DirecTV Reception and Bad Weather
This is a discussion on DirecTV Reception and Bad Weather within the DirecTV forums, part of the Cable and Satellite Providers category.
Every year we (in Wisconsin) have to prepare for the oncoming snow storms during the Winter months. This year, I have decided that instead of "putting up" with the bad reception we get from our pole mounted dish for DirecTV, I want to do something about it before it gets too cold.
Are there any pointers or anyone with advice that can help me fix this? Bad reception also occurs during bad rain storms that we get during the summer as well.
Thanks in advance!
This question is right up my alley. Been a DirecTV customer for over 4 years.
The first and most important thing to do (so we can better understand your problem) is check your signal reception on your menu guide. To find it, go to setup/settings/satellite/ then choose the option, view signal strength.
I know you probably don't have snow yet, but checking your signal right now will atleast give you an idea if there should be some adjustments made to the dish itself even though it's performing well in good weather.
I find problems with my reception when is very windy. I seem to loose a signal for awhile, but it generally comes back on within a few minutes. I'm not sure if there is anything you can do to avoid this.
Isn't bad satellite reception during bad weather a given, though? I've never been a DirecTV subscriber, but my ex-girlfriend's son was, and when we visited him in his apartment in Tampa, FL, the signal was fine when the weather was calm, but when it rained - not during thunderstorms, we turned off the TV during those - the picture would get snowy.
I don't knock those people who like satellite TV, but for me, it's not an option. I don't watch that much TV anymore, but when I do, I don't want it to be at the mercy of the weather.
You are experiencing what is called rain fade. In other words the signal from the satellites is weaker when it is overcast. It is very likely that the dish needs to be aimed at the satellites again. Improving the aim will not correct the problem but it will probably make it better.
Both DirecTv and Dish Network are picking up from two or three satellites at the same time. Doing all this with a single small dish just is not the optimum. The satellite providers have no desire to make it any better since it works well enough to keep getting your money.
If you are getting everything off of one satellite then the rainfade could be easily corrected by installing a 30 inch dish instead of the 18 or 20 inch dish. If you want to spend the money to eliminate the rainfade problem completely then you could purchase a Winegard 30 inch dish with a DSS LNBF for each satellite that your dish points at. The two or three dishes could be connected together into on wire and you would probably never have a signal loss even during the worst storms with the blackest clouds.
The LNBF is the thing out on the end that points back at the dish. Each dish with the LNBF would cost about $100 each. So it may be best to have it aligned again and then live with the rainfade.
With the snow accumulation problem on the dish. Covers for the dish are available that would keep the snow off. Electric heaters are also available for the dish to keep the snow and ice melted off.
I ran a google search for dish heaters and several results came up. The "Ice Zapper" dish heater is at www icezapper com.
I have three satellite dishes and I do not normally have a problem with snow. I do not have any covers or heaters. I did however have the problem when my dish was mounted on the south side of the house. The north wind would bring the snow over the house and then right down and it would pack the snow on the dish.
If the dish can wobble or move at all in the wind. You will have a loss of signal. A very heavy post anchored into concrete is probably about the best. The rule of thumb is that the hole for the post should be deep enough for the post to be below the frost line. You should use at least one bag of cement mix for a foot of dish diameter.
I think that probably answers the questions that I noticed on this tread. Let me know if you have any other questions about this.
Hi Jocelyn, have you tried contacting DirecTV to complain about your reception issue? I've been a customer for a long time with them and every time I've ever had a problem, they've sent someone out to troubleshoot my dish.
One of the keys to receiving good reception after or during a snow storm is keeping snow off of the DirecTV dish itself. Hopefully your dish is mounted in an area where you can access it, to remove the snow. My neighbor has his mounted on the second story of his house, and he built a special rake specifically for knocking the snow off of his dish.
I've also seen some suggestions before where people spray WD-40 on their dish, which helps keep snow from sticking to the dish.
Thank you so much everyone for the responses, i'm almost overwhelmed! We do have problems with snow fall on the dish. I never though about it before, but it just seems hard for to believe that snow on the dish would affect the picture so much. You guy's are the pro's here, so we'll take your advice! Thank you again so much.
DTVUSA Jr. Member
I am so glad that I came into this thread - I am in South Florida and get a lot of weather related issues of reception. You gave me lots of ideas to check out to make sure I get optimum reception.
I guess I'm lucking since being in South Florida I don't have any real trouble unless there's a severe storm...unfortunately you can't really get a signal through severe weather. I only seem to lose the service if we have a hurricane.
I have snow right now, I just cleaned off about 2 inches of snow from directv satellite. I have to go out and clean it again.
I spoke to Dtv about having bigger dishes available to subs that have no antenna reticulations. But stated that they don't think most of there subs would wont a bigger dish. I think it comes down to the cost of a bigger dish for them and that most sub are fine with the size dish now even though it may prevent signal loss during bad weather. Just as long as they can have most of there subs accept less than the 99% reliable signal they are happy with it. I know a bigger dish (30" and bigger) would get 100+ signal from all of the transponders in stead of the 80 to 95% signals they get with the size dish they have now. I want to get a bigger dish. But I do not know if the Winegard or the DTV international Dish would work with the new SL3 and SL5 SWiM Lnb system. Anther dishes that may work are the old primstar and internet (HughesNet extra) dishes. I am still looking to see if anyone has tried any of these dishes.
The DTV Slimline dish is the biggest that DTV offers, and they are still installing it. You may be able to pick one up used for cheap or even free if DTV won't do it for you.