It can be confusing to choose the best location in your home to put your device since your Tablo DVR isn’t a traditional set-top-box. Since it doesn’t have to cozy up to your TV, let’s talk about the dos and don'ts of choosing a home for your Tablo.
Where’s the best place in my home to put my Tablo DVR?
The ideal location for your Tablo DVR is generally next to your home router as we recommend a wired (Ethernet) connection whenever possible. However, there are several things to keep in mind when positioning your devices…
Connections are Critical
The Tablo DVR requires a good connection to your home network AND your Over-the-Air HDTV antenna.
When possible, we recommend connecting your Tablo via Ethernet cable instead of via WiFi as it offers a faster, more stable streaming experience.
Your Tablo’s connection to your OTA TV antenna is important as well. In order to preserve signal strength, you should avoid lengthy coaxial cable runs. While you can purchase in-line antenna amplifiers to boost the strength of your signal, these boost both your OTA signal as well as any signal ‘noise’ present which can sometimes make your picture worse.
If your antenna’s coax and your router happen to be at opposite ends of your house, this can present a problem. Fortunately, we have included powerful dual-band Wifi in every Tablo OTA DVR so you have the option of putting your Tablo nearest to your antenna and connect it to your home network via WiFi.
This is when a good quality router is critical. With a little luck, you will have minimal interference from neighboring networks and you should still have a good streaming experience, especially if you use Tablo’s recommended recording quality.
Another great network connection option for your Tablo is Powerline Ethernet Adapters which can offer faster speeds and more stability than WiFi.
Finally, Tablo is designed to have constant connections to both power and your network so it’s best to avoid powering down the device at night or putting it on a timed powerbar. If your Tablo is off or unconnected overnight, it won’t be able to download guide data updates nor will it be able to perform important maintenance cycles. Not to mention, it won’t record that midnight airing of those classic movies you haven’t seen in years!
Be Cool, But Not Too Cool
Tablo is passively cooled and is happiest at room temperature (41°F - 95°F or 5°C - 35°C for our fellow Canadians). This means that Tablo shouldn’t live in garages or attics where it can get too cold or too warm, or experience major temperature swings which can create condensation inside the unit.
Give It Some Personal Space
Tablo does not include a noisy fan for cooling, so it needs a bit of breathing room to function at its best. Make sure to place it on a hard surface with at least a few inches between it and any neighboring electronics or surfaces. Never box it in or stack other electronics (like the hard drive) on top or underneath it and make sure it can’t be accidentally covered with other items like clothes (or cats). And while it may be tempting to hide your Tablo and router away in a closed/unventilated cabinet, this is a no-no as well. All electronics need to breathe, so make sure they have access to air and space in order to do so.
Interference from Walls and Other Devices
When your Tablo is connected to your network via WiFi, it’s especially important to avoid placing it in areas that could have high WiFi interference. Household appliances like microwaves and other wireless devices like baby monitors can cause interference which may lead to buffering.
WiFi signal performance can also be especially poor in rooms that have concrete walls or are clad in tile or metal (like stucco underlay mesh). The worst case scenario is mirrored walls which can actually reflect signals.
If you have to place your Tablo in an area with these issues, it’s probably best to rely on a Powerline Ethernet Adapter as mentioned above.
If you follow the above tips and tricks when choosing the best location for your network-connected DVR you’ll be able to enjoy a long and smooth-streaming future with your Tablo.
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