: Sorting out the signal levels

2011-02-06, 01:54 PM
I have had a 630 PVR since November, and I am mostly happy with the way it works. I noticed that all my recordings of channel 256 (Global HD) had problems with the sound and video dropping out. I did some checking and found some curious results.

First off, the signal level on the "Tune in Satellite" page (Options 4 - 3 - 1), always shows the signal level on Tuner #1, even if you are watching Tuner #2, so you have to make sure on the System Status page (Options 4 - 7) which channel is on Tuner #1. Also, I noticed that on the tune-in page, it always shows satellite 'A4' regardless of which satellite is tuned. Also, the signal level on the Status page is the same as the number on the tune-in page; so my conclusion was to ignore the tune-in page once the dish is aimed; and just use the info on the status page.

So, here is what I found:
Chan 292; HD; Signal 81; Ecb/no 5.0
Chan 306;SD; Signal 57; Ecb/no 6.3
Chan 375; SD; Signal 64; Ecb/no 7.2
Chan 400; SD; Signal 58; Ecb/no 6.8
Chan 256; HD; Signal 65; Ecb/no 2.6

So probably that last Ecb/no is too low. I understand we have 2 satellites, and 2 polarizations, and HD vs SD; but I don't understand what combination yields the low signal, nor what to do about it.

Any suggestions are welcome.


2011-02-06, 02:09 PM
Looks like the dish is pointing a little too far left (Anik F2 is further right than F1R). Give Shaw Direct a call, you probably need a installer out to realign the dish

2011-02-06, 02:55 PM
Thanks for your quick answer. When you say "left", I assume you mean East, correct? Also, can you provide a bit more info on how you reached that suggestion?

In any event, I don't see how that explains the symptoms. According to this page:
Ch 292 & 256 are both on F2, so why is one signal 81 and the other 65?

Meanwhile, I'm down at my RV in Mesa AZ, so there won't be any Shaw Direct technician at my door any time soon. I aimed the dish, and I was very careful to peak the signal (Alt, Az, and Skew), but if there is something I missed, I'll gladly go back and re-work it.


2011-02-06, 05:57 PM
How is your channel 277? I find that it my lowest, usually around 5.1.

They sent out an installer today to "tweak" my dish. I wound up losing .5 ebo on all of my channels now. Thanks for making it worse! So now, my channel 277 is 4.6 ebno

2011-02-06, 06:48 PM
different transponders have different signal strengths to. thats why every channel is different. when i was doing star choice we always aimed off of 583 which at the time was CMT. its been a while since i'v done satellite tho.

SD 630 Support
2011-02-07, 01:22 PM
Chan 292; HD; Signal 81; Ecb/no 5.0 F2 Veritical
Chan 306;SD; Signal 57; Ecb/no 6.3 F1R Vertical
Chan 375; SD; Signal 64; Ecb/no 7.2 F1R Horizontal
Chan 400; SD; Signal 58; Ecb/no 6.8 F1R Horizontal
Chan 256; HD; Signal 65; Ecb/no 2.6 F2 Horizontal

Hi Jake,

As others have mentioned, the common denominator is the F2 satellite. Vertical vs Horizontal and different transponders will make a difference to the signal on the same satellite.

With the current software, OPTIONS 4-7 is the preferred place to measure signal. Your observations on OPTIONS 4-3-1 are correct.

We've got some cool new stuff coming for OPTIONS 4-3-1 with the next download which should help you in this situation. Until then, with no recordings taking place try tuning to an F1R station, and then an F2 station. Go into OPTIONS 4-7 and tweak the dish, trying to get both Ecb/No values as high as possible.

2011-02-07, 01:33 PM
My reading on 277 is almost identical to 256.

Thanks for the info. As a temporary work-around I changed the recording schedule for Glee and Bones to FoxeHD, which has a stronger signal than Global HD. Next time I'm aligning the dish, I'll use your method of peaking both signals. In the longer term, I'll have to find a 75e dish & LNBF.