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Why does Dish have more national outages then DIRECTV?


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#1 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 08:31 AM

I've seen a couple threads in the past month about eastern arc Dish subscribers losing the majority of there channels for a period of time. From what I've seen for an answer its usually caused by weather located around their uplink centers. This isn't the first time I've seen Dish outages blamed on weather at the uplink sites over the years.

So my question is why don't we see outages like this on DIRECTV? IIRC they have two main uplink centers, Castle Rock CO. and Los Angeles CA. Both of these locations have been know to have bad weather but as a long time DIRECTV customer I don't recall losing national channels that have been blamed on weather at the uplink center.

Is my memory bad and DIRECTV does have weather releated uplink issues also or are they doing something different from DISH to help prevent those outages?

See post My Setup for configuration info.


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#2 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 06:53 PM

They would have to be open to the same possibility of outage due to severe weather at the uplink. There's really no way around that.

But... it is possible they have their uplinks (and their satellites in orbit) in a more currently favorable location relative to those strong weather patterns.

We've been getting almost daily storms here in NC... but some days the big storms go right by us and do nothing where I live... other days we get the heavy stuff dumped right on us...

So maybe some years are worse for the Dish uplinks... and other years worse for DirecTV.

To be honest... I wouldn't know if DirecTV was having an outage most days, since I'm a Dish customer and don't pay attention to those alerts.

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#3 OFFLINE   hilmar2k

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 07:01 PM

I don't know of any uplink related outages with Directv.

#4 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 07:07 PM

I don't know of any uplink related outages with Directv.


Ive been with DirecTv since their inception, and have never seen or heard of an uplink related outage. I really dont know why this would be so, especially since they use KA. Maybe they just have bigger uplink dishes or have more available uplink power to use.

When I worked at the local uplink center here, we used undersize receive dishes on our KU uplinks. When the signal dropped, we cranked up the power, staying ahead of the curve for those customers using standard size commercial TVRO dishes. Only once do I recall us maxing out the uplink transmitter, and that was only for about two minutes.

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#5 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 07:59 PM

Castle Rock and Cheyenne are fairly close together (130 miles).
The severe weather events affecting uplink don't happen very often.
Apparently there was one last night but I didn't see it (the local channel I was watching is uplinked out of Chicago).

Perhaps trying to feed 61.5, 72.7 and 77 from that far west isn't the best idea ... but there have been outages on Western Arc due to weather and those satellites should be just as easy to feed as DirecTV's.

I don't see this as a major "it goes out every week" type of issue - although DISH subscribers have seemed to notice it and report it more in the past year than I recall before that.

#6 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 08:12 PM

In my case... we had a major storm blow through last night at that same time... so I had no reason to assume my outage wasn't based on that, rather than Dish... since I would have lost signal anyway.

There's no telling how many DirecTV signal loss scenarios might have been covered up by something similar happening.

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#7 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 08:45 PM

In my case... we had a major storm blow through last night at that same time... so I had no reason to assume my outage wasn't based on that, rather than Dish... since I would have lost signal anyway.

There's no telling how many DirecTV signal loss scenarios might have been covered up by something similar happening.


I think it's easy to see when it's an uplink issue when reports are coming in from all over vs. a localized event all saying they've lost national channels. What I've seen reported here and the 'other' site are more of the wide spread nature vs a local issue.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#8 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 08:54 PM

I think it's easy to see when it's an uplink issue when reports are coming in from all over vs. a localized event all saying they've lost national channels. What I've seen reported here and the 'other' site are more of the wide spread nature vs a local issue.

When I have an issue I'm usually looking outside at the sky or checking out the weather radar to see what is south of me (if it isn't storming where I am). By the time I would figure out it isn't local it usually is back. Then I go online and see other's complaints.

#9 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 11:23 PM

I think it's easy to see when it's an uplink issue when reports are coming in from all over vs. a localized event all saying they've lost national channels. What I've seen reported here and the 'other' site are more of the wide spread nature vs a local issue.


True... and that's what I do too...

But... how active were those threads, on either forum? I didn't see a flood of "where is my TV" posts like you would think we would see with the whole arc down like that on Dish last night.

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#10 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:37 AM

True... and that's what I do too...

But... how active were those threads, on either forum? I didn't see a flood of "where is my TV" posts like you would think we would see with the whole arc down like that on Dish last night.


Or people see a few posts from all over and figure out it's not them but Dish so why post. The other site had reports from MI, SC, TX, GA AND KS within the first 5 minutes.

But that doesn't answer my original question of why does Dish seem to have more national outages then DIRECTV. So far JL is the only one with an answer that makes some sense, trying to hit the far eastern arc from sites in WY and AZ.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#11 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:28 AM

But that doesn't answer my original question of why does Dish seem to have more national outages then DIRECTV. So far JL is the only one with an answer that makes some sense, trying to hit the far eastern arc from sites in WY and AZ.


Technically your original question can only be answered by someone who agrees with you, right?

You didn't ask "Who has more national outages?" rather you asked "why does Dish seem to have..." and I'm not sure that they do "seem to have" or actually have.

I think that's why you're getting a variety of answers.

Not being a DirecTV customer, I barely read the DirecTV forums... so I wouldn't know if they have many national outages or not. I only know about Dish... and honestly, I can only remember a handful in the 10 years I've been with Dish. That doesn't seem like a lot to me.

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#12 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:40 AM

So my question is why don't we see outages like this on DIRECTV? IIRC they have two main uplink centers, Castle Rock CO. and Los Angeles CA. Both of these locations have been know to have bad weather


Wait, Los Angeles and BAD weather? You have GOT to be kidding right? :D When it rains a little bit here, the local news sends out "storm teams" to go and cover it. Los Angeles probably has some of the best weather in the nation.

As far as Colorado goes, I am sure they have some snowfall over there, but generally speaking Colorado is known to have the most sunshine days within the nation. Yes, more then the "sunshine state" of Florida. Mind you, it can get COLD in Colorado, but warmth does not mean more sunshine. This could be the reason that DirecTV has chosen Colorado for its main facility.
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#13 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:43 AM

Technically your original question can only be answered by someone who agrees with you, right?

You didn't ask "Who has more national outages?" rather you asked "why does Dish seem to have..." and I'm not sure that they do "seem to have" or actually have.

I think that's why you're getting a variety of answers.

Not being a DirecTV customer, I barely read the DirecTV forums... so I wouldn't know if they have many national outages or not. I only know about Dish... and honestly, I can only remember a handful in the 10 years I've been with Dish. That doesn't seem like a lot to me.


And my original post also said

"So my question is why don't we see outages like this on DIRECTV? IIRC they have two main uplink centers, Castle Rock CO. and Los Angeles CA. Both of these locations have been know to have bad weather but as a long time DIRECTV customer I don't recall losing national channels that have been blamed on weather at the uplink center."

Since the national outages I've seen posted about Dish the usual answer is it was caused by bad weather at the uplink center. And since both main uplink sites for DIRECTV also have bad weather like Dish's two main site, why does Dish seem to have more weather related uplink problems then DIRECTV. You don't need to be a DIRECTV customer to answer that question.

About your "and honestly, I can only remember a handful in the 10 years I've been with Dish. That doesn't seem like a lot to me.". I did a quick look and see that multiple Dish customers reported national outages on 7/28, 7/14 and 6/6, didn't look any farther then that. Maybe over 10 years there's been few outages but three in less then two months to me seems like a lot.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#14 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:51 AM

Wait, Los Angeles and BAD weather? You have GOT to be kidding right? :D When it rains a little bit here, the local news sends out "storm teams" to go and cover it. Los Angeles probably has some of the best weather in the nation.


Yea, probably 99% of the time it's great. But if it never rains there why do we see news stories back east about the osscaional mud slides and flooding in LA?

As far as Colorado goes, I am sure they have some snowfall over there, but generally speaking Colorado is known to have the most sunshine days within the nation. Yes, more then the "sunshine state" of Florida. Mind you, it can get COLD in Colorado, but warmth does not mean more sunshine. This could be the reason that DirecTV has chosen Colorado for its main facility.


It doesn't need to be just snow, they do happen to get the occasional storm, just like up the interstate in Cheyenne WY where Dish has their main uplink site.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#15 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 12:33 PM

Since the national outages I've seen posted about Dish the usual answer is it was caused by bad weather at the uplink center. And since both main uplink sites for DIRECTV also have bad weather like Dish's two main site, why does Dish seem to have more weather related uplink problems then DIRECTV. You don't need to be a DIRECTV customer to answer that question.

About your "and honestly, I can only remember a handful in the 10 years I've been with Dish. That doesn't seem like a lot to me.". I did a quick look and see that multiple Dish customers reported national outages on 7/28, 7/14 and 6/6, didn't look any farther then that. Maybe over 10 years there's been few outages but three in less then two months to me seems like a lot.


I'm honestly not trying to be difficult... but you're still asking why in your opinion Dish has more outages than DirecTV. That's a near impossible question to answer.

I don't know that Dish does have more national outages than DirecTV. I'd have to look up a history.

The most recent weather-related outage didn't affect Western arc Dish customers at all... so go back in time to before eastern arc existed and this particular weather event wouldn't have caused an outage.

It could be that IF Dish is having more problems than DirecTV, that it is because of their eastern arc which DirecTV doesn't have a counterpart (do they?)...

IF an outage happens during the day when everyone is at work due to a local weather event... how many people notice if it is back before they get home that day? For all I know both Dish and DirecTV have had a lot of those kinds of outages and it wouldn't generate the level of complaints we are used to seeing for a nighttime or weekend outage.

I just can't agree with the premise that Dish seems to have more outages than DirecTV because I have no basis for comparison. I just know Dish has had some outages over the years. It doesn't seem like a large number to me... thus my answer to your question.

Are you a Dish customer? Or a DirecTV customer? It sounds like you are a DirecTV customer... I don't know about them, but every once in a while someone posts about an outage that turns out to just be them and not national...

Again, maybe I'm getting forgetful in my "old" age, but I just don't remember that many outages over the years... and certainly not enough to even begin to compare and say it seems like more or less than a provider with which I have no recent experience.

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#16 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 12:57 PM

I'm honestly not trying to be difficult... but you're still asking why in your opinion Dish has more outages than DirecTV. That's a near impossible question to answer.

I don't know that Dish does have more national outages than DirecTV. I'd have to look up a history.


Neither am I. As for it being my opinion, that's just based on seeing thread started here and the other sites from multiple people from different states all reporting an outage at the same time. I then went on to ask about the reason that I see as given for those outages which is weather at the uplink site. Since both companies need to uplink their signal to their satellites I was asking why one might have more outages then the other.

As for the long term history I posted the last three dates that I've seen for Dish. I looked back to the beginning of the year for DIRECTV and didn't any similar threads being started. Maybe I missed them, but unless you can find them I'd have to say that Dish has more then DIRECTV, at least for the past seven months.

The most recent weather-related outage didn't affect Western arc Dish customers at all... so go back in time to before eastern arc existed and this particular weather event wouldn't have caused an outage.

It could be that IF Dish is having more problems than DirecTV, that it is because of their eastern arc which DirecTV doesn't have a counterpart (do they?)...


As I responded earlier, JL's response of eastern arc having satellites farther away from the uplink centers seems like the most logical response. That's the type of answer I was looking for. DIRECTV wouldn't have a similar issue since their uplinks are closer to their core satellite locations.

IF an outage happens during the day when everyone is at work due to a local weather event... how many people notice if it is back before they get home that day? For all I know both Dish and DirecTV have had a lot of those kinds of outages and it wouldn't generate the level of complaints we are used to seeing for a nighttime or weekend outage.

I just can't agree with the premise that Dish seems to have more outages than DirecTV because I have no basis for comparison. I just know Dish has had some outages over the years. It doesn't seem like a large number to me... thus my answer to your question.

Are you a Dish customer? Or a DirecTV customer? It sounds like you are a DirecTV customer... I don't know about them, but every once in a while someone posts about an outage that turns out to just be them and not national...

Again, maybe I'm getting forgetful in my "old" age, but I just don't remember that many outages over the years... and certainly not enough to even begin to compare and say it seems like more or less than a provider with which I have no recent experience.


If you want to go with the tree in the forest analogy to reason that DIRECTV might have as many national outages as Dish, sorry but that seems like your grabbing at straws. All I know is I see threads started here and elsewhere about Dish uplink issues while I haven't seen the same for DIRECTV, again if there are there please point me to them. Yes, I am a DIRECTV customer but I do look at posts in Dish forums, just like Dish customers look at and some actively post in DIRECTV forums.

My purpose wasn't to start a Dish vs. DIRECTV thread, just wondering why one service might be more susceptible to weather events at their uplink site.

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#17 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:28 AM

Yea, probably 99% of the time it's great. But if it never rains there why do we see news stories back east about the osscaional mud slides and flooding in LA?


Because when it DOES rain, the mountains and hills are SO dry, everything just slides right down. Usually it doesn't rain from April through November, with a rare exception - we had a nice summer thunderstorm moving through providing a little bit of rain a few weeks back.

In Winter months it rains every so often. But not enough to really be a factor in satellite operations. The location of the DirecTV facilities by the way, are in the middle of the city and not prone to flooding.
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