Unstable platform

Does anyone else hate Tablo as much as I do? Tablo has constant buffering, last week 12 of 12 recordings failed, screen freezes, screen goes black multiple times while watching Live, it flips to the guide and it has to be reloaded. I’m so disappointed. Tablo support says delete the app, reset the router, reset Tablo all of which I do multiple times a week.

Is there a fix? Add another antenna? If so how? Take a hammer to this piece of junk? Suggestions? I really want a dvr and Tablo just doesn’t work

Just for clarification, the post is in reference to the currently available 4th gen Tablo device.

I own 2 of the OG Tablo units and they are pretty solid.

1 Like

Yes. 4th gen

You need to tell us what equipment you are using with the Tablo 4th gen for us to help you.

For $20 you could go to Walmart and get an ONN box and it works almost perfectly with that.

I am using a FireTV 4k 1st gen with the TAblo and it is almost as bad as describe. So I bought the ONN to save my sanity and it prevented me from taking a hammer to the TABLO.

Support keeps sending out fixes but none of them helped me with the FireTV 4k 1st gen at all so far.

What antenna are you using? I use an external antenna and have great OTA reception and Tablo works fine for me. Here’s one way to test your reception by direct connecting your antenna cable to your TV (eliminating the Tablo for this test). Then do a scan of the OTA TV channels that are picked up by your TV. Then view the main channels that you normally watch on the TV. If you see a lot of pixilation or no reception at all, then you need to look into improving your antenna. Another issue is if the OTA channels are broadcasting in VHF instead of UHF then you have to have an antenna that has a dipole to pick up the VHF signal.

I have a legacy 1TB OTA Quad and I have the screen going blank for as much as 7 or 8 seconds at times.
Not frequently though.
Also get pixelating at times. Not frequently either.

The screen going blank annoys me more than the pixelating.

My antenna is on the roof and get great reception, so don’t think it can be blamed on that.

Do you have an inline amp? Using the Tablo internal AMP?

You could be coming in too hot. Or not enough signal.

1 Like

Yeah, Sorry dude!

I have 7 Roku Devices, 5 iphones, and 1 desktop running BlueStacks. It works with my Tablo Gen4. It’s something with your setup.

1 Like

If you were asking me, do not have an in-line amp.

There are many users who report good results using the Tablo 4th gen, myself included. It’s not without its little quirks, but it is steadily improving with each software update. Some are lucky enough to have a “plug-n-play” experience. Unfortunately, there are others who fight for hours and then literally give up in frustration.

The truth is, putting together a reliable network OTA TV setup can be very challenging in many situations, and is dependent on many factors in addition to the Tablo itself. The marketing folks would love to have you think it’s all so simple, but not always. I have been dabbling in this network OTA TV thing for several years (legacy FireTV Recast user), seen many issues, and spent lots of time and money getting it to work well in our home. Here are some of “real-world” learnings/advice (YMMV) …

  1. It all starts with capturing “good enough” signals from the transmitters in your area. In major markets, this can be easy (sometimes as simple as an indoor antenna). But it can also be messy if there are multiple transmission locations or other physical challenges. Good quality, reliable OTA signal capture almost always requires an outdoor antenna, especially in rural and/or difficult terrain areas. Some even require elevated towers and/or multiple high gain antennas. There are many resources on the internet that discuss this in detail with tons of advice. Tyler the Antenna Man’s videos can be very helpful. Rabbitears.info is a good resource to find out what OTA TV is even available in your area. The point is, the best place to start with an OTA TV setup is, well, at the start. The suggestion to run a coax directly into your television receiver, executing a channel scan, and reviewing the results is a good way to get an idea of your signal quality from the antenna itself. Also, “good quality signal” is much more about high signal to noise ratio (SNR), not so much about signal strength (power). Note that no hardware can compensate for “not enough antenna” except “more antenna”.

  2. In major markets with strong transmitters, it is possible to have too much signal and overdrive the device tuner. This is especially possible if you are using signal amplifiers. Signal amplifiers can also easily overdrive other signal amplifiers downstream. The Tablo gen 4 has an internal amplifier and apparently some very sensitive tuners. I found out the hard way that leaving this on (Tablo Settings) can cause many issues with the Tablo. In most cases, it is likely not required and should be turned off. Note that deficiencies in item 1. (above) cannot be remedied with downstream amplifiers. They are more applicable to overcome signal loss related to long coax runs and/or multiple splitters. If your Tablo is misbehaving and you are confident you have good signal from the antenna, make sure the internal amplifier is off in Tablo Settings.

  3. Some will jump all over my following comment and boast their wifi-based home networks work awesome for network OTA TV. I’m glad it works well for them. In most situations, wifi bandwidth (performance) is heavily compromised by too many of your own wifi devices, as well as competing RF signals outside your home (e.g. your neighbors’ wifi). Just do an RF survey in your home (there are iPhone apps that can do this), and you will be amazed at the RF junk all around. IMHO (and experience), since streaming uses heavy bandwidth, it is often very problematic over wifi. Lots of buffering, drop outs, etc. Not sayin’ some don’t have good results, just sayin’ many don’t. My strong recommendation would be to, at the very least, have the Tablo connected to your home network router via good old Ethernet cable. In my system, ALL of my streaming devices (Tablo + FireTV sticks) are hardwired via Ethernet cables. I do not use wifi for anything other than i(Devices), Nest thermostat, etc.

  4. There are a number of possible software/hardware combinations involved in getting the Tablo to work reliably. Some are better than others, and some won’t work at all. I happen to live in the FireTV Firestick world, and as long as you have the more recent generation FireTV sticks, the Tablo FireTV app is pretty stable in this world (not perfect, but getting better all the time). I think there is plenty posted about which FireTV hardware is supported by the Tablo FireTV app. I’ve read there are many using the Roku ecosytem, which Tablo also supports. There are others, like Apple TV (beta ATM I think). The point is, you need to make sure whatever ecosystem you are using for the Tablo is both compatible and reasonably stable.

  5. Other details like latest Tablo app version, latest device firmware, good quality distribution (coax, connections, splitters, etc.) are also important. I find I occasionally have to just shut stuff down and cold boot to make a pesky issue go away.

This post is probably more than the OP might want to deal with, but I took the time to write some of my learnings down so others can “pile on”. Perhaps then this thread becomes useful for folks just getting started with Tablo and having issues right out of the gate. It can (and does) work very well.


What a great summary Classicrockguy! Thanks for taking the time to detail these “lessons learned”.

I wonder what percentage of issues that Tablo users encounter are explained by WiFi issues and less than ideal signal received at their location. I definitely concur on having the Tablo connected via Ethernet. I myself luckily usually have no issues with reception although I do have problem with our local CBS station right now.

And it’s not a Tablo specific issue, I took the time yesterday to dust off the Shield TV and 2 tuner Hauppauge USB stick and the issues are even worse with it when using Plex TV. I’m guessing I have some sporadic reception issue but right now I don’t want to budget the cost for a potentially better antenna.

One advantage I have with my setup is I have a complete distribution system running off of one antenna with coax going to the Tablo, my old Recast, and 4 TVs of different age and manufacturer. I can very easily compare between these devices to see what might be going on signal-wise when I see less than perfect picture or audio. I have found that most times I see such issues they are not Tablo-specific!

As such, I have really focused a lot of time and money on trying to get a near-perfect OTA TV signal, and I can say with confidence that it is very difficult to do 100% of the time. I’ve concluded it is just not possible to eliminate all impacts from bad weather, weird solar crap, random “bad” RF interference, and even trash originating from the actual broadcast. I’ve even called a local station engineer in Salt Lake City to report a local transmitter issue, which they actually followed up on.

The point is, while the Tablo does have its quirks, there are lots of other potential sources of issues in this game. Trying to do this over wifi is another big challenge as has been discussed.


Same problem here. Can’t access Tablo 4th gen on any of my devices or the apple app.