Solving Buffering Problems On a Legacy Tablo

Tablo David
Tablo David
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This article focuses on legacy Tablo app and device troubleshooting steps. Steps for troubleshooting buffering on 4th Generation Tablo devices is available here


How To Resolve Buffering Problems Related To Network Slowdown

In general, buffering is usually caused by a slowdown in device-to-device communication on your home Wi-Fi network. 

This can be the case even if you have a fast internet package from your internet service provider and even though other apps on your home network, such as Netflix, work without buffering. tablo_roku_buffering_error_message_dismiss_jeopardy.png

There are a few changes you can make to your Tablo setup to eliminate or reduce buffering.

Open the Tablo app and navigate to the SETTINGS menu.

Under RECORDING QUALITY switch to HD 720P - 3MBPS. This new setting will become active for all future recordings and will not become active for any old recordings. 

Live TV has a separate recording quality setting that you can toggle. If you are experiencing buffering on Live TV as well, we recommend adjusting said setting accordingly.



Next, scroll to the bottom of the SETTINGS menu and turn OFF the ENABLE FAST LIVE TV STARTUP toggle.

If reducing the recording and Live TV quality improves your experience, your buffering is almost certainly related to a slowdown on your home network.  


These steps are only viable for legacy network-connected Tablo DVR models. They are not applicable for the legacy TV-connected Tablo DVRs or the new 4th generation Tablo. However, the rest of the troubleshooting techniques noted below are applicable universally.


If you continue to have buffering problems even after reducing the quality settings, try checking and improving the Wi-Fi signal quality on your streaming device. If the Wi-Fi signal is weak, you may need to improve the position of your Wi-Fi router or replace it with a newer, more powerful model.

If you are unwilling to continue using a lower recording or live TV quality and are unable to upgrade your router, try hardwiring your Tablo directly to your current router with an Ethernet cable. Poor Wi-Fi connectivity will result in buffering, while an Ethernet connection is generally significantly faster and more stable.  

If you would like to learn more about how to solve buffering issues, visit our blog, where we go over the Cord Cutter’s Guide to Streaming HD Video Without Buffering.


Buffering Resulting from Unsupported Storage

Less frequently, we have seen buffering caused by using an unsupported type of storage with the Tablo. For example USB flash drives, external hard drives in external enclosures or from a failing hard drive. 

To troubleshoot this, disconnect your hard drive from the Tablo and begin to stream a Live TV channel. If you see no buffering or fewer instances of buffering, your storage choice is likely at fault.

To solve this, simply switch to a supported storage method and/or a brand-new hard drive.

It is not currently possible to transfer recordings from one hard drive to another.