Very disappointed with Tablo Support

This began with a support call. Won’t bore you with what happened with that! After I finally received a case number we had many many emails. I spent an enormous amount of time, hours and hours over many days - doing the research. I finally discovered that it was Tablo doing massive uploads that were completely “hosing” my WiFi. Just a little bit on this: Tablo claims that commercial skip processing will cause 100MB to 200MB of data to be uploaded. I discovered it was uploading 200+MB, 450+MB, 650+MB and 700+MB of data! This would happen at the same times each night. When the upload occurs, it “CHOKES” my network. If we are streaming a live or recorded show it simply freezes. We can’t start up any streaming service. No device in the house can access the internet. This would last for 25 to 30 minutes. And would occur an hour later. Of course it was at 7:00pm, 8:00pm and 9:00pm.

If you are interested: I have Century Link DSL (only game in town). Maximum I can get is (up to) 40MB “down” and (up to) 2MB “UP”. The rest of this will matter for later: during the month or two of research, I replaced the DSL modem with a new one, replaced an Apple Time Capsule (built in router) with a ASUS RT-AC68U router. Used itsTraffic Analyzer to graph the resulting data.

I took screen shots of approximately 7 days of these uploads - depicting an analysis of the upload traffic caused by Tablo. I put the data in a Word document with detailed explanations. These appeared in several of the MANY emails sent back and forth with support. FINALLY I was told to download an app and run it - so they could “check my network connections”. I did so…and told several people “following” this adventure: “Wanna bet they tell me it’s my fault”?! When I received a subsequent email, I was told: that “some screen shots of the results were attached” (They were not attached) and - “You can see that the ‘phone-router’ connection does have a slow connection and some jitter, but the ‘’ connection even more so”. I AM NOT SURE WHAT THAT MEANS! OH: I was told it was being caused by my router and that I should have my ISP and/or my router’s manufacturer take a closer look at my network settings (?!?!)!

I wrote back. Unfortunately, I started out the email with “You guys are useless”. And told this support rep that I did not get the screen shots. I wanted proof of what they were claiming. I waited SEVEN days. Crickets…nothing. SEVEN days later I wrote back and asked for the PROOF. Told them I assumed they were ignoring me because I said they were useless. NOW it is SIX days later and I still have heard nothing.

Throughout this whole cluster-mess I was asking if the uploads could be scheduled at a different time/times. After asking SEVERAL times I got a “NO”. I also said that the Tablo Support organization MUST be a “MULTI TIER” organization - and could my “issue” be escalated. NO response to this. I paid the $20 for commercial skip…a pretty cheap price. BUT: the only alternative was to disable commercial skip. I suggested a different “work around”, but that was ignored.

I will be happy to stop recommending Tablo to people. This was unacceptable.

I will just add that I happen to be a pretty technical person. I was a “Master Technologist” for HP/HPE. I spent my last 15/20 years as a Performance Specialist for customers all over the country…and outside. I had to investigate the performance of their high end “UNIX/LINUX” servers, provide graphs and data/explanations, etc. I am no stranger to supporting customers!

One alternative, and it’s a lot of fun, is to build your own DVR. Mainly applies to the very technical. You’ll likely want a good source of guide data (xmltv,, etc.).

I do wish Nuvyyo was more “open”, then support could be absolutely amazing. As with all close software companies, there are plenty of secrets, and they hinder getting support.

(deleted my rant about problems with VMware)

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Yea, it’s no secret tablo has no facility to schedule commercial skip upload, here’s just one of several discussions

That and scheduling maintenance mode. I completely agree, I can’t have my network congested with tablo uploads during premium time. I know it’s not for everyone, but I don’t generally watch shows until a later time, so I can wait… and don’t have super fast internet speeds.

But not being able to schedule uploads, getting that answer really isn’t a disappointment of the support team - just because you don’t like the answer.

I spent 35 years in customer support for DEC/Compaq/HP. Comparing the support from Tablo (which is bundled into the price of the product) and HP is unfair. HP or HPE customers spend a lot of money for the support they receive.

I would like to address 2 things you wrote about. 1) That you “don’t generally watch shows until a later time,”. And 2) “But not being able to schedule uploads, getting that answer really isn’t a disappointment of the support team - just because you don’t like the answer”.

  1. Just curious: Do you mean that you watch “Tablo” later OR other streaming, etc.? We can watch any of the Tablo recordings that are on the disk…noting other than Tablo.

  2. It has nothing to do with “getting that answer”! I could have written something about as long as War and Peace, but chose not to. It happened to be a large number of emails and extremely strange answers and confusion on the support side. I was not happy having to ask a questions several times in several emails just to finally get an answer like “No”. Let me just describe the first call and what transpired - them maybe you will understand why I am DISAPPOINTED. When I finally got connected, I began explaining the issue. One or two minutes in, he said that there was an emergency in his building and I should call back in 10 minutes. I hung up, called back, waited and happened to get connected to him. We started over.Fast forward to him asking for the mac address of my unit. I gave him the mac address. He said all was OK and he could see my info. Before we ended the call he said I would get the obligatory email with a case number. I do not have an issue with anything up to here!

NOW: I wait about 3 or 4 days. No email. I just go to “email support” and send an email saying that I had a call and heard nothing back. I got a response from him. He said he must have “fat fingered” the email. Interesting - he had the unit’s mac address, therefore knew who I was and my account…and IF the email “bounced” - he would have known immediately. YES I AM DISAPPOINTED WITH TABLO SUPPORT! Not “just because I don’t like the answer”. And I am not sharing all the stupid emails I got back over the weeks that we corresponded. Actually, I am not exactly sure what made you think that my issue with support had only to do with the “answer”.

I imagine you understood nothing. I did not compare Tablo support with HP/HPE support! I ADDED (at the end) what I did for a living. I am allowed to be disappointed or unhappy with the support I received. Tablo should be able to provide a better level of support. I question the expertise of the support representative and all of the responses (or lack thereof) that I received. In the end (I assume I will never hear from them again) I am allowed to be pissed off at someone who did not include the data that was supposed to point to MY router or modem as the problem…I asked for those screenshots in my last two emails to him. ALSO it appears that others are/were aware of this issue - I got more out of these replies than I got from support. Maybe he could. have lead with that info and saved both of us a lot of time and trouble. It took my asking him about disabling commercial skip to hear that it would prevent the uploads. I spent enough time on this…I was not comparing suppoort.

I’m reasonably sure this situation is “bufferbloat”. The primary router (if the DSL modem isn’t in “bridge mode” the primary router is likely the DSL modem) is so busy uploading the Tablo commercial skip data it has no bandwidth/time to handle other requests.

I was a 5/.896 CenturyLink DSL customer and experienced similar issues anytime CrashPlan was backing up to the Internet.

The best answer would be to set up “Quality of Service” (QoS) on the primary router (if the primary router is capable of QoS) and set the upstream speed to be a bit less than the DSL connection’s actual upstream speed (as tested by a non-CenturyLink-targeted speed test). This will give the router a bit of “overhead” to allow “other” upstream traffic to be sent while Tablo commercial skip data is being uploaded.

My solution was to set a DSL modem in “bridge” mode and use a QoS-capable router (EdgeRouter X) with my upload set to 600kbps.

This solution requires knowing what sort of authentication CenturyLink is expecting (e.g. PPPoE, IPoE, none) as well as any required settings, usernames, and passwords. Also in case of difficulties it’s highly recommended to have instructions regarding setting up the DSL modem from scratch (using a spare DSL modem for bridge mode might be a good idea, rather than modifying the settings on the current, functional DSL modem). CenturyLink offers no support for bridge mode.

  • CenturyLink’s DSL modem/router support is here, for assistance with potential QoS options as well as configuring “transparent bridge” (their term) mode
  • The ASUS RT-AC68U (if it is the primary router) appears to have QoS options as discussed here
  • The Apple Time Capsule does not appear to have QoS options

Some of both. Regarding tablo recordings (not being like everyone else) I’ll often wait until I get an accumulation of a season before I start to watch. I don’t want to have to wait to see what happens next, or get caught up in a fall or mid-season cliff hanger.
So, for me, many of my recordings, not all, sit for a while. Ones I do watch more frequently are usually at least the next day - so I could schedule overnight uploads painlessly.

Being a professional support, of course you realize you start with a screen-reader, uhh tablo guru. Currently support is working remotely, so there’s not much to escalate it to unless they have a cat? :wink:

Yes, sound like you had a miserable experience. “emergency in his building” WTF? and you had to call back? I know they have sadly limited hours for supporting customers across multiple time zones.

Too often, you have to have support access your own device to recover your own information to discover something you should be able to find on your own. As though they have time and people to spend the day accessing tablo devices, gathering information, and sending it to users. That’s got to add up.

After they told you it wasn’t possible to schedule uploads, to stop you network congestion…

You basically “wanted to talk to a supervisor” and…

not liking the right answer.

Not being a stranger to supporting customers, yet you tell them “You guys are useless” and don’t expect them to put you to the back? LOL

oh, ok - you got it. Isn’t this how support works?

You can’t program a router to schedule when a device has access to the internet gateway to upload with your background? Or limit it’s bandwidth on your network so as not to congest traffic? Your network could use some attention from a Performance Specialist from the past couple years maybe.

I was kinda board, but I’m done after this…

I realize that you are bored and are also “done”. Figured you would choose “flight”. I really did not want to write a freakin’ novel, but having to explain everything I thought I would not expand/expound upon is making it long. I guess I am “done” after this.

I am not nor have I said that I am a “support professional”. And yes, I DO understand that most first level support beings read a list and try to answer questions from pre printed crap. I just thought they might just have some people that were a little more knowledgeable - not too much to ask. Not sure why you mentioned having them access my unit - I had no issue with that.

I got the “NO” in the last email from support. That was after asking in several emails if it was possible to schedule uploads at a more convenient time. WHY shouldn’t I take issue with that?

You keep harping on the fact - actually your assumption that I didn’t like the “right” answer. I was not getting answers. I can’t even count the number of emails that transpired before I got any answer. They still can’t explain WHY an upload takes place. And now I have to explain more junk so you will understand. I have a load of recordings that have already been processed. There is not a single recording left “unprocessed”. We are streaming from elsewhere. One single show begins recording (Tablo). Within five minutes Tablo begins an upload and the network freezes. Why is it doing the upload?

I never complained about “where” I was placed…I am complaining that after two additional emails and more than two weeks - I still have not been given the screen shots that show it’s on me not them.

AND one last one. It seems that you think I was upset due to the fact they ignored what I mentioned as a “work around”. I was annoyed that they did not address it because it was something THEY did back when commercial skip was in beta. IF you received messages regarding the upload failing, commercial skip processing failing, etc. - you would perform a “quick/one pop” reset and there would be a scan to determine what recordings had not been processed and an attempt would be made to handle them. I thought since that “process/code” was in place during beta…why not disable commercial skip and at a later, more convenient time enable it and do the quick reset. Their process not mine. I just thought they could investigate as a “fix”.

I know you are done. And you will not be taking shots at me any longer…you’ll have to wait for another person to get annoyed at support so that you can take up their cause and go on your crusade again.

OH:: if you had looked at the other replies you would have known that YES there are ways to configure the router and DSL modem. It’s just a bit of a hassle and there is no way to know if it will actually address the issue.

I thought I would respond with a thank you! And yes, I knew about the info (regarding the abilities) you shared about the router and modem. I have “been in” both several times. I am going to try and do this with either or both! Thanks again!