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Want to install HD, but satellite signal trouble


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32 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Taeriel

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 03:36 PM

Thanks to everyone who provided answers and feedback to my query in the other section last week about how to go about arranging for an equipment and service upgrade. I was quite excited to upgrade to HD and a Genie, and happy that DTV was offering me a free upgrade. In the past I have had SD with an old single tuner receiver and an old series 2 TiVo.

 

A little bit of background: I live in the Ca bay area. My dish has actually never been on my rental house as there is no signal there - it's been mounted across the (narrow) street on my neighbor's house, right next to her SD dish. A cable is strung across the street to bring the signal to my house.

 

Unfortunately, it has not been going smoothly. There have been 3 visits from the installers so far and still no luck. When the first technician visited and attempted to install the dish, he was unable to get signal from the HD satellites. He believed that a nearby tree branch was blocking the signal. His supervisor came out the next day to evaluate the situation and agreed, saying he really thought there would be no problem once the branch was removed. My landlady removed the branch. I scheduled another visit (unfortunately I wasn't able to be there, so someone met them in my stead) with high hopes, but it turned out that they still weren't able to get sufficient coverage. It was reported back to me that the left-most satellite, Spaceway 3 I believe, was still blocked - this time by another tree at the other end of the house. The supervisor and technician were able to get some passable signal by moving the dish, but the workable location was sticking out over my neighbor's deck and I doubt she will approve having it there. 

 

Do I have any options at this point? Do you have to have all 5 satellites? Are different channels on different satellites? I don't do sports or premium channels (just the Entertainment package), so if things like HBO, Showtime or sports channels are missing I wouldn't mind. Are there any other common ways that dishes are mounted, other than on house eaves? How far can the dish be from my house?

 

I'd really, really been wanting to get the upgrade, so any advice would be much appreciated! (Long story short, my old series 2 TiVo died, so I need a new DVR. I'd rather upgrade to a less antiquated system and would not consider signing a new 2 year contract for an outdated SD DVR.)

 

Thanks!

 

 



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#2 OFFLINE   RBA

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 04:01 PM

No contract shop ebay for a DVR.

#3 OFFLINE   Taeriel

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 04:12 PM

My next to last resort is to hunt eBay or Craigslist for an antique SD DVR, probably TiVO brand. I'd by far prefer to be able to upgrade to HD and a current level DVR though. I'm getting frustrated enough that I've actually considered canceling service altogether and moving to something like Apple TV and streaming only - last resort, but I'm less inclined to continue paying a not-small monthly service charge if I can't get better quality. And at some point, I imagine SD will phase out altogether...

#4 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 04:32 PM

It would help to get a better idea of what the location looks like.

If you're getting SD the line of sight for HD is slightly wider as the two slots are just over 2 degrees on either side.

 

Try going here: http://www.dishpointer.com/

 

Select the 101 SAT and move the green marker to where the dish is and then take a screen capture and post it here.

Then we can get some context about it.

 

Here's one of my old place:

 

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#5 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 05:10 PM

, but the workable location was sticking out over my neighbor's deck and I doubt she will approve having it there. 

 

 

I am surprised that they were even able to installed it on your neighbor's property! that is a "no-no"  :nono2:


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#6 OFFLINE   gov

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 05:51 PM

Yeah.  Never heard of that.  I've had clients turned down for no line of sight, and the D* tech wouldn't even consider crossing an adjoining property line, let alone a street.



#7 ONLINE   harsh

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 06:28 PM

I'm assuming SF Bay Area as opposed to SD Bay Area.

Is there anything that casts a shadow on the dish around 10:47am (the approximate time tomorrow when the Sun is vertically in line with 101W from my sister's house in San Mateo)? Anything that casts such a shadow would be suspect.

At some point in the recent past, the Sun may have been causing an solar outage around that time of the day. Your elevation for 101W is 41 degrees and tomorrow the Sun will be at about 42.5 degrees when it passes over the satellites at 101W.

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#8 OFFLINE   trh

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 06:41 PM

the TS mentioned 'his rental' property and 'landlady' who removed a branch to try and clear his LOS.  If the dish is mounted on a house that is owned by the same landlady, would DirecTV do this upgrade under those conditions?



#9 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 07:26 PM

the TS mentioned 'his rental' property and 'landlady' who removed a branch to try and clear his LOS.  If the dish is mounted on a house that is owned by the same landlady, would DirecTV do this upgrade under those conditions?

the homes, shack, shed, where ever the dish is mounted, is "supposed" to be inside the property where the customer is getting service.


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#10 OFFLINE   Taeriel

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 07:53 PM

Sorry for the confusion. Yes, both properties are owned by the same person. I would assume that our landlady worked it out with DRV at some point in the past. The set up has been this way since before I moved in 6 years ago.

Area description: yes, it is SF Bay Area; southbay to be more specific. I'm not in the city - it is a rural area. The street in question is a narrow single lane road, wide enough for only one car at a time. So it's not like they strung the cable over a regular residential street.

There are two main challenges. First, we are located in a canyon. I know, bad news to start. However, from my neighbor's house, the canyon does open up in the direction of the 5 DTV HD satellites. We are lucky in that regard. Second challenge is that being rural, there are lots of trees.

I did start looking at dishpointer last night. I did an initial look at the directions of the 5 satellites in question, though I have the impression the app is capable of more. I will take a screenshot and post as suggested when I get home this evening. I also have a picture of the satellite locations taken against the visual location picture, ie view from where the dish might go. It was taken before the branch was trimmed, so the old branch is blocking view of what is behind it. I can post that as well if it would help. I wasn't there, but I'm told the installation supervisor used an iPhone app. I am guessing it might be Dish Pointer Augmented Reality? I'm not enthused at buying it myself for $9.99. I do have the astronomy app StarWalk, which shows me the approximate location of the satellites.

#11 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 10:35 PM

I did start looking at dishpointer last night. I did an initial look at the directions of the 5 satellites in question,

The only "slots" of concern are: 99. 101, 103.

There are more than one SAT is each "slot", so "5 satellites" could be taken as 99, 101, 103, [and the old] 110, & 119 and you don't need 110 & 119 for HD


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#12 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 12:25 AM

Which sat location are you not getting? You should only need three and there is no space way 3 so not srue what's going on really.

#13 OFFLINE   Taeriel

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 01:00 AM

Ah, now that (info on satellites) is quite interesting! 

 

Unfortunately, I was not here for the installation supervisor visits, so all my information is second hand as relayed by my father. Having said that... before the tree limb was trimmed, the supervisor sent us a photo from his satellite finder app. Unfortunately some of the text was cut off. It shows five satellites as follows:

 

- 95.0W Galaxy 3C | Spaceway 3

- 99.2C DirecTV11| Spaceway something (cut off)

- 101.1W DirecTV 4S, 9S

- 103.0W AMC1oW DirecTV 5 | E...something (cut off)

- 110.0W DirecTV 5 | E-something (cut off)

- 119.0W DirecTV something (cut off)

 

Do the "|" indicate a separate satellite at the same direction? Maybe I'm not looking for the Spaceway 3, but rather the Galaxy 3C. 

 

As far as I understand the most recent evaluation, mounting the slimline on the roof resulted in missing the 95.0W satellite, and that was the reason they were saying it wouldn't work. When they moved the dish to the undesirable location over the patio, there was some weak signal from 95.0W. Based on the specification of difficulty with the 95.0W, and that being the only issue specified, I am assuming that the roof location received sufficient signal for the 99.2, 101.1 and 103.0. 

 

When you say the latter three are the only ones needed for HD... what are the other 2 for? Are they for redundant SD channels? For other channels not available in HD? This is the first glimmer of hope I have had in the last day! If indeed I only need those three for my service (Entertainment package and HD), then maybe it will work out. 

 

Is DirecTV likely to drag their feet if they can't get the 95.0W satellite? If I don't really need it, why? I'd rather have service with what I can get if it is everything I need. 

 

Thanks!!

 

edit: realizing now that there are six in the photo. The report always talked about five, though. I will need to clarify which ones are relevent and which are the problem. 


Edited by Taeriel, 08 March 2014 - 01:20 AM.


#14 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 01:30 AM

Ok I think your beginning to confuse some things here.

One, don't worry about satelite names. Only locations. Almost every location has multiple satelites and sometimes not all from one company. What matters is that you can see the location that you need to.

Second, unless you are getting some foreign stuff or something extremely oddball, you do not need anything from 95.

All core programing is on 101 for sd, and 99 and 103 for Hi Definition. That requires a 3 lnb, not a 5 lnb.

The 5lnb also gets you 110 and 119 which has some foreign language, and a few music channels and some sd local channels for a few cities, none of which you are in I believe.

So you don't need a 5lnb. They should install a 3 lnb and you will be good.

In order to get anything from 95 they would have to add a second dish to the install.

Oh, and since you only had a single lnb before, then you definelty only need the 3 lnb setup.

This is all basic stuff that any installer and supervisor should know with ease. Not sure why on earth they'd be talking about 95 to you at all ever.

#15 OFFLINE   Taeriel

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 01:34 AM

It would help to get a better idea of what the location looks like.

If you're getting SD the line of sight for HD is slightly wider as the two slots are just over 2 degrees on either side.

 

Try going here: http://www.dishpointer.com/

 

Select the 101 SAT and move the green marker to where the dish is and then take a screen capture and post it here.

Then we can get some context about it.

 

Here's one of my old place:

 

Here is my screen cap showing the hopeful dish location with the 101W satellite:

 

330e3983-bddc-4c58-85b2-79676c053180_zps


Edited by Taeriel, 08 March 2014 - 03:09 PM.


#16 OFFLINE   Taeriel

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 02:00 AM

Ok I think your beginning to confuse some things here.

One, don't worry about satelite names. Only locations. Almost every location has multiple satelites and sometimes not all from one company. What matters is that you can see the location that you need to.

Second, unless you are getting some foreign stuff or something extremely oddball, you do not need anything from 95.

All core programing is on 101 for sd, and 99 and 103 for Hi Definition. That requires a 3 lnb, not a 5 lnb.

The 5lnb also gets you 110 and 119 which has some foreign language, and a few music channels and some sd local channels for a few cities, none of which you are in I believe.

So you don't need a 5lnb. They should install a 3 lnb and you will be good.

In order to get anything from 95 they would have to add a second dish to the install.

Oh, and since you only had a single lnb before, then you definelty only need the 3 lnb setup.

This is all basic stuff that any installer and supervisor should know with ease. Not sure why on earth they'd be talking about 95 to you at all ever.

 

I wish I had been there for all three visits, but unfortunately I was only able to get time away from work for the first one. I do recall that the tech said 5 satellites, but he didn't specify which they were. The second visit by the supervisor and third visit by tech and supervisor were hosted by my father since I couldn't take more time from work. All of his notes from the visit refer to 5 satellites and the left one being the problem. However, my assumptions about which ones were being discussed were all based on the single photo that the supervisor sent my dad (prior to tree limb removal). See below. His notes on this are as follows: "This is the picture which 'supervisor' took, standing behind the new dish.  He said that you don't really use the sat on the right, 119.  The other five he said look good, once the tree limb is cut." So I assume that the "required" 5 are 95 through 110. From what you all are saying, I should not need 95. I should not need 110 either. Is that correct? 

 

LOS-before-branch-removal_zps50dbf1de.jp

 

After the branch removal, during the next visit, the report was as follows: "As nearly as I understand, 'supervisor' said that the dish had to be  moved toward the creek in order to receive whatever sat is on the left, hiding behind the redwood.  He didn't want to move it to where the two "in service" dishes are because of the electric service pipe.  It's unclear to me whether that location would get the left hand sat.  Apparently the location where he test-mounted under the eaves with the clamp-on mount barely got the left sat.  But, as the dish moves to the right, toward the creek, the right sat becomes 

marginal."

 

Neither the original tech nor the supervisor specified to me whether they were installing a 3Inb or 5Inb. Based on what you all say above, I assume that the talk about five satellites means they were trying for a 5Inb. Any idea why they would do so? 

 

Thank you again everyone for all your patience, assistance and explanations. This is a big help for me! I will be calling the supervisor to discuss and based on what I have learned here, to try to understand just what they were trying to do and why they think it necessary. I hope that I only need the three sats and that they are ones that I was actually getting! 



#17 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 02:09 AM

DIRECTV actually isn't even broadcasting anything from 110 as far as we know to the continental us right now. ;)

Yeah I'd call them again same well. I'd love to see a ne picture with the branch gone.

#18 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 05:03 AM

Your options are limited, but given you're getting SD from 101, the same location with the branch removed should give you HD.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

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  • 1 Capture.PNG

A.K.A VOS

#19 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 06:06 AM

I used to live where I had problems with trees too.

I found the only place that I could place the dish and get signals through/between the trees and mounted the dish myself.

 

The first time a tech came out, as he was driving down the driveway, he said to himself "there's no way in hell he's getting service here".

I showed him where the dish was and he was surprised.

 

No one want's to drill holes in the roof and then find the dish won't get good signals.

 

Since you will have a hard time being there for the next visit, you'll need to help your dad "convince them" that a location will have good LOS [line of sight].

The cost of the dishpointer app "sounds cheap" for this, even though you'll only need it once.

 

If you take a picture with the phone at the top of the current dish, it should show a clear "spot" for 99, 101, & 103.

If it doesn't, you'll need to find another location.

Give your dad the picture of the clear LOS and have him show the installer the next time.

This should clear up any concerns about doing the upgrade.


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#20 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 09:19 AM

Until the "branch" is removed is fun to speculate, however keep in mind that DirecTV does require a bigger window than is necessary, this window seems to vary my market but it could be 5 degrees around the needed orbital slots


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