WHy does play back stop due to low signal?

I am about to ditch this device. I have had the Tablo HDMI for a couple of months but it is practically worthless for any channel that doesn’t have perfect signal. If the signal drops for a second, it just gives up and quits. Of course you can select “retry” which works every time but that is annoying while watching live and makes it unusable while recording.


Have you opened a ticket with @TabloSupport so they can look at the logs and hopefully provide you more details?

The firmware from March 20 seems to help with this issue (at least reducing the occurrence of the Retry popups). Have you updated to that firmware yet to see if it helps your situation?

I have one problematic channel (RF9). The channel is still problematic, but with the released March 20 firmware at least it continues to try to record a show instead of terminating.


This issue is annoying. It seems that if the signal “gives up” for just a moment then it aborts the entire recording. I’d just as soon tolerate some pixelating or a blank screen for a few seconds as opposed to an entire FAILED recording because of a random/brief signal loss. Looks like Tablo could “dial back” the tolerance on this.

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I’ve had the Quad, for over a year. I’ve found that it really suffers from the ‘Goldilocks Principle’, when compared to the original, still operating, and very dependable. ChannelMaster DVR+. The unit sucks in channels just like the Sony TV. Even the original, and still operating, PHD-VRX gives the Quad, a run for its money.

For the past year, I’ve been jumping through all the hoops ad nauseam, trying to get dependable recordings.

The lack of any live-time feedback concerning reception and other problems, makes user troubleshooting just about impossible.

I don’t relish being the shadetree mechanic that keeps changing out parts until there is a semblance of a successful repair.

If I ever want to have a dependable recording, I rely on the DVR+.

I still have (but shelved) my DVR+. Yes, it’s RECORDING ability is more stable vs the Tablo, however I had more than tolerated inadequate/un-reliable DVR+ guide data - yes, with an internet connection - for well over a year. Everything I read and even one exchange with Channel Master support said they are no longer supporting the DVR+ since they’ve not manufactured one in several years. If my local channels added new sub-channels, the DVR+ never kept up with internet-connected guide data. Basically, the guide data for my TV market was a mess. And I simply didn’t like the missing features like “NEW” or “ALL” recordings with PSIP channel data, plus the inconsistency that some of my channels had with 6 hrs, 12 hrs, or 24 hrs of future guide data. There also was the NOT the “buffering” affect when tuning to channels on the DVR+, unlike the TabloHDMI. The “buffering” is something I fail to understand with the TabloHDMI since it’s directly connected. I would understand this buffering with Tablo’s longstanding networked-connected devices.

The Tablo HDMI units when watching directly on the device (not streaming to a Roku) doesn’t tune a channel immediately? It really should given there is no conversion from MPEG2 video to h264 video like with the network connected DVR.

I still have a Channel Master DVR+ connected in the bedroom. So, I just went an compared. In the grand scheme of things, the “buffering” may not be as dramatic as I indicated. But this is exactly what I just observed:

DVR+ : Consistently across the channels, exactly 2 secs lag between channel changes.
TabloHDMI: Lag varies across the channels, 3-6 secs lag between channel changes.

I certainly realize that with digital TV - versus the old analog - one does NOT get the same instant gratification between channel changes. It’s simply the nature of digital vs analog. I also realize Tablo’s software/tuner is probably “massaging” that incoming signal differently than the DVR+ (or ANY other TV tuner) before it appears on my screen.

How quick is it going back to a previous channel? It might be the setup time for a new/different tuner so that the current tuner stays on the current channel.

Ok, I just tried that. After my TabloHDMI had been idle I woke it up (no tuners are tied up with recordings, either) and tuned to a channel and the lag was about 4 secs; tuned to another, and the lag was 3 secs. Retuned to the previous channel and the lag was LESS than a second. I tried this multiple times and switching between two of the same channels results in less than a second. “Freshly-tuned” channels result in the same 4 secs or so of buffer or lag; continually doing “previous channel” and the buffer or lag time is almost zero. I had never tried that nor thought of that. Interesting stuff…

Yeah, a tuner will stay on a channel for a while if it’s not needed for something else. That’s because a different clients might be on different channels. So the 3-4 is the initial setup time, and once a tuner is locked in it can stream immediately.

This issue has almost disapeared for me since the last update but was very annoying before that. Happens randomly once in a while but a lot better now

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I have this problem, too. Why can’t the software just keep going with a bit of a garbled signal for a second or two? Very annoying…

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I have tested the reception through the Tablo’s tuner, it is very flaky. When I disconnect it and connect directly to the TV’s tuner I get very nice reception. I do wish it just let the “weak” signal through and didn’t interrupt with that message.
Please change how this particular aspect of the product operates.
Thank You.

Comparing the Tablo and your TV tuner isn’t apples to apples since the Tablo has a splitter (and a amplifier to help compensate) while your TV is just direct.

Everything that has a tuner is going to have different sensitivity to signals. 99% of the time, when the Tablo has issues with the weak signal, the TVs around the house experience pixelation (in my home). That issue with the Tablo, it isn’t just displaying a picture on the screen, solely for the use of the device like a TV does. The Tablo has to convert the incoming signal to a format that works for the streaming devices, and when the picture pixelates, it creates a problem with this process. This is why buffering happens (or in your case, the message).

If the stream gets interrupted, it used to just drop back to the guide. They added the message to keep that from happening. This is also why it takes 3-5 seconds to “tune” a channel.

I’m sorry I don’t see your logic on that. I see it more like this.
The antenna signal goes directly into the Tablo, or the TV. Both directly.
If it goes to the Tablo the antenna signal is interpreted and encoded to video that is displayed on my TV through the HDMI cable. There is no splitting of the signal, or amplification either. Its comparing one tuner to another tuner in another device.

It seems like you are making excuses for the Tablo company.
I see this a bit differently as well. The antenna signal is being interpreted and encoded as video and sent to the TV. If I lose signal I just want it to encode pixelization/static or just a black screen for that time period of dropout. I’ve tried other DVR devices and that is how those companies handled the temporary loss of signal. Thanks for reading.

This is where I don’t agree. If you connect the antenna directly to your TV, which has a single tuner, there is no splitting. However, if you connect the antenna to your Tablo and the Tablo to your TV, the Tablo is NOT a single tuner, and the Tablo DOES split (and try to compensate by amplifying) the signal.

The fact the HDMI Tablo models don’t transcode the MPEG-2 signal and sends it directly to the TV via HDMI has nothing to do with the strength of that signal.

What I’m talking about is the important difference between a) sending a signal directly to a single TV tuner and b) sending it to a device that then internally splits that signal. It’s logical to me that if you take a signal and split it, that each side of that split will receive a lower signal (signal loss).

From this article…

“Any time a TV signal is split, it will encounter insertion loss that will weaken the signals distributed beyond the splitter. If you experience signal issues while using a splitter, you may need to install a distribution amplifier or a preamplifier.”

What I’m saying is to just directly compare those situations isn’t logical since one signal is split while the other is not.

Thank You,
I see your point about splitting the signal between the Dual tuners. Now I’m even more curious how the signal that works on my single TV tuner vs the Dual split signal on the Tablo to the Quad Tablo. I guess I don’t have a chance with the Quad model.
I’m ready for an actual Tablo tech to chime in on this conversation.