When does streaming stop?

Please excuse my ignorance, as I am NOT network engineer or an IT guy. So let me try and explain a phenomena I noticed while watching Live TV (Tablo) and using a different streaming app (Sling TV) one right after another. I know Sling TV is not Tablo and vice versa, but just wanted to get some insight from some people here.

Scenario: Watching 2 football games on Live TV (one on Fox w/ Nvidia Shield TV & one on CBS w/ Samsung Android tablet); then, once the games are over I switch apps to Sling TV on the Shield and quit using the tablet. On Sling TV, I was having trouble with the stream buffering (every couple of minutes I’d wait on the spinning circle for a minute or two). This lasted for about an hour.

What I think may be the problem: When I back out of the Tablo app (using shield remote back button) and dismiss the app running in the background, the Tablo unit itself is still recording the two OTA channels, I can see my usb hdd activity light blinking fast. (I can understand why it does this.)
The new tablo app does not have a proper exit button to quit the app like the old app did, I don’t really use the disconnect button buried within the settings somewhere (I don’t have multiple tablos). Is the tablo device still multicasting the “Live TV” channels to everything on the newtork? I ask because after about an hour or so the usb hdd activity light to my Tablo unit stopped blinking fast (telling me the tablo unit stopped tuning/recording those two channels and sending them over the LAN), thus that is when my stream from Sling TV returned to normal.

I guess my question is…Does the Tablo unit continue to multicast/stream to local area network devices after quitting the app, thus bogging down my LAN? Is there a proper quit/exit button on the tablo app (android/tv) that might help with this situation? Would disconnecting from the Tablo unit through the app help?

I have not done a lot of testing with this. Just something I noticed on Sunday.
Thanks for reading

If you don’t have the Tablo app running, nothing is being streamed to your network. The Tablo is still working for a while after you exit out (as you noted), but if no app is running, then there is nothing to stream.

So, if the Tablo unit is still on “Live TV” (capturing OTA, processing video, and casting out to device(s)) and I quit the tablo app (using back button on remote as there is no formal Exit/Quit), the tablo unit itself is not still “broadcasting”/multicasting/trying to stream on the LAN to device IPs.

To me (again, not an expert), It would seem like the tablo unit is kind of like a broadcast tower; sending data until it is asked to stop by a command (either through timeout or to stop/exit/quit). I wonder if any such command is getting left out when the tablo app is “backed out” of / quit from. Would data from the unit still be trying to reach it’s target IP address, the data gets to target IP, but the device with that IP does not have the tablo app running. Thus, the pipeline gets overcrowded with unused data until the tablo unit times out.

I hope I’ve explained this well enough with my limited networking knowledge.


The Tablo is just a server, and it needs a client to request data before it will send anything out.

Apps like Sling can certainly get bogged down on their servers’ end, especially on weekends in prime time when a lot of subscribers are likely using the service.

I know tablo is just a server. what I am asking is…is it not possible to have the pipelines filled with unused tablo data because nothing is telling the tablo server to stop capture/convert/stream “Live TV” when the app is closed (pressing back so many times to exit).

The app (client) can initiate a stream on “Live TV”, but is anything telling the tablo server to stop the “Live TV” besides the timeout function.

If the Tablo DVR doesn’t receive a request for data, it doesn’t send any.

So, the client is constantly requesting for data when you are watching “Live TV”. And the Tablo Unit stops transmission when client app is no longer active on the client IP.

Cool. Thanks.

Yes. I also made a few more observations using my PC and Task manager.

  1. Live TV is always sending data to the client, even when the show is paused. This does make sense since the progress bar will keep getting longer and longer.

  2. Recorded TV only sends data to the client when it is playing. When paused or jumping throughout the recording, no data is sent.

Taboo is an HTTP server. It is saving data to disk, for an undertimine time after you stop “watching”.

It my not be streaming, but may still be adding to the channels playlist, for some time yet. Maybe due to the client not disconnected.

The client request a playlist start/stop/pause the playlist, I believe is the request - full of all the segments it needs.

It might just be sending data about the progress bar, or the local client could be buffering/cacheing all of the “paused” show? The taboo communicates more than just streamed data as well most likely

There was some similar discussion in the past… with no real answer -

This is old, may not still apply

The first couple replies suggest it goes on for a period of time and you can’t stop it - unless there’s a scheduled recording…

There are no support articles, no posts/replies from TabloTV or TabloSupport or any references in any blog post showing up in any searches I’ve conjured up… so it seems to be primarily speculation and personal R&D :neutral_face:

Thanks. It looks like I’ll be doing research soon.

That’s correct. If you’re not watching, we’re not sending data over the network.

The only exception is if you have Automatic Commercial Skip enabled. If you have a recording that has just ended, the Tablo will send some data over the external internet for processing.

So Live TV does continue to send data over the LAN even though the client has been closed and will continue to do so until an automated timeout.

So, it’s possible the client is shut down/closed without a command to the server saying to stop the data.

I’ll do more investigation when my new PC arrives (old one died).

No. The examples listed are someone leaving the client open for a long period of time. Once the client is closed, the network traffic ends (except commercial skip).

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Cool. Thank you. I appreciate your help!

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It looks like you may be blending two operations in here…

This the the tablo “recording” -saving to disk. Nothing to do with streaming at this point.

Then some confusion/misunderstanding - already covered, tablo does not multicast over entire network. May still be “recording” channel even if you’re not watching it (in case you switch back maybe)

Covered, but a point missed - this is separate to the USB activity issue. These are two separate issues brought up, intermixed into one at times.

capture/convert - transcodeing does not equate to streaming. You can stop steaming live TV, but the tablo may still be transcoding the channel. If you’re not “watching” noting is “filling pipelines” or streaming. Not the same as tablo no longer transcoding (capturing) the live programing.

I believe it similarly uses a playlist as does a recorded show

HTTP Live Streaming [wikipedia]


Request and download all the files and resources, assembling them so that they can be presented to the user as a continuous flow video. The client software downloads first the index file through a URL and then the several media files available. The playback software assembles the sequence to allow continued display to the user.

“stop the data” ? Depends on your perspective of "data’ - stop the streaming data, sure. stop the transcoding data, unclear.