Yet Another For the list - suddenly "Recording failed due to weak signal."

Seeing it time and time again more often. I haven’t changed anything, not to say new signals aren’t in the area. I would only rarely get an occasional random failed recording.

Now I’ve got 3rd with in a month. Well, 4 or six. Two shows set to record back to back, at 11pm and 12am yet. The first one - failed to tune, half hour later… unable to tune. 11 is news time in the east, so it’s not like they are doing “maintenance”

This is a channel I’ve never had an issue with. Watch regularly and never ever a blip during the day! To go from virtually none to 3 sets in a month…

Just one of those things… just will never know what it is :frowning:

I live NW of Austin - about 35-45 miles from the broadcast towers (I am lucky - they are basically all in one location - straight line from my house). When the temperature changes in Austin (mostly in the summer) from 100 degree days to the 70s at night, tropospheric propagation happens (the layers of hot/cold air in the atmosphere creates signals bouncing). I lose channels 14.1-14.4, 31.1-31.4 and sometimes 36.1-36.3. It isn’t that I am actually not able to see that signal, it is co-channel interference with stations from Houston (165-180 miles away) and San Antonio (90-130 miles away) that broadcast on the same frequencies. This usually happens between 10:00PM (CST) and 7:00AM (CST).

I watch ION (36.3) and the signal will drop to “no signal”, but channel 49.1 (Houston, 185 miles away) which is also ION comes in clear. About 10-15 minutes later, I lose 49.1 and 36.3 comes back (this is due to the signals stop bouncing), and another 10-15 minutes back to the same situation.

July and August are the worst time of year for me - and in December/January come in a close 2nd when a strong front comes in from the north.

There is almost nothing you can do (other than demand that Houston and San Antonio stop broadcasting) to negate this, as when two channels are on the same frequency, they “cancel” each other out.

Hope is in the future with ATSC 3.0, as it is supposed to be a more stable method of transmission.

I do take some of that into account. Late night/early morning I can get signals for “other directions” or lower power that I can get during the day. Late as night, it’s not a time to have an issue with a channel that works all day long.

I understand as for receptions, “a channel” includes all sub-channels as they are all broadcast -compressed- on the same frequency. It’s not like there’s a different frequency for 13.1 and 13.4 they use multiplexing and stuff.

I have wireless internet (not cellular). Currently it’s WiMAX, they also have LTE and LTE cell towers. When I had an LTE signal, with issues, the techs were here, claiming they’re tying to get updates… something about new AT&T tower/signal. So yes, there are also the “unseen” variables

Ok, yes, time of year. I’ve never noticed it with TV. I can’t confirm this, I believe about the time of the equinoxes, position of the Sun, impacts the quality of my signal for my internet. I have issues with speeds for a couple weeks yearly it seems. But this could be coincidental, and I haven’t actually kept track. Yes “the Sun” impacts RF signals.

I’ve rarely have “weak signal” issues… Other users are not bringing up similar issues while, others are not but can’t overlook the parallels with – NEW - Tablo Firmware Release 2.2.28

There are also a number of smaller enhancements that will improve performance for those who have channels with marginal or problematic reception

Well, when it did reboot, I had “segmented” recordings, now I get 0. (not that the reboot issue was acceptable, nor did I really have that problem)

Yup, just add me to the list of “suddenly I have reception problems” …after 22 months.

[edit] actually these recording were on tablo2 which I bout a year after tablo1, so I guess it’s only been in service just less than a year. I have scheduled the same on both tablo’s for testing

I usually run the beta versions of the software on my DVRs (I have two 4-tuner models), and the reception issues were driving me crazy. I would receive the channels with strength of 70% - 100% (measured on a digital tuner from WalMart - $40 - the antenna man uses it in his reviews). At night, it would report fluctuating signals of 20% - 40%, and the Tablo would show no signal.

I finally performed rescans during this period, and I went from 42 stations (normal during the day and 95% of the time) to 55 - 65 channels. Virtually all of the new channels were San Antonio/Houston channels, and the co-channel interference would cause no channels to be scanned on that frequency.

Before the digital tuner, I tried pre-amplifiers, different antennas, distribution amps, different cables, 4GLTE filters - tons of different things. Nothing fixed the problem. Since I know what it is now, I just accept the fact that I am going to lose those stations overnight sometimes. It sucks, as I miss NYPD Blue & Star Trek on H&I, and Law & Order on ION.

Will the channel you are having trouble happen to be one of public television like pbs?
Recently, several public television licensees have opted to take a technological step backward in exchange for cash from the FCC spectrum auction that will help finance their stations’ futures.

No, 13 WTVG never, over the years have I had an issue. Even odder, often get more channels later at night, not signal loss.

djk44883, since you mention WTVG I must be in the same area. I am also having problems with 13 and also 11. You’re not alone.

Yes, I live in greater NW Ohio. I generally have no problem with either of these nor 24, 36 or 30.

Until very recently anyhow. I have 2 tablo’s - I’ve been recording same shows on both, and it seems the issue is on one with a longer cable run – which has been in place for over a year ---- issue free.

Independently the second tablo was/is a refurbished unit, but it’s been in service since Oct '19 so that’s nothing.

@ronintexas has some technical info about atmosphere and related issues. In over 30yrs never seen this, but now I suspect it may be related to the extreme heat related weather… or another coincidence. It’s not as prevalent, but not completely 100%.

I also have a small fan on the tablo. It’s in an unused room, so it’s hot in there when it’s hot outside. (there’s too many conspiracy theories about overheating devices).

If I/we get a round two simultaneous government money I’m strongly considering getting a Quad. Have everything on one device “centrally located”. It would be nice if the long cable run worked like it always did, but I’m not sure I care to mess with it again.

I went with a direct cable run from the attic to a 3-way splitter (about 30’ of cable), and have two Tablo 4-tuner DVRs and a TV hooked up. I stream to the other devices in the home. When I tried to split to the TVs in the house, the reception wasn’t consistent (cable runs?), and so I went with streaming. The nice part? It is in a cool room, and I don’t have to worry about cabling. I let my Orbi Mesh Routers send out the signal.

The two Tablo DVRs perform about the same as the TV tuner (the TV will pixelate at about the same rate, but eventually recovers, where the Tablo gives the “no signal error” and doesn’t recover). On those summer nights where I have problems - I usually resort to streaming (Roku Channel, Stirr, Pluto, etc).

As the world changes, lot of things are different all the time. I know there are multiple ISPs providing wireless internet, LTE cell service, etc coming and going in areas and regions. Then there’s unknown topography changes that don’t even have to be in your vivacity to have an impact.

It’s also unknown, stations may be making equipment changes thinking ASTC 3 is a good thing for everyone… to monitor what consumers are doing to provide targeted ad “for an improved experience” and possibly have paid content.

I have no problem with a (single) split running +50’ around the house (RG6). The TV may have an occasional rare pixal, the tablo sometimes at least tries with segmented recordings but not always.

At the other end, about 10-15’ from the amp-splitter there’s a splitter for TVs and tablo. It has little to no problems.

Yea, the tablo does seem to be more sensitive and wants an ideal setup.

But really, until recently I didn’t have any real problem with this setup. It was just coincidental I had noticeable problems after firmware upgrade which included “enhancements” 2.2.28:

There are also a number of smaller enhancements that will improve performance for those who have channels with marginal or problematic reception, tweaks to the algorithm behind what is marked watched, and MUCH more.

Now that NW Ohio is in a temporary cool down, all my channels are coming in clear again.

There may be some improvements. I only have 4 recording from 13.6 this week without issue, time after 11pm.

But we’ve had record heat waves in years past and not lost reception… but I’m not usually up that late (I"m up at 4:30am) and only recently have more than 3 sub-channels each, so I may not have had a reason to record in the past.

Other channels seem to alright, I have noticed “across the board” failures a couple weeks ago, now it’s directly related to a lightening strike to the transformer on the utility pole knocking out the power.


“Until very recently anyhow. I have 2 tablo’s - I’ve been recording same shows on both, and it seems the issue is on one with a longer cable run – which has been in place for over a year ---- issue free.”

So the issue is more likely to be related to a weaker signal.

Any chance that high wind has changed the direction of your antenna?
Pets or pests might have chewed on a cable?


Antenna looks like it’s still anchored solid. I have checked the cable and connections. I replaced the 25 year old cable a year or so ago. Connectors tight and secure, no nicks in the cable.

Later at night, just the one channel again. No problem during the morning or evening, really odd.


“Until very recently anyhow. I have 2 tablo’s - I’ve been recording same shows on both, and it seems the issue is on one with a longer cable run – which has been in place for over a year ---- issue free.”

  1. Swap the Tablos and see if the problem moves with the Tablo. (Tablo & Hard drive and change IP address)
    1A. No it did not move: (Not the Tablo) Damaged cable???
    ------------- Try replacing that long run of coax cable. (Over the floor as a test.)
    1B. Yes, it moved: (Seems to be a Tablo or hard drive problem.)
    ------------- Move the Tablo and hard drive out of that small room and into the living space. (As a test for two or three days.)

Heat can change the operation of electronic components or even cause them to fail. I have seen both happen. In one case the heat caused a permanent premature failure of the piece of equipment and in another it caused a subtle intermittent failure which cured itself on cool down. That suddenly intermittent piece of equipment had been in the rack for over 5 years! The permanent failure occurred after about 3 years in the rack.

And the Tablo runs a little too warm anyway.

That is an excellent plan, however most of my problems have cleared up. I had bad recordings hit 'n miss on three different stations. Heat wave passed, and I had a fan on the tablo. We’ve had heat waves in the past and never had issues with reception. So, the tablo doesn’t like the hear… the heat/weather impacted atmospheric conditions which impacted RF signals along with the position of the sun.

Now it’s limited to one channel, not just the tablo. It seems to be the run to the end of the house. When I initially re-did the cabling I moved the “amp” to that end of the run and discovered it mess up just one single channel. I removed it and have been issue free since.

Now overnight after ~10pm I loose a clear signal to 13 [WTVG] - through all it’s sub-channels. It comes in clear with the news comes on just before 4:30am (ouch). I haven’t gotten up to confirm the “big” TV on the shortest run has a clear picture, but I believe that tablo records alright.

In the evening, ~7pm it’s coming in clear as well. This is extremely odd - just the one channel, just at unusual times (regularly ?)

There doesn’t appear the be any damage to the cable nor loose connections.
Admitting, when the weather became tolerable, I didn’t really invest time trouble shooting this seriously.


“We’ve had heat waves in the past and never had issues with reception. So, the tablo doesn’t like the hear… the heat/weather impacted atmospheric conditions which impacted RF signals along with the position of the sun.”

You have missed my point. Heat damage to electronic equipment accumulates over time! And it can be intermittent.

Heat can detune frequency determining components! And the effect can vary by channel.

Using a fan to move hot air around is not a good way to cool electronic equipment. And looking at the outside of coax cable is not a good way to determine whether it has suffered just enough damage to attenuate the signal going thru it. (My experience is that it doesn’t take much.)

I repaired broadcast electronic equipment for 31 years. My experience was that you are beat when you quit testing.

But if you don’t want to do the tests, then don’t.

Good luck.

Good point. This device hasn’t been in service for a year yet. Continuing issues are noticeable via the TV and tablo on the same cable run.

Ok, this is over my head, I get digital channel RF 11 - 201 MHz alright/all day. and digital channel RF 13 - 213 MHz consist issues only at night. How much 12MHz difference. Not denying the heat damage or discounting it’s impact.

I get your point. This is an otherwise unused room (aka storage). It’s not an attic or garage. Windows open, so there’s air moving through the house. True blowing 90 degree air over it only helps so much… but I know I feel better sitting in front of the fan :slight_smile: This situation isn’t extreme conditions. If the issue is on the tablo in one room and the TV in another (on the other side of the wall) - this somewhat negates heat damage to tablo, as the TV struggles while air-conditioned during extreme heat.

That’s not entirely what I meant. Before it was too hot to do too much that wasn’t critical. Now it’s pleasant, it’s not critical at this point, so I’m tending to other tasks… enjoying the summer.

Or things like setting a new mailbox because they “moved the ditch over”. First said they didn’t think they’d dig them up - because I’d get a new one to set if they were. Then… suddenly they’re dug out and re-mounted to a stake/pole the shoved in via front loader.

To do some true trouble shooting I need to check if I have issue with the reception at the other end. The TV has a “signal meter” and “signal quality”. It can give some indication what it’s getting. Since it only happens late at night, while I’m sleeping, since I have to get up for work, it’ll have to wait until I can “plan” for it.

I need to compare both feeds. Swap them at the splitter and work my way back. That cable run was re-installed Jan '19 so it’s readily accessible. Actually most of it was remnants of a satellite setup.

In the context of a professional and/or someone trained with a background for what they’re working on - especially if you’re getting paid.
For others, in context of general populs… could be they’re getting in over their head or exhausted their expertise.

and I truly appericate your willingness to share and help everyone!

It’s hard to say what’s all going on… I may have tracked town the final problem. When I first posted this, I had multiple channels with various issues. I begrudging may accept this may is some way be have been “weather related” with atmosphere conditions during the heatwave.

Afterwards I continued to have issues on a single channel during overnight periods. Late July lightening hit the transformer on the utility pole, or the pole (just as I was getting home). Line Crew snapped the “fuse” back (remove the meter first) check the power going to the house and said all was fine.

About 4hrs later - POP, dark. The “fuse” popped out. Beforehand an electric fan started to buzz, nothing from lights, just the fan motor making a noise. Crew came out and replaced the transformer, commenting “lightening does weird things”.

No sensitive electronics seemed affected, a network switch did die. Possible since the cabling runs outside facing direction where lightening hit? …and… I have low voltage lighting - several of the fixtures died. DC transformer with LED lights circling the house. Where the cable goes over a concrete slab it’s tied to a conduit, along with coax cable.

A couple days ago I noticed the channel seemed to be going out earlier, like it’s scheduled. Suspected something with the lightening hitting the transformer on the ground, sends some funky oscillating power, enough to interfere through the shielding of the RG6 on just that frequency.

It doesn’t happen when I just turn it on. I turned it on and checked the TV and it was fine. Went back a couple hours later and the picture was screwed up and the “signal meter” was fluctuating badly. I turned it off and checked - clean.

Lightning does weird things :neutral_face:. That hit was 7/27, this topic was created 7/17 - so there was (or possibly still) other issues beyond this.

Having the same problem. I am finding dozens of failed recordings amongst successful recordings for “weak” signal. Twice now I was around when it was happening. On live TV the channel would not tune in and I would get another error, and Tablo would ask “Try again.” I pulled the power on Tablo for 15 seconds and it fixed the issue. But now I’m doing that hard reboot daily because the errors resurface.

I also think the Tablo unit is running awfully hot.

I also think some of the errors are generic, and point you in the wrong direction.

I put up a 40 foot tower for the yagi antenna. I’m about 45 miles from the broadcast towers. I had a pre-amp but it failed so I’m going without. Not much of a difference with or without. 40 plus channels, all are normally crystal clear. I did play with an LTE cell filter and things were significantly better with it installed.

I definitely think it is NOT a weak signal problem.

Has Tablo weighed in on this? It’s my first day on the forum; lots to read yet.