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The Dreaded "Searching for Satellite Signal" Message...

Bob P
04-07-2008, 08:23 AM
Hi all,

I’m hoping someone can give me some suggestions…..

About a month ago I upgraded from SD and TiVo to HD and a HD DVR. For the first few days I was getting the dreaded “searching for satellite signal” message when trying to watch the NY locals.

I called DirecTV and they sent a technician who replaced the LNBs on the dish. Now the NY locals are coming in fine.

BUT….now I am getting the “searching for satellite signal” message on other HD channels, mostly sports channels like MSG, SNY, NESN, and ESPN News; but also occasionally on other HD channels like Animal Planet and HD Theater.

My cure has been to reboot, but I find myself rebooting several times a day. When I do reboot, the channel I was watching comes in, but then I lose one or two others. And sometimes after I reboot while watching, say, SNY, I will change the channel for a few minutes, then come back to SNY and the “searching” message will be up again!

Another strange thing that happened twice over the weekend: I tuned to ESPN (206) and there was a Spanish language channel with no audio on 206 until I rebooted! Holy Poltergiest!

This is pretty frustrating and I would appreciate anyone’s input as to what the problem might be.

Thanks, everyone.

rserkes
04-07-2008, 08:32 AM
There are a variety of reasons why you are receiving this error message. Here are just some of the known problems:

1) You have splitters in your system. Remove ALL of them.
2) Your dish may need to be realigned. Call DirecTV.
3) You don't have broadband filters on your receiver. Put them on.
4) Your filters may be bad and need replacing.
5) The receiver is bad and needs replacing.

If you don't have the monthly service policy go online or call DirecTV and get it. Wait one day and call for a service call. All parts and labor will be covered including all the receivers and remotes in your house, the wiring inside and out, and the dish (including realignment).

I never needed the service policy with SD but HD is a whole new ballgame. Until the technology settles down there are going to be glitches and having a service technician come to your house is VERY pricey. I've had to have technicians come three times since my initial HD installation and if I'd had to pay for those service calls we'd be talking well over $200.

One other thing, when you call for a technician insist they send one with HD experience. The first one they sent me was a polite and courteous young man who admitted he knew very little about HD installations. I sent him on his way when his advice was to cut down trees. When I called DirecTV to report I still needed a technician I emphasized I had a HD installation and wanted someone with HD experience. The next technician was great and found splitters and one bad filter. He also realigned the dish while he was here. I didn't need to remove any trees.

ShaqDan
04-07-2008, 10:19 AM
I had this problem alot a while back. I ended up replacing my dish with a Slimline dish and haven't had the problem since. Do you have an older model dish or a Slimline?

mcbeevee
04-07-2008, 10:48 AM
Are you getting good signal strengths for 103(c) on Tuner1 and Tuner2?

:)

stephenjames
04-07-2008, 11:11 AM
I was having this issue recently. I was getting 771 errors on HD channels, mainly the local ones. Direct TV had to send out 3 techs, and the last one that came told me that the signal is fine, the dish is aligned correctly...and that the problem has been due to Direct TV adding more HD content and not telling anyone that it's been causing these problems.

The tech had just come from another house with the same exact issue, and there signals were good and so was their alignment. The problem hasn't been back since. *fingers crossed*

The first two techs that came did notice the dish was out of alignment and after they got up there on there ladders it was good for another week or so, and then I had to call back. After two tech visits it was fixed. After the third guy came (and said it was due to HD upgrades by direct tv) the problem is gone.

ShaqDan
04-07-2008, 11:38 AM
I call bullsh!t on stephenjames' post. He went to your house, told you it was because of HD upgrades, and all of a sudden your problem went away? Does he have a magical voice?

Bob P
04-07-2008, 11:57 AM
I had this problem alot a while back. I ended up replacing my dish with a Slimline dish and haven't had the problem since. Do you have an older model dish or a Slimline?

The HD Dish was just installed last month, so I'm assuming it would be the most recent model? I'll have to look tonight. Thanks for the reply!

stephenjames
04-07-2008, 01:07 PM
I call bullsh!t on stephenjames' post. He went to your house, told you it was because of HD upgrades, and all of a sudden your problem went away? Does he have a magical voice?

thank you for your analysis of my post, but you are wrong, it's not bull. maybe it was just a coincidence that when he came, the upgrading in my area was done. he checked the signal strength and saw it was fine, he checked the dish alignment and it was fine. he had seen this exact same issue at his last service call and had heard that the recent pixelation and 771 errors people in my area were experiencing were due to hd upgrades.

It made sense because there was no crazy weather to alter the dish alignment, the problem just started happening all of a sudden. the two previous tech visits resulted in the dish being realigned, but they both said it was barely out of alignment. what they did only fixed the problem temporarily....and is why there was a 3rd service call placed.

after it was placed I noticed the problem had pretty much gone away, but the direct tv rep thought it may be a problem with my dvr box at this point (after 2 tech visits did not solve the problem) so, I kept my appointment and the the 4 days I waited until the appointment came, I had no 771 errors, or pixelation on HD channels. so I think the problem was resolved during that time, and not by the magical voice of the tech.

:thumbsup:

Bob P
04-08-2008, 08:05 AM
Rserkes, thanks for the tips. I was on with DirecTV last night for about 45 minutes (I am signed up for the protection plan). We tried everything and they are sending a tech.

ShaqDan, I do have a Slimline dish.

And McBeevee, it looked like the signals were stong on 103 when I checked last night.

Thanks to everyone for their input. Now we'll see if "trained professional" can solve the problem!

CorkyMuldoon
04-08-2008, 08:58 AM
Rserkes, thanks for the tips. I was on with DirecTV last night for about 45 minutes (I am signed up for the protection plan). We tried everything and they are sending a tech.

ShaqDan, I do have a Slimline dish.

And McBeevee, it looked like the signals were stong on 103 when I checked last night.

Thanks to everyone for their input. Now we'll see if "trained professional" can solve the problem!
Same here. I was on the phone with DirecTV Sunday talking about issues I'm having with 771 errors on my HR21-200. I've got two H21s and two H20s that don't experience the errors.

My HR21-200 enjoys the shortest distance to my AT-9 KA/KU dish via a Zinwell WB-68. Signal strengths all look good, 103(c) signals on both tuners range between 88 & 95 on tuner one and between 81 and 94 on tuner 2, although Transponder one on Tuner 2 initially indicated 0 before jumping to 95.

Interesting, too (at least IMHO) was that transponders 15, 17 & 23 on 103(s) would at times show 0 signal strengths and then get into the 80s. Transponder 17 on Tuner 2 even pegged at 100 at one point.

The DirecTV tech should be here this afternoon to check all connections, although I'd like to think they're fine - I installed them after all... :lol:

Here's hoping the technician can work some magic. I'm tired of getting blank recordings on MGM-HD - especially given how infrequently the telecast movies worthy of recording.

rserkes
04-08-2008, 09:08 AM
Rserkes, thanks for the tips. I was on with DirecTV last night for about 45 minutes (I am signed up for the protection plan). We tried everything and they are sending a tech.

That's standard procedure when you call tech support. The phone reps have a check list that they have to take you through while talking to them even if you've already done everything on the list. Once you do it again while they wait on the phone only then will they schedule a technician. That's just the way it is.

Good luck and let us know what the tech found.

yankeevert.
04-08-2008, 02:27 PM
I get this message on my local HD stations and also on 247 HD a lot.I can usually get the station to "kick in" by going to chs 480&481 to check the b band filters.Once they are confirmed working I then go to the problem ch. and it will come in.D* tech told me that this is what they are recommending to do until they come up with a fix.I have two HR20-100 boxes and it does it on both.It does it on one a lot more than the other.

Bob P
04-08-2008, 03:03 PM
I get this message on my local HD stations and also on 247 HD a lot.I can usually get the station to "kick in" by going to chs 480&481 to check the b band filters.Once they are confirmed working I then go to the problem ch. and it will come in.D* tech told me that this is what they are recommending to do until they come up with a fix.I have two HR20-100 boxes and it does it on both.It does it on one a lot more than the other.

Thanks, I will try that tonight. It beats hitting the reset button ten times a day!

CorkyMuldoon
04-08-2008, 05:14 PM
So, my tech is slated to arrive between 12 & 4 today. He arrives at 4:15 (not a good sign). He takes a look at my KA/KU AT-9 dish and says "Let me guess, you're not getting HBOW HD, MGM HD, TLC HD..." and several others. I realize that this guy's got to be pretty good...

He grabs his ladder and tells me "My supervisor has been telling us to replace all KA/KA dishes as we find them." At this point I feel pretty good that I've got the protection plan.

He uses the same mast as the old dish, although he reinforced it with two additional screws in the base and two guys for additional support. He also checks for correct plumb of the mast.

He installs the Slimline dish in about an hour and a half. Problematic channels aren't problematic (to this point, anyway).

I'm a happy man...

Bob P
04-09-2008, 06:51 AM
CorkyMuldoon: Glad to hear a "happy ending" story!

Yankeevert: I tried that last night. Tuning to 480 solved the problem for some, but not all, of the HD channels. But I get the "searching" message when I tune to 481.

One more wacky thing: last night I noteiced for the second or third time over the last few days that when I tune to HD Theater on 281 or on seventy-something (I can't remember the other channel it's on) I sometimes get an SD version of ESPN2 with no audio! This problem also goes away when I hit the reset button. Maybe space aliens have invaded my DVR.

yankeevert.
04-10-2008, 06:36 AM
CorkyMuldoon: Glad to hear a "happy ending" story!

Yankeevert: I tried that last night. Tuning to 480 solved the problem for some, but not all, of the HD channels. But I get the "searching" message when I tune to 481.

One more wacky thing: last night I noteiced for the second or third time over the last few days that when I tune to HD Theater on 281 or on seventy-something (I can't remember the other channel it's on) I sometimes get an SD version of ESPN2 with no audio! This problem also goes away when I hit the reset button. Maybe space aliens have invaded my DVR.

Try switching back and forth from 480 to 481 until they both kick in.It may take a couple of tries but they will eventualy kick in.Then go directly to the channel you want and it should kick in. This works for me.

Bob P
04-10-2008, 07:05 AM
I will try it tonight. Thanks!

RCIII
04-11-2008, 08:27 AM
sometimes when i pick a local channel from the guide menu the 771 error shows. now all i do is push the channel button then back to the channel that had the error and it works. both channels are local. strange to why this works. ive even left the error on for a while to see what would happen. then i change the channel and it works. don't know.:what:

Cornballer
04-11-2008, 09:39 PM
I had the same problem tonight. Battlestar didn't record properly because of it, and the same thing with 30 Rock last night. :mad: Switching to 480/481 seemed to fix it, but I reset my DVR just in case. Looks ok now.

toongeek
04-15-2008, 11:27 AM
I'm having similar issue but only with the local HD channels here in Minneapolis, and only during peak watching times like primetime and occasionally during afternoon shows. Happens every night, though. There Hd DVDrs, all three with the same issue. It cannot be the receiver.

We;ve had techs out and no one seems to be able to solve the problem. Very frustrating. It has me considering Comcast. :(

Bob P
04-21-2008, 07:03 AM
On Saturday I had a very good tech come to the house and it turns out the problem was one of my converter boxes was bad.

The tech first checked signal strength and on one of the transponders I was getting a zero for every other number. Then he switched the converters and the zeros went to the "other" numbers which had strong signals in the first place.

Then he replaced the converter and that did the trick!

So if anyone here is having that problem, this could be the solution.

Thanks again to everyone who helped me come up with temporary fixes while I waited for my appointment!!

olpz
06-18-2009, 10:55 AM
Someone please help!!! two days without my directv service!! Everything was working perfect for about one month and a half.. all of a sudden i got this message on both tv and receivers . 24/7 all the time im not getting one channel in. can someone help with any suggestions. thank you

IamMrDJ
06-18-2009, 10:58 AM
Someone please help!!! two days without my directv service!! Everything was working perfect for about one month and a half.. all of a sudden i got this message on both tv and receivers . 24/7 all the time im not getting one channel in. can someone help with any suggestions. thank you

Did you call DirecTV? Before the first day was over I would have called, not waiting 2 days. Sounds lie you might need your dish re-aligned. Did you have any storms with heavy winds lately?

olpz
06-18-2009, 11:26 AM
Did you call DirecTV? Before the first day was over I would have called, not waiting 2 days. Sounds lie you might need your dish re-aligned. Did you have any storms with heavy winds lately?

No storms, I live in tijuana so im trying to fix the problem without calling them. I might not have a choice

davecramer74
06-18-2009, 12:53 PM
No storms, I live in tijuana so im trying to fix the problem without calling them. I might not have a choice

I just went through this. Its probably where the cables connect at the dish. Mine had gotten water in them. The tech redid them and then put a rubber washer on to seal them better. he also re-aligned the dish and tightened everything down. Just wind blowing for months can loosen the bolts up on your dish.

Ironhardt
06-18-2009, 05:18 PM
If anyone is having problems with receiving locals channels on their AM21 since the digital switch (like I did), try this. Disconnect your antenna from the AM21 and do a reboot. Re-connect the antenna. Now rescan your locals, and you might even get more channels than you had before.

After I did this, the AM21 added 14 more channels from as far away as Fairfax, VA, Martinsburg WV, & Chambersburg PA. That was quite a surprise, seeing that these cities are quite a distance from Baltimore.