Suddenly Lost Most HD Channels

Discussion in 'The DIRECTV Forum' started by thrillpac, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. thrillpac

    thrillpac Thread Starter New Member

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    Hi gang. Within the last week, I have suddenly lost most of my HD channels(I still have my locals - Minneapolis - ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, HDNET, DHT, HBO). All of the HD channels have always came in fine until last week.

    From the limited knowledge I have, I believe that the missing channels are on the 103 bird. I am getting the searching for satellite signal (771) error. Here is what I have checked and done so far.

    1) View signal strength - 103(a) and 103(b) show up as 0 on all available transponders

    2) Dish still appears to be pointed correctly on roof and nothing new appears to be obstructing view.

    3) I have reset the receiver several times and have gone through the satellite setup several times.

    4) Verified b-band converter in place.

    Any suggestions? I have a h20-600 which I am thoroughly getting sick of (reboots once to twice a day now). Is it possible this is part of the problem? Is it possible that the b-band converter is hosed?


    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am really trying to avoid having to setup a D* house-call.
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  2. hdtvtechno

    hdtvtechno PIT MEMBER

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    Might be the b-band converter is somehow nogood..Call directv and have them send you a replacement of the b-band converters..
  3. grydlok

    grydlok Vuvuzela Horns Pub Member / Supporter

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    ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, HDNET, DHT, HBO are not on the 103C(B) they are on the 110/119
  4. thrillpac

    thrillpac Thread Starter New Member

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    That is correct. That is why I still get those channels. Sorry, perhaps that was not clear. It is the HD channels on 103 that I am not getting.
  5. Zynergi

    Zynergi Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    What are your average numbers on 101/110/119? If the 101 is high 80's and below you need to get your dish peaked.
  6. texasbrit

    texasbrit SatelliteGuys Family Pub Member / Supporter

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    Your missing channels are from DirecTV10 and show up on the 103(b) signal strength screen. 103(a) has only spotbeamed locals and since I believe your locals are from 99 it's possible that all zero on 103(a) is correct - have you ever had signals on 103(a)? If you are getting all zero signals on 103(b) then there are a couple of possibilities. First, and most likely, is a faulty BBC. Second is a MAJOR misalignment of the dish. What are your numbers on 101 and 119?
    From there it gets a bit more complicated. Do you have a multiswitch?
    If your dish is aligned correctly, and you do not have a multiswitch, it could be a failure of the 103 LNB at the dish, or of the dish built-in multiswitch. But until you have checked alignment and tried a new BBC, it's not worth speculating.
  7. Jimbo

    Jimbo NW Ohio - Buckeye Country Pub Member / Supporter

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    Does the OP'er have more than one HD mpeg4 rec ?
    Is it also happening on that one ?

    If he has more than one, he can swap rec's and see if the trouble stays there or goes with the unit, I bet it stays at the same location, I'm thinking it's a connection/ outdoor problem.
  8. jkh1978

    jkh1978 Member

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    me too!

    I've had the same problem for a few days. Its the 103 satellites that I cannot reach just like you.
  9. texasbrit

    texasbrit SatelliteGuys Family Pub Member / Supporter

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    What are all your signals on 103(c) or (b), all transponders and both tuners if you have a DVR?
  10. BGM328i

    BGM328i New Member

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    Intermittent/Missing Channels -- suspect antenna? multiswitch?

    (Just registered with SatelliteGuys for exactly this topic.)

    I suspect a hardware problem in my recently installed DirecTV components and hope someone can opine usefully, so that I can fix the problem myself. (My experience with DirectV installers does not encourage me to hope they could help.)

    History:
    Installed first HD DVR [H21-700] in late January 2008. Technician installs new 5-LNB dish [I believe it's a AU9S] on roof, replacing the old dish, and connects 4 coax cables from dish to Zinwell WB68 6x8 passive multiswitch in basement. Two coax runs go to the new HD DVR. Four months of problem-free service go by.

    In late May 2008, we installed a second H21-700, replacing SD Tivo box that croaked after many years of faithful service. Same two coax cables that used to connect the Tivo box are now used for HD DVR. Initially everything seems fine.

    Problem:
    Since installing the second HD DVR 2-3 weeks ago, we have been experiencing problems on both HD and SD channels [for example, 229 HGTV and 360 Fox News] resulting from weak-to-zero signal strength.

    Observations Over Last 2-3 Weeks:

    (1) Signal strength on first three satellites is in the 80s-90s; but signal strength on last two satellites [the 103 and 99] seem to be in the 30s-40s or be zero. I take this to mean the disk continues to be pointed accurately, there is some other problem. While I am suspicious of the readings in the 30s-40s, those weak readings have been observed with 1-2 transponders in the same group reading in the 60s-70s -- so it SEEMS to be a variation in signal strength on that bird, not a component failure in my system.

    (2a) Either SD Channel 229 or 360 will be blank; receiver gives "No satellite ... Message 771" message; I work through menus to observe signal strengths on all satellites; when I go back to watching TV, the offending channel NOW WORKS. This has occurred repeatedly. It seems as though checking the signal strengths is fixing the problem.

    (2b) The same "at first the channel doesn't work, then it does after checking signal strengths" has been observed with HD channels.

    (3a) Many HD channels now have marginal or worse signal strength. Digital artifacts, frozen images, or entirely blank recordings are now the rule, not the exception.

    (3b) The DVR will appear to have recorded an entire show, but nothing will play. I can only delete the file. This has occurred with HD and SD programming.

    (3c) If a show is recorded and then gets to a period of low signal strength [due to known bad weather], the image will freeze. Sometimes the playback will proceed after a few seconds. But on many occasions the receiver locks up, ignores any/all commands from the remote control or its front panel buttons, and I have to press the red "reset" button next to the Access Card.

    (4) !! I once observed signal strength = ~70 on Tuner 1 and ZERO on Tuner 2 on a given transponder [on the 103 bird, as I recall] !!

    Hypotheses:

    (A) The passive multiswitch WB68 is causing too much loss; solution = spend money on active multiswitch.

    (B) Multiswitch function in antenna or LNB in antenna has a problem; solution = call DirectTV to diagnose and replace. [Yuck! I'm dubious about their ability to diagnose anything.]

    Anyone care to guesstimate the cause of these observations and its solution?
  11. Zynergi

    Zynergi Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    Well with what you described your dish is 1 of 2 things.

    1. Its out of alignment, I say this because the 101 shouldn't be any less than 94 on a majority of transponders, given cable distance, groundblock and Multiswitch. the 101 out of peak alignment will cause the exact issues you have. Solution, peak the dish or have D* send someone out to Peak it correctly.

    2. You stated that the KA/KU was installed in January. Unfortunately there are no leaves on trees (assuming you have some in your signal path) You also stated that 4 months later issues arised, trees grew leaves. Pseudo Solution Look at the arm of the dish then slightly right (20 degrees) and see if anything would be in the way from 25 degrees to 45 degrees up (rough range for MD). (actual angle varies on your area) If there are no trees see #1. If you think that possibly in some sublime way that a tree top or tree itself may be blocking a signal, contact D* for a LOS check from a Supervisor. Solution Remove/Top trees or relocate the dish.

    I go on many many service calls and rarely replace a receiver. Problem with "just replace it" is it doesn't actually fix the issue that is there, you basically (in some cases) just refreshed the polarity of the system and will just cause further damage. While other techs bring back 10+ a week only to have repeat service calls and it generates a refurb box for a new customer.
  12. wsanders38

    wsanders38 New Member

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    I had to have D* out (yesterday) for the same problem. I lost close to 60 of my HD Channels. I called the tech support people on Monday, and they told me that they had switched almost all of the HD to sat 103. They had a repairman out the next day (yesterday) and within 10 minutes he re-aligned my dish and now I get all of my channels again. He said that it appeared that the wind must have turned the dish (he really didn't know).

    They treated me good on this job and since I have the insurance, I didn't have to pay the $75 the repairman said that D* is charging for dish alignment.


    :hungry:
  13. rad

    rad Supporting Founder Supporting Founder

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    wsanders38, just curious, did your dish have the two extra support arms installed on it?
  14. wsanders38

    wsanders38 New Member

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    It didn't, but that was one of the things that the D* tech did when he repaired it Tuesday. (He said that only one additional support arm was necessary)
  15. rad

    rad Supporting Founder Supporting Founder

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    I don't understand why they don't install them in the first place since it would save return visits for realignments and then have to install them anyway.
  16. texasbrit

    texasbrit SatelliteGuys Family Pub Member / Supporter

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    They are supposed to install both support arms (monopoles) unless there's no space to fit them. The idea is that the dish support arm and the monopoles form a tripod and stop the dish moving.
  17. rad

    rad Supporting Founder Supporting Founder

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    Supposed to and what they are doing appears to be two different things. My first AT-9 didn't get them, when I ask about it installer said it was optional. I've also seen a number of installs in the neighborhood where they're not there. Penny wise, pound foolish.
  18. thrillpac

    thrillpac Thread Starter New Member

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    Hey guys, sorry I haven't updated in a while, I have been out of town. It was my bbc. I am not exactly sure how it happened, but it was shot. I called D* that night, and they sent a new one out right away, free of charge. They recommended trying that before having someone come out. Fortunately, it fixed the issue.

    My numbers on the other birds were almost all well above 80, with a couple of exceptions. Thanks for clarifying 103(a) for me!

    Regarding the arm supports, they work really well. Up here in the northern part of the Twin Cities, it has been brutal weatherwise (strong winds, showers, lightning, hail). Through all of that, the dish is still aligned correctly.

    I see others are having similar issues. Hopefully you guys have good luck in getting it resolved.
  19. duchen

    duchen Member

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    Similar problem..

    I have had a similar problem to:

    "(I still have my locals - - ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, HDNET, DHT, HBO). All of the HD channels have always came in fine until last week.

    From the limited knowledge I have, I believe that the missing channels are on the 103 bird. I am getting the searching for satellite signal (771) error."


    The receiver in 1 room will not get the missing HD channels and will say it is searching for the signal. Meanwhile, the (newer) receiver in the other room will get them fine.

    Then, suddenly, the receiver which was not receiving the signals will get them. I have no idea why.

    But, seeing that this is happening to other people, my guess is that it is a systemic issue.
  20. charper1

    charper1 Bourbon Tester Supporting Founder

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    I can 110% assure you this is NOT happening across the board / systemic issue(s) for all users of 103; it is local or specific user related issue; hardware in nature. AND to me yours makes me think is may be the multi-switch. Have you tried moving the "bad" receiver to where the "good one" is? Does the problem follow the receiver or does it stay at one location?

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