When will Tablo Just Work?

Over 2 years with this Tablo 4 tuner and I have to say its exciting. Like everytime you try to connect its like, “Will it work today? Will it connect?” There is only a 50/50 chance it will connect so its so rewarding when you actually do get a connection!

Any one else think this thing undependable? I mean restart tablo before you want to use it is not always feasible and certainly not convenient. Its not right when before to leave home you have to connect your Tablo to see if the unit needs to be restarted before you leave and then have no chance of connecting. Am I underestimating the technical difficulties of this thing? No way I could depend on this as a main source of TV viewing. And as I see it, it has been two year of added features without fixing the basic functionality of connecting to the base consistently.

And, yes, my wifi is rock solid for the other 35 devices connected to it at any given time.

I’m off to go restart tablo so I can watch football in my office on an ipad.

I know this doesn’t help, but I never reboot, and never have access problems.

2 tuner Tablo (original) (recommended 720p setting)
1TB Hitachi Touro
Hard wired, static IP reservation on network

Roku on TV’s are all WiFi.
I also use my HTC One m8 phone and my Apple iPad as well as my PC (Chrome on Linux).

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1.5 year 4-tuner owner here. Short of the issue I posted about earlier today (all my series records didn’t have individual episodes scheduled) I’ve never had any major issues either.

Thanks for the response @cjcox and @Nilex. All I know i restarted Tablo, nothing. Restarted again after blue button press and plugging in. Got a connection, watched 15 minutes, freeze, back to live channels screen. router reporting connection to Tablo very strong. Apple TV right next too it working flawlessly.

So you are using Tablo wireless? What is your quality set to?

Yep, wireless 1080p. Note I have two Apple TVs working 1080p too with no streaming issues (freeze, skipping, studdering, etc).

I understand but the Tablo is doing realtime transcoding and streaming it. Try knocking your quality down in increments and see if it improves. If so that may indicate a wireless issue.

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Question, mate - how close do you have the Tablo and your apletv? Maybe the wifi is interfering with each other.

When I first got the Tablo4, I had it right beside the Roku (both on the wireless) and it was dodgy. My nephew, does network enginerig for money, moved them apart and it was good. Then he plugged in the internet wires on the Tablo and it that much much better again.

Maybe you have a defective unit? Warranty is only 1 year unfortunately.

I have my Tablo hard wired to my router, and I haven’t had any connection issues or recording issues (due to lockups) for 3.5 years. I haven’t lost remote pairing on any of my devices in over a year since they made some changes to it (iPhone, iPad, Fire TV, computer).

I’ve also only used the 720p 5 Mbps recording quality due to my limited upload speed of 10 Mbps. The 1080p recording qualities streamed fine locally, but would cause buffering remotely.

Maybe give the Ethernet connection a try?

For the first year, I had lots of similar problems with my 4 tuner Tablo. When it worked, it was great…but it would always seem to fail right at the big play of the game, or when they revealed “who dun it”. Network was solid, (Tablo hard wired) and wifi was excellent.

Finally, switched to a better antenna and 4G LTE filter in the attic. Tablo became absolutely rock solid. I had to reset it last week when it seemed to have crashed. Next day, there was a message from Tablo Central saying there had been a server outage on there end at the same time I was trying to watch.

If you’re able, try a better antenna. The stick-to-the-window flat panels are impacted by many variables, including people walking around in the house. I live 6 miles from the towers and could replicate pixelization and dropouts at will just by standing in a certain spot. The signal looked OK on the TV, though.

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Even though other apps work at 1080p, that is not a good comparison as they are not trying to transfer as much data as Tablo is and even if they get close, they have the ability to adjust transcoding rate on the fly.

For example, most Netflix shows transfer between 3Mbps and 5Mbps… SO right off the bat they are at or most likely below where you have the Tablo set now. BUT, Netflix can dynamically adjust that either with a longer pre-buffer and/or dropping the bandwidth. SO if its chugging along at 5 and detects your connection slows a bit, it may drop the video quality to 3 until it comes back, or drop it to 2 and pre-buffer some additional data, then bump it back up to 3, until that buffer is close to depleted which could even be after the show is over.

Tablo, can not do that, it has only a few seconds of pre-buffer to play with and if its set at 5M, its 5M, period.

Definitely try lowering your quality. Would also suggest going wired rather than wifi, if only temporary, it will help you identify where the issue is.

I have 2 4-tuner Tablos at 2 houses. While it took a bit of engineering and troubleshooting due to signal interference and router settings that didn’t play well with my streaming boxes, once I got them set up, all has been well.

One is almost 2.5 years old, the other is about 18 months. I never have to reboot them, never have connection issues with multiple Roku, Android and Apple Tablets & phones, multiple windows PCs, local and remote. No issues at all.

How about using some (long) ethernet cables to take the wireless connections out of the equation? This probably isn’t your long-term solution, but it might get you one step closer to a solution.

FWIW - I couldn’t get my Tablo installation to work flawlessly until I took the wireless connections out. I had a “state of the art” wireless router, with the Tablo hardwired to the router, but still had random lockups, reboots, and generally wasn’t too happy with Tablo. I bit the bullet and ran hardwired connections throughout my house. It has been 18 months and I am rock solid, never reboot, never miss a show. Tablo has become an appliance in my house, something I never think about.

Now if this fixes your issue, you can still be pissed at Tablo for not having a robust wireless connection. But at least you will know what the issue is . . .

Yes, Thanks for the thoughts on this. For some reason my Tablo just becomes undiscoverable from time to time… I can see it connected to wifi in the router management tool, but no player device can find it.

I wrote a paragraph about this thing being more a tinkerer’s toy than a consumer device but deleted it. Let’s just say I’m frustrated. And like you, my wifi is rock solid. My deadspot in the yard delivers 45 mbps.

I was messing around with the switch in the machine room [ok, so two of the machines in there are washer and dryer… : ) ] and noticed one ethernet cable dangling in there. I think when I moved in in July of last year I wired ethernet on the wall behind Tablo and never enabled it. Maybe its dead is why I left it. I installed 4 other ethernet and this one and was rushing because of movers and such. I just got lucky that this house was wired with Cat 5 cable in 1999 so the owners could have dual phone lines (if you can believe that overkill). But long story is I can and will do ethernet.

Still, we should not have to do this for a device marketed as wireless.

Thanks again for you thoughts.

Ugh…I am dealing with this same problem right now with my 2yo quad tuner. Seems like about once a year Tablo just flat out stops recording certain channels, throwing “error weak signal” messages. Except we are 4 miles line of site from the transmitter, outside unamplified antenna* And the channel scan shows signal strength is green. My experience is the “weak reception” error also pops up when there is a hard drive issue or the unit gets hot, in other words, the error message is next to useless. I keep the unit and drive on a USB laptop cooler, and we have A/C in the house. Not sure what else I can do except replace the hard drive yet AGAIN (WD Passport 2TB). I have about given up and told my wife she can get whatever she needs via Hulu or CBS All Access.

Interesting. We have some things in common. First, my Tablo felt noticeably hot when I last reset it. I know electronics are warm by nature, but this seemed abnormal. I also have 2TB WD Passport hooked up to Tablo.

I used the wifi for about a year and a half without any trouble, mate. I only switched to the internet wires because I got tired of the microwave messing up the wifi.

[quote=“John Luther”]
I got tired of the microwave messing up the wifi.
[/quote]Many blame the Tablo when the issue is otherwise and this is the perfect example. Not to say Tablo couldn’t have used a more robust or higher end wifi hardware, but I’m sure they tested and weighed many different options at the time.

In many (most?) cases it works fine but with Wifi, anything and everything can interfere.

Stories on this board include examples from neighbors systems, to Microwaves, to refrigerators, to even someones head / seating location. In fact, OP mentioned his Tablo was near his washing machine, even the electric motor in that can cause interference.

Myself I had problems until I turned off a very high end routers supposedly “Smart” routing.

Connecting wired is one solution or it can be used as a diagnostic tool to determine where the weak link is.

To the OP, here are some tips:

  1. Make sure you are at the latest release (2.2.16).
  2. Direct connect the tablo with your wireless router.
  3. If you can direct connect the device to play on to the same router. Wireless adds some instability at times.
  4. Set your recording resolution to 720.
  5. Make sure you antenna is positioned well and getting good signals.
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Tablo is a good product with features that really have no true competitors, but it is dependent upon several 3rd party components.

1st - you must have a good antenna properly set up for your local
2nd - you need a solid wifi network, & if you do there can still be things (mircowaves, etc) that will cause issues
3rd - your HD must be working properly. I, as others, have had issues with HD’s going bad due to Tablo running so hot

My biggest complaint about Tablo is the heat issue. I had 2 HD’s go bad in the first 6 months - my 3rd has now lasted about 8 months. I now have my Tablo sitting vertically on its side (seems to help a little) & have my HD as far from it as the USB cable will allow.

For the most part I am really happy with my Tablo. As I stated above, it has features that no other OTA DVR offers - whole home DVR via wifi & remote access.

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