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Lost all of my digital off air stations (1 Viewer)

John Bastock

Nov 17, 2005
I currently am a DirectTv subscriber & have HD service through them. I have my off air antenna hooked up to their Hughes HTL-HD receiver. With this antenna (Terk TV36) I am able to pick up 15 local digital stations, along with various analog stations as well. Last Saturday, all but 2 of the stations “have gone black” with the “No Signal” message at the bottom of the screen. By checking the signal strength button, all of them register in the “Bad” range with just the smallest of yellow bar showing. For the last week this has been the situation, with no change what so ever with weather changes. (We have had the full spectrum of sunshine, clear skies, rain, etc). All of the satellite channels work fine. There appears to be some loss in the analog channel signal as well, but since I never spent any time watching these channels, it’s hard to say how much.
The antenna is not outside but in the rafters of the attic high on the second floor. I have checked all of the wiring from roof to receiver, and since all of the cable is enclosed, there is no issue here. The antenna appears the same as it did when I installed it 2 years ago.
My next step was to call DirectTv, which was of no help as they took me through the standard practice of rebooting the receiver and rescanning the channels. (Thing’s I had already done before calling them.)
Since most all of the channels do not come in, I am sure it is not a broadcast issue with the local stations. My neighbor about ¼ of a mile down the street gets all of the channels fine.

My question is, what can I do next? I don’t want to start replacing items unless I can test to see if they are bad. Can an antenna go bad? DirectTv offered to send out someone on a service call for $70 but since their main troubleshooters are for their satellite system, I’m afraid they may not find the issue.
Any help or direction anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated

Charlie Campisi

Aug 20, 2004
I would hook up a set of cheap rabbit ears to help diagnose the problem. If the rabbit ears allow you to get a signal on any of your digital stations, you will know it is not the HD box, but either the connection to the antenna, or the antenna itself. Then you can start working on a solution. I would also turn off and unplug the HD box for 5 minutes then boot it back up. Sometimes, the directv boxes just need a quick ctrl-alt-del.

Allan Jayne

Senior HTF Member
Nov 1, 1998
Unplug and replug each of the cable connections. Oxidation may have occurred, spoiling the contact, and the act of unplugging and replugging has a cleansing effect.

It is possible from something in the antenna to fracture, but this is very hard to see and you would literally need a magnifying glass to inspect things.

If you don't seem to be able to find the problem, you really need to try a different (long) cable from antenna to TV before you are done. Connections just inside the plugs can fracture also. Is there any place where the cable could have been tugged by children or pets or bitten by rats?

Video hints:

John Bastock

Nov 17, 2005
I replaced the HD receiver & the problem was solved.
Good news was I got DirectTv to send one over at no charge, bad news is it appears to be an older model with not the same amount of features as my old one.
It will do until the MPEG-4 upgrade comes at the beginning of next year sometime.....Thanks

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