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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for some signal quality and strength numbers for my install. I recently had the dish moved to a different location due to problems with some neighbor's trees. I am pretty sure I have the tree problem sorted, but now am still trying to figure out if I am missing some signal. I am still getting a bit more pixelation, macroblocking than I think I should have. (I've been with Starchoice/ShawDirect since 1999 at different locations.)

Basically my signal strength is good on both satellites (83-93), but my signal quality is down, especially on the HD channels (6.5-7.4dB). I'm wondering if my LNB is dying, or I need to fine tune the skew on the dish. The dish is now mounted to a 10' 6x6 PT post sunk 4' into the ground in 300+ lbs of concrete.

If some DHC'rs could post their numbers on this thread, this would let me know if I am close to the optimal signal, or if I need to adjust/troubleshoot some more. On most 5XX series receivers, it's 'options',6,4,7 to get to the system status screen. I need the numbers on the 3rd line.

Here are mine so far on ch 274, (I'll try to update them until I get the problem solved)

July 19th 11am signal strength 94, EchNo's 7.5 dB
July 20th 9am (sun/cloud) 91, 7.0 dB
July 21 -9am, light over cast 89, 6.6dB
July 22 -9am -sunny 89, 6.5dB

Thx,
Peter
 

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with those numbers I don't think signal strength is responsible for the pixelation or macroblocking
I agree. My understanding is that the HDef channels usually have EcbNo's that are about 2.0 less than the SDef channels. I don't have a HDef receiver, so I can't provide you with any numbers.

What do you get on 299 & 700 for numbers?
 

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I have severe pixelation and macroblocking on HD channels, recordings are unwatchable. Signal strength is 86, Ecb/No's is 6.0 dB. Tech support states signal strength is not the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
july 22 - 12pm - ch 299 strength 87, Ecb/No 10.0dB
july 22 -12pm -ch 700 strength 83 Ecb/No 9.5dB

Are those channels on F2?

Thx, Peter
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have severe pixelation and macroblocking on HD channels, recordings are unwatchable. Signal strength is 86, Ecb/No's is 6.0 dB. Tech support states signal strength is not the problem.
I have low Ecb/No's when it rains.... It makes for a very unpleasant viewing experience. I didn't start recording the numbers at the time, but I seem to recall they were all low, probably below 6. My dish was relocated about 2 weeks ago, and I don't have a lot of time to watch it since.

The bummer is that it wasn't raining that hard, a good steady rain, but not torrential.... the other issue is that not all HD channels were affected equally. It seems that for the most part, it was only the channels that had something on that I wanted to watch that were affected.... :(
 

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Discussion Starter #8
yukonsjoy - thx, similiar numbers to what I am getting.....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Commish,

The crack theory is possible.... I had that happen once.... I should clarify that the pixelation / macroblocking happens only in wet weather..... Looks like we're going to get some of that tonight. I will record some numbers if I'm near the tv.

Don't think it's the cables. I have 4 cable runs to the dish and all my receivers report similiar numbers....

P
 

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Anything below 6.0 Ecb for HD channels will has real potential for microblocking/pixelation. I don't care what any tech says, I know this from experience. Try to get your HD channels at the minimum in the high 6.x range even if you have to give up some strength on the SD channels to do so. It can take a few hours to really get yout dish at optimal alignment for both 107.3W and 111.1W but in the end it will be worth it.
 

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july 22 - 12pm - ch 299 strength 87, Ecb/No 10.0dB
july 22 -12pm -ch 700 strength 83 Ecb/No 9.5dB

Are those channels on F2?
299 is from F1R; 700 is from F2. Both are SDef.

It appears you're getting an excellent signal from both satellites.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
using my slingplayer from work.... radar shows rain over the house....

July 23 - 930am - rain ch 274 81 strength/ 5.5db and 83 / 5.2dB
 

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Aren't service calls free? Why keep farting around, just have them come out and replace the lnbf and check the lines.
 

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They're not free where I live. I have to hire a third party installer and pay whatever he charges, Shaw then pays a maximum of $60 after I fax the bill in to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Aren't service calls free? Why keep farting around, just have them come out and replace the lnbf and check the lines.
free yes.....

but i have to wait around for 6 hrs for them to come around, either on my day off on Sat. or take a day off during the week which is not how i want to spend my vacation time....

i just want to collect some data on what is the best signal quality amongst DHC'rs, before I tweak the dish.

i guess I could take my slingplayer laptop out with me to the dish, and wifi the video to me out in the backyard while tweaking the settings....
 

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A few days ago we had a really bad storm in Calgary and my dish was knock off of alignment. While I have tried to realign it and have not done to bad it is not as good as it was. Not matter what I do I can not seem to get it any better. I will likely need to call for service but prior to doing that I have a question that I hope someone can answer as it could maybe be the problem.
On channel 278 - 86/6.0, 295 - 86/5.8, 287 - 86/6.0, 299 - 81/9.0, 373- 78/8.6

When I checked the level for the mast placing the level on the side closest to the house the level is ok (dead center) but when I place the level on the mast on the other side it is not level. So my question is should both the front and back of the mast show level and if so does that mean the bracket attached to the house is causing the problem.

Any assistance is appreciated.

Brewster
 

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as it could maybe be the problem
Your numbers look fairly good.....so what exactly is the problem?

should both the front and back of the mast show level
Technically, the mast should be plumb no matter which side you place the level to check it. The main reason for this is, during the initial installation when searching for the signal, the skew and elevation settings are dependent on the mast being plumb, and you can waste a lot of time searching for the signal if the settings are not correct. But yours has been working, so maybe it doesn't matter.

If you examine the mount, you can see that you can plumb the mast quite easily in the direction perpendicular to the bracket, so you might be able to get it plumb by loosening the bolt and tipping the pole. On the other hand, if the bracket itself is not mounted very close to plumb, you could have trouble because there is very little "play" to twist the pole in the direction parallel to the bracket.

Your solution may depend on exactly what caused the dish to move in the first place. If it simply turned on the mast, you may be able to improve your signal by adjusting the azimuth, elevation, and skew, and forget about plumbing the mast at this point.
 

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Thanks for the input. I was just concerned I would lose the signal if it rained because the db #s on the HD channels seemed low. I think I will leave it for now and see what happens as we are expecting rain tonight. As far as the mast is concerned because I couldn't seem to get it to read level on both the front and back I thought maybe it had bent somehow.

Thanks again

Brewster
 
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