When is conversion done?

When I started with Tablo, nearly a month ago… I set the Quality settings to be 8 Mbs (both Live and recorded). Things didn’t work smoothly and I thought maybe this was due to my wifi not being up to the bitrate. But then I looked at the traffic on my LAN during playback and it was very low – hard to tell just by eyeballing it, but it looked to be less than 4 Mbs on average (and I don’t recall seeing anything higher). So I just let it go, until I had about 700 GB of recorded shows. Then I thought, with the bitrate so low, maybe I could lower my storage needs by dropping the Quality setting… so I did, I dropped it to 3 Mbs. Now I am wondering, if my previous recordings at the higher bitrate setting are being transcoded to hit the new Quality setting???

Very few stations in my area are broadcasting at 1080. The vast majority of my recordings come from stations that broadcast 480p… my eyesight is bad, so it all looks like 1080p to me (but my wife has eagle eyes… ). Her shows are mostly from channels that broadcast in 1080i, so I want them to look as good as possible. My shows are all in 480p and I don’t care about the quality of them. So I am confused. What quality setting should I use and when does transcoding (I want to avoid it) take place?

Transcoding takes place on all recordings and live TV viewing. The signal that is broadcast over the air isn’t compatible with most streaming devices, so Tablo receives a signal and transcodes it to be able to deliver it over your local system.

The quality settings are the maximum that your Tablo will transcode to. It you are using the 1080p 8mbs setting, shows that are broadcast in 1080i will be transcoded to 1080p. Shows that are broadcast in 480p, will be transcoded to 480p and thus is less storage space. Play back does not require transcoding unless you are using Tablo Connect outside of your house and then only if you attempt using Connect on anything other than full quality.

Old recordings are still played back at the old 8 Mbps recording quality, not transcoded.

So, this makes sense. But then the Quality setting doesn’t make any sense in my situation. Right? I should set it to 10 Mbs and get the best I can for my wife’s programs. My programs @ 480p won’t be affected… I mean h.264 encoding of 480p should never approach anything like 10 Mbs. Most of my experience with Handbrake tells me that 480p encoding should be at a very low bitrate. Now if Tablo up-scaled (as Handbrake can do), then there would be a problem using 10 Mbs. If I understand what you guys are telling me.

As I had hoped. Therefore, transcoding only happens when: (a) initial recording OTA, or (b) when playback done thru Tablo Connect outside my local network (which I never do… how would I… I do not own a cell phone, and seldom travel).

1 Like

If you have a 4 tuner Tablo, using the highest quality setting can use 2 tuners when recording a station that broadcasts 720p. This is only a problem if you are attempting to record 4 programs at the same time. This limitation occasionally caused me to miss getting a program recorded, so I now keep mine set to 1080p 8mbs.

1 Like

I have a dual. Does that mean I need both of them to record 10 Mbs??

No, only on the 4 tuner models.