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How often do you REALLY lose your signal?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by splendorlex, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Jul 19, 2012 #1 of 103

    splendorlex Cool Member

    Jul 16, 2012
    It seems that any time I bring this up with folks I know who have DirecTV, they insist they rarely, if ever, lose their signal due to storms or whatnot. So I'm currently living with my sister in law while we wait to close on our house, and they just got DirecTV 2 weeks ago. There were some fairly big storms last night, and don't ya know it we lost the signal. So, try to be honest, how often does it happen? Also, when you lose signal, I'm assuming you can still watch recorded programming.
  2. Jul 19, 2012 #2 of 103

    Xsabresx Icon

    Oct 8, 2007
    It takes some pretty heavy rain for me to lose my signal. How often? That is hard to say because I get less rain than someone in IL. Having said that, if the dish is peaked properly it will take a lot for the signal to go out.
  3. Jul 19, 2012 #3 of 103

    raott Hall Of Fame

    Nov 23, 2005
    If there is a thunderstorm or heavy rain between you and the satellites, you are going to lose signal. It's just an issue with the tech you have to deal with. I lost signal last night for about 20 minutes during a severe t-storm. With that said, I'd be willing to bet my outages due to rain or storms is less than a typical cable outage in my area.

    There are a few people who claim to have not lost signal through hurricanes. Personally, I don't buy it for a minute and clearly, the hurricane was not sitting over them.

    You can still watch recorded programs unless you power goes out. Ie last night, power went out for about 10 seconds. The DVR would not work until signal was restored.
  4. Jul 19, 2012 #4 of 103

    dondude32 Legend

    Apr 3, 2003
    Southwest Florida we lose our signal all the time. During the summer as much as 3 times a week. Doesn't last long .
  5. Jul 19, 2012 #5 of 103

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    May 17, 2010
    Due to changing weather patterns where I live rain fade has increased slightly. The approaching storm patterns are directly in my dish's los. Snow fade only occurs with wet, heavy snow.
  6. Jul 19, 2012 #6 of 103

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    In my old location hail and wet snow collecting on the dish were the only times.

    I moved last fall and have had only one since. I checked the weather RADAR and there was a orange/red cell passing to the south. Lasted less than 20 mins.

    Yes you can watch recordings while this is happening, but if you lose power, you might not be able to.

    I did some testing last week with a AIM meter to try to find out more about rainfade and ways to reduce it.

    It turned out the only thing is to maximize the SNR/CNR output from the LNB. There are slight variations between LNBs, but really dish alignment for the highest SNR/CNR is all that can be done.
  7. Jul 19, 2012 #7 of 103

    BennyGregg Legend

    Jul 17, 2009
    First, my signal strength readings are excellent.

    We lose signal during thunderstorms, the sort of storms that are very intense; the outages last from 5 to 20 minutes. This happens a half dozen times a year or so.

    I find that switching to SD versions of HD channels eliminates or shortens the outage in some cases.
  8. Jul 19, 2012 #8 of 103

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    The 101 transponders have a higher SNR than those on 99/103 do.
  9. Jul 19, 2012 #9 of 103

    Justin23 Hall Of Fame

    Jan 10, 2008
    I live in Orlando with 95+ signal strength. I usually don't have issues with the rain, but I've noticed it's the storms with very dense rainclouds that causes the biggest issue for me. The average down time is only 3-5 minutes. I think the longest one I've ever had in the 4 years with D* is 20 minutes...and that was an "end of the world monsoon" taking place.

    I do what someone else mentioned above & switch to the SD channel since HD is more sensitive to rain fade.
  10. Jul 19, 2012 #10 of 103

    dondude32 Legend

    Apr 3, 2003
    Thanks for the tip!
  11. Jul 19, 2012 #11 of 103

    PK6301 Legend

    May 16, 2012
    Erie, PA
    I lost signal twice in the 2 1/2 months I have had service, Both times due to heavy storms in the area off Lake Erie. But the outage only lasted about 10 minutes. But just in case I keep 2 or 3 un-watched programs on the DVR. If not there is always the DVD collection.
  12. Jul 19, 2012 #12 of 103
    Go Beavs

    Go Beavs Hall Of Fame

    Nov 18, 2008
    For me, it's usually 2-3 times a year. Once I realize the signal is gone, I go out on the deck and wipe the heavy snow off the dish with a broom and I'm back in business.

    I usually check and dither my dish once a year or so in the summer. It's been working well for me.
  13. Jul 19, 2012 #13 of 103

    leier911 AllStar

    Oct 17, 2006
    Pretty much any time a big storm comes, heavy clouds, heavy rain. So in otherwords, any rain time! Adjustments have been made, etc. and tests, all my signals are high 90s, 96,95, 98, etc. doesn't matter, it still goes to searching for signal for about 5 min then comes back
  14. Jul 19, 2012 #14 of 103

    gcd0865 Legend

    Jul 23, 2008
    My situation is similar - any time we get a heavy summertime thunderstorm, it goes out for anywhere from a few minutes to 10-15 minutes or so, depending on how long it takes for the heavy storm to move through. Moderate (non-thunderstorm) rain, at any time of the year, doesn't ever seem to knock it out. Neither does heavy snowfall. Maybe twice a year, we'll get wet snow that sticks to the dish and blocks reception, but I just brush off the dish and it's fine. Whenever I lose the signal, I just switch over to the antenna and watch something OTA for a while (like the storm report on a local channel). My clear-weather signal strengths are in the 90's, so my dish is pretty well aligned/peaked.
  15. Jul 19, 2012 #15 of 103

    jordanhallmann AllStar

    Apr 22, 2012
    You should get your dish realigned. Mine used to go out all the time when it rained but last night we had a real bad thunderstorm with very heavy rain and my dish was peaked and I did not loose signal for one second.
  16. Jul 19, 2012 #16 of 103

    joes87 Cool Member

    Jun 6, 2007
    I loose HD signal about 6 or 7 times a year during real bad storms or snow. Normally it only lasts for a few minutes. Most of the time I can still get the standard def channels in so its not a big deal. I would say total LOS is 3 times a year and then its only for a few minutes.
  17. Jul 19, 2012 #17 of 103

    shuye AllStar

    Oct 20, 2008
    During very heavy rainstorms, we lose our signal for a few minutes. I would say it happens maybe 2-3 times a month during the spring and summer.

    One thing that I am glad to have done is get a battery backup on all of our receivers - that way, if we lose power briefly, we don't have to wait for the receiver to reset it self and go through the self check procedure which can take a few minutes and can seem like forever if it happens during a show or sporting event that you are watching.
  18. Jul 19, 2012 #18 of 103

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    In the downpour we had yesterday, I know I would have lost signal. It doesn't affect me all that often, maybe once every 2-3 months or less, usually not lasting long. Of course there are likely times I did lose signal, but didn't notice it because nothing was recording, etc.

    Generally, SD is a bit more resilient than HD.
  19. Jul 19, 2012 #19 of 103

    splendorlex Cool Member

    Jul 16, 2012
    Thanks all, I'm still trying to weigh my options for the new house we're moving into in a couple weeks. It's either Comcast or DirecTV. I like the DVR and picture quality of DTV, but I have found Comcast pretty darn reliable in my area, if there are outages they can easily last more than 20 minutes, but they are rare.

    Pricing is honestly a bit of a tossup. The full boat on DTV will run me under $60 the first 3 months, but then into the 80s per after that, higher still in year 2. I would still have to get Comcast for internet in any case, which is $30 the first 6 months. Just getting the full boat for TV and Internet through Comcast will run me $158 a month for the first year.

    Decisions, decisions.
  20. Jul 19, 2012 #20 of 103

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    A good installer needs to take a few steps more than the minimum to align the dish.
    The AIM has a guided alignment, followed by a IV test, which is fairly critical for SNR on all the SATs. This is good, but to get the best rainfade resistance, the tech should look at the 99 & 103 SATs to make sure their SNR is the highest it can be.
    Some don't have meters that can read the 99 & 103, so they do their best [or not], but don't leave the job done as well as it can be, which may end up with more rainfade than there could be.

    I found my best 99/103 SNR was within 2 turns of the fine adjusters.

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