522 interference problem


SatelliteGuys Pro
Original poster
Apr 7, 2004
Little Rock, AR
I finally got the 522 I was supposed to get when I signed up for SBC Dish back in April. However, I am getting a very light herringbone pattern on every channel; I wasn't getting it on the 311.

At first, I thought there was some kind of interference between two cables in my system. However, after a process of elimination, it now appears that my 522's TV1 RF port is producing a weak, spurious signal that is causing the interference. When the unit is turned "off" (of course, it's never 100% off) and the OTA antenna is unplugged, it's visible on both channels 2 and 3. With the antenna plugged in, it still appears on channel 3; local channel 2 washes it out. (It may be causing some interference with channel 2 also, but it's overwhelmed by the interference from the tall building next door.)

It appears when I connect my TV directly to the 522 with 3' of RG59, as well as when I connect thru my VCR's RF ports, whether the VCR's RF modulator is on or off. It doesn't appear if you use composite video from 522 to VCR (must be on, of course), then RF to the TV. However, since my present TV is older and has only an RF input, I'd rather not have to watch TV through the VCR; replacing the TV is more likely. I've already replaced all the RF cables, and I'm almost 100% certain it's not AC interference either--it disappears as soon as you unplug from the TV1 RF output.

Do I need to RMA this 522? Is there some other issue to look at? Is this just another of the "it'll be fixed in the next upgrade" issues that have plagued the 522? (Yes, I've read most of the problems, but I went ahead with it--it's the only DVR available with SBC Dish. Besides, if its cousin the 721 is any indication, most of them get fixed eventually.) Or should I just grin and bear it until I upgrade my TV?
I have the same problem with my 522 but it is not constant, it comes and goes. I thought it was just interferance from local channels in my area since I haven't seen anyone else post about this issue.

I asked the co. that did my installation (the phone number listed to call for tech. support on the system info. screen) about it. I even took it to their shop (to diagnose a different problem) and pointed out the herringbone pattern to them on their own TV. They blamed it on the TV and suggested I just use my TV's composit video or S-video to watch satellite. I was OK with this solution and don't use the RF input on the main TV to watch satellite anyway because I want stereo sound. I don't have the problem with the TV2 output and figure it's because no local stations are near the channel used for it.
I don't think a software upgrade can fix this problem so you should go ahead and get the RMA.
To me it sounds like RF interference. If you can use any other type of connection to the TV, other the the coax, try it and I bet you'll be fine.

I am curious though... could it be caused by the UHF antenna?? I'd like to know if it goes away with that thing disconnected
riggscm said:
I am curious though... could it be caused by the UHF antenna?? I'd like to know if it goes away with that thing disconnected
Unlikely due to the higher frequency of the UHF receiver. It would take a faulty IF stage in the box. Sounds more like a flaky RF modulator to me.

Either way, it sure looks like it's internal to the 522.
Thanks, everyone. Just to be safe, I removed the UHF antenna; no impact. OTOH, the TV2 RF port doesn't exhibit the problem. Suspect SimpleSimon is right and the TV1 RF modulator is flaky. Will call SBC Dish for a RMA.

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