Check signals fixes signals - please explain again! (1 Viewer)

GTAE86

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 15, 2008
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Thursday night, a whole slew of channels were unwatchable: SBYND, most SD Starz, most SD Encore, etc. They were still bad on Friday morning. FWIW, the receiver is always powered down at night.

I went to the check signals menu, signals looked good on 110 and 119, and when I exited, the channels were good.

It happened again Sunday with locals on 129. Since I have LOS issues with 129, that was no surprise, but I decided to check the signals anyway - I had a whopping 41 on 129, so I knew there should be no problem viewing the channels (Anything over 17 or so on 129 is great for my house.). It cleared it up. Later, it was gone again, but OTA was OK, so I just ignored it.

Can someone explain to me again how just checking the signal strength (not a check switch) can clear up poor reception on the receiver?
 

primestar31

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Mar 15, 2005
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....(snip)
Can someone explain to me again how just checking the signal strength (not a check switch) can clear up poor reception on the receiver?

It can't, it's a coincidence. You should NOT power down your receivers everynight, at least NOT if you mean powered down as in unplugged, or turning off the switch on a power strip they are plugged into.

The receiver powers the lnb's and any switches mounted at the dish, it does this even if it's turned off. It won't if it's unplugged, or turned off a different way. They need to stay powered, to keep warm in the cold, and keep the signal locked in.

You shouldn't have signal constantly going up and down in large amounts. If you do, you need a service call to find out why. If you really are removing power completely, try leaving it on for a few days at least, and see what happens.
 

GTAE86

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 15, 2008
53
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We just turn the receiver off...

...as recommended by Dish. No worry :)

Yeah, I wish the signal did not go up and down so much as well, but serving channels to east coast viewers on 129 is the cause.

There are too many coincidental things happening with my receiver - like clockwork, checking the signal strength can "fix" the reception.

Also, on more than one occasion, prior to a show recording, we have checked that the channel was watchable, and then checked the same channel afterward to find it good, only to find that what was recorded was garbage. But recording is not supposed to affect the signal....

Dish is going to force me to start giving money to ComCast if they do not do something about getting reliable locals to my DMA. The neighboring DMA is on EA....
 

KKlare

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 18, 2003
2,397
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Los Alamos, NM
...as recommended by Dish. No worry :)
Yeah, I wish the signal did not go up and down so much as well, but serving channels to east coast viewers on 129 is the cause.
EA....
You did not identify your location but if you are on the East Coast (especially New England) then you may do better with a second dish pointed at 61.5W. It will have a different line of sight.

You may not want to use all 4 sats. I was but I have had a problem with stoppages at 4:12 MST/MDT attributable to 61.5W being used instead of 129W on some HD channels.

-Ken
 

GTAE86

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 15, 2008
53
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East Coast - yes

I can generally get good reception from 110 and 119, but would be just as happy to go to EA for the channels I get from those satellites. However, my locals are served from 129.
 

semo

Member
Jul 31, 2007
13
0
Thursday night, a whole slew of channels were unwatchable: SBYND, most SD Starz, most SD Encore, etc. They were still bad on Friday morning. FWIW, the receiver is always powered down at night.

I went to the check signals menu, signals looked good on 110 and 119, and when I exited, the channels were good.

It happened again Sunday with locals on 129. Since I have LOS issues with 129, that was no surprise, but I decided to check the signals anyway - I had a whopping 41 on 129, so I knew there should be no problem viewing the channels (Anything over 17 or so on 129 is great for my house.). It cleared it up. Later, it was gone again, but OTA was OK, so I just ignored it.

Can someone explain to me again how just checking the signal strength (not a check switch) can clear up poor reception on the receiver?


How was the weather when this happened, and the uplink could have had bad weather.
 

GTAE86

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 15, 2008
53
0
It worked like clockwork this weekend....

On a few occasions the picture on channels served from 129 would go to pieces. Going to the check signal page and then exiting cleared it right up. My wife lost nearly two hours of the Olympics because of it, and I almost had to sleep on the couch! If I had just not been watching curling....

Sometimes, we can be watching the channel, go to another and come back, and it is trashed. Check signal fixes it right up.

It does not make any sense - it must be a receiver issue.

Has anyone else at all experienced something similar?

BTW: Semo - the weather was great. The weather does not seem to affect or cause the problem; it happens in rain or clear, day or night.
 

MikeD-C05

Pub Member / Supporter
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 25, 2003
26,201
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Nederland , Texas
Sounds like a bad install , bad dish peaking,or other problems with your receiver . Try this:

1. Unconnect the coaxes to your satellite IN ports on the back of your receiver. This will cause the picture to go black.

2. Run a check switch with no coaxes connected. This will cause the receiver to count down 1 of like 38 or so. Let it finish till it says no satellites in the matrix and hit save.

3. Then reboot your receiver by unplugging it. Allow it to stay unplugged for a minute before replugging it back in.

4. Now reconnect the coaxes to your satellite in ports and rerun another check switch. This should add all three sats back in to your check switch matrix. Hit save and let the receiver download the guide till the screen comes back.

If you have any more problems with your receiver call DISH and get a tech out to check your install , receiver etc. You can add the dish insurance for $6.00 a month and the tech visit will only be $15.00 . You can drop it after a couple of months . If you try to cancel the first month you will get a $25.00 cancellation fee .

Good luck.
 

magnum2066

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 22, 2009
496
0
Get Bent.
Something doesn't seem right... I want to guess either a corroded fitting or bad tuner/LNB... This kind of issue calls for a technician visit because it won't get fixed over the internet or over the phone. Switching television providers is a rather extreme solution if we haven't even looked at the setup you have. Get a tech out and if the problem isn't fixed call again. You do have a 60 day warranty period from the day the technician shows up so if it wasn't resolved we'll keep coming back until it is.
 

GTAE86

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 15, 2008
53
0
Thanks for the advice - this thing is driving us crazy.

I will give the unplugged reset a try.

magnum2066 - I can see what you mean. I am leaning towards bad tuner or LNB. The system was installed brand new in November 2008, so it has not been in place that long. This is the second receiver...maybe third. The only thing that would make me lean away from a bad LNB is the fact that I have seen this behavior on channels served from two different satellites. That would implicate two LNBs, which should be less likely.

Here is a little more data from last night:

We were watching NBC from 129 and simultaneously recording it - just watching what we were recording, and staying caught up with live TV. Just hitting mute on the commercials. Might as well have been 1990....

We had been watching the broadcast from the beginning - actually from before recording started, and it was flawless.

When a commercial came on, my wife switched over to start the recorded stuff that we had just watched live to check if the recording was OK: The recorded show that we had just been watching was completely pixellated and unwatchable.

She switched back to the live program - it was also unwatchable, though 10 seconds before, before we checked the recorded version, it was great. We went through the check signals routine, and all was well on the live version.

Next commercial, we switched from watching it on the satellite feed to watching the same channel from the OTA tuner. Flawless OTA.

Switched back to the satellite feed of the same channel (10 seconds before, it was perfect), and it was unwatchable! Went through the check signals routine, and it came back.

Next commercial, we recorded for a few seconds, went to check it, it was OK. Came back to live, and the channel was shot. Check signals fixed it again.

Sorry to rant here - I am sure I come across as a whiner. But this thing is really frustrating.

I am wondering how to explain what is going on to a CSR - often they have no clue about how things work, and I can talk to three different ones, and get three different answers. They will first say "turn if off for 30 seconds, power up and let a check switch run", which in this case seems kind of useless. In the end, they will either send out a technician (the last one did not really even want to get out of the truck - they were running really behind that day, and a high-level supervisor was supposed to drop by their shop, and they were all in a panic), or send me a new receiver. I have been told to cut 3 different trees to improve LOS on 129, but even now, with no leaves, the best I can get is about 41....
 

magnum2066

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 22, 2009
496
0
Get Bent.
From the looks of it the installer picked a poor location for the dish antenna which doesn't help anything at this point. I'm leaning towards a defective receiver or possibly a power outlet issue although that is very uncommon... If it were me I'd have a technician do a better site survey for the best line of sight solution for the antenna.
 

PATECO

SatelliteGuys Pro
I am thinking cable/fitting issue. What your experienceing is one tuner with low signal. when you run check switch, it is coincidentaly switching your viewing back to the good tuner. when you are recording something, it is using one tuner, and what you watch live is coming off of the other tuner. if your live show looks good then the recording is crap and vice versa. This could be caused by improper cable (RG59 over any distance, will make the high frequncy tuner have low signal) or a bad fitting or barrel (crapy terminations or barel fittings will cause problems with either the high frequency tuner or the low freq tuner but usaully screws up the low signals) if you look at the signal meters and switch from tuner one to tuner two on the same sat and transponder, you should have almost equal signals if one is lower than the other, you have found your problem. as far as dish location, if you look at the signal for any satellite and it is steady but low, your dish may need adjustments. However if you look at the signal meter and it is fluctuating up and down, you most likely have a tree issue and need to break out the pruning and/or chain saw or relocate the dish.

Hope this helped.
Chip
 

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