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Heavy pixilation with Dish feed - what should I do?


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#1 of 11 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted October 29 2001 - 02:25 PM

A few months ago I added a Dish PVR-501 in parallel with my DishPlayer.

But the PVR started having problems. Some recorded shows would stop with a dialog box about part of the transmission being lost due to signal loss. I called Dish tech support and we re-booted both machines. But the problem remains.

I called Tech Support back and they suggested swapping cables to the two receivers to decide if it was a receiver/dish problem. I swapped cables, but noticed little change.

Now I am noticing heavy pixilation blocks on recorded shows on both the PVR and DishPlayer.

One transponder (110 - 1) has a signal strength about 74 which Dish says is marginal, but my installer says is good.

I also told my installer about pixel-blocks and the signal problems and he said he saw some of that on his system, implying that there is nothing I could do about it.

Anyone experience this before? Any suggestions?

I'm about ready to pay my installer to come out and do a "tune-up". I want him to re-align the dish and cut/replace the connectors on all the jumper cables to eliminate corrosion. (The Dish went up about 3 years ago).

Any advice?

#2 of 11 OFFLINE   Ken Stuart

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Posted October 30 2001 - 05:48 AM

What channels have the pixilation on both the PVR and the DishPlayer ?

PS The maintenance you describe might not fix your problem, but it also might be a goood idea, just like a tuneup or oil change for a car.



#3 of 11 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted October 30 2001 - 08:08 AM

The DishPlayer had heavy pixilation on WSBK, channel 236 which is a UPN station that carries Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The PVR 501 has had a lot of "the recorded event has been lost due to signal loss" on both WSBK, and the San Francisco local station SF-C Channel 745. (It cut off the last 15 minutes of CSI so we never got to see how the crime was done)

The PVR has also lost signals on 235 KWGN, a WB station where we record Smallville.

I have also seen it on some other channels, but these are the ones I have recorded and can document.

(It seems to be chronic rather than fixed).

But if it helps, my lowest signal strength is

Sat 110, Transponder #1 Strength 74

All the other transponders are in the 90-120 range for this and the 119 sat.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Note: I am seeing the pixilations on fast-moving scenes like fighting. This could be over-compression, but the "loss of signal" dialog box's make me suspect it's something else.

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted October 30 2001 - 12:24 PM

I have occasional pixilization on my Dishplayer but it is caused by the latest update to the OS. Post this question over at the PVR section of www.dbsforums.com and you should have more replies.

-Robert

#5 of 11 OFFLINE   Ken Stuart

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Posted October 31 2001 - 08:52 AM

Unfortunately, WSBK is not as good as it should be, in general.

The additional problem with Buffy on DBS is that digital encoding has problems with dark scenes, and Buffy has lots of dark scenes (in fact, some episodes have very few scenes that aren't dark!).

How often do you see the "signal lost" message?

I do record WSBK on my 501 and rarely see more than one of those per program.

By the way, the times that I do get a lot of those messages is when it is very windy and a tree that is near the satellite slots actually has a branch that blows over into the signal path.

I'm going to have to get an arborist out to trim it...

#6 of 11 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted November 02 2001 - 12:18 PM

I've not had much of the "event lost due to signal problems" in the last week or so.

And you may be correct that the Boston/Denver WB signals are not the best. And the pixilation IS on the dark portions of the video with fast-moving action.

I had the installer out yesterday. He started at the receivers and checked every connection working his way back to the dish. Everything in the house looked fine and tight (as I have gone over everything with a wrench.)

(He said the signal strength looked great even at 74.)

When he went to the roof, he found:

- That some of the connectors looked marginal
- One of the jumpper wires was a from-the-box RG59 instead of RG6.

I gave him some of the nickle-plated "F" connectors I had bought with the rubber O ring and he cut the ends and replaced all the connectors.

The RG59 has been there since the Dish was installed about 3 years ago so I dont think that was the problem, but he replaced it with a RG6 wire anyway.

This was Thursday morning. The only thing I record Thursday night is CSI and we did get the entire show this week.

I will try and stress-test the system with lots of recordings on Friday and this weekend.

#7 of 11 OFFLINE   Richard_Huntington

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Posted November 05 2001 - 01:46 AM

74 is not very good. You want at least 85 (90+ is best) and that is from the DISH people I spoke wth this weekend.

------------------
"My wife actually prefers widescreen"

#8 of 11 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted November 05 2001 - 07:53 AM

The Advanced CSR I spoke to told me 75 was the marginal value to look for.

Only 110, Transponder #1 is at 75. Everything else is 90 or better. Anyone have a listing of what channels come on this transponder? This way I can check those stations for problems.

#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted November 05 2001 - 10:31 AM

The Encore Package, Starz! west and Starz! Cinema west.
http://www.lyngsat.com/dig/dish5.shtml

-Robert

#10 of 11 OFFLINE   Ken Stuart

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Posted November 05 2001 - 12:35 PM

Quote:
Only 110, Transponder #1 is at 75.
This is not unusual in California - that is roughly what my signal strength is.

Anything above about 50 will give you a signal that is just as good in picture quality as a signal of 125.

The difference is that atmospheric conditions can cause the signal to decrease, so if you are at 50, then a heavy, dark, moisture-laden cloud in between the dish and the satellite will cause you to lose the signal altogether.

The figure of 85 is roughly the signal strength that is not affected by anything other than the sort of thunderstorm that causes loss of signal even with 120 signal strength.

#11 of 11 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted November 06 2001 - 11:51 AM

Well then it's not a signal strength issue. I dont watch Stars/Encore so the 75 on 110, Transponder 1 does not affect me. (Thanks for the list Robert. Posted Image)

I hit DBSFourm and found several other complaints about past pixilation problems so I suspect the problem was at the source rather than my local equipment.

So I spent $50 to solve a problem that was not even mine.

But thats ok. I got a cleaning & new connectors out of it. And a careful inspection of my coax and connectors that I have in-house. It's worth it to me. I just want the darn think to work without constant breaks in the signal or cutting the end off of shows.

Thanks for all the help you guys.




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