Explore & discover

Helpful Links

Problems with direct TV which seem unfixable


Problems with direct TV which seem unfixable

May 14, 2019

This message is about direct tv web site programing

1. There is no stand alone heading for the problems of the Directv web site. You should create one, so that problems with the web site can be more efficiently routed to the people who could fix the problems, and it would save customers, such as me, much wasted time looking for this heading, as issues with web sites always exist and new ones popup all the time, as various changes are made, some of which have unintended negative consequences, often on pages un or marginally related to the changes.

2. The problem I am having is I wanted to print the current pages of the Guide (calendar list of programs, offered on each channel, to which I have access. Your web site says that is possible, and gives directions to do so. I followed the directions and the preview of what was to be printed showed the most important material, was missing, even though the directions were very clear, I could print the (missing) material, if I followed directions, but I cannot. In paper post terms, an overlay was missing. All of the calender was present in the preview, the grid, with all of the labels for days and time, on the other axis, vertical were the Chanel numbers, which should have been only the channels I get, but it was all channels, and that was fine, even though the site said the presentation would be only the channels I get, specific for zip code, (that was correct), and specific for the channels I pay for, (that was not correct, as all of the channels were present.) And, as I said that was OK, but if you offer to screen and limit by a selected term (what google calls search operators). But that was NOT the problem which stimulated me to write this note and request your help that was just a defect which I noticed in addition the problem which I will now describe, and for which I would like a fix.

I wanted to print the programing guide for the current month, and perhaps more, with all of the programs displayed in on a chart, similar to TV guide, where the chart has date and time on the horizontal axis, and each channel lists on the vertical axis, with a grid formed which provided a box of the date and time on each channel for the upcoming month, or other specific time, with the name and a brief description of the programs which are scheduled to run at that time.
Well, it all came up, just as promised in the directions on how to print the upcoming programs calender.
But the print preview did NOT include any program information, all of the boxes were blank. Since the info was on the screen, it was clear that you intended that your customers should have that material, and having that material is very important for customers to organize their use of your channel, as it allows the customer to plan to see or record the programing which is of interest to him or her.
So I am assuming that the inability to print the material on the screen, which probably is just failure to include the "page port" overlay with that information. And, I assume that is an error which you would correct, if you are made aware. Well that is what I am doing, despite my belief that Directv really does not give a dam about the customers, except it has a very high concern about the customers payments being made on time, but based on the total lack of any response, and if a response occurred for all of the technical problems, it was a totally ineffective response, which did not solve any of several long-standing problems with the equipment, which has never worked as promised, except for a few months out of the several years we have paid for the service, but only got much less than we paid, according to the agreements with direct billing, tech support, and customer service for those issues.

The SWM box has constant, partial failure. This is an anther problem, which has existed for nearly the entire time we have had the system. I would like it fixed, as we have it worked on many times, probably at least 10 times, maybe twenty times, since the problem presented, shortly after we got the Directv installed about 2 or 3 years ago. I don’t remember the exact duration, but I am sure Directv has records of all of the service calls, so you could find out the correct numbers, if that has any significance to you.

Don't misunderstand, Directv would send out technicians who were allegedly trained to fix these technical problems, including the SWM box which usually works partially, but not completely correctly. . But, of the more than a dozen who were sent from the date of installation, only one, a supervisor actually knew how to fix the problems, and it was he, assisted by my wife who is a computer tech expert, who has designed a few computers which were sold commercially, as she has also done for some esoteric programs, which she alone wrote, patented and sold, which were specific to the input side of digital TV programing, She was the person who created some of the "compression" programing for video signals, which allowed the recording and transmission to the data at much higher rates than were previously possible. And, it was this programing, which made satellite transmission of many different video signals possible, by markedly diminishing the data load per time unit for each channel, so that many more channels of info could be increased the data transmission rates by a factor of several orders of magnitude, while remaining within the technical limits of the technology of the digital hardware available for the digital processing of the video, audio and control signals, all needed for the successful creation, storing transmission, receiving and restoring to a signal which would meet the standards then in place for television sets in all of the variations of these standard in different parts of the world, allowing a video signal to originate in any standard, be processed, stored, transmitted and received by satellite (with their very low power outputs) then after reception any where in the world, the signals are restored to the technical standards for tv sets in that area, which makes seamless the movement of video information from any part of the world with any usual standard to all other parts of the world, with the video information converted to being usable for any TV set in any part of the world, in all of the different technical standards of the various parts of the world, seamlessly. All of this occurring simultaneously, and with error correction, by several different techniques, appropriate for each technical step in the chain

The reason that I wrote this description of my wife's knowledge of the technology which is the backbone of Directv, she then learned enough of the details of each "box" which Directv installed in our home, so that she could aid and when necessary direct your technicians in their efforts to fix the problems in the Directv equipment which we rent from you, and for which we pay far too much for the quality of the product (many channels of video programming, which you promise will be available from every output"box" you provide. Only rarely and for short periods of time, has Directv complied with the promises Directv made to us to induce us to subscript to your service. These promises were in writing in the standard Directv lease contract to all customers in our area of the USA, including us.

Only when my wife worked with the one supervisor, did we get the service as promised for about three months before something again failed, and we cannot see most of the programing on Tvs connected to one side of SWM box, and at the same time see the programing from the other side of the SWM box. Thus, if something is recorded on a Directv box on one side of the Directv provided SWM, usually we cannot access it from TV connected on the other side of the SWM box.

We have changed that box at least six times, and nearly all of the changes resulted in no improvement, or a decrease in the ability of the system to move digital info from one side of the SWM to another.

After some hassles, and much conversation, Directv personnel claimed that Directv was very short of SWM boxes in the area (whatever that is, I think it is the entire US, but only Directv knows, and they are not talking.).

And, that conclusion is based upon several responses I have gotten from various Directv personnel in your in home service which is responsible for repairing and replacing all Directv equipt on a lease to a customer, when the equipment fails to provide the services as specified in the lease agreement, as previously noted.

Stated simply, Directv for several years has replaced the SWM boxes, at least 6 times, and nearly all failed to work any better than the "defective" box which they were replacing. Directv has refused for at least a year to allow the only technician who was able to "fix" the system to signals would reliably pass from one side of the SWM to the other side.
And, Directv service techs admitted that they don't have any new or even tested to be functional SWM boxes,. So, they are just making "pseudo" tech calls, in which they take a defective SWM box that was removed from another customer’s system, because it was not working correctly and changed that into our system, while taking the failing SWM box removed from out system, and it was to be used in a "parts swap" at the next location where the SWM box was failing.

When I asked several diferent technicians, why Directv is doing that they told me that it was "policy" at Directv to NOT REPLACE FAILING SWM BOXES, but to move them from customer to customer, as a box which will no work in one system will sometimes work in another. And, that Directv, was so cheap, and stupid that the higher levels of Directv management believed that swapping between customers the defective SWM boxes saved them money rather than putting in new boxes, or replacing the defective SWM boxes previously removed.
And, that the Directv repair office they worked from did have many new SWM boxes on the shelf. But, their supervisors would not allow the techs to take or use any of the new boxes, because higher management had decreed if too many SWM boxes were replaced with new, (that is consistently working SWM boxes) the supervisors who did that would be demoted, and replaced.

Apparently some bean counter somewhere in Directv had determined that the swapping the defective SWM boxes, rather than replacing them with new SWM boxes that worked correctly saved Directv much money. And, that this worked because most customers would eventually stop calling Directv repair, because they did not want to waste their time and energy with service calls that did not fix anything, and often made the problems worse. The consideration that Directv was stealing from the customers with a policy designed to provide service below contract standards, was not important. The only thing that was important was that customers should pay their bills on time. And, only when a customer cancelled, their contract because of the problems caused by the defective SWM boxes, would repair be allowed to use a new SWM box, to retain that account. But, the customer had to go all of the way to having the act cancelled and the techs arrive to remove the equipment before the new SWM box would be installed. And, the techs were instructed to tell the customer when the tech arrived to remove the equipment, that the tech had found the only new and functional SWM box in the entire USA and if the customer would not remove the equipment and uncancel the account, the tech would instal the new and functional SWM box.

As ridiculous as it seems, I think this story might be true, because we only got a better SWM box when we requested cancellation and we were then offered a "new" SWM box if we would not cancel. We agreed and the "new" SWM box was installed and it worked correctly for about a week, before we again could not get signals from one side of the system to the other side. I then checked on the SWM box which was just installed a week before as a "new" box had a manufacture date that was 3 years old. I was again given a used SWM box which someone thought was working OK and told it was new, which is was not. I could see some scratches on the plastic case, which were obviously post manufactures, and they did not occur here, as Jill watched the installation of the "new" SWM and there was no scratching of the box here, after the SWM was removed from the cardboard protective box.

So, if you would please fix the web site so I can print the schedule with all of the info which appears on the screen, as currently the boxes are all empty.

And, if you could find a SWM box that actually works as it was claimed when we enlarged the system some years ago, so that it needed the SWM box, we would like that to be fixed. And, if the problem is something else, which all of your tech have misdiagnoed as a "bad" SWM box, maybe you could fix that also. But, unless you send the one supervisor, who actually knew what he was doing, it is a waste of time to troubleshoot, as every tech you have sent for years, except that one person, was totally incompetent. One actually destroyed one of our TV sets, as he reversed polarity on a power supply, and then powered up the supply and out TV and the reversed polarity destroyed the TV. And, he did that while my wife was yelling at him to not turn the power back on. She was across the room on a ladder, unable to stop the tech from powering up the reversed polarity, which Jill could see from across the room and the tech had told her what hee was going to do, power up the system with the polarity of two power supplies crossed. When Jill yelled at him to not do it, the tech said "don't worry, I know what I am doing. I do this all the time, and get away with it. Jill tried to tell him that he did not understand the system or what he was doing, as connecting two DC power supplies with the polarity reversed always fails, and unless a fuse or other protective circuitry protect the system, one or both of the power supplies will be damaged or destroyed.
Apparently, the tech, who stated clearly, "I know what I am doing, and this is not a problem." Went to the same training which all of your other techs, below super level, attend, as he had that level of knowledge, or perhaps it would be better to say, he had the Directv usual level of technical expertise, which is essentially none beyond, monkey see, monkey do training, without the slightest hint of useful knowledge.

  [Edited to comply with Guidelines]

Message 1 of 2

Re: Problems with direct TV which seem unfixable

Hi There @Aspen22


WOW! That is a lot of information that you have given us and in such great detail too. Thank you very much for all of that.  We can see what we can do for you. 


To help you further with the technical aspect of your service(i. e. the SWM component) what we will have to do is get you into the private space and collect some information from you.  Please look for that private message. It will be coming shortly. 


We are looking forward to your next reply. 


Matthew, AT&T Community Specialist

Need help?
Ask a question to get help from the AT&T Community or support from AT&T specialists. If this reply helped you please use Accept solution to mark it as an Accepted Solution.
*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 2 of 2
Share this topic
Share this topic
Additional Support