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DTV customer service; the BIG lie

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Poco Askew, Feb 1, 2008.

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  1. Feb 1, 2008 #1 of 56
    Poco Askew

    Poco Askew AllStar

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    Sep 25, 2007
    I'm about to give up. For weeks (maybe since the new HD channel rollout) we get constant audio dropouts and pixilation of our HD channels. When this problem is happening, the SD versions work just fine. It is not limited to one or two channels, but seems to happen on all HD to a greater or lesser extent. I've had to stop watching HD.

    My signal strength when we are having problems range from upper-80's to 100 on almost all transponders (other than those with zero or "N/A"). The exception is sat 103c. It's signals are upper-70's to mid-80's. We do have two transponders that are always down between 10 and 25, but I don't know if they are even used. These low signals are on sat 101 #28 and sat 99s #1.

    Customer service told me to tighten my cables (yeah right). DTV already charged me $19.95 (shipping) to replace my DVR (HR-20/700) that was under warranty. Now they want to charge me $79.95 to send out a tech to fix a problem with their service/equipment/installation. Basically they want to charge me even more, with no guarantees, to try and fix the programming I already pay over $100 per month for, but can't watch.

    Anyone have any suggestions or ideas? I don't want to go back to cable, but at least I would get my local channels in HD and the HD works.
     
  2. Feb 1, 2008 #2 of 56
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Try to tweak the allignment of your dish.

    70-80s on the 103c is a bit low... and would cause some of the issues you are seeing with the HD channels.
     
  3. Feb 1, 2008 #3 of 56
    rabit ears

    rabit ears Legend

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    Magic word "merchantability"

    Send D* a letter (certified is best), be nice. Tell them that your system doesn't provide you the services that a reasonable person would expect and you want it fixed or you want them to take back their equipment at no cost to you.

    If they do neither, send a letter to your state's attorney general consumer affairs office along with a copy of your original letter to D*. Every state has a merchantability law and some, like California, even have the power to impose the "Death Penalty" in the form of barring sales for a period of time.

    I promise, it will get their attention faster than anything you can do.
     
  4. Feb 1, 2008 #4 of 56
    Xaa

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    Nov 17, 2005
    :lol: merchantability :lol:

    Follow Earls advice, not Rabbit Ears
     
  5. Feb 1, 2008 #5 of 56
    Poco Askew

    Poco Askew AllStar

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    Thanks! I'll see what I can do. I'll look through the installation section of the forum for help and tips on allignment. I've never attempted it.

    Are HD channels on sat 103c and SD broadcasts on the other satellites?
     
  6. Feb 1, 2008 #6 of 56
    K4SMX

    K4SMX Hall Of Fame

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    For re-alignment, you might want to check out posts #34 and #44 on this thread.

    I'm suspicious that, although you could benefit from re-alignment, that's not the cause of your issue. Are you using the BBC's which came with your original receiver or the new one?

    It's important to check out your 103(c) signal levels on both tuners, because it's possible just one tuner is effected. Be sure to check the levels while you're experiencing the problem.

    With enough troubleshooting you can probably solve this problem or at least correctly analyze it yourself.

    And yes, all new mpeg4 national HD's are on 103(c). The older mpeg2 HD channels (CH 70-79) are on 110, tp's 8, 10, & 12, and 119, tp 28.
     
  7. Feb 1, 2008 #7 of 56
    Poco Askew

    Poco Askew AllStar

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    I'm pretty sure I did not swap out the BBCs. This reception problem happened more recently. The DVR was swapped out a few months ago due to a different problem.

    I'll check the link and see what I can do to get the 103c signals up as high as possible. The two tuners appear the same for signal within 1%. They range from a low of 75 to a high of 88. DTV told me anything over 70 on 103c was fine.
     
  8. Feb 1, 2008 #8 of 56
    brownram

    brownram AllStar

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    i was having the same problem you are having and after reading through a lot of threads on this site i took an educated guess that it was a problem with the lnb on my dish i had the old side car so i called and asked them to replace it with a slimline got charged $19.95 shipping and a service tech came out and installed it and i have not had a problem with my hd since hope this helps
     
  9. Feb 1, 2008 #9 of 56
    Poco Askew

    Poco Askew AllStar

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    From what I'm reading it looks like you align elevation first, then azimuth and finally tilt. Should I be monitoring the signals on 103c while I adjust, or ?? Also, if I shoot for optimum signal levles on 103c am I going to lose the good signal levels I have on all the others?
     
  10. ansky

    ansky Hall Of Fame

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    Audio dropots are not that uncommon. I get them too. Not every day, but usually once or twice a week and only on HD channels. I get 95+ on all sats and transponders so it's not necessarily an equipment issue. It could be the transmission or even the uplink from the network provider. D* HD is certainly not perfect but overall it does seem to be improving.
     
  11. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Jun 18, 2006
    That is absolutely right.
     
  12. rabit ears

    rabit ears Legend

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    Nov 18, 2005
    To each his own.

    I had a problem very similar to that described by the OP and I took advantage of the consumer protection laws in my state and was very satisfied with the result. The instant the OP touches that dish, he's screwed.
     
  13. Poco Askew

    Poco Askew AllStar

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    I would have no problem if I got an audio dropout once or twice a week. I'm getting dropouts every few seconds. At best of times I get a dropout every minute or two.
     
  14. SteveEJ

    SteveEJ Legend

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    May 30, 2007
    Here we go again!:(

    Such a HAPPY guy!:nono2:
     
  15. K4SMX

    K4SMX Hall Of Fame

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    The OP reported both audio drop outs and pixelation, presumably simultaneous, so this is not your normal screwed up DD, network bug.

    I think Poco Askew should select the Signal Meters option after getting to the View Signal Strength menu page, select the 103(c) satellite, and pick a 103(c) tp to observe for a time to determine if those "sort-of-OK" signals strengths aren't jumping around as opposed to steady, indicating a problem either in the cabling (poor quality/too long),the connectors (loose/corroded), the grounding block, the multi-switch (if any), or the LNB's internal multi-switch.

    If there's no variation in signal strength, I'd start looking at RFI from light dimmers, nearby computers, etc.

    While those signal strengths in the 70's and 80's may meet DirecTV's current rather lax Ka service call standards, they can definitely be improved upon. They're not weak enough, however, to cause this level of constant picture break up.
     
  16. Poco Askew

    Poco Askew AllStar

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    Sounds like a reasonable plan of action. This is driving us nuts. We don't have any light dimmers and our computers are about 24 feet away. We do have AV equipment with the HR20, but none of it has changed so I don't think they would start this problem. No multiswitch. The cabling is only 7 months old and is the stuff DTV put in. I'll check on tight cables and grounding outside before I mess with the dish, which is about 25 feet off the ground. :eek2:

    Can anyone tell me if my post above is the correct methodology to align the dish (assuming I don't find a loose cable up there, or something else)?
     
  17. Dusty

    Dusty Icon

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    Sep 21, 2006
    I went through similar issue last November. Just like you, I was unwilling to pay the service call. I decided to debug it myself and was able to resolve my issue after some hassle. (My issue was a poor contact caused by a rusted external cable connector. Don't think my debug experience will help you there.) Anyway, while I was talking to the CSR, they offered an option. It seems you can sign up for protection plan and pay a reduced price ($15 or $20, I couldn't recall) for the first call. Of course second call would be free after you are included in the protection plan. I thought it might be something for you to keep in mind if you have to call them again.

    Good luck with your debugging.
     
  18. pecocus

    pecocus DBSTalk Club Member

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    Feb 13, 2006
    Actually, I have the protection plan. If I'm not mistaken it's $5.99 a month. After an initial 30 day waiting period, then service calls are free. At least, that's been my experience and I've had them out several times.
     
  19. K4SMX

    K4SMX Hall Of Fame

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    Yeah, you can fine tune the AZ and EL on your dish to peak the 103 signals. Everything else will improve as well as long as your mast is plumb. Be sure and review those posts /\ /\ and watch the DirecTV 2006 installation video so you won't damage anything because of unfamiliarity with the adjustment mechanisms.
     
  20. JLucPicard

    JLucPicard Hall Of Fame

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    Poco Askew,

    If you are going to try tinkering with the alignment (I would check the other stuff mentioned first), you should probably mark all the adjustment points as to where things are set before changing anything. If things don't get better and just get worse (or you lose signal all together), at least you can revert things back to where they were.
     
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