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Intallation Verification


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64 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   RobertE

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 01:54 PM

DirecTv is taking the installation quality issues seriously.

First they started with live quality checks of Ka/Ku installations/upgrades.

They are now starting the next step. A bit of background.

For those that played with the new sat screens in the past round of CE's, thats what they were for. Also, remember Earls signal survey. While I can't say for 100% that is what it's being used for, it's a safe bet that it is. ;)

To put it bluntly, an unacceptable percentage of HDDVR installs/upgrades have needed multiple truck rolls due to signal level issues. Not equipment issues. The fault for these multiple truck rolls can only fall on one place. The tech. Either (s)he didn't properly aim the dish, aimed it into trees, wrong switch, or old/bad cabling.

Their have been countless threads of using the old switch or the tech not knowing what the signal levels should be.

Anyway, DirecTv is firing up the weed whacker to weed out the hacks.

What will happen? Once activated, the box will run some internal self-tests on the signal levels. If the test fails, there will be an on screen display stating that the IV Test failed (IV = Installation Verification).

It failed, now what? Now the tech has a chance to tweak the dish, put in the proper switch, etc. Whatever needs to be done to get it to pass. Once it passes, life is good and everyone enjoys HD.

What if he can't get it to pass? No fear, he can call in to get a waiver. He will have to call a special number, give some info off the screen, then the CSR will unlock the box. But there is a catch. If a waiver is used for any reason, a roll back activity is automatically generated. The roll back will be set up at the customers convenience to fix the installation to bring it within specs so the box can pass it's internal tests.

A note about the roll back activity. The purpose of the activity is to bring the installation/signal levels within spec. It is not for adding an additional receiver, moving receivers, etc. Doing any additional work will incur additional charges and/or an additional appointment.

Initially, this will be in three markets on the HR2x & R22s. Then rolled out nationally.

Just to add, please don't turn this into yet another bash the installer thread. This post is intended to be informative and positive for everyone involved. If it starts down the bashing road, I'll ask a mod to close it.
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#2 OFFLINE   litzdog911

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 02:05 PM

Robert:
Do you know exactly what the tests are, and what's considered "passing"? For example, what signal readings are considered "passing"? Is reception from all 5 satellites (99, 101, 103, 110, 119º) required?
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#3 OFFLINE   RobertE

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 02:11 PM

Robert:
Do you know exactly what the tests are, and what's considered "passing"? For example, what signal readings are considered "passing"? Is reception from all 5 satellites (99, 101, 103, 110, 119º) required?


Specifics, no. Just a hunch that it will be 80+, possibly more.

At this time I would assume that only 101/103/110/119 will be needed to pass (at least for the beta portion). Once D11 is live, then I'd bet on all five needed until the Slim 3 shows up.

Can't disclose too much secret info all at once you know. ;)
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#4 OFFLINE   evan_s

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 02:14 PM

This is very cool. It's good to see that techs will immediately be responsible for getting things right. Should definitely help with some of these install horror stories.

#5 OFFLINE   jimht

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 03:35 PM

I'm a new directv customer so I'm an outsider but have you considered the hacks may be hacks because they haven't been properly trained? I would hate to think the first thing you would do is lay off the hacks instead of putting an updated training process in place. What is the installer training and certification program like?
Sorry if this is off topic but you kind of hit a nerve. This is these peoples livelyhood for god sake.

#6 OFFLINE   Mertzen

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 04:00 PM

Well I guess no more installs "with 119 missing but customer agrees with it".
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#7 OFFLINE   2dogz

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 04:36 PM

RobertE:

What do you mean by "the CSR unlocks the box"? You mean the box fails this IV test and it locks/shuts the box down? Even while the customer is watching TV with his crappy signal?

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#8 OFFLINE   Kansas Zephyr

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 04:45 PM

RobertE:

What do you mean by "the CSR unlocks the box"? You mean the box fails this IV test and it locks/shuts the box down? Even while the customer is watching TV with his crappy signal?

I think it means the box will not start "working" until the IV passes, or gets exempted by a CSR, during the initial install. This forces the tech to achieve a minimal level of acceptable service the first time out.

I doubt that rain-fade, or other loss of signal, after the installation will lock the box.
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#9 OFFLINE   Doug Brott

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 04:52 PM

RobertE:

What do you mean by "the CSR unlocks the box"? You mean the box fails this IV test and it locks/shuts the box down? Even while the customer is watching TV with his crappy signal?


This is during the DISH/receiver installation process. The Tech will have to pass the IV (Installation Verification) process prior to the receiver being turned on for the first time.

If the receiver cannot pass the IV process, then a waiver can be granted so that the CSR unlocks the receiver. By default it will be locked since it is a new reciever. A waiver will automatically generate a second truck roll.

The CSR will not be locking the receiver, just unlocking when appropriate.
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#10 OFFLINE   joe diamond

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 05:10 PM

This is great news!

All my jobs are working...........DTV and I can test them...........and then DTV can pay me for the jobs that they have been collecting monthly,,,MONEY.
I have a judgment against one and can't find others. DTV helps me and I will work for them.

Also, with all this new crap on top of the old crap it will take a whole day for some to get a system running.

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#11 OFFLINE   RobertE

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 05:30 PM

This is during the DISH/receiver installation process. The Tech will have to pass the IV (Installation Verification) process prior to the receiver being turned on for the first time.

If the receiver cannot pass the IV process, then a waiver can be granted so that the CSR unlocks the receiver. By default it will be locked since it is a new reciever. A waiver will automatically generate a second truck roll.

The CSR will not be locking the receiver, just unlocking when appropriate.


100% correct.

It's also a pretty safe bet that if a given installer has over a certain percentage of waivers/rollbacks, he will be given some uptraining to correct his work.

When this program is nation wide, we should pretty much see an end to the "installer just left and my signals are in the 40's, it that ok?" posts.
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#12 OFFLINE   RobertE

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 05:37 PM

I'm a new directv customer so I'm an outsider but have you considered the hacks may be hacks because they haven't been properly trained? I would hate to think the first thing you would do is lay off the hacks instead of putting an updated training process in place. What is the installer training and certification program like?
Sorry if this is off topic but you kind of hit a nerve. This is these peoples livelyhood for god sake.


There are some hacks that are hacks because they haven't been trained. This process *should* help identify individual installers and sites that are need of more/better/any training. If a particular sites trainer is a bum and doesn't do anything and the data supports that (lots of waivers from all techs, etc) they won't blink an eye about replacing him. Same with an individual that has to get waiver after waiver after waiver. He either gets retrained or replaced.

Then their are hacks because they simply do not or no longer care. These guys, just need to go, period. Nothing will fix a bad attitude.

As an installer, I'll defend by brethern when they are thrown under the bus unjustly until I'm blue in the face. By the same token, when they deserve it, I'll be in the drivers seat of said bus.
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#13 OFFLINE   2dogz

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 05:45 PM

This is during the DISH/receiver installation process. The Tech will have to pass the IV (Installation Verification) process prior to the receiver being turned on for the first time.

If the receiver cannot pass the IV process, then a waiver can be granted so that the CSR unlocks the receiver. By default it will be locked since it is a new reciever. A waiver will automatically generate a second truck roll.

The CSR will not be locking the receiver, just unlocking when appropriate.


I understand now. I was thinking in terms of the "ET Phone Home" feature when the receiver reports its signal levels over the internet connection. This feature should probably be expanded to use the phone line to report also. An awful lot of horses have already left the barn. D* could then revisit these subscribers with flakey installs spread over time.

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#14 OFFLINE   RobertE

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 05:48 PM

I understand now. I was thinking in terms of the "ET Phone Home" feature when the receiver reports its signal levels over the internet connection. This feature should probably be expanded to use the phone line to report also. An awful lot of horses have already left the barn. D* could then revisit these subscribers with flakey installs spread over time.


The box (AFAIK anyway) does phone home and reports levels from time to time.

However, that does no good when a customer goes behind the tech after he ran new phone lines to rooms and disconnects the phone line.
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#15 OFFLINE   joe diamond

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 07:27 PM

The box (AFAIK anyway) does phone home and reports levels from time to time.

However, that does no good when a customer goes behind the tech after he ran new phone lines to rooms and disconnects the phone line.


RobertE,

Just turned on my crap detector. This is a way to get the phones connected. The last number I saw was one in six households have no landline or a plan to ever get one.

So we have the phones connected and then the "road crews" that do such good work each winter will continue to be great until the leaves come out.

So what is the pay rate for connecting the phones to the verification .....scam?


Joe

#16 OFFLINE   RobertE

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 08:01 PM

RobertE,

Just turned on my crap detector. This is a way to get the phones connected. The last number I saw was one in six households have no landline or a plan to ever get one.

So we have the phones connected and then the "road crews" that do such good work each winter will continue to be great until the leaves come out.

So what is the pay rate for connecting the phones to the verification .....scam?


Joe


Thats why unless the phone demarc is really, really close and I have to run coax to that room, a phone line doesn't get run. :D

The phone line isn't needed for the verification, it's all internal to the box itself.
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#17 OFFLINE   CJTE

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 08:04 PM

So that leaves me wondering...
What happens to the 5% of the units that seriously are 'bad' and simply wont pass due to an internal issue?

#18 OFFLINE   RobertE

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 08:06 PM

So that leaves me wondering...
What happens to the 5% of the units that seriously are 'bad' and simply wont pass due to an internal issue?


I would assume that it would get replaced either on the initial install or on the roll back if one wasn't available the first go around.
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#19 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 08:51 PM

Robert - Very enlightening post and follow-up discussion.

I have a question about the "lock" situation if the box fails IV - what if the customer has a 6 month old system, two spare ports on their WB68, and picks up a new receiver at Costco for self-installation, and it fails IV? Will the customer still be able to get a "waiver" to activate the receiver? Or is the box locked and a roll is needed?

The reason I ask is that when my Slimline was installed in early 2007 it was perfect, but around 4 months I started having problems and it took numerous truck rolls and 2 more months for the LNB assembly to be replaced, eliminating my problems. If the IV was in place in 2007 and I tried to add a new receiver in month 4 or 5, who knows if it would have passed IV?

#20 OFFLINE   joe diamond

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 09:13 PM

Ah see a bad moon arisin!

Joe




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