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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had DTV for 13 years, been through 3 dishes and countless receivers - currently using a Slimline with HR20/21s. It seems like every fall, I have some kind of intermittent signal problem pop up. Maybe it's the time of year or maybe I am just so busy in the summer I don't notice the problem.

Background: I am surrounded by tall pine trees and from one corner of my roof, I get good signal strength on most sats and just enough signal to get by on others. I am not well-versed on the sat # designations but, in the past (HR10-250 days) I remember the sat I had problems with was "Sat B", which carried the old HD channels (channel range 70-80). I remember somebody telling me that this particular sat was lowest in the horizon and the one most likely to be affected by the tree line. I also remember this being one that was supposed to be phased out as the newer ones came on-line and starting transmitting more of the MPEG4 channels. Every couple of years, I have had to add some sort of extension to stay ahead of tree growth. It seems like this was always in the Sept-Oct timeframe which, in Minnesota, is when things go dormant. That is why I could never understand how the annual growth of the trees would impact signal at this time of year. The big growth spurt comes normally in June and this time of year, the trees are more likely to be shedding needles vs. adding new ones. Again, maybe it's because I just failed to watch certain channels earlier in the summer.

Anyway, the other day, I was checking to see what was still active in channel 70-80 range and tried Discovery Theatre.. got the 771 message. I switched to the same channel in the 200's and it worked ok. Last night, I tried HGTVHD (I think it's 228) and it did the 771 for a while but eventually came on. This is the sort of intermittent problem I have had in the past which I chalked up to the trees. One thing I am wondering though is whether this could have more to do with alignment (perhaps due to summer storm winds) than the tree line?

Can anybody tell me anything by looking at the signal readings below? Also, per the point about certain sats possibly being decommissioned, should I care? I should also mention that, whichever sat is the hard one to get signal on (old HD channels), I have never been able to get more than about low-60's in signal strength but, this being digital signal, it was "on" enough to work with few problems.

101
1-8 87 85 90 0 88 94 86 93
9-16 85 88 87 96 87 95 88 95
17-24 87 0 89 97 83 96 85 95
25-32 86 0 91 0 89 94 85 95

110
1-8 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 88
9-16 n/a 88 n/a 87 n/a n/a n/a n/a
17-24 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
25-32 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

119
1-8 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
9-16 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
17-24 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 80 0 0
25-32 53 0 0 0 0 0 50 0

99(a)
1-8 77 78 73 74 76 80 73 73
9-16 76 76 72 71 78 75 n/a n/a
17-24 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
25-32 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

99(b)
1-8 94 0 94 0 0 0 n/a n/a
9-16 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 0 95
17-24 0 0 0 95 0 0 0
25-32 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

Thanks!

Big K
 

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Quite obvious that you're missing the 119 or at least most of it [ spot beams seem to make it.

Your other signal esp 99s can be higher. Here we'de like to see them 85-90+.
And in regards to the trees weird things can happen. Take it like it is I guess or get out the chainsaw. But now all HD comes from 99&103.
 

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Mertzen said:
Quite obvious that you're missing the 119 or at least most of it [ spot beams seem to make it.
Exactly right. The trees are blocking your LOS to 119. But it sounds like you get your SD locals from 101 (they still come in, right?), so since the HD channels have been mirrored on 99/103, and the HD channels on 119 are going away, you don't have any super-serious problem.

You *could* have gude data problems, though, as guide data streams from 119 whenever you are on a 110/119/103 transponder. There is a solution, though it isn't readily available yet:

The SL3 LNB. This is a Slimline LNB that doesn't have pick-ups for 110 or 119, and, most importantly, the internal switch is designed always to get guide data from 101, no matter which bank of TPs you are on at any given time. The SL3 just came out and isn't likely to be very available for a couple of months, but once they start getting produced in larger numbers, you should be able to buy one and swap it out with your old LNB. No repointing or anything else is necessary, so it's really easy to do.
 

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IIP is correct regarding guide data from the 119. To help eliminate the problem, while waiting for the new dish, set your receiver to record any show from the 101(SD) overnight so your guide data can be updated. Just erase the show later.
 

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davring said:
IIP is correct regarding guide data from the 119.
D* disconnected my one dish pointed at 110/119 a few days ago, leaving me only a dish for 99/101/103. I get all the English channels just fine and have no problem with guide data.

Edit: Reading IIP's later post I see that this can work with a Single Wire Multiswitch, and that's what I have.
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your input.. it is helpful. When you say sat "103" which of the numbers on my signal test does that relate to?

Is the 119 you're talking about the same thing as the one I have had problems getting ever since the first HD signals came out (I used to call it Sat B - it had the first 70's-range HD channels on it like Discovery HD)?

I do have an H20 I occasionally turn on in my office that always has to be reset to get the guide back. I thought it was the sign of a dying receiver but, based on what you said, could this be related? My other, daily use boxes are both DVRs that record something almost every day and I don't recall any guide problems with them.

We don't watch much SD any more, occasionally shows on Travel Channel or DIY that don't have HD alternatives. We are getting locals but I have the SD versions turned off in the menu because all our TVs are HD.

Will the guide eventually get moved to another sat once they phase 119 out?

Thanks!

Big K
 

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jaguar325 said:
Thanks for your input.. it is helpful. When you say sat "103" which of the numbers on my signal test does that relate to?
It can be both since there are two birds there. One for spot beam and one for conus.

jaguar325 said:
Is the 119 you're talking about the same thing as the one I have had problems getting ever since the first HD signals came out (I used to call it Sat B - it had the first 70's-range HD channels on it like Discovery HD)?
Yes

jaguar325 said:
I do have an H20 I occasionally turn on in my office that always has to be reset to get the guide back.

Will the guide eventually get moved to another sat once they phase 119 out?
I'd set the that H20 to a SD channel when you're not using it. It will load the info from the 101. The guid info is all on 101 but also on 119. As long as you have a LNB looking at 119 the box will look for info there.
 

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jaguar325 said:
Thanks for your input.. it is helpful. When you say sat "103" which of the numbers on my signal test does that relate to?
You didn't list 103 figures on your test above, but if you check your receiver, you should see them. Like 99, there will be 2 entries for 103. On the H20, 103(a) is the national HD channels, and 103(b) is the spot-beam satellite for HD locals. Your locals may come from either 99 or 103. Note that on an HD-DVR, they changed the designations to "c" (for CONUS) and "s" (for spotbeam), instead of "a" and "b".

Is the 119 you're talking about the same thing as the one I have had problems getting ever since the first HD signals came out (I used to call it Sat B - it had the first 70's-range HD channels on it like Discovery HD)?
Yes. 119 was DirecTV's second sat location, and was referred to as "Sat B" for many years.

I do have an H20 I occasionally turn on in my office that always has to be reset to get the guide back. I thought it was the sign of a dying receiver but, based on what you said, could this be related? My other, daily use boxes are both DVRs that record something almost every day and I don't recall any guide problems with them.
Very likely the lack of good 119 signal is the problem.

Will the guide eventually get moved to another sat once they phase 119 out?
119 isn't getting phased out; what's happening is that the older HD channels are moving off of 119 and 110 (they are already mirrored in MPEG4 on 103), and although we have no way to confirm this, it's likely that the International channels will be mirrored on 110/119 so that new installs can get everything on a single dish, and even people without HD can get Internationals using the old Phase III dish instead of the big, ugly, hard-to-mount World Direct dish that everyone hates. They may also add more SD local DMAs, since there will be quite a bit of free space once the HD channels are removed. Existing SD locals that come from 119 will continue to do so.

Anyway, the solution to the guide data problem is the SL3 LNB, and/or any Single Wire Multiswitch setup, which all are designed to pull guide data from 101 at all times. Again, the SL3 was *just* released, and on a limited basis, so it will be a while until they are widely available, but for folks like yourself, they are THE solution.
 

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IIP said:
You *could* have gude data problems, though, as guide data streams from 119 whenever you are on a 110/119/103 transponder. There is a solution, though it isn't readily available yet:

The SL3 LNB. This is a Slimline LNB that doesn't have pick-ups for 110 or 119, and, most importantly, the internal switch is designed always to get guide data from 101, no matter which bank of TPs you are on at any given time. The SL3 just came out and isn't likely to be very available for a couple of months, but once they start getting produced in larger numbers, you should be able to buy one and swap it out with your old LNB. No repointing or anything else is necessary, so it's really easy to do.
If I remember correctly, you can just repeat the satellite setup and choose the slimline 3 from the dish type. If you do this, the receiver will not even bother to look for 110/119 and will rely on 101 for all guide data. AFAIK, you do not actually have to have the Slimline 3 LNB for the receiver to believe it is a SL3. You do have to have the most current software on the receiver though.
 

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ABQNM said:
If I remember correctly, you can just repeat the satellite setup and choose the slimline 3 from the dish type. If you do this, the receiver will not even bother to look for 110/119 and will rely on 101 for all guide data. AFAIK, you do not actually have to have the Slimline 3 LNB for the receiver to believe it is a SL3. You do have to have the most current software on the receiver though.
Sorry, this does not solve the guide data problem. setting your SL5 installation as an SL3 will remove 110 and 119 channels from the guide but it won't change the fact that the receiver will still be looking for guide data from 119 when you are on 103. This is because the stack plan for an SL3 is different from an SL5, the SL3 sends the 101 guide data to the receiver even when you are on 103. There is NO way of making this happen with an SL5, regardless of what dish type you choose.
 

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texasbrit is correct. The reason it works on the SL3 is because the configuration of the internal multiswitch was changed. There's nothing you can do to a SL5 LNB to change that (though adding an SWM-8 to a SL5 will result in the same thing, but that's probably overkill here).
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all your input! Is there anything about my signal readings or other things I have told you that would suggest an alignment problem? I read in another thread something about 2 birds being the primary indicators of good alignment.. if that is true, how does this relate to my readings? (I am not sure which sats are the ones that indicate good alignment).
 

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jaguar325 said:
Thanks for all your input! Is there anything about my signal readings or other things I have told you that would suggest an alignment problem? I read in another thread something about 2 birds being the primary indicators of good alignment.. if that is true, how does this relate to my readings? (I am not sure which sats are the ones that indicate good alignment).
On the receivers, 99a and 103b are the two that will show you if you have any alignment issues. They should be in the 70s at least, preferably in the 80s or even 90s.
 

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IIP said:
texasbrit is correct. The reason it works on the SL3 is because the configuration of the internal multiswitch was changed. There's nothing you can do to a SL5 LNB to change that (though adding an SWM-8 to a SL5 will result in the same thing, but that's probably overkill here).
Yes, for completeness I shoul have mentioned that the SWM8 will allow you to tell the receiver that your SL5 is only an SL3. The SWM8 takes the 101 guide data and sends it to all the receivers whether they are tuned to 99/101 or 103/110/119.
 
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