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· Cool Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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"splendorlex" said:
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.
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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BennyGregg said:
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.
The 101 transponders have a higher SNR than those on 99/103 do.
 

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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.
 

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BennyGregg said:
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.
Thanks for the tip!
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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.
 

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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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