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Advice please, HR20 installation weirdness

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by dubphotek, Oct 4, 2006.

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  1. Oct 4, 2006 #1 of 26
    dubphotek

    dubphotek Cool Member

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    Sep 26, 2006
    Installer came over yesterday to put in 5-LNB dish needed for HR20. Existing setup was two SD d-Tivo's, one in the master bedroom with one line in, and another in the media room with two lines in. I live in a condo in a muti-unit building with the dishes on the roof. My condo is prewired for cable but with only one outlet in each room, so I had to run cable from the muti-switch to the media room for the two inputs. All of this was complete and working fine before the installer showed up.

    First thing the installer tells me is that he cannot keep existing setup without running extra cabling from the satellite ("custom install"), so the most he could do would be to get the media room hooked up with the HR20 (both lines). I wasn't aware of extra cabling coming out of the 5LNB dish, but so be it, I would live without TV in the bedroom for the time being.

    After getting the dish mounted, he activated the receiver and attempted a setup. He was able to receive strong signals from all satellites, EXCEPT the one labeled 103(b) (not quite certain of this info, may have been 99(a)), which unfortunately was the one I need for high-def ANYTHING, local or otherwise.

    He blamed it on a faulty LNB and left to get another one. A few hours later he returns with a new LNB, but it doesn't fix the issue. He then blames it on the HR20, and tells me to return it.

    After he leaves, I start playing with the setup options and I notice that only one of the tuners is getting a signal. On top of that, I later discover he had simply uninstalled the multiswitch and hooked up the two cables running to the media room directly to the satellite outs.

    So, I'm wondering:

    1. Does the 5LNB dish really have more than two outs?
    2. Could the issue really be the HR20?
    3. What can I expect from DirecTV in terms of service, considering that at the moment I'm worse off than where I started?

    Any advice appreciated.
     
  2. Oct 4, 2006 #2 of 26
    bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

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    1) Just like the triple LNB dish there are 4 outputs. These would be run to the new 6x8 KA capable multiswitch. Your old one will not work with a 5 LNB dish.
    2) A tuner could be bad perhaps, but most likely it's the cabling. Your setup should work if you have 4 direct lines from the new dish directly to your tuners. If you need more then 4 then the 6x8 switch will be needed.
     
  3. Oct 4, 2006 #3 of 26
    dubphotek

    dubphotek Cool Member

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    Sep 26, 2006
    Update: HR20 was replaced, but the issue remains. The problem child is 103. One small improvement is that both tuners are showing green now. So, LNBs have been replaced, HR20 has been replaced, yet still cannot receive HD.

    Comcast is starting to look very attractive to me at this point...
     
  4. Oct 4, 2006 #4 of 26
    dubphotek

    dubphotek Cool Member

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    Sep 26, 2006
    Update 2: DirecTV is coming tomorrow morning to supposedly correct the issues and reconnect the master-bedroom SD Tivo.
     
  5. Oct 5, 2006 #5 of 26
    dubphotek

    dubphotek Cool Member

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    Sep 26, 2006
    Update 3: installer from same third-party company came out this morning and tried to get HD signal on HR20. Was not successful (big surprise) and blamed issue on brand-new unit. Did not even check the dish for potential issues. He also admitted that he had talked to the tech who visited earlier; apparently he's covering for the guy. Installer leaves and wife called DirecTV. After an HOUR on hold she was passed to a senior tech. The tech told her there was no reason the first installer should have removed the multiswitch, and the SD tivo in the bedroom should be hooked back up along with the multiswitch. With my wife on the line, the dtv tech called the installation company and got into a yelling match about the removal of the multiswitch. :eek2: (The dtv tech demanded to know why it was disconnected, and the installation company effectively stonewalled her, then when pressed more just hung up on her:nono: .)

    At that point my wife called me to tell me the above, and that the tech recommended we call the install company directly and ask for a supervisor. I took on that duty and promptly called. After asking for a supervisor, the rep asked me for my phone number (what, didn't you hear me?) and told me to wait while she "read the notes". A minute later, I am hung up on.:mad: I promptly called back and angrily asked to speak with a supervisor immediately. Then the lady got all nice and a few minutes later I was speaking with a "Ray" who was very nice and very apologetic and told me that he would call the local office, and that the local office would call me within an hour and gave me his direct line in case they did not.

    About 45 minutes later I get a call from "Joseph". He asks me to recant the story and sounds angry and sympathetic about the sequence of events. He agreed that it was very unlikely that the HR20 was bad, and that the bedroom Tivo should never have been disconnected. He will send out a "supervisor" tomorrow morning to take another look at the situation. Stay tuned...
     
  6. Oct 5, 2006 #6 of 26
    hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    I see a new sitcom in the making...... :D
     
  7. Oct 6, 2006 #7 of 26
    dubphotek

    dubphotek Cool Member

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    Sep 26, 2006
    Final update: Ironwood came through for me, at last. The "supervisor" (senior tech, really) and another tech arrived this morning. They were both very knowledgable and took their time investigating the issue before coming to the conclusion that the root cause was the cable length. As the tech explained, cable lengths longer than 100 feet cause issues with signal strength. Not much I can do there; the dish is mounted on the roof of our 85-foot-tall building, and the preinstalled cable then runs from there to the garage (street level, naturally), and then back up into our mezzanine-level media room--clearly, much longer than 100 feet.

    So, I can't get there from here. He actually recommended either Dish Network, whose technology apparently is not limited to 100-foot cable runs, or Comcast, the local cable provider. He also gave me tips on how to get out of my two-year commitment, in case DirecTV gives me any grief.

    So, I'm off to start a new thread to get the pluses and minuses of each choice. Big bummer, though...I liked DirecTV:icon_cry:
     
  8. Oct 6, 2006 #8 of 26
    bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

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    All you need is a booster. You can put boosters in the cable, say in the garage, which can easily make your cable run work just fine.
     
  9. Oct 6, 2006 #9 of 26
    paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

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    Yes, check it out before you give up.

    The installers don't want to be bothered with an install that is a little tricky.
     
  10. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

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  11. cybrsurfer

    cybrsurfer Banned User

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    Sounds like an alignment problem, and replacing the receiver and LNB will not resolve the issue for you. The installer should be using a meter to peak the dish. :eek2:
     
  12. dubphotek

    dubphotek Cool Member

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    Sep 26, 2006
    I asked about a booster, but the tech stated the only solution would be a specialized, expensive, non-supported multiswitch designed specially for high-end custom installs. As for the alignment, that is what I suspected the problem was. He said the non-HD sats were showing a strong signal, but that his signal meter could not detect 103 signals. In fact, he said there was no signal meter that could ("the software hasn't been written yet") and that the only way they could align the HD LNB was with the dish hardware itself.

    Initial research shows Comcast wants almost $100/mo for what I was getting from DirecTV for less than $70. What a ripoff!:mad:
     
  13. cybrsurfer

    cybrsurfer Banned User

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    DirecTV installer should have a meter that works with the new Ka Band Satellites. They are available! When my installer came June 6, he had the correct meter, but the batteries were dead, so he did not peak the signals! It took me about three hours to peak the 99 and 103 myself after the installer left! It can be done, but it's not easy.
     
  14. dubphotek

    dubphotek Cool Member

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    Sep 26, 2006
    I asked about a booster, but the tech stated the only solution would be a specialized, expensive, non-supported multiswitch designed specially for high-end custom installs. As for the alignment, that is what I suspected the problem was. He said the non-HD sats were showing a strong signal, but that his signal meter could not detect 103 signals. In fact, he said there was no signal meter that could ("the software hasn't been written yet") and that the only way they could align the HD LNB was with the dish hardware itself.

    Initial research shows Comcast wants almost $100/mo for what I was getting from DirecTV for less than $70. What a ripoff!:mad:
     
  15. cybrsurfer

    cybrsurfer Banned User

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    Sep 17, 2006
    The proper alignment meters are available to installers who really take the installation seriously. My installer had the correct meter, but the batteries were dead so he didn't peak the signal. It took me about 3 hours after he left to get the Ka MPEG4 satellites 99 and 103 to get a signal of 95-100. It's not easy to do without a proper meter, but it can be done. The installer should be prepared and have the batteries charged for each alignment and install!
     
  16. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

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    It should be noted that not everyone will see strong signals on the 99 and 103 as they are spot beamed to particular areas.
     
  17. dubphotek

    dubphotek Cool Member

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    Sep 26, 2006
    Now DirecTV wants to try to install a whole new dish in a new location. I bet I get to hear at least three more reasons why Ironwood can't help me on Monday morning.
     
  18. satguy22

    satguy22 Legend

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    Oct 1, 2006
    There is no meter that will find the 103 as of now. The bird dog cost 450. and is set up to find meg 4 -101,119. sats 99 and 103 are on each side of 101 and if you get 101 then set the dish side to side, so that the dish is set in the center of 101 the other two sats should come in also. this is how the meter works. see the video of how to set up the 5 lnb dish.
     
  19. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

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    I think you are correct, satguy. Makes sense, too, since the 99, 101, and 103 all come from the same LNB assembly.
     
  20. dubphotek

    dubphotek Cool Member

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    Sep 26, 2006
    Well things took an unexpected turn of events this morning. The installer got it working! Yesterday I decided to check out the wiring in the garage, and found a multiswitch connected, with one line running to another unit. The installer simply removed the multiswitch (and probably killing #4's connection, but that's not my problem...let them get their own dish) and everything works.

    Only downside is that I now only have one line running to each of the DVRs (one SD and one HD). And I'm still not considering the job complete until I see local HD channels (couldn't test at 10:00AM--simply no content).

    Just as I had my heart set on a S3 Tivo...this install has been an emotional roller-coaster .
     
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