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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Having issues with my AM21, any suggestions?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   aukevin

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 10:45 AM

I have an AM21 connected to my HR21 receiver and a couple of my OTA HD feeds just won't come in anymore (NBC 48-1 out of Huntsville, AL and CW 15-1 out of Florence, AL). I had no problem getting these stations from October of last year when I signed up with DTV through the beginning of this summer. But for the past couple months, I can't get a signal anymore. I let it go for a couple months because there's nothing on those channels for me during the summer. The last time I remember watching NBC this summer was right when Conan took over for Leno.

I live only 7 miles from the mountain that has the NBC station tower. When I do the signal test from within the HR21 for my antenna stations, it never acquires a signal for that station but the guide information and shows are all there. But I always get a 771 error (searching for OTA signal or something to that effect). All the other local HD stations are on that same mountain as well and I get them with no problem except for that CW 15-1 in Florence which is about 40 miles away so I'm not quite as concerned with that, but I still used to get it in without issues. It won't acquire from the HR21 antenna signal test either.

In order to make sure my cable hasn't messed up, I unplugged the cable between the antenna and the AM21 and plugged it straight into my TV. All my channels were there with a signal meter in the 80s and above (CW 15-1 in the 40s). I remember last year when I got the antenna, the signal meter on the TV would say my reception for the local stations was in the 90s and above (CW 15-1 in the 50s), so I'm not sure why it dropped 10% on a couple channels, but they are still really high I thought.

So anyway, I'm trying to find out why I'm not getting my NBC 48-1 through the AM21 anymore since my signal meter on it is so high when not going through the AM21. The AM21 just can't acquire it.

I had a DTV tech out yesterday and he inspected my OTA antenna and replaced some connections with some higher quality ones but still no acquisition of the two stations through the AM21. The tech just said that the AM21 drops the reception of the signal by 20% or so and it just must not be letting the station through. This shouldn't happen when I have a 55 mile OTA antenna (the DB4) and the mountain with the towers is in clear view of my house only 7 miles away.

The only thing I can think to try is putting an amp at the antenna to boost my signal even though it is high already.

I've tried resetting the settings on my antenna on the DTV equipment a few times, to no avail.

Does the AM21 have firmware updates or anything? Could a firmware update I got for the HR21 back in June be the culprit?

Does anyone else have any ideas that I could try?

Thanks!

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#2 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 11:12 AM

Any chance that you lost those stations about June 12th? That would be the analog shutdown date and some digital channels changed the actual channels they were broadcasting on to new ones.

What you can try doing it reset the software settings, go to the setup menu, select sat & ant, then antenna setup, then reset antenna setup and start over and see if that helps.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#3 OFFLINE   aukevin

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 11:17 AM

Any chance that you lost those stations about June 12th? That would be the analog shutdown date and some digital channels changed the actual channels they were broadcasting on to new ones.

What you can try doing it reset the software settings, go to the setup menu, select sat & ant, then antenna setup, then reset antenna setup and start over and see if that helps.

I've been wondering if that is a coincidence or not. I have reset the software setting a few times trying to get it to work with no avail. I don't know anything about TV station signals or anything, but I keep thinking something must have changed to make that NBC station just stop working when I still get a high signal from it when plugged into my TV.

#4 OFFLINE   sum_random_dork

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 12:09 PM

It sounds like they changed frequencies; did they maybe go from UHF to VHF after 6/12? If you can see the channels on your TV but not the AM21 it might be an issue with Tribune Media Services. Which would mean you need to contact the local TV station and let them know they need to update Tribune with the correct channel locations. Also, double check sites like TVFool and see what channels they say you should be seeing currently. You may also want to check out AVSfroum and see what others in your area have done, there could be people in your local area that might help you out. Finally, as was mentioned totally clear out your AM21 have it reset all settings and possibly try using a different zip code in your area and see if that helps pull in the channel(s).

#5 OFFLINE   gcd0865

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 12:27 PM

As others have said, perhaps some of your stations switched channel assignments on June 12, in which case maybe Tribune hasn't yet updated their listing supplied to DirecTv. Otherwise, you could try a full reset (meaning that you clear all channels from memory entirely) followed by re-entering your zip code to add all the channels again. Sometimes the resets are finicky (you might have to do them a few times, and make sure you re-enter each individual digit of your zip code in the blanks with your remote, even though they are sometimes still displayed there from the last time). Others have also reported the possibility of temporarily removing the USB cable connecting the AM21 to the HRxx receiver while doing the resets and re-entries.

If none of these work, maybe your AM21 is going bad, just like mine did. See my recent post about this here - http://www.dbstalk.c...ad.php?t=160282

#6 OFFLINE   aukevin

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 01:01 PM

It sounds like they changed frequencies; did they maybe go from UHF to VHF after 6/12? If you can see the channels on your TV but not the AM21 it might be an issue with Tribune Media Services. Which would mean you need to contact the local TV station and let them know they need to update Tribune with the correct channel locations. Also, double check sites like TVFool and see what channels they say you should be seeing currently. You may also want to check out AVSfroum and see what others in your area have done, there could be people in your local area that might help you out. Finally, as was mentioned totally clear out your AM21 have it reset all settings and possibly try using a different zip code in your area and see if that helps pull in the channel(s).

They are still UHF like before. Here's the mapping from tvfool.com:

Posted Image

The first 4 are the main ones I'm concerned with, then there is also the CW which is the first yellow one (15.1) that I used to get. You'll notice the first 4 are all LOS and just 6 or 7 miles away. I don't see anything different on 48.1 from the others, but I'm not sure what I'm looking for.

What is Tribune Media Service? What does that have to do with me getting the channel perfectly when the antenna is direct to my TV but not acquired at all when going through my AM21. By the way, DTV does offer standard def locals for my area, and 48 works fine. It is just the HD feel I'm getting through the OTA antenna going through the AM21.

#7 OFFLINE   gcd0865

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 11:26 AM

The way the AM21 receives channels is different from the way your tv tuner receives channels. On your tv tuner, you just connect an antenna and do a scan and it shows you all channels that are being received by your antenna (with perhaps the option of doing manual additions of further channels when you rotate or switch your antenna, if you have a rotor or multiple antennas going into a switch).

The AM21, on the other hand, relies on having a pre-programmed listing of channels for your area that you should be able to receive (by the zip code your enter). When you enter your zip code (and an optional second zip code for a second, nearby, city), your AM21 taps the pre-programmed listing (that is supplied to DirecTv by Tribune) and displays it in your menu. That pre-programmed listing tells your AM21 what is the expected real channel number, the expected virtual channel number and the station call letters. If the Tribune data being supplied to your AM21 during a download (after your zip code entry) is not accurate for a given station, your AM21 will literally not be able to tune to that station (even though it might be displayed in your menu). Accordingly, the AM21 (unlike your tv's tuner) does not have the ability to sense on its own what channels are available (such as from a channel scan). So if one of your stations changed its real channel number on June 12, for example, and the Tribune database has not been updated to reflect the change, nobody's AM21 anywhere can get that channel.

If one or more of your channels need to updated by Tribune, one of the places to let them know is by posting here - http://www.dbstalk.c...ad.php?t=134005

If your channels have not changed their real channel assignments, then maybe your AM21 is going bad like mine did...

#8 OFFLINE   aukevin

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 12:21 PM

Well, as it turns out, I think one of my AM21s is just going bad. I had a tech come out and he couldn't find anything wrong. I've determined that it's just the AM21 though. I took another one I had in another room and hooked it up. Everything worked great. I should have done that before the DirecTV guy came out, but I figured they wouldn't replace it if someone didn't come out first. So they are sending me a new one, so hopefully it'll work good.




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