Terrible Super Bowl experience on my Tablo

My setup: Original Tablo 4-tuner running firmware 2.2.42. Using Apple TV for interface, App version 2.4.1. tvOS 17.3. The tablo and Apple TV are plugged into router directly via ethernet.

My Tablo failed me watching Superbowl last night. We set it to record the superbowl and we were also watching it live. There was a lot of pausing as people got up to get food, use the restroom, etc… There was a lot of rewinding to rewatch plays and commercials, and fast forwarding to catch up to the live game. A couple times scrubbing FF/RW was getting weird, so we closed the Apple TV app and re-entered the app which seems to clear it up.

In the fourth quarter, suddenly you would see 2 seconds or so of TV, then the spinning wheel would come up… and you’d get another glimpse of live TV, and then the spinning wheel would come up. If I opened up Tablo app on my iPhone via WiFi and watched live TV, it would stream fine on my phone. But watching on the Apple TV was buffering (I think??) hard - intermittent glimpses of TV and spinning wheel inbetween.

Today I went back to check the recording of the superbowl, and its 45:16 long - looks like the recording failed partway. It wasn’t a signal issue as I’ve had Tablo for ~9 years and haven’t had signal issues, plus I was able to watch it on my phone while this problem was occurring on the apple TV.

I did not try restarting Apple TV during this issue - I switched to Paramount streaming app to finish watching the game. I did try force-quitting Tablo app by double tapping home button and swiping up on every app thumbnail for running apps on the Apple TV. This did nothing to fix issue.

What went wrong? Normally I watch recordings long after they’ve happened, and Tablo works great. Watching this recording live did not go well.

My original 4-tuner Tablo failed me too. The Web, Windows, and Android apps all failed to connect during most of the game. The FireTV and GoogleTV apps connected fine, but weren’t options in my kitchen. This prevented those preparing food from watching the game. This morning I discovered that the recording stopped long before the end of the 4th quarter.

I have been using DVRs since 1999 and the Tablo (hardware, software, and service) continues to provide the worst experience of any of them.

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I wonder if your hard drive is showing it’s age assuming it’s been the same one for nine years. I’ve also got an OG 4 Tuner but I’ve had three drives on it. One of those drives was not compatible with it as I had all sorts of problems until I replaced it.


The HDD is newer, I’m running a “WD Elements Desktop Hard Drive 4TB” purchased in February 2020, back then Tablo specifically recommended the WD Elements Desktop HDD so thats what I got to avoid issues.

I’ve also asked on their survey every year that they provide users a way to see the error logs, similar to what they can see when they remote into a machine. I have no way of knowing if the HDD has issues - no information is exposed in the Tablo UI. Last time I tried to “check” the drive years ago, it was formatted in a Linux filesystem my PC and Mac didn’t understand. Is there some recommended way to test?

I have an original 4-tuner Tablo, and had zero issues watching the “Big Game.” My usage was a little different, in that I didn’t pause/rewind/fast-forward, or record the game. I just watched the whole game, uninterrupted. The device I used was the Fire TV 4K MAX.

We had a poor Super Bowl experience on our 4th gen 2-tuner Tablo and Google Chromecast with Google TV 4k device. The video froze on multiple occasions and the Tablo app became unresponsive. We had to use the Chromecast “force close app” feature to restart the app, which would restart the video for a bit only to freeze again. We ended up signing up for Paramount+ in the middle of the first quarter so we could watch the rest of the game.