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Frequent loss of signal

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Frequent loss of signal

For the last month, I have been getting the dreaded 771 error. This has occurred mostly on line 1, but has now migrated to line 2. As best as I can determine, it only happens at the DVR; the other receiver is unaffected.

I called in for support the first time it happened, and the tech went down the checklist, suggesting all the things I had already tried. At one point, he had me unplug and replug the coax wire, and the signal came back. I asked him why that would work -- all the connections were tight and hadn't been touched (this is a 3-month-old installation) and he said something about static electricity. I presume he was just making something up, since his response made no sense.

It has since happened fairly frequently, and it almost always clears up on its own, but we find that programs we had set for recording show up blank. Not fun. Since this only affects a subset of our channels, it seems reasonable to assume that it has nothing to do with the cabling. So what is it? How do I fix this? I am under the impression that, since I'm more than three months out from the installation, that DirecTV is going to charge me for a service call, which hardly seems reasonable. Meanwhile, I'm left with spotty service. Any suggestions?

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Message 1 of 25
ACE - Expert

Re: Frequent loss of signal

What model DVR and Receiver do you have?

Please post back with your signal readings for each satellite's transponders (and both tuners if applicable).  You'll find these readings under "Menu" -> "Setup" -> "System Setup" -> Satellite -> "View Signal Strength".  Note the "+" and "-" symbols next to the "Satellite" and "Tuner" entries where you can toggle the readings between the various satellites and both DVR tuners.

Fill in your readings for each satellite and tuner using these examples.  A properly aligned dish will show 80-90s on most of the relevant transponders (although some will be low or zero):

Satellite transponders (32 total at 101º)

[Most of your standard definition channels are beamed from 101ºW]

1-8    #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

9-16   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

17-24  #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

25-32  #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

Satellite transponders (3 total at 110º)

[Not present with Slimline3 dish. No channels are currently beamed from this satellite]

1-8    NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  #

9-16   NA  #   NA  #   NA  NA  NA  NA

Satellite transponders (11 total at 119º)

[Not present with Slimline 3 dish. Local SD channels for some cities, Spanish package]

17-24  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  #   #   #

25-32  #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

Satellite transponders (16 total at 99º(s)) [or 99º(b)]

[Local HD channels for some cities]

1-8    #   #   #   #   #   #   NA  NA

9-16   NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  #   #

17-24  #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

[Note: these can be very slow to appear]

Satellite transponders (14 total at 99º(c)) [or 99º(a)]

[National HD channels]

1-8    #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

9-16   #   #   #   #   #   #   NA  NA

[Note, these can be very slow to appear]

Satellite transponders (16 total at 103º(s)) [or 103º(a)]

[Local HD channels for some cities]

1-8    #   #   #   #   #   #   NA  NA

9-16   NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  #   #

17-24  #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

[Note, these can be very slow to appear]

Satellite transponders (16 total at 103º(ca))

[National HD channels beamed from D12 satellite]

1-8    NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA

9-16   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

17-24  #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

Satellite transponders (14 total at 103º(cb)) [or 103º(b)]

[National HD channels beamed from D10 satellite]

1-8    #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

9-16   #   #   #   #   #   #   NA  NA

17-24  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA

____________________________________
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For official support call DirecTV 1-800-531-5000 or AT&T 1-800-288-2020.
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Message 2 of 25
Mentor

Re: Frequent loss of signal

Is there a software method to obtain these numbers, or does everyone do it manually? Anyway, here you go:

Receiver model HR34/700

I have the Slimline3 dish. (Note: Edited to correct missing entries.) Numbers are:

Satellite transponders (32 total at 101º)

[Most of your standard definition channels are beamed from 101ºW]

1-8    95  96  95 98 95 99 95 99

9-16  96 97 99 96 96 100 95 100

17-24  96 68 95 100 96 100 96 100

25-32  96 0 95 72 97 100 96 100

Satellite transponders (3 total at 110º) (Not applicable; Slimline3 dish)

[Not present with Slimline3 dish. No channels are currently beamed from this satellite]

1-8    NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  #

9-16   NA  #   NA  #   NA  NA  NA  NA

Satellite transponders (11 total at 119º) (Not applicable; Slimline3 dish)

[Not present with Slimline 3 dish. Local SD channels for some cities, Spanish package]

17-24  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  #   #   #

25-32  #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

Satellite transponders (16 total at 99º(s)) [or 99º(b)]

[Local HD channels for some cities]

1-8    0  0  0  0  0  0  NA  NA

9-16   NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  0  0

17-24  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0

[Note: these can be very slow to appear]

Satellite transponders (14 total at 99º(c)) [or 99º(a)]

[National HD channels]

1-8    0   0   0  0    0   0   0   0

9-16   0   0   0   0   0   0   NA  NA

[Note, these can be very slow to appear]

Satellite transponders (16 total at 103º(s)) [or 103º(a)]

[Local HD channels for some cities]

1-8    0  0  0  0 NA NA  NA  NA

9-16   NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  95 0

17-24  100 100 0  13 0  0 95 96

[Note, these can be very slow to appear]

Satellite transponders (16 total at 103º(ca))

[National HD channels beamed from D12 satellite]

1-8    NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA

9-16    90 91 92 89 87 88 89 91

17-24  86 89 92 92 85 89 94 95

Satellite transponders (14 total at 103º(cb)) [or 103º(b)]

[National HD channels beamed from D10 satellite]

1-8  95 95 92 88 92 94 91 89

9-16  92 92 91 91 93 93   NA  NA

17-24  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA

This is the first time I've seen that many zeroes. Note that there are no obstructions between the dish and the satellite. The numbers are similar for tuner 2. And the second television, in the bedroom, doesn't seem to have any problems, even though the signal strength test run from that set shows the same numbers. I really don't get it!

Message 3 of 25
Professor

Re: Frequent loss of signal

Next time try taking pictures and posting to dropbox  or similar then post the link here.

Message 4 of 25
Expert

Re: Frequent loss of signal

Recheck the 99c signals.  Those should be in the upper 80's and 90's.

Message 5 of 25
Mentor

Re: Frequent loss of signal

Zeroes across the board. Does the receiver/DVR do all the processing and distribution of the signal? If the smaller box is actually the tuner and it doesn't require the receiver/DVR (except for recorded shows), then I can just go into the attic and look for a bad connection, since this problem is only on the set connected to the DVR.

Message 6 of 25
Mentor

Re: Frequent loss of signal

...And, just as mysteriously, all channels are now back in the family room. There is no significant change in signal strength on any of the transponders. Anything that was a zero before is still a zero; anything in the nineties is still in the nineties. And it's not the attic cabling, which is an unbroken run from the DirecTV splitter outside. All connections are tight; nothing that I can see has changed, but the stations are all back. Color me stumped.

Message 7 of 25
Expert

Re: Frequent loss of signal

If your signal strengths on the 99c satellite are still zeros (make sure you are looking at 99c and not 99s) you'll be missing sin=gnal on several of the HD channels.

Message 8 of 25
Mentor

Re: Frequent loss of signal

Well... 99(c) is now showing high eighties or nineties. There are still a few zeroes on 99(s), but I can't find any missing local HD channels. And in any event, it's only the set connected to the DVR that has this problem. When a channel goes missing on the family room set, it's still there on the bedroom set. But that's not much help, since the DVR is connected to the other set. Given this specific set of symptoms, shouldn't there be a readily apparent explanation? The problem comes and goes on its own, and I lose either a set of local channels or national channels. There's no pattern.

Message 9 of 25
Expert

Re: Frequent loss of signal

99s is a spot beam satellite which aims specific transponders at specific markets.  So is OK to see some zeroes or low numbers on that satellite

Message 10 of 25
Mentor

Re: Frequent loss of signal

And it went out again. Searching for signal on line 2. Sheesh; it had been working all day... My diagnosis is a bum receiver, since it really is getting a signal -- as evidence by the bedroom television, which is unaffected -- but thinks it isn't. And the problem is getting more frequent; I'm losing signal on line 1 and line 2 frequently now. Phone support has no idea what the problem is,and has scheduled a tech, who will arrive Monday. I had to sign up for the service protection plan, since I'm one month past the 90-day warranty. (Really? A 90-day warranty on new equipment?). I'll change the status of this to "answered" because the only thing it can possibly be is the receiver.

Message 11 of 25
Expert

Re: Frequent loss of signal

I'd say a call to Directv is in order.  You may have a bad box, but the intermittent nature of your problem may indicate a wiring or dish problem.

Message 12 of 25
Mentor

Re: Frequent loss of signal

The DirecTV tech got here and proceeded as if he had a checklist but didn't have any idea as to what the problem was. He moved the wireless box to a different room, relocated the voltage injector (sorry; I don't have precise names for the equipment) to the garage (after drilling a brand-new hole through the wall), and replaced the receiver.

So now, instead of just losing signal on the main set, we now lose it on both the main set and the second set. Currently, transponders 99(s) and 99(c) come up as all zeroes, and 103(s) shows 12 zeroes and 4 good signals.

I liked it better before it was fixed. The tech who didn't fix anything said something about running new cable (which would be an absolute nightmare!), but I am completely skeptical since the DirecTV setup worked just fine for the first two months, and I had never had problems with Comcast, who used that very same cable.

I am reluctant to have another DirecTV tech come here and drill more holes in my house because they're guessing. Any suggestions as to how to focus these folks on the actual problem or to make sure they know what they're doing?

Message 13 of 25
Expert

Re: Frequent loss of signal

First off, forget about the 99sa dn103s signal strengths.  As was previously posted, it's normal to have zeros on those two.  Inasmuch as you've had a recent service call that didn't fix your problem you're entitled to another visit free of charge.  Don't call the tech, call Directv and point out you'd like a different tech.  I'm guessing bad dish.

Message 14 of 25
Mentor

Re: Frequent loss of signal

I suspect you're right, dcd, since all the other options have been exhausted. I kept hoping to bump it up to someone more knowledgeable than an installation tech (not a knock on them, by the way, but I don't think the internal workings of the transponders or the receiver are their specialties) and requested that my list of symptoms be forwarded up the chain. I think DirecTV, like most companies, goes for the cheap-and-quick largest-common-denominator fix first, which didn't work in my case. But yeah, if it's not the wire and it's not the receiver, the dish is the only thing left.

Message 15 of 25
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