waivers due to terrain???


SatelliteGuys Pro
Original poster
Jan 8, 2004
I live in the Rocky Mt. West. According to DISH I am eligible for distant feed NBC, and FOX.

This is based upon my distance from the local broadcast site. In spite of my distance, from the CBS and ABC tower, (6 miles or so) I am unable to receive the signal due to my house sitting in a hole behind a good sized hill. Maybe an antenae on a 200 ft pole would work but nothing mounted on my house will get a resonable signal.

I went through the whole waiver program with a big dish years ago and was rejected, but for some reason was able to keep the Denver Networks but not east coast feeds. Then the law changed and I got back all three major networks on east coast feed.

I am told that having networks on c band means nothing for DISH. I sure don't understand the federal law, but why should the type of system matter in my grandfathering of the networks? Is this correct?

Has anyone ever gotten a waiver based upon terrain. Is there a process, to prove inability to get a signal, or does it not matter.

I am ready to pull the plug on a 57 inch Sony and switch to DISH for HD, and would really like to get the full networks and CBS HD.

My neigbor who has had DISH for years has all the networks but still no CBS HD. This sure seems like a very complecated DUMB system or law.

There is no possiblity of cable in this area so unless there is something I am unaware of I must keep the C-Band for ABC and CBS. This seems to make no logical sense to me.

Any better info out there as to what I can do???
Distance from the tower doesn't mean much because regions vary on how far a signal reaches. Where I live my neighbors about 500 feet away would not get distants, but
I do because of the steep drop of the road by my house. So, qualifying does take into account terrain, but sometimes does not equal your true signal. If I remember correctly, when a test is done, it is not done from the roof of your house, but rather from the center of the street in front of your house. From my observations of the limited number of people I know who have dish and get distants in my area, where the house is does not seem to matter - that is, if the road and surrounding terrain show you can not get a Grade "B" signal even if your house happens to sit back from the road and is on a hill, you still show as getting the distants. That would make sense, because I can't believe they could account for exactly where your house was built on the land associated with your address.
Back in 1999 I got a Distant Nets waiver since I could not adequately receive my locals via an antenna. I had to have a guy come out and hook up a signal analyzer to my antenna and he faxed the report to Dish and they took care of the local stations for me. It took about 3 days for the entire process. I don't know if they still do it this way or not. I was only about 15 miles from the antennas but hills blocked my direct view to them.
SHIVA #'s 12 to 14



12. What happens if the request for a waiver is denied?

A: The SHVIA provides that if the local network TV station(s) denies the request for a waiver, the subscriber may submit a request to the satellite company to have a signal strength test performed at the subscriber's location to determine whether the subscriber's signal is at least Grade B intensity. The satellite company and the local network TV station(s) that denied the waiver will then select a qualified and independent person to conduct the signal test. SHVIA requires that the test be performed no more than 30 days after the subscriber submits the request to the satellite provider. If the test reveals that the subscriber does not receive at least a Grade B signal of the local network TV station, the subscriber may receive the signal of a distant TV station that is affiliated with that network.

13. Suppose the satellite company and the TV station do not agree on the person to conduct the signal strength test?

A: In the event that a satellite company and the TV station are unable to agree, SHVIA requires that the FCC designate an independent and neutral entity to select the person or organization to conduct the test. On May 26, 2000, the FCC issued a Report and Order, FCC 00-185, which designated the American Radio Relay League ("ARRL") as the independent and neutral entity for this purpose. The satellite provider and the TV station are supposed to work with the ARRL to select the person or organization that will conduct the signal strength test. The ARRL cannot designate the person or organization to conduct the test in response to a request from a consumer.

14. Who pays for the signal strength test?

A: SHVIA states that unless the satellite company and the TV station agree otherwise, either the TV station or the satellite company will pay the expense of the test. If the test shows that the satellite subscriber is able to receive a signal of at least Grade B, the satellite company will pay for the test. If the test reveals that the satellite subscriber cannot receive a Grade B signal, the TV station will pay for the test.
What I needed to know

This is just the info i was looking for. What to do if I can't get a good OTA signal, due to the oddities of where I am located.

A follow up question is what if there is no one in the area to do this? If they can't find some one to conduct the test am I set???

I live in a small town in Wyoming (Lander). The local DISH and DIRECT outfits seem to be somewhat underinformed of this process.

Maybe I will be pulling the trigger on the 57 incher and the DISH 811.

something should be done with this current system of waivers especially with the HD coming out... our local cbs station comes in about 75% clear off air with rabbit ears and perfectly fine if you want to put an antenna outside. Therefore you cannot get a waiver to get it on dish. However their HD broadcast is piss poor... my boss just had to spend right around 1500 bucks or so to put up this huge terk antenna and amp to get the hd broadcast signal cause it is so weak... and since broadcast is ok... no waiver for hd


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