Signal Quality

"Please wait a moment."

There are times when this is a good message. Watching TV is not one of them.
When your TV screen says this, it means the receiver is not getting any information from the dish.

It's what we call "signal loss". This doesn't happen often or for long. Read on to learn about the causes of signal loss and what you can do to minimize it. How can you tell you've lost your signal? First, look on the front of your Home2US receiver. Do you see the light icon? If it's green, that's good. It means you're getting a satellite signal from your dish. If  it's red, it means the receiver is not getting any information from the dish.

Checking signal strength

You can check the actual strength of the signal on your Options menu.
Go to "Change System Settings". First click on "Change Installation Settings" and then on "Tune-in Satellite Signal". You'll see a bar graph from  0 to 99 showing how strong the signal is.
In the box beside the graph is the number. You'll notice it fluctuating four or five points in either direction. This is normal and is the  result of atmospheric conditions.

What the numbers mean

More than 80 means you're getting the strongest signal possible. It's probably a clear, calm day.
Generally, signal strength will range between 70 and 90. This is normal. If you're at the lower end of the range, moderate weather conditions like clouds, rain or snow may affect the signal. However, you should still see a clear picture.
Signal strength under 70? This means you are experiencing some signal interference. There may be a severe storm in the path to the satellite. While you may be able to continue watching TV, you might lose your signal from time to time.

Very low numbers

If your signal strength reading is consistently under 60 and doesn't seem to change when the weather does, the dish could have lost its alignment. A single-digit number often means there's a problem with the connection between the receiver and the dish.  Even without any signal from the satellite, the dish will have a rating of about 20.

Storms brewing

Satellite signals are not immune to degradation. They can't pass through solid objects. That's why you can sometimes experience signal interference during inclement weather. Thick clouds, hail and snow can block your signal.
A storm also doesn't have to be right outside your door to affect your signal.  Signals travel thousands of miles from satellites located high above the equator along a longitudinal line right down through the middle of Texas or North  Dakota. A storm anywhere along that path can temporarily disrupt service.

Intermittent signals

Often, you'll lose your signal when a storm is moving in, then get the signal back while it's pouring on your roof. The reason? The path of the signal does not go straight up, but is angled to the south. The signal path may pass right through the center of the storm.
The good news is that weather interference is almost always short-lived.

Clear view of satellite

We set your dish to face south and slightly east or west, depending on which side of the US you live on. It needs to have a clear view of the satellites for good signal reception.
So, if a high rise goes up just south of your house, you may lose your signal. Plant a tree? It can also do the same thing. Some people install their dish in winter and receive signals just fine. Then, in spring when the leaves come out, they lose the signal.
Either get out the axe or call our installers to have the dish re-positioned!

Snow on dish

The surface of your dish is designed to catch the signals and direct them to the goose neck-like part called the Low noise block downconverter or LNB. It amplifies them and sends them to the receiver.
If there is heavy snow or leaves or anything else on the dish, the signal won't bounce up to be collected by the LNB. A light covering or very dry, flaky snow generally won't cause a loss of signal. Wet, heavy, or deep snow will.
If your dish has been properly installed it shouldn't collect a lot of snow. A good dump of wet snow could cause signal loss.  If this happens, and if the dish can be easily and safely accessed, gently brush the snow away with a broom.

Sun interference

Twice a year - in the spring and fall - we experience temporary service outages because of the path of the sun. We call this phenomenon (when the sun passes directly behind our satellites and interferes with their signals) "sun transit".
These service outages are minor and worst case may last about 15 minutes a day for about 10 days. This natural phenomenon lasts only about three days. Sun transit can also interfere with the transmission of various channels because other  satellites, used to broadcast these signals, are also affected by sun transit.
Fortunately, we know exactly when it will happen and we can inform you about it.

Loss of position

The Home2US dish is meant to become a permanent fixture of your home. The specially-designed brackets are solid and are designed to keep the dish at the perfect angle to collect and maintain strong signal. But the dish may get knocked out of alignment by strong wind or because your home settles over time. Even three millimeters of movement can cause signal loss.
Chances are, before you lose it entirely, you'll notice the signal coming and going. This is a good indication that your dish has lost its original alignment. At this point you should call us to have an installer re-align it.

Check the connections

If you don't think it's a weather- or line-of-sight-related issue with your dish, it could be a problem with the connection between it and your receiver. To test this, unplug the receiver's power cord from the wall outlet, wait 30 seconds, then plug the receiver back in. Did anything happen? If not, try unplugging the co-axial cable that connects the receiver to the wall. Plug it back in again. Are you getting a signal now?
There could also be a more technical problem. It's possible the co-axial cable could have shorted out or become severed between the dish and the receiver. A technician will have to find and repair this type of  problem.