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Old 05-12-2014, 09:44 PM   #1
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A Sad TV Saga

I'll TRY to make this as brief as possible, but a lot has happened.

First, I started a year ago trying to learn how to get a decent HD signal in a TT. I learned a ton here, and I appreciate it. Some folks here know a WHOLE LOT. It's sad that dealers don't. I still think someone could get rich getting in this business.

Started out when we got the TT last year. We had Direct TV at home, and wanted to try and make it work on the TT. HD was/is a requirement. So I got the Slimline portable on a tripod and LNBF5 and used the H24 receiver from home when we upgraded to Genie there. Main goal is to get local channels, FSMW (Cardinal games), Weather, etc.

In a way........that works. Heck, I've actually gotten all of the channels I need one time in the last year! I had Direct TV send out a tech and he showed me how to use the little TV and receiver on a card table out by the portable dish to fine tune the signal. Seemed easy when he did it.

Turns out I'm an idiot, I suppose. Because since then, I've never been able (well there was that magic ONCE) to get everything. When I move the dish a TEENSY bit in any direction, some transponders increase and others decrease. And it takes 1-2 minutes to tell.

Couple of weeks ago we were 45 miles from home when the tornadoes hit central Arkansas. I spent hours that afternoon trying to ensure we had a signal, but same old thing.......one thing better, another worse. Never could get local channels. Got the Weather Channel, so we knew something bad was happening. Never mind getting FSMW, that was a lost cause.

I threw up my hands. I'm sure many here are rolling their eyes and saying "Boy, it ain't that hard". But it is for me, for some reason. But I don't go camping to spend hours trying to find a TV signal. Five minutes is plenty!!

So I threw in the towel, asked MORE info here and got it, and then called DISHFORMYRV and got a Pathway X2 and receiver, intending to activate Pay As You Go service.

Equipment showed up and I spent the day trying to make it work. Little dome thing, looks like R2/D2, spends its time spinning around and making little noises. It would try and try and finally get something. I finally got enough signal to call them to activate, and they said they did.

And nothing. The screen that says it's acquiring a signal, and "takes no more than 5 minutes" took 27 minutes one time and 29 another. But I finally got signal. ONLY to come right back to screen saying "Receiver not activated"!! YES IT IS! I paid to start service, picked a package, all that....and they activated my receiver (so they say).

Finally they told me "Sorry, you have to call Dish, not us". ARRGGHH.

I did, got a nice guy. He worked with me for over 2 hours, and every time it would find signal, then come back to "Receiver Needs Activated". Finally I went out at that point and looked, and the Pathway unit is pointed STRAIGHT UP! Unless I'm on the equator, ain't no sats up there! Then it would move and point north. WHY? It found the signal, why did it move?

DISH has me on hold forever, finally they come back and say "Sorry sir, but that model of (physical) dish cannot aquire the INITIAL signal. You'll have to take it to Camping World or somewhere like that"!

I flipped.

I called DISHFORMYRV and blew up (nicely as I could). Lady said Management would call me. Someone did, but it was the tech guy I'd already talked to. I told him what was going on, and he said he was lost, but he'd send out an entirely new dish and receiver. Great! Except I'm going camping next Monday and a) this has to get here and b) I have to go through all this again sometime before I go! (They said they'd activated 3 of these Pathway units today, so DISH's comments were bunk).

And no guarantee it won't do the same thing again.

I swear, if I had it to do over, I'd have bit the bullet and got the Travl'r or whatever it is and let it find Direct TV signal! Now I have a Slimline and LNBF that I can't use, and a Pathway X2 that won't work, at least one month paid for PayAsYouGo, and no TV signal.

I don't know what anyone here can learn from this, but I will tell you I believe I now know more about how this is SUPPOSED to work than anyone I've talked to in weeks. Maybe I should be a paid consultant.

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Old 05-12-2014, 11:33 PM   #2
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Lol sounds like you've run the Gambit of bad luck.

I have a winegard carry out and dish network.
We are doing a long weekend coming up so I set it up tonight "new receiver" hopper with joey.
15 minutes and i was watching "fast and loud" while we were having storms roll through.

I hope you get it figured out.

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Old 05-13-2014, 09:38 AM   #3
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I feel like an idiot with this. So many make it work.

Let me ask you guys a question. One thing I considered last night. I had to put the dish in the backyard to get through the trees. There was a good 'hole' and I believe it got a good signal on all 3 satellites. However, I had to run 75 feet of coax, then through the window via a short 'flat' coax, then another piece to the receiver.

Is it POSSIBLE that the extended length of coax caused the Pathway to go nuts? I mean, it's powered only by the coax...

????
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:42 AM   #4
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By the way, I predict MANY changes in this environment in the next year or two.

AT&T in talks to buy DirecTV for nearly $50 billion: sources: Thomson Reuters Business News - MSN Money
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:01 AM   #5
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Its been a while since I have had satellite TV...everything is now in the intewebs in HD now.

With Satellite TV it is imperative that you start with a perfectly vertical pole in a level surface. The azimuth and zenith settings are very touchy, an 8th of an inch and any direction will drop your signal up to 20 percent. Then you have the LNB connections that need to be tested and secured. A lot of cheap jumper cables are RG59 and will not transmit the signal well. IF at all possible use RG6. Another warning is how the TT is wired. My TT is wired for cable and there is a splitter somewhere in the middle to take the cable signal to the living room and the bunk room. In the olden days of Satellite, this set up would not be allow as you needed a sw-21 (dish network) switch to combine the LNB signals to one cable. Once combined by the SW-21, the signal could not be “broken” back out with a splitter or you would lose transponders and would pick odd or even channels on the transponder.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:17 AM   #6
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The environment has changed...

I look at satellite and cable like CD's and DVD's, and telephone land lines. While the majority of the population still have these devices, they will be phased out in the next 10 to 15 years and everything will be data traffic. There will be no separation in telecommunications, data, or video. It will all ride the same transport. IMHO AT&T will not but DirectTV, The technology is aging and as more people find out that they can get TV for cheaper or free, companies will have to find a new way to make a buck.

Example:

Blockbuster Video




Quote:
Originally Posted by BandJCarm View Post
By the way, I predict MANY changes in this environment in the next year or two.

AT&T in talks to buy DirecTV for nearly $50 billion: sources: Thomson Reuters Business News - MSN Money
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:33 AM   #7
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Sorry to hear about your difficulties with dish aiming (DirecTV). We have it, SL3 dish, HR34 DVR (from home) and Genie C31 client in bedroom. We find it works great, we get locals, all our HD's, all our recordings and aiming with only a level and a compass takes about 10 minutes.

The DRV has a dish aiming application built in. Enter the Zip code and it provides the settings. As long as the dish mount pole (our is on one of the flat bases) it vertical (bubble level), I adjust the twist and elevation using the degree indicators on the dish. Simple. Next, I use a plain jane compass and align the center bar of the base frame in the correct direction (azimuth). Switch the DVR to the signal strength screen and adjust left / right in very small (about 1/2") increments for strongest signals (averaged).

Never been a problem. *IF* we are out of our local channel spot beam area, I call DirecTV support and have them change our "SERVICE LOCATION" to where we are at. We do NOT change the BILLING LOCATION (two separate things). They do this while I am on the phone and PRESTO! ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX (locals). When we get home, I call them back and have the service location changed to our home address. There is no charge for this and you can do it as many times as you like.

We purchased an extra DVR power cord, HDMI cable, Power Inserter, Splitter. Genie client and two remotes for less than a $100. They are installed in the RV. We just unplug the DVR from the house, and plug it in the RV (It has a cabinet that it fits perfectly in).

Hopefully your television adventures will smooth out and get better soon.

Best wishes.
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:04 PM   #8
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Seems I'm not that talented, huh? ha. I mean that in seriousness. Some of you guys have it figured out. ME? I could mess up an anvil.

Dutch, I see one thing. Your LNBF is a 3. Mine is a SL5, with SWM. They told me those are harder to point, and now I believe it. I don't know if that's the issue or not, but it might be. (Yeah, I'm thinking up excuses. ha).

What torques me on this is after getting an A U T O M A T I C dish, it goes nuts. I had to be the only guy in America to get a Lemon. It points north, straight up, loses it's signal and goes nuts..... and they ARE sending me a new one. So we'll see when I get it. It also torques me to have started my pay as you go when I can't use it. It also torques me that DISH told me that the Pathway is incapable of accepting initial setup reception. That's a total crock.

I will report back next week when I get the new dish and receiver and see what happens.
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BandJCarm View Post

Is it POSSIBLE that the extended length of coax caused the Pathway to go nuts? I mean, it's powered only by the coax...

????
Are you using RG6 coax and and not RG59? I know from experience that RG59 and directtv don't work good together.

http://sewelldirect.com/articles/rg59-or-rg6.aspx
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:34 PM   #10
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You know........I don't know. None of the coax I'm using is labeled.

Hmmmm.

I'd have to guess it's not RG6...RG6 would be labeled such, wouldn't it? I know this doesn't look or feel as thick as RG6 should.

One more thing to buy, but.............maybe you're onto something.
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