Why Am I Not Getting This Channel?

Tablo Support - Chris
Tablo Support - Chris
  • Updated

It can be super frustrating when your new antenna TV setup just doesn’t seem to pick up one of your local channels, no matter how many times you rescan. Thankfully, with a little bit of research and some tweaks to your setup, this semi-common issue can be overcome.

There are four main reasons why your Tablo may not be able to pick up a channel that should be within range of your TV antenna.


Table of Contents


The Channel is Broadcast On The VHF Spectrum

While most antenna TV channels in the United States are broadcast on the UHF spectrum, a handful are still broadcast on VHF.

A TV antenna with longer elements is required to pick up the longer wavelengths of these broadcasts and many of today’s compact indoor antennas just aren’t designed for this.

Switching to a more traditional ‘rabbit ears’ style indoor antenna or a larger outdoor antenna with a specialized VHF element may be required.


Your TV Antenna is Receiving Too Much Signal From This Channel

Yes, your TV signal strength can be too strong!

Just like watering petunias with a power washer gives a poor result, sending too strong of a signal from your TV antenna to your Tablo can overload the tuners causing the signal to be intermittent or simply unavailable.

This can happen if you live very close to your local broadcast towers or you are using too powerful of an antenna for your location.

Disabling Tablo’s in-line amplifier, switching to an unamplified antenna and/or adding an attenuator can help.


Your TV Antenna Isn’t Receiving Enough Signal From This Channel

Even if you’re able to pick a channel up on your TV, the signal may be slightly too weak for Tablo to see it.

Unlike your single-tuner television, the signal from your TV antenna is split between two or four tuners in your Tablo. The device’s in-line amplifier does mitigate the signal loss but channels on the edge of visibility may fall off the ‘digital cliff’.

Moving your TV antenna to a higher location with better line-of-sight can help but switching to a more powerful antenna is a better bet.


The Channel is Broadcasting In a Non-Standard Format

With very few exceptions, broadcast television is delivered in MPEG-2 video format.

However, as stations start experimenting with the new ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee ) 3.0 broadcast standard, there’s often not enough frequency bandwidth available to continue broadcasting all their ATSC 1.0 stations which they must do by law.

As a result, a handful have switched some ATSC 1.0 broadcasts to MPEG-4 which is more efficient so stations can fit more channels on the same broadcast frequency.

4th Generation Tablo DVRs can decode these thanks to a firmware update. Unfortunately, legacy Tablo devices are not designed to pick up MPEG-4-based broadcasts.