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Is my signal strength okay? or are the problems my HR20 having unrelated?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by oenophile, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. oenophile

    oenophile Godfather

    Dec 1, 2006
    I've recently been having rain-fade and some random pixelization problems (that appear to be purely reception related--they occur even when not raining sometimes) on my HR20. I've been through a rainy season before and haven't had those issues and, as I said, these issues are occurring (to a lesser extent) even when not raining.
    Additionally, I've had two recordings in the past week not record properly -- when I go to play them, it immediately asks me if I want to delete as if I were at the end of a recording.

    Anyway, I'm wondering if my dish has gone out of alignment....

    I've attached pics of all the satellites to this post and I'm wondering if some of you experts in signal strength could please take a look and let me know if I should call to have my disk realigned. (I don't have the insurance/protection plan so I'm hoping to avoid doing it.)

    I'm in Menlo Park, California -- zip is 94025 -- if that's relevant.

    Also wondering -- is this related to the receiver instead if its not signal strength? I have the HR20.

    Thanks so much for your time.

    Attached Files:

  2. LarryFlowers

    LarryFlowers New Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Basically... those signal strengths are completely unacceptable... you need an alignment.
  3. MarkN

    MarkN Legend

    Jul 13, 2007
    those numbers are way too low......dish needs re-alingment
  4. oenophile

    oenophile Godfather

    Dec 1, 2006
    Just to be completely sure -- you're taking into account my geographic location when you say that, correct? Sat 101, 110 and 119 seem to have pretty decent signals, don't they? (or no?)
  5. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

    Nov 7, 2003
    Your geographic location has nothing to do with it. Although your 101, 110, & 119 strengths are okay, the 99 and 103 need to be tweaked. 101 is a little on the low side.

    You should be able to get at least the upper 80s for the majority of the TPs.

    FYI, the signal strength number is not a raw strength. It also has the signal quality factored in.
  6. oenophile

    oenophile Godfather

    Dec 1, 2006
    OK. Thanks everyone for the posts. Here's the next question -- when I call, what (exactly) should I say to get the best result? Just what I put in the OP? Or is there something else to say?
    Also, if this were cable TV I wouldn't have to pay for a truck roll--if my reception sucked and it wasn't my fault, they'd just fix it. Do I have to pay for this?
  7. Mar 1, 2009 #7 of 10

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    You can usually talk them out of charging you if you are polite, patient and firm. Usually, not always. But, you definitely need that realignment and if you gotta spend a few bucks for it, it is worth it. Does your dish have stabilizing arms on it? If it doesn't, you can make the argument that the dish was not installed properly.

  8. Mar 1, 2009 #8 of 10

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    Jan 21, 2003
    The key is that thankfully your signals are actually under their threshold to send someone out (under 70). So just call up and tell them your HD channels keep going out and that you checked your signal strength and it's in the 50s on 103 and 30s or less on 99. Also do this on a clear day so they can't claim it's bad weather.

    As for paying, well, that may be up to your negotiating skills. If you're within your first 90 days since install then it should be free. Otherwise unless you have the protection plan you would probably need to pay for a service call.

    Also lucky for you that cable doesn't charge in your area. Last time I had trouble with my cable it was $40 just to show up let alone fix anything unless I had their "protection plan". I just ended up fixing it myself.
  9. oenophile

    oenophile Godfather

    Dec 1, 2006
    Quick update - Called D*, they sent out a service unit (free of charge). He claimed it wasn't an alignment issue but rather that the cables outside (connecting from inside house to dish) had "gone bad". I have *no idea* how that could be the case (it was a 1 yr old install in a mild climate). He definitely cut and replaced some cables -- probably those between the ground and the dish. He was here for maybe 10 minutes.

    Problem is solved -- though haven't checked signal strength numbers to compare directly. I'd be happy to look if someone's curious. (But it is clearly better, no more digital interruptions.)


    Gotta say, I'm happy with the service (though mystified at identified problem). They were out within a day, fixed the problem in 10 minutes and no charge.
  10. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    Cables can be "weird" [from many, many years of working with them].
    It has rained since they were installed and maybe they weren't as tight as they should have been. The tech may have seen corrosion on the ends.

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