Tablo's Tuner Anomaly

I did a channel rescan and all my channels returned 3 orange dots. Now I know this to be false since 3 of my TVs give me between 80 and 100% reception on all channels and my Homewrx DVR yields 90 to 100% on all channels. Something was amiss with the Tablo! I did another rescan several minutes later - same miserable results.

I checked to see if anything was processing on the Tablo and saw that my wife was recording a show at the time of the rescan. I waited for an hour when there was no recording activity and did a rescan. Sure enough this time the Tablo returned 5 green dots for every channel.

I replicated this scenario several times. Every time a recording is taking place or a tuner is being used, the rescan delivers less than stellar results. This leads me to believe that any tuner activity lessens reception for the other tuner. Which means that Tablo’s tuner sensitivity and reception is not independent of what other things the box may be doing at that time.

It may be not only the splitter that lessens the signal strength but the tuner competing with other components and resources within the Tablo’s architecture.


That’s very interesting. Great investigation!

I am a new user - but have many devices to access the Tablo - MacBook Pro (web app), iPhone, iPad, and a few Roku’s. And a 4 mos. ‘new’ Samsung Smart 4K TV … I noticed the Tablo tuner is not ‘quite’ as strong (or sensitive?) as the Samsung’s tuner. The Samsung tuner picks up a station ‘loud and clear’, the Tablo struggles for the same strong channel reception. Maybe a new updated tuner is in order for the Tablo? (ask Samsung which electronics they use for thier tuners?) - just my 2 cents.

What Tablo unit do you have? And I assume your Samsung TV isn’t muli-tuner, correct? All the Tablo units except Tablo ENGINE have internal splitters.

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Tablo Dual Lite with a Western Digital 1Tb hard drive attached. TV is a 50" Samsung single tuner 4K TV - it also has the Tablo App for the Samsung TV. Does that internal splitter ‘degrade’ the signal somewhat?

Sounds like the Tablo may need a ‘beefier’ CPU ? More horsepower to do multiple tasks at once?

Have the same experience with my new LG as you with your Samsung regarding the Tablo (see my post here):

That was the gist of my post - that it may not be the splitter alone that degrades the signal. After all Tablo has an internal amplifier to account for the split and yet it doesn’t appear to do the job. To me it seems as if the multi-tasking architecture of the Tablo contributes to signal degradation (given all the pipelines involved) as shown in my tests. Which is not unique to Tablo - most DVRs underperform on reception when compared to TVs.

I believe that the Tablo is an SOC (system on chip) - wonder how many cores it has for processing…

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Well, by it’s nature any splitter is going to result in at least some signal loss.

What I was getting at is it’s not entirely an apples to apples comparison when one device has no splitter involved (basically any single tuner device, like most TVs) and the other device does (any Tablo device except the single tuner Tablo ENGINE). If you are close to the “digital cliff” with your signal the splitter in the Tablo may explain the difference.

Yes, my Samsung TV has the best tuner in the house - hands down!

This post brings up an idea maybe no one has thought of … why can’t we have a DVR that records stuff from the ‘better’ tuner in the TV, rather than a separate device? Hasn’t someone thought of or created that yet?

This may be coming. My LG remote has a record function key. It is not usable at this moment. But this hints at something coming down the road?

My LG (and Samsung) has 4 processors. Most new TVs come with 512K up to 2 GB of memory. Both WebOS and Tizen are multi-tasking OSes. Conceivably LG and\or Samsung could implement some recording functionality to their USB ports. Already the LG has a nice guide usable for notification and switching to a program.

My old Hitachi had component out which allowed me to connect its output to another device. Hollywood complained and TV manufacturers discontinued any output ports on their TVs. Given the Internet functionality of smart TVs, cloud DVRs could be possible from a TV.

TV tuners will be generally superior to anything that uses a splitter, imho. That said, I’ve been pretty impressed with the Dual Lite’s tuner performance. It seems better than the first gen of Tablos.

I think that LG record function is crippled by USA bureaucratic BS, as my 2015 model has that same function (disabled).

Yes, if my Tablo goes, I will buy the Dual Lite because of the reception enhancement. Plus we have the lifetime subscription that covers a future Tablo. In any case my wife loves the Tablo (it assured her that cordcutting was OK) and she would chop my hand off if I changed to a different DVR…:worried:

Newer Roku TVs (like the 2017 TCL I bought earlier this year) have the beginning of something like this. It’s not real DVR functionality, it’s just pausing live TV for up to 90 minutes but you can see where it might lead…

Darn it, I wish my LG had a pause function! There are channels the LG gets the Tablo doesn’t and my wife watches them live. She would love to be able to pause a program…

Yeah, it’s super basic and we don’t use it since we use the Tablo for everything but it’s pretty user friendly…

Basically just uses a 16GB or larger flash drive plugged into the USB port on it.

The Toshiba Amazon Fire Edition TVs do this as well.

Awesome! That sounds good to me :slight_smile: I hope Tablo engineering is reading these posts (as we come up with ideas and suggestions) … with something along these lines in the near future! Thanks for posting that info!

Maybe Nuyyvo can do a Tablo app (on the TV) that uses the TV’s tuner. Like they did with the Nvidia Shield + Hauppage tuner for the Tablo Engine…:wink:

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