Unbelievable Buffering with Fire TV Stick

For the last couple of months, I have run into constant buffering while watching Live TV with my Fire TV stick using Tablo Connect with a remote Tablo unit.

I have Comcast Internet Service. While the speed is great, the bufferbloat is pretty bad. That is happening somewhere upstream in Comcast’s network, so there is nothing I can do about this.

The buffering is so bad, that typically I get 10 seconds of video followed by 15 seconds of buffering. Unfortunately, the Fire TV App has a bug, that hasn’t been fixed in over 6 months that prevents me from adjusting the remote viewing bandwidth, which is one way I could try to minimize the problem.

I am not having any problems streaming Netflix and Prime Videos, so this problem is totally Tablo related. This problem also only occurs with the Tablo while watching live TV. I can watch recorded programs without any problems.

Is there any hope that these continuous problems are ever going to get fixed, or is it time to get rid of my Tablos and find another solution?

Your big problem is that you can’t adjust the remote quality settings on your FireTv stick. I am surprised that still isn’t working since it was solved on other platforms.

It is interesting that live tv is acting different from recorded tv, though remote connect does treat it differently. There used to be a problem where selecting the 3Mbps or 4Mbps settings would cause weird borders for live tv but not recorded tv.

Have you tried using a mobile phone app with Tablo Connect to see if changing the remote quality does make a difference? The challenge is possibly the upload speed of the internet that the Tablo is connected to. What is the internet connection like for the remote Tablo unit?

Netflix, etc may not be the best comparison, as it would be based on your local download speed, rather than also requiring the Tablo having to package and upload video to you. Hopefully this is offers some coherent thoughts and I am understanding correctly.

If I use the iPAD app and adjust the remote bandwidth to 1M, it works MUCH better.

I have Comcast internet at the Tablo box location. Speed is ~30MB down / 5.5MB up.

Bottom line is that the Fire TV app needs to get fixed ASAP. There may be other problems, but the inability to adjust the remote bandwidth is a complete show stopper. It’s hard to fathom why Tablo hasn’t fixed this for MONTHS!!!

More Roku customers, and few remote use customers.

No guarantee when it will be address your problem if you can’t wait, time to move on find something better suits you. That’s the deal with tablo they have a lot of different platform to deal with sometimes someone problem get solve within days sometimes months other times years. There nobody personal tech guys.

If you have the first release of the FireTV Stick you could be running into the same CPU limited Tablo Connect buffering that I see on my slower devices running the iOS or FireTV or web browser Tablo app.

I have a similar Xfinity 60/6 Mbps Down/Up link on my ethernet connected 4-tuner TabloTV DVR. I have a 10Mbit downlink at my remote location with about 90ms ping times to my remote LAN. I can download files from my remote LAN at about 5Mbit, but my slower Tablo app devices are only able to get ~1/10th of that rate. I often fail to stream at the lowest 500Kbit encoding! It was only last night that I set up a Tablo Connect on my newest iOS phone [a 7 w/ A10 fusion @2.3GHz] that produced a reliable 1.5Mbit Tablo Connect that then I cast to my old Apple TV. On an older iPad with ~1/3rd of the CPU resources, I get about half of the Tablo Connect throughput.

If you are CPU limited on an older streaming device, there aren’t enough cycles to come close to your full bandwidth from your remote TabloTV to your streaming device.

I may update to a faster non-stick FireTV version to be able to use more of my available bandwidth. With the current bug in the FireTV app, my 2nd generation FireTV Stick is unable to keep up with a ~750Kbit stream. With the same Internet, but with a faster iOS device, I get an OK 1.5Mbit stream. It’s unclear if the 2nd generation FireTV stick has sufficient resources to stream at 1.5Mbit given my ~6Mbit uplink bandwidth limit, but a faster streaming device is far cheaper than doubling my uplink for ~$360/year. My downlink becomes the limiting factor during peak streaming hours.

Netflix and other apps work around this issue. Clearly the I/O is more efficient while rendering similar quality streams.

Unfortunately the 3rd party Tablo apps are limited to recorded shows vs. live.

I am using 2nd Generation Fire TV Sticks. This buffering problem is relatively new. 6 Months ago, everything was running great, with the remote speed set at Full. Everything started going down hill when the Fire TV app got upgraded and I lost the ability to adjust the remote speed. Things really seemed to get worse when my Tablo updated to the .26 release.

I have not experienced any problems with Fire TV devices, whatsoever. Whether using the (now default) Preview app, or the one before that.

It is very possible that a big part of my problem is the excessive bufferbloat on my remote Comcast internet service. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to fix that as it seems to be upstream in the Comcast network (I have the same bufferbloat issues at my home and business locations in Naples FL).

Something needs to get fixed, as the way it is now, Live TV remote access to my Tablo is completely unusable.

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Are you using your own router or a Comcast provided one? If it’s Comcast’s, I would recommend ditching it and getting a good quality modem and router (separate units).

I have my own modem and router at my house, and a Comcast Business router at my store. The bufferbloat is the same at both locations. In MN, I have Comcast Business internet at my store there, and the bufferbloat is MUCH less of a problem.

I too have a fire stick but buffers only on abc and fox which the towers are about the same distance. Still messing with antenna anybody have any advice.

Did this ever get fixed for you Mike? Even after adjusting my Fire TV 4K stick streaming quality down it still buffers like crazy using tablo connect. I have an old Android Nexus TV at the same location and it has zero buffering on high quality.

What’s going on Tablo? Are you planning to fix tablo Connect support for Fire TV? This is a joke!

I upgraded my internet service at home to Comcast; 60MB down / 4MB Up. My old CenturyLink Service was 20MB down /856K Up.

I haven’t had any problems since, except for the fact that it takes for ever for my FireTV stick to Sync if I haven’t used it for a couple of days. While it is Syncing, I can’t see any of the recently recorded programs. Once Syncing is done, everything works fine.

Note: I am using the FireTV stick remotely.

Do you have Surround Sound turned on in your Tablo settings?

The OG Fire TV app does not support proper playback / passthrough of the Surround Sound audio (5.1 AC3). Quote from link below:

“The original Tablo app for Amazon Fire TV and Android TV, Tablo’s web app via the Google Chrome browser, and Chromecast DO NOT support passthrough of Surround Sound at this time.”

Any idea what kind of upload speed you’re getting at home? This is just as important as the download speed you’re getting at the remote location.

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I just got to my Naples House. I’m still having the same problem with Live TV. I have 25MB down / 2MB up with Comcast here. What a pain.

4 Mbps is not fast enough upload speed to stream remotely at Full Quality.

What recording quality do you have your Tablo set to?

The Tablo unit is installed at my business in Mpls where I have Comcast service. The DSL Reports speedtest shows 30M down / 5M Up.

I have a Fire TV stick at my house in St. Paul, MN where my Comcast service is 60M down / 5 M Up. Tablo seems to work fine there.

I have another Fire TV stick at my house in Naples, FL where my Comcast service is 25M down / 2M up. The Tablo app is basically unusable for Live TV due to constant buffering. I have the app configured for 1M live streaming.