New H20 install - can't get HD channels


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Original poster
Aug 24, 2005
This is my first post.... thankfully I've been able to answer most of my other questions just by searching the forum. However this time I can't quite nail it down.

I replaced a RCA DirecTv DVR with a H20 Directv HD receiver today. I called Directv to add the receiver and activate the service. Everything was going fine until we added the HD channels. She asked me to test the "70" channels and in doing so I found they were not working. She re-sent the signal to the receiver but it still didn't work. She had me re-set the receiver as she said sometimes there are problems recognizing the 3 lnb oval dish - but still no luck.

Lastly we went through the satellite setup and tested the satellites. Satellite A checked out as "ok" but B and C failed. She said the HD channels were received on B and C so these needed to be working. I let her go and said I would check the satellite setup. However, before doing this I decided to test my other directv receiver (non-HD)... I did the satellite test and all 3 checked out as "ok".

I know the h20 seems to report lower signals for the satellites than other receivers but I hadn't read much about them actually failing. There was one post on here that seemed similar (i..e B and C were failing).. and they mentioned a "destacker"??????

Any suggestions on what to do? I'd hope that since the other receiver finds all 3 satellites ok that it wouldn't be a satellite alignment problem?

Was the PhaseIII dish a new install as well? A 1st guess sounds like it might not be aimed correctly. I know the H20 will work with the PhaseIII dish (except for any MPEG4 chnls) and I can't see you needing a destacker.

If you can, manually set the H20 to 3 LNB dish in the menu, do not do the auto-detect.

If other receivers test out all 3 sat locations as OK, then try moving one of those receivers to your H20's location to make sure that outlet is working 110% correctly.

If that tests OK, then it would appear it might be a receiver issue.
I've had H20s in the past do exactly as you're describing. Fail on 110/119 for no reason, yet they still worked fine. I've also had them succeed on setup for all 3 sats, then not show certain package channels and have to fight with the unit during setup until it just decided to show the channels.

First thing I would try is to force a software update. Reset the unit and at the blue screen hit 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 on your remote. After the update retry setup.

Once you are getting success on those, try out channel 494. It should say Test 5, Sat C (110) Even TXp 18v. If you have that message, call activations back and try again.

It may not work the first time they send the the re-auth, it may not work the second or third. But just have them send it over and over and try resetting the box here and there. Eventually it WILL work. Sometimes threatening the H20 with a crowbar helps.

Good luck.
Is the RCA receiver you mentioned a standard receiver, idf so you probably are only seeing the main sat and the other two appear to not be peaked.
I think the rec. your testing with does not need to see the other two sats, so it'as working for you. You didn't say exactly what reciever you tested with so I don't know if I'm leading you in the right direction.

My thought, like Charper's original is that the three LNB dish is only seeing one sat.

Charper/Jimbos... you are right I believe. We have 3 receivers right now... a directv one, a RCA DVR and the new H20. The directv and RCA DVR are not HD. The directv receiver in the bedroom recognizes all 3 satellites.. it gives an "ok" on them. After further checking last night, I see that neither the RCA DVR or the H20 pick up Sat B and C. Those two receivers are currently setting right next to each other and we simply switch the coax from one to another. The next text I'm going to do is bring the DirectV box out to the living room to see what it sees out there and then the RCA DVR into the bedroom to also see what happens there.

Bottom line - I need to find out if it's a satellite alignment issue or if it's an H20 issue.. and hopefully a little trial and error should do that.

Teronzhul - that's for the tips.. they will probably come in handy as I get this first problem sorted out.
Hi, :hatsoff: this is my first post but I've been here alot in the past year.
I had this same problem when I installed the 3lnb dish. In the basement I had a rca 4 way multi-switch and I got no hd channels and read no signal on the hd receiver(at the time was a samsung hd receiver) and the other receivers read fine for the other satellites. nbadger23 do you have such a multi switch? Did you try if possible running a straight line to the receiver?
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