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Pixelation. Signal strength?

759 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  VegasDude
We have had some random pixelation problems from time to time, and I'm pretty out of the loop when it comes to this stuff and how to fix it. We mostly watch our local channels, in both SD and HD, which is where we notice it usually. It definitely happens at night, and in the afternoon as well. We're in Las Vegas, so it can get pretty windy at times, but rain isn't usually a huge factor.

One other thing I'm trying to keep in mind is that we had some new lanscaping put in a few months ago, and I'm not quite sure if we had these issues prior to the new trees or not. There's one tree in particular that could be in the way a little, especially while windy. I'm trying to figure out if that could be causing this problem, or if it's more an alignment thing. I checked our three HR20's and all have similar signal strengths, which are listed below:

Satellite 101
1-8 92 92 93 0 94 95 93 95
9-16 94 95 95 0 94 95 92 97
17-24 95 100 95 79 93 95 89 97
25-32 92 86 91 100 94 97 89 97

Satellite 110
9-16 NA 91 NA 85 NA NA NA NA
17-24 NA All across
25-32 NA All Across

1-8 NA All across
9-16 NA All Across
17-24 NA NA NA NA NA 85 0 82
25-32 96 86 86 85 0 85 0 88

Satellite 99c
1-8 69 69 56 69 69 75 63 72
9-16 73 79 69 74 74 80 NA NA

Satellite 99s
1-8 95 0 95 0 95 48 NA NA
9-16 NA NA NA NA NA NA 0 0
17-24 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
25-32 NA All Across

Satellite 103s
1-8 0 0 0 0 0 0 NA NA
9-16 NA NA NA NA NA NA 58 37
17-24 0 0 0 46 60 0 66 0
25-32 NA All across

Satellite 103c
1-8 82 78 77 74 80 75 74 73
9-16 81 76 77 73 83 80 NA NA

Any guesses? Could the tree be a problem? Or does the dish need adjustment? Or none of the above? I think we have some protection package, so I assume they could come out and check things out, but I just hate doing stuff like that if I don't have to (it's a pain with work and all).

Thanks for any info!
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There's no doubt your 99c signal strengths are way to low. You should call Directv and schedule someone to come out for a realignment.
Yeah that's what I thought too. Since it's just one or two of the satellite signals that are lower, is that a sign that maybe that tree is in the way, or that is just needs better alignment?

Any ideas?
Although your alignment is pretty poor for HD, you shouldn't be experiencing pixelation on HD channels in clear weather with those signals, and in no case should you be experiencing pixelation on SD channels, which you mention. I don't see any signs of tree problems in your signal strengths, but you should check them on a windy day to make sure that one or more satellite positions is not showing rapidly fluctuating signal strengths, a sure sign of intermittent tree blockage. Keep in mind that the dish is actually receiving signals from ~22 degrees higher than it appears to be from looking at it, because of the offset of the LNB.

So yes, you need better alignment such that your signals on 99(c) and 103(c) are mostly all in the 90's. Signals <70 are below DirecTV minimum installation standards on tp's you are supposeed to receive. But you should also suspect that you may have some additional problem with loose connectors or a bad multi-switch in the absence of tree problems on windy days only.

Loosen, inspect for corrosion, and re-tighten all the connectors at the multi-switch and at any grounding block pass through. You can also bypass your multi-switch for a few days of testing by temporarily disabling one of your three HR20's and running the cables for your other two HR20's directly to the dish lines through four double-female barrel adapters prior to the arrival of the DirecTV service tech. Otherwise, it's likely the pixellation may not appear during his brief visit.

Lastly, the pixelation you describe could less frequently be caused by a malfunctioning LNB on your dish. Only after eliminating trees, connectors, and the multi-swtch should that be suspected, however. What kind of dish is it, an older-style AT-9 ("sidecar") or an AU9-S (Slimline)?
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Problem could also be a loose dish foot.
Wind might be kicking it up on it's heel.

But even still, 119 is off just a bit along with 103(c) and 99(c), so I'd suspect a tiny "tilt" adjustment might help to strengthen what you posted.
Wow, great info all around!

We had some pixelation tonight (and lack of audio), and I quickly went to the satellite signal strenghts at the time. Many of the ones that were okay on 99c earlier were reading zero at this particular time (not all of them). Other satellites would have one or two random numbers that would go from 90, to zero, then back again.

It makes me think that the tree may be an issue. I will check everything mentioned here though too. Our third HR20 only has one line to it currently (it's in the kid's playroom and only has one line there), so it'll be easy to disconnect that for a day or two so the others can be hooked up directly.

Thanks again!
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