Tablo Boxes in Santa Barbara?

4 Comments
Reads 2368

By an edhat reader

Has anyone asked about the alternative set-top devices to getting cable? I get this newsletter Cord Cutters and they say this Tablo Box would work.  My son said looks like Tablo would work for me. 

With the geographic location of SB the mountains usually deter any clear signal from an exterior antenna.  I’ve tried two different exterior antennas to no avail. 

Does anyone have experience with this?

Login to add Comments

4 Comments

Toggle Comments (Show)
sbbeachguy Apr 04, 2019 06:49 AM
Tablo Boxes in Santa Barbara?

OTA TV is feasible in Santa Barbara/Goleta but the network stations offered are very limited: KEYT, KSBY (via a translator/repeater) and PBS. Period. KCOY and KKFX used to be available via a translator located at the KEYT studios, but KEYT is now using that for its "Next Gen" service (still experimental). KCOY claims to serve Santa Barbara in its coverage area but the Santa Ynez mountains make that impossible. I use OTA as a backup for Cox cable with a "bow tie" antenna pointing east. Depending on atmospheric conditions I can occasionally receive some LA stations but I wouldn't depend on OTA reception to cut the cord.

John Wiley Apr 03, 2019 12:40 PM
Tablo Boxes in Santa Barbara?

OP, you mention the mountains being a problem. It was a major factor before DTV due to the signal bouncing off of everything but is far less so now and there's no longer "ghosting" or "snow" but now we have "dropouts" and occasional need to "re-scan" the channels. Can you see either of the two mountain transmitter locations? Do you get any channels at all? Have you tried hooking the antenna directly to an HDTV? You could check reception maps: https://antennaweb.org/ -or- https://www.fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps -or- https://www.antennasdirect.com

John Wiley Apr 03, 2019 12:16 PM
Tablo Boxes in Santa Barbara?

There's been a lot of helpful discussion on this topic here at Edhat, so search here even tho Edhat's site update eliminated older posts. I've always used broadcast TV here. I currently use an old EyeTV tiny USB receiver plugged into an old Mac Mini, and a ViewTV "HDTV converter" from Amazon. Each has strengths and weaknesses, and between the combo it's enough for me. Current channels I watch: KEYT 3 [b3 - 4.7]; KSBY 6 [g3 - 2]; KCET 28 [~b3 - 3.5]; KOCE 50 [~b4 - 4.3]. Legend: b3=Broadcast Peak with 3 sub-channels; ~b4=Guess of B.C.Peak transmitter location with 4 sub-channels; g=Gibraltar Peak; 4.7=my rating of signal quality and reliability. I'm curious what others using Over The Air (OTA) broadcast receivers will report so we can compare and share ideas.

John Wiley Apr 03, 2019 12:30 PM
Tablo Boxes in Santa Barbara?

My location is 101@154 between the two mountain peaks with TV transmitter towers (BC Peak above Goleta, and Gibraltar Peak above Montecito). For best reception you need "line of sight" to the transmitters, with no terrain, trees or structures in the way. Even with that and two medium-size UHF rooftop antennae pointed at the two peaks the signal is unreliable, even sometimes on KEYT despite their high power transmitter. The channels need to be re-scanned more lately, as stations are being moved and combined among transmitters (new FAA channel sharing scheme). To supplement broadcast, I stream PBS (and occasionally other stuff) on the Mac Mini with Firefox and subscribe to the PBS $5/month "Passport" to support them and gain access to some of their older and newer content. So aside from the initial equipment (receivers, antennae, Mac, etc.) the ongoing cost is $5/mo. for the 5 or so of these channels I routinely watch. There's occasionally some interesting stuff on the many other channels I didn't list but most are Spanish language (a visiting friend loved their live soccer, some shows in English or w/subtitles), religion, or shopping.

Please Login or Register to comment on this.