USB plug on my OTA antenna - should I plug it into the TABLO USB OUTLET

My OTA antenna came with a split connection wire, one has a coax connector and the other has a USB plug. When I used the antenna on my TV I plugged the USB connector into the TV UBS port and connected the coax connector to the OTA input on the TV. I want to connect the antenna to my TABLO, but I don’t know if I should plug the USB into the TABLO USB port or not. HELP!

You should connect the coax to your Tablo.

Did you buy a powered or amplified antenna? I’m wondering if this is why it came with the USB plug. If it came with a USB power brick, I would assume that this is the purpose of it.

If you could share more information about your antenna, I’m sure users would be glad to help you figure this out.

Thank you for your reply, but as I stated on my initial post, my question deals with the USP plug only. The coax connection was obvious and I was able to download many stations. However, I am having problems downloading/accessing my major market channels (ABC/NBC/CBS) and Tablo tells me that the signal is to weak. My (cheap) window mount antenna has the USB plug in I described and that I used on my TV with good result. My question is - should I plug the USP plug into the TABLO USB port or is that post ONLY for adding additional storage for the TABLO. Thanks

Without knowing what the USB end of your antenna is for, it’s hard to say what to do. If the antenna uses the USB for power, it’s likely that there would not be enough coming fro the Tablo’s USB port and you might end up burning it out. If it’s for power or amplification, I would use a separate adapter.

As for weak signal, have you checked the Tablo’s setting menu to see whether amplification was on or off? If not, try switching it to the opposite and rescanning for channels.

You should try to read the directions on your antenna on how to use it.

The USB should have a power block with it.


I have an antenna with a USB cable. It is meant to plug into the TV USB port to power the amplifier and the Coax to go into the antenna input on the TV.
It came with a USB power adapter also so you could get power of the amplifier from an A/C outlet.
Manual does show a picture of how to connect it to a Tablo. Doesn’t say Tablo, but would be same as picture on bottom.

Realistically, you can use any USB adapter you have lying around to power the antenna amp. You can use the Tablo USB, as long as you don’t need to connect an external drive.

I think you can only say “ideally”. Because of variances in USB and power supplied. YMMV. If the thing came with it’s own “brick”… use it.

Personally, I think it would be a grave mistake to have a powered amplifier that is way beyond the norm spec wise though.

I’m pretty sure my Firestick 4k Max fried a TV a few months back, so I’m hesitant to put anything more than .5 amps into one now. Not sure what the Tablo’s USB port is rated.

As for using a powered amplifier, each of my Tablos have different needs being on two different sides of the apartment. One is set for Tablo’s amp on with the antenna’s amp off, the other is the reverse: Tablo’s amp off, antenna’s amp on. The one I gave my mom has them both on. All three are working great. You really don’t know what will work until you start to fiddle with the settings.

If it worked on the TV USB, it probably draws little. Is the antenna a name brand, or one of those Chinese things with very poor, noisy, easily overloaded amps?

I got an amplified antenna that did not come with its own power supply, so it is possible it did not come with one.

Thanks to all you you who responded to my question regarding the USB input on the Table. I finally decided to just plug the darn thing in and see what happened. Well, I went from being able to downloaded 77 stations to 17 and none of those were strong signals. So I unplugged it from the antenna from the USB and BINGO, downloaded the 77. So, don’t plug in the antenna USB into the Tablo. Questions answered. Thanks again all who replied to my question. Great bunch of people out there.

I thought I remembered an early on gen 4 post tablo made in the forum saying the USB was only designed for external hard drives.

Doesnt it still output power though? regardless?

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Would kinda have to.

I think with the antenna plugged in, the internal amp might have interfered with the antenna’s, creating 17 channels.

But… we can only offer so much advice as we watch users tell us that it won’t work without trying it.

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You can, but really depends on how much power your antennae needs. Also it’s really intended for additional storage. My first setup I used the Tablo usb to power my antenna, but then experimented with the Tablo amplifier (removed the external amp), and both Tablo amp and external amp (using a usb plug for power).

My best results were using both internal and external antenna amps.

I ended up using an external USB 5w adapter to allow future storage updates.

If you only set your USB driver to support class 8 devices what class is your antenna power supply.