DBSTalk Forum banner

Understanding the signal strengths screen?

1651 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  EricJRW
I've been searching around here and have not really found a guide to understanding the signal strength matrix screens. Doesn't mean it's not here, but I can find it...

I looked over the info in the Satellite Dish FAQ, but it leaves me wanting more.

Of course there is the obvious, you want the numbers to be as high as possible, but what is the acceptable threshold? In my case I have 6 satellites to look at, 101, 110, 119, 99(s), 103(s) and 103(c) (95 and 72.5 may apply to others, just not me), I'd like to know more about what I'm looking at. Also the above FAQ does not seem to cover name changes or the two 103s (maybe it's the same thing).

I got the idea that 99(s) and 103(c) "doesn't matter", but that was from another post and I'd like to know why. I can sort-of tell from the description (at the FAQ link above), but I'd like to know how to tell which transponders are OK to be 0, OK to be low, and which should have "acceptable" readings. Might be nice to include a technical explanation for the N/As, but it seems easy to accept that info on active xponders is broadcast... But inquiring minds might like to double check the available (total) number.

I've attached a text file of my readings, which includes both (internal) receivers. 99(s) has me the most curious. Oh, dual receivers - This would make another good point for a guide, to check both to identify cable, BBC, etc. problems. Since I have a VERY basic install, it's only LNBs, cable, and BBCs for me.

So the idea of a guide called "Is my dish properly aligned (for optimal reception)" might be a good companion thread for Is my dish properly installed and grounded? Satellite Dish FAQ <--- link

If I can collect enough information via this thread, I'll be more than happy to format something for inclusion in the FAQ. Of course I can only describe it as it applies to my HR21, but this could be easily fixed with a review by someone experienced with the other receivers. Or it can be generic enough for any receiver.

Some topics I'd include:

1. How to run a full signal strength test (include weather conditions).
2. Understanding the signal strength matrix.
3. How to determine which channel is on which sat/xponder.
4. How to spot check a channel.
5. What do the [D*] test channels mean.

Well I've typed about 500% more than I was expeting... It started out as such a simple question... :sure:

Anyway, all ideas & comments welcome... Hopefully I haven't missed it.


See less See more
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
There are a lot of questions in your post so I'll do my best. The N/A's mean just that, they're not applicable. DirecTV does not control nor own all the TP's on the current 103s, 99s, 110 and 119.

101 and 103c are currently owned and operated by DirecTV therefore they are in control of all the TP's.

I believe DirecTV leases space on 110 and 119. Some correct me if I'm wrong.

Your signals look EXCELLENT so you have nothing to worry about in that area. I believe a spreadsheet exists somewhere on the board but there really is no "master list". Why you ask? Because DirecTV often moves channels around from one sat to another, from TP to TP so it's hard to nail down what exactly is delivering what.

99s and 103s delivery MPEG4 HD locals to different markets/areas via a spot beam TP not a conus TP (continental USA). So signal strengths on 103s and 99s will vary depending on where you live. What I can confirm is that all the new national MPEG4 HD channels are being delivered by 103c. You're getting great signal on 103c so if you have anything being delivered via spot beam on the 103s you would have high numbers on one if not more of those TP's. From looking at the numbers on your TXT file, it's possible you have locals being delivered on 103s OR perhaps a neighboring market/area has locals being delivered by 103s.

It doesn't look like 99s is delivering anything to your region.

There are probably folks that can do a far better job of explaining. Hope this helps.
See less See more
*minor correction*
DirecTV controls the entire orbital slot at both 99 and 103. The Ka assignment are no longer done transponder by transponder but are done by the orbital slot. In fact the transponder sizes are no longer specified and DirecTV can set them at any size they want. The only real limit being what the equipment can handle (our receivers and probably the sats).

99s and 103s are both spots and the only thing you would need to worry about is the specific spot(s) that are used to deliver your locals. I don't how ever know if there is a list of these or if these are even really static. Really if 103c and soon 99c is coming in well which ever spot(s) you need on these should be fine.

101 and 119 both have some spots and some Conus transponders that show up on the same page so some really low or 0's there aren't an indication of a problem. I believe there is as list of these and it probably hasn't changed in a while.

110 and 119 are both original DBS allocations which means they were allocated specific transponders so DirecTV only has a couple transponders at these locations. I believe Dish has all the other transponders at these 2 locations. The software in the receivers know which transponders DirecTV has at these slots and puts NA on the others.
See less See more
I believe the spot beams on 101 are: 4, 12, 18, 20, 26 and 28.
I believe the spot beams on 119 are: 23, 25, 29, 31.

As others have noted, 99s (aka 99b), and 103s (aka 103a) are all spot beams.
103c (aka 103b) and soon to be 99c (aka 99a) are/will be all conus beams.

The reason for re-naming 99 and 103 (from a/b to c/s) is because DirecTV is actually using a combination of spot and conus beams from each satellite, and has chosen to show them on your receiver screen grouped by spot or conus rather than by the specific satellite.

Thanks guys... I'll format the info as I collect it...

Keeping in mind the XPs do get reassigned, could one track that info down? I noticed the satellite links in the FAQ pointed to another site, but that info was not easy for me to absorb (did not recognize anything at the time), but I'll go back for a second look as my understanding gets better.

PS. I like how they did the OTA signal meter screen... That's pretty cool!
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.