nexus Player, it often has to reconnect to Tablo, but I suspect that is in the Nexus. Not saying I haven’t had some “issues” or questions, including some problems with playback on occaision, but have you ever had Comcast? Problems with Tablo are nothing, compared to them!

My concern isn’t that they will lose early adopters, but they will get bought out by someone and the platform get “corporatized” or moth-balled… I work for a large tech company that has a history of purchasing other companies, sometimes to re-brand their work, sometimes to eliminate competition. So I know it happens!

Like SageTV being swallowed by Google. Let’s hope and cross-fingers that Tablo is a strong independent company for a good long while.

I am reposting this again from 8 days ago because I think there are a lot of others out there that are mostly happy with Tablo, but are not posting. I also think that too many of the complaining posters are expecting too much from the Tablo and expect it to perform like a more expensive system. If you want top of line audio and video performance, open you wallet and pay for it!!

(from 10/23/15)
I updated to 2.2.6 yesterday and when I went to the old Tablo app (not preview) it was taking 2-3 mins to load the recording using Roku 3. This was true for 3 or 4 tries on both Rokus, not just the first time. Everything in our house (three tvs, two Roku 3s, one Apple TV) are all wireless from two Apple Airport Extremes in each end of the house (extended network) using Centrylink DSL at 5.1Mbps. Should mention that the iPad running thru the Apple TV worked fine with 2.2.6! We have been able to use any combination of Tablo, Netflix and Amazon on any two tvs with little or no problems over the last year.

So yesterday after this problem I did a reset on the Rokus - pulled the plug for a min. This did nothing to solve the 3 min load for recordings. Then I did a complete reset of the network AND Tablo and then the recordings loaded in 10 secs - about 750 Gb of recordings. I should have done each one at a time, but was in a hurry and didn’t so I don’t know which one was the problem, but since iPad was working fine I think is was the Tablo that was the problem and not the network.

Now everything is working fine including the new Preview app. Maybe this is useful to someone. Cheers