Majority of HD channels no-go on new installation

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Thoreau

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Jul 8, 2008
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First off... i REALLY wish I had the option to just go through DirecTV, but alas, I'm stuck getting their service via Qwest. Run Away!

Ok, now that I've got my mini-rant in, here goes.

I finally got my new system installed this past weekend. Just a single HR21-700, and the Plus HD DVR package. Ever since day one, the majority of my HD channels don't work. I get the searching for signal message ('on satellite 2', code 771 if memory serves.)

The wiring setup was a bit strange from the start, but I've only ever seen one other HD DVR install at a friend's house. The way the tech wired it was as follows:

a) Community dish on the roof (Slimline 5 LNB)
Four lines running to an outside closet
b) SCU-4P5MATW (They left the comm closet outside unlocked... schmucks...)
four lines going to...
c) SWM8-looking device
one line going out...
d) Power injector looking device
one line...
e) Wiring cabinet in my apartment
coupler connecting it to a run to my livingroom
f) 2 way coax splitter (2500mhz top end)
two coax lines from the splitter outputs
g) HR21-700 inputs 1 and 2

Hope that makes sense... A phone call to DTV support initially got no results and they referred me back to Qwest. I have Qwest scheduled out, but the geek in me wants to see if there's something simple to fix here. Between another phone call with a DTV tech, and a lot of Googling, i've tried removing the splitter and running the single line into the SWM input on the DVR only, and tried every combination of with/without splitter and with/without BBCs on one or both of the lines, before and after the splitter, etc. To say that I'm rather clueless in all of this should go without saying.

So yeah... if anyone has any ideas/suggestions, I'd love to hear/try them. The nightmare Qwest has put me through so far has me dangerously close to calling the whole thing off and sticking with my crappy Cox digital cable service, but I'd really prefer the programming and HD selection on DTV if it can be made to work.
 
charper1

charper1

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Do these MDU installs still require B-band converters like the rest of us? Do you see those on the back of your receivers? Did you or an installer setup the receivers? Why was he allowed to leave with it not working 110%? Please say you DID NOT sign off on the work?
 
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Thoreau

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Jul 8, 2008
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Everything I've read online suggests that no bbc should be used, while one of the two DTV techs I spoke with suggested that they should be used. The tech that did the install left the whole box from the receiver, so since I had both BBCs, I tried with/without them.

Currently I have the line that comes into my apartment going straight into the SWM labelled port on the receiver with no BBC. If I add a BBC in, it seems to kill everything (I don't recall the exact point, but during boot up while it was trying to acquire a signal it would just hang as if nothing were even connected.)

On a side note, I was surprised to see a SWM install here since everything I'd read about it suggested it was still very new/limited deployment, but I suppose Phoenix is a rather large market. The real kicker, however, is that this place is prewired with two coax leads that go out to the comm closet where the SCU/SWM/PI/etc. are located. So I'm not sure why they didnt just use the typical two line, two BBC method that DTV had used at my friend's house (he too had just one HD DVR and no other equipment.)
 
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toober

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Feb 24, 2007
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Mississippi
From what I've heard, the splitter isn't needed. Try removing it and plugging the line into input 1. Go through your setup again and it should see the swm switch and let you run both tuners off the 1 line. Our office hasn't done anything with the swm switches yet, but I'm pretty sure this is what I was told.
 
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toober

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Feb 24, 2007
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Mississippi
Do these MDU installs still require B-band converters like the rest of us? Do you see those on the back of your receivers? Did you or an installer setup the receivers? Why was he allowed to leave with it not working 110%? Please say you DID NOT sign off on the work?
We were told that BBCs were only needed if running off the legacy side of an SWM.
 
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Thoreau

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Jul 8, 2008
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From what I've heard, the splitter isn't needed. Try removing it and plugging the line into input 1. Go through your setup again and it should see the swm switch and let you run both tuners off the 1 line. Our office hasn't done anything with the swm switches yet, but I'm pretty sure this is what I was told.

That's the current way I have it connected, although I don't recall seeing SWM in the actual setup when I re-ran it. Assuming you mean the setup when you go into menu, settings, sat, and I think it was just labeled re-run setup...
 
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toober

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Feb 24, 2007
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It may not be in the settings yet. We were told there would be a software release with the SWM setting in it, I don't know if it has come out yet.
 
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Thoreau

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Jul 8, 2008
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Hmm. I wonder if that was included in the new release that I saw posted about within the last few days? Thought I saw SWM mentioned in there somewhere.

Seems odd that the issue could be related to the software version on the receiver. I wouldn't think that even Qwest would roll out SWM if the equipment connected to it wouldn't at least usually work with it. But then again...
 
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texasbrit

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Apr 12, 2006
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OK, you don't need the BBCs with SWM, in fact they will stop the system working. And you don't use an external splitter to create two lines to the DVR, you just run one line and the DVR splits it internally. Connecting two SWM lines to one DVR is probably causing the DVR to get very confused.
This looks like a standard MDU installation using the new MFH2 techology based around the SWM8. You need to make sure that the line that goes from your DVR to the power injector goes to the correct port (SWM1) on the SWM8.

When you have set up the cabling correctly (no splitter, no BBCs) then restart the DVR and it should pick up the SWM signalling correctly.
 
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Skibum

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Jan 8, 2008
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Sounds like a typical MDU nightmare. :D Hopefully someone more knowledgeable about Direct posts as I'm interested in your MDU setup. I'm curious exactly how that SCU-4P5MATW is supposed to be setup.

What would I do? >.>
Pull two of the feeds from the Slimline LNB and hook 'em directly up to my receiver to see if that solves the problem. Ehh... kinda not nice if others need 'em though. How many other lines do you suppose are connected to your MDU setup?

Oh, and just call Direct if you need service. I also get my Direct through Qwest, but all they handle is my TV billing and they probably know about as much about your system as a telephone company. Oh wait... ;)
 
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Thoreau

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Jul 8, 2008
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Just went outside and verified the wiring that's out there. There's definitely a line running from SWM1 on the SWM8, going into 'SWM' on the PI, then IRD from the PI to my apartment. I'm gonna go give the exact setup another shot now (no splitter, no bbc, direct into the receiver) and see what i get.
 
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Thoreau

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Jul 8, 2008
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Sounds like a typical MDU nightmare. :D Hopefully someone more knowledgeable about Direct posts as I'm interested in your MDU setup. I'm curious exactly how that SCU-4P5MATW is supposed to be setup.

What would I do? >.>
Pull two of the feeds from the Slimline LNB and hook 'em directly up to my receiver to see if that solves the problem. Ehh... kinda not nice if others need 'em though. How many other lines do you suppose are connected to your MDU setup?

Judging from the wiring nightmare in there, my best guess would be approx 3 other customers running thru there right now. Maybe less, but considering I knew precisely zero about sat installs a week ago, don't quote me on that.

As for the SCU thingy, whatever it may be/do, after I do some work to anonimize some of the stuff in the photos I took, I'd be glad to send you a copy.
 
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Thoreau

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Jul 8, 2008
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Do you know for sure that you have an SWM setup?

I know for certain that my line is indeed going through the SWM8 and PI (and is the only one doing so in the cabinet) and that with just one line connected to the HR21, I can indeed record one channel and watch another without issue. Beyond that, I'm very much a noob.
 
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Skibum

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I'm gonna go give the exact setup another shot now (no splitter, no bbc, direct into the receiver) and see what i get.

From what you posted that *should* work...
I'm still curious what the deal is with that SCU-4P5MATW though.

What are your signal strengths?
 
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Thoreau

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Jul 8, 2008
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Just got done re-running satellite setup. 103c, 72.5, and 95 failed. Everything else is green. 771 still present on most HD channels.

Looking over the signal strengths (outside of the three sat's it wasn't seeing) theyre all easily 80+ on levels.
 
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texasbrit

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Apr 12, 2006
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Just got done re-running satellite setup. 103c, 72.5, and 95 failed. Everything else is green. 771 still present on most HD channels.

Looking over the signal strengths (outside of the three sat's it wasn't seeing) theyre all easily 80+ on levels.
It would not see 72.5 and 95 because you don't have the additional dishes necessary for those (72,5 is for SD locals in some cities, 95 is for international). All the new HD channels are on the 103(c) signal strength screen.
If you are getting signals on 101 etc that tells us the system is working. I suppose you have to consider that the dish might be out of alignment. You should be seeing 90s or even 100 on most of the 101 and 119 transponders. If you are not, you may not see DirecTV10 (103(c) ) at all. Post back with a list of all your signals on 101/110/119 and 103(c), for both tuners.
Is anyone else in your apartment building having the same problem?
 
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Thoreau

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Jul 8, 2008
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A huge thanks to everyone for their input on this issue. If only you all ran DirecTV and Qwest. Unfortunately the Qwest tech that was scheduled for today decided to show up nowhere near the appointment time, and now the rep is failing to call back after I spoke with him over an hour ago.

As much as I desperately wanted to leave Cox cable, and enjoy the HD selection of DirecTV, I simply will not work with Qwest any longer (this would have been their 3rd visit, and I have no reason to believe that it would've been resolved this time around even if they had shown up on time.) If they hadn't totally blown their credibility over the last three weeks, I'd be on the roof attempting to realign the dish myself, but I refuse to do their work for them any longer, let alone ever give them my credit card number.

Again though, thanks very much to everyone for helping out. This thread was at least able to complete the wiring properly, which two Qwest techs, on the other hand, could not =)
 
jcrandall

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I'm thinking since you get everything but 103c, and have SWM setup right, no BBC, that the one cable from the sat to the switch is bad or the LNB is bad. If the signals on 103 is in the 80s and consistent, than perhaps you have a bad receiver?

Are you sure you're getting signal on 103c?
 
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