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Question Regarding Moving Dish

GrahamCracker
05-09-2008, 11:36 PM
Hi,

I just got hooked up with Directv last month. The dish (the HD one) was mounted on the roof of my house. When it was installed, I noticed that the dish was pointed towards the ends of the branches of a tree in a neighbor's yard. I asked the installer about it, and he said that the signal was coming in from an angle away from the tree so it was fine.
Everything was great for the first 2 weeks....great reception and only lost the signal momentarily once during a bad thunderstorm. Otherwise, we had no problems. Then just last week when the leaves started to grow I noticed that the signal strength had dropped and some pixelation here and there. I didn't make much of it until last Tuesday when it was a bright, clear day but windy and the signal was going in and out. By the time the winds had dimished that night the signal was back to normal (with some pixelation here and there). The only thing I could think would be causing this would be the tree branches that didn't have any leaves on them when the installation was done.
I called customer service to make an appointment to possibly get the dish moved out of the line of that tree, and the agent who I talked to asked if the tree was mine. I told him no, it wasn't. He then asked if I had asked my neighbor about trimming the tree. No, I didn't, I told him and asked what that had to do with it. He said that they can't help it if trees grow in the way of the line of sight (that much in 3 weeks???) and it wasn't their responsibility, but they would send someone out to take a look (this Sunday).
I was wondering if this is standard with directv.....I can't imagine that they would install a dish and not take responsibility for what has to be a bad placement of the dish only 3 weeks after it was installed.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

borromini
05-10-2008, 07:04 AM
You have a legitimate gripe if the installer didn't make a proper assessment on where objects were located that potentially could block your signal. If in fact your roof had one or more locations that clearly would have avoided these objects...he should have considered them assuming the cabling from those positions was not an issue.

BANDB
05-10-2008, 12:11 PM
I had the same problem. My SD dish was aimed toward a neighbor's fir tree but worked just fine. When I upgraded to HD the problems started as the installer mounted the slimline in the same location. A different service rep came out and proclaimed that there was no way that location would work and promptly left!
I was able to get a supervisor out from another install company and he moved the slimline to the other end of the house mounting it to the wall, ran coax through the crawl space, and even repaired the roof where the dish had formerly been mounted. It took about 6 hours work at NO CHARGE, but I did give him a nice tip. Now have a clear shot and perfect operation!
I know this is anecdotal, but there are service reps that want to do the "right thing" and if you find one, your problems will be nil.

GrahamCracker
05-10-2008, 03:40 PM
Thanks for the input.

We had rain all day yesterday and the whole thing was shot except for the HD channels, which for some reason managed to weather the storm just fine. Odd.
Anyway, it's been about 15 hours since the rain passed through and some channels are still a pixelated mess.

I did think about the roof and the holes that would be left in the event that the dish is relocated so I called yesterday evening to ask them about that. I was told that "I could negotiate" with the service technician about getting them repaired. I told them that if they put the dish in a bad location to begin with then they should take responsibility for it, and I got the "we're not responsible if trees grow into the line of sight" speech again.

What's ironic is that the person who recommended Directv to me, a family friend who lives 5 minutes away, had no problems during the rain storm yesterday and, when I asked her about it when I was shopping around, said that they only lose reception for a few minutes during the worst thunderstorms. She said she has never lost the signal or had bad pixelation for an entire day.....so something is wrong, especially since I didn't have these problems in the beginning.

I'll see what the service tech says tomorrow. If they can't get the signal strength numbers up (almost all are in the 40 and 50s with no rain) or refuse to patch the roof if they intend to move the dish, then I'm going to thank him/her for their time and cancel.
It's sad to hear that it's a bit of a "your mileage may vary" scenario with the service technicians, but that is becoming the norm with all of the big companies these days.

WestDC
05-10-2008, 06:44 PM
The dish is mounted in feet that are attached to your roof. Therefore if they move or relocate the dish the feet stay on the roof and no water will enter.

BANDB
05-11-2008, 12:56 PM
The dish is mounted in feet that are attached to your roof. Therefore if they move or relocate the dish the feet stay on the roof and no water will enter.

When I upgraded to HD, the installer left the old foot on the roof and mounted the slimline next to it for the issue you mention. Moving the slimline to a new location would have then left two feet on the roof. The supervisor that moved the dish removed the feet and repaired the roof on his own volition and mounted the dish to the side of the house to a relatively non-compressible structure. He also replaced all the barrel connectors with the low loss "blue" type. In other words, he fixed things like it was his own installation and as a result it has been totally trouble free for about a year now.
I have always felt that roof mount installations have a potential for problems but they are used because they are quick, cheap, and work most of the time. My :2cents

BANDB
05-11-2008, 01:00 PM
Thanks for the input.

We had rain all day yesterday and the whole thing was shot except for the HD channels, which for some reason managed to weather the storm just fine. Odd.
Anyway, it's been about 15 hours since the rain passed through and some channels are still a pixelated mess.
.

Sounds like an aiming issue?

GrahamCracker
05-11-2008, 10:05 PM
Well, the service tech came out and before I could tell him what I thought what the problem was he said, "the problem is that the dish is pointed right at that tree." He then went up on the roof looking to see where he could get a signal but he said that if he put it in one spot we'd get some channels but not HD and if he put it in another we'd get HD but none of the others. He found one spot where he thought it would work but it just barely cleared the tree and he agreed when I pointed out that I was beginning a 2-year contract and the tree will continue to grow and thus the problem will just come back.
He was honest and told me that there was no "line of sight" available and that if he was the initial installer he would have never put the dish up. That was that.
I called to cancel the service and now, according to the customer service representative I talked to, I will have to wait to see if Directv is going to charge us the early termination fee (whatever that amounts to). I can't imagine that they would have the audacity to push that charge....I told them to call the intallation company and talk to the tech that came out today and they said they would "conduct an investigation" before making a decision.
It's a shame....the picture quality was great, for as long as it lasted.

borromini
05-12-2008, 04:49 PM
That's really unfortunate...especially the part where the initial installer failed to arrive at the same conclusions that the 2nd installer had.