4th Generation 4-Tuner Tablo Total System Now Available

The latest Tablo news along with tips to maximize your free TV experience. 

Tablo Q&A – Why am I not getting this channel?

Antennas Direct 2MAX antenna on a roof
Antennas Direct Clearstream 2MAX on a roof

Today’s question is from Stan who asks, “Why am I not able to access my local NBC channel? Tablo is able to pick up other channels coming from that same tower.”

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:

1 – The channel is broadcast on the VHF spectrum

This is likely Stan’s issue. 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 like the one pictured above may be required.

2 – 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.

3 – 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 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.

4 – 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 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.

While the 4th generation Tablo can decode these thanks to a firmware update, unfortunately, legacy Tablo devices are not currently designed to pick up MPEG-4-based broadcasts.

Have a question about watching TV that you’d like answered? Send us a note and you may see your question on the Tablo blog and in an upcoming issue of our newsletter, Stay Tuned!

Related Blogs

Get the latest from Tablo.

Signup to get the latest product and over-the-air TV  news delivered right to your inbox. 

How to restart your phone/tablet

Sometimes, just restarting your smartphone or tablet can clear up issues with apps. The links below will provide detailed instructions on how to force close your Tablo app. 

Apple iPhone

Android smartphones 

Most Android smartphones and tablets can be restarted by holding the POWER button and then selecting RESTART or POWER OFF and RESTART from the POWER OPTIONS menu.

NOTE: Newer Samsung devices require you to hold the POWER/SIDE button and VOLUME DOWN to make the POWER OPTIONS menu appear. On the Google Pixel 6, hold the POWER and VOLUME UP buttons.

How to force close your Tablo app?

Sometimes, just restarting the app can fix things. The links below will provide detailed instructions on how to force close your Tablo app. 

Apple iPhone/iPad

Android smartphones/tablets 

Need help with the final steps?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  Follow the steps in the video below for a full walkthrough of the remaining parts of the Tablo setup process.

Tablo Logo White

Please enter a valid address. 

We recommend entering your full address for the most accurate results. 

Sorry, no results. Please check your zip code.

Getting your channels...

You can get channels for free!
( over-the-air channels and streaming channels )

This is an estimate only. Actual broadcast TV channels received may vary based on TV antenna location, reception, topography, and other obstructions. Streaming channels require an internet connection. View the Channel Details Report for specifics of each channel and to help determine what antenna is needed. 

Reception alert:  Based upon the location you entered, you may not get many of the major networks.  As a result, Tablo may not be the best fit for you.  Please enter your full address above for best accuracy. 

Major Local Broadcast Channels

Major networks you know that have live sports, major events, local news and more. 

Entertainment and Lifestyle Channels

Sports Channels

News Channels

Movie Channels

Family and Kid Channels

En Español

Additional TV Broadcast Networks

Internet Streaming TV Channels

Internet-based free streaming channels .