Tablo volume is too low

Does anyone else hear a noticeable difference in volume levels when watching a show recorded via Tablo and a show recorded by just about every other means? The Tablo’s recorded volume is much lower than shows downloaded from the internet or shows streamed via Netflix/Amazon.

I’m not sure if this is a bug or it’s just they way Tablo chose to do it. If it’s a preference, then I’d really like a user setting to boost recorded volume for playback.

What’s your front end? Roku? Android tablet? iPad?

I’ve noticed a difference in volume(s) as well. I’m on Roku3 and live tv (via antenna direct to tv) and netflix both seem much louder to me than the Tablo recordings.

All audio is routed to a polk audio soundbar from tv via optical.

Notice same here with Fire TV (beta) app.

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Does anyone else hear a noticeable difference in volume levels when watching a show recorded via Tablo and a show recorded by just about every other means? The Tablo's recorded volume is much lower than shows downloaded from the internet or shows streamed via Netflix/Amazon.

I'm not sure if this is a bug or it's just they way Tablo chose to do it. If it's a preference, then I'd really like a user setting to boost recorded volume for playback.

You are comparing apples and oranges - not recorded but streamed from other sources. 

I HAVE compared - to our shows recorded via our Toshiba DVR reccorder, a VHS recorder and I find no difference to speak of. I have found that DVDs played on our blueray player require extreme volume increase to hear it and then it’s not real clear. I have also found that input through the HDMI ports isn’t as nice and clear or as loud as other sourced just in general.
However, comparing Tablo to the DVD recorder and to VHS - it’s pretty much the same. 
How can anyone compare a recorded show to streams from netflix, etc? They aren’t comparable sources at all. 
Tablo records as it’s broadcast - can you say the other sources aren’t changing anything from the original recording of the show?

Tablo captures to a transcoded h264 (mpeg4-ts) rather than raw mpeg2-ts files.  Just clarifying.  So captures from a typical direct grabber will be different.  Tablo captures are smaller because they are h264.  This makes for manageable streaming.  There are devices out there that usually attach direct to TV or some frontend that connects directly to the TV that save/store in mpeg2-ts (native OTA).

With all that said, back to the original topic… I’m going to take a very wild guess and say that not all audio systems are alike and it’s possible that stereo is ok but that a 5.1 or other may result (possibly) in lower volume?  As part of that h264 capture, it captures audio to stereo.  So… and again, just a guess, it might cause a volume difference on systems expecting something more.

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My end units are a combination of everything. Windows laptop. Chromebook. Roku 3. iPad. iPhone. Nexus 7. They all have a volume that is consistently lower than the exact same television show recorded (or live) with Windows Media Center, downloaded from torrents, or streamed via Netflix or Amazon.

The point being that if there were a setting for the user to bump the default volume a bit, playback could be consistent across all devices, regardless of the source of the media.
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You are comparing Apples and Oranges.

What is the audio like when you compare OTA TV directly connected to your HDTV tuner and to OTA TV connected to your Tablo? This could all be likely to the 5.1 AC3 to 2.0 AAC conversion process.

I also have been experiencing this issue. We use both iPad interface playing back on Apple TV as well as using a Roku 3 on another TV using the Roku app. There is a significant difference in the audio gain between listening to OTA broadcast.

Just did a test between the Apple TV level and the actual OTA level.
I tuned the television and the Tablo Live TV to the same channel.
The OTA volume was set at around 25 on our Samsung TV which was a comfortable level. When I switched the input to the Apple TV there was a definite drop in volume so you had to increase the TV volume to compensate.
This happens all the time as when we are done watching Tablo we have to remember to always reduce the volume or you can get blasted fairly easily.

No matter the codec used in the streaming the audio should be at a standard expected output level. Having that big of a difference is not typical.
Even if summing surround audio in some way if it causes that big of discrepancy then something is wrong. One side effect in merging audio channels is not handling phase correctly and that could cause cancellation. I am not hearing that though just the significant drop in level.

Possibly this can be addressed in a future firmware update. A possible audio profile setting might be nice to have.
Love Tablo by the way and appreciate the team and community support around this amazing device.


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I agree that the Tablo recordings ARE playing at a lower volume than ALL other sources. It isn’t the end of the world, but it IS annoying. The ability to universally bump the volume for recordings would be welcomed.

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I agree the volume is lower on recordings but not substantially. There are bigger fish to fry first, like multiple episode delete feature, larger than 2 TB support, 5.1 audio, and saving recordings off the Tablo.

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This is a really annoying bug. I have to crank my receiver about 10 levels higher than I ever do under any other circumstance to hear output from the Tablo clearly. I think issues with picture and sound are more important than minor usability issues when you are dealing with a media device IMO.

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  1. The audio is still clear and you can hear it. It’s not like the audio is distorted or out of sync.
  2. What video / picture issues are you having?

Yes and no.
It is clear, but I have my volume set so that I can hear it when people are speaking in the room. The Tablo recordings I can not hear with people speaking in the room, unless I turn it up. I am connected to a fairly decent Onkyo receiver, with Polk audio speakers, so I think I am getting a fairly accurate representation of the audio.

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I have an upper/mid tier Denon AVR with Audessey EQ auto calibration for speaker setup. I hadn’t run it since I changed some speakers, and it sounded good, I thought. Yesterday, I re-ran the auto setup (using a mic in 8 different sitting locations) and the difference was dramatic. First, the overall volume is much higher (meaning I used to have to set the receiver to 60 to hear “normally” and now it is normal listening volume with the receiver set to 50. But more importantly to me, voices are so much clearer and separated from background and effects sounds.
Long story short - AVR setuup can play a huge role in how well your speakers are performing.
I’ve had no issues with the sound quality from Tablo (running through Pro Logic II for faux 5.1 sound).

I have noticed this as well. Not a huge issue, but definitely noticeable on my Roku 3. I have a simple setup, Roku 3 to Vizio TV via HDMI, then Optical out of TV to Vizio 5.1 sound-bar. Tablo (preview) app is noticeably quieter than other Roku apps.

I have also noticed that if I pause a program for a while and come back, I have to reboot my TV and sound-bar to get sound (but this is likely my sound-bar, it likes to go to sleep when not in use, and something probably gets messed up in the “handshake” between the TV and sound-bar when I resume play. Isn’t DRM grand?).

Edit: wanted to add, as some are saying comparing Tablo to Netflix is apples to oranges. While that’s true, I have noticed this as well with my The same show recorded on the same channel at the same time is noticeable (but not a lot, a few decibels) louder than the Tablo. Probably is something to do with the conversion, as @theuser86 stated.

Well, as I said, EVERYTHING else is pretty even as far as volume (DVD’s, OTA, ALL my other installed Roku channels, and Local content through USB on the Roku) That tells me that the Tablo is playing at a lower volume than what seems to be an expected norm.

Oh, wait, there is ONE other thing that has it’s volume different. It is that da*# Mr. Clean commercial on CBS all access channel, that is stupidly loud. :frowning:

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No, I literally cannot hear the words spoken in TV shows through Tablo if there is any noise in the room at all when at the same volume level as watching Netflix, Hulu Plus, VUDU, etc. I have to turn it up at least 10 on either receiver to hear it as clearly as any other media source on Roku. Both AVRs have been recently calibrated with mic and the speakers sound great usually. It also is of a lower quality compared to Hulu Plus, Netflix, VUDU, etc in terms of distortion, bass, treble, etc. In fact, the day I first used my Tablo, the first thing I said to my wife (after commenting how cool it was that we could record shows easily) was that the audio sounded relatively poor, and that I would do some research to see if I had to change some settings to make it sound better. That was before I found out that Tablo didnt have 5.1 surround sound support. Since turning on 5 channel stereo its a little easier to hear dialogue, but it sounds unrealistic Im not a fan. Its definitely not out of sync, I never claimed it was.

The attitude in this community is usually awesome but sometimes people are too eager to blame issues on end users when in fact there are issues with the product. I’m the first to admit Tablo is the best OTA DVR currently on the market, and I recommend it to everyone, but if everyone ignores the issues they won’t get fixed.

I’m not ignoring the issue - I’m stating I don’t have that issue - so it isn’t universal, even though it is a problem for you and I’m certain a frustrating one. The audio from my Tablo is just as clear and easy to understand as any other video source I use - and not significantly lower in volume.
I’m sure there are many variables between all of our setups that creates a variety of outcomes - both good and bad.

@ChrisFix I certainly was not meaning to call you out specifically at all, I hope you didn’t feel that way - it’s just something I have noticed in a few different subjects recently. So on a Roku your Tablo output is the exact same volume level as Hulu Plus or Netflix? You don’t increase it at all to hear?