Troubleshooting a blue or green screen

Possible causes:

  • TV output setting.
  • DIRECTV® Receiver may not be on.
  • VCR or DVD is on when it should be off.
  • The cable between your receiver and television may not be connected.

Solutions:

  • Tune to the channel you use to watch DIRECTV® service, usually channel 3 or 4. If your DIRECTV receiver is connected in a more advanced way (using Audio/Video or S-Video cables), you may need to tune to Video 1, 2 or 00.
  • Turn your TV off, then on.
  • Turn your DIRECTV receiver off, then on. When the receiver is on, the red or green light will stay lit.
  • Press the “TV/DSS,” “SAT,” “DSS,” “DIRECTV” or “INPUT” button on the remote control.
  • If your TV has a “TV/Video” button on its front panel, you can use it to toggle between 3, 4, Video 1 and 2.
  • Turn off your VCR, DVD and any other equipment connected to the receiver.
  • Unplug the power cord for 15 seconds to reset the receiver.
  • Make sure all cables are properly connected.

Searching for Signal

  • How many receivers are not working?
  • Find out what type of receivers are not working?
  • How often is this happening?
  • What channels are this happening on?
  • On the receivers that are not working, check the transponders.
  • On remote, select Menu
  • Press arrow down to Parental Fav’s & Setup
  • Press Select
  • Press arrow down to System Setup
  • Press Select
  • Press arrow down to Satellite or Satellite & Antenna
  • Press Select
  • Press Select on View Signal Strength
    • If you see numbers, a reset should fix it
    • If it is raining, snowing, or heavy winds the numbers will be in the 40’s and 50’s
  • To see the different satellite transponders, press the Select on + for Satellite
    • For standard and DVR receivers, you will only get the 101, 110, and 119 satellites
  • You will not see all transponders, they will either show 0 or –
  • Make sure the first 3 transponders are above 80
  • On the DVR’s, make sure they are getting a signal on both tuners
    • Press arrow button down to Tuner
    • Press Select on + to change between tuners
    • For HD and HD DVR receivers, you will see 101, 110, 119, 99(c), 103(ca), 103(cb), and SWM
  • Make sure the first 3 transponders are above 80
  • HD locals are on the 99(c) satellite
    • If you are having issues with their HD locals and set up is correct then it could be problem with the dish
  • If the transponders in 99(c), 103(ca), 103(cb) are low, it usually is a dish or equipment issue
    • SWM will show channels 1-9
    • 0’s mean the channel is being used
    • Multiswitch will not show
  • If transponders are in the 80’s and 90’s, then have the customer reset their receiver
    • Unplug the receiver’s power for 15 seconds.
      • You can unplug from the wall outlet.
      • You can unplug from the back of the receiver.
      • You can press the red reset button for 15 seconds
  • On the right hand side of the receiver, there is a door that needs to flipped opened
  • To the left of the access card is the reset button, press and hold for 15 seconds
  • Recheck the transponders (see above bullets)

Troubleshooting freeze framing or pixelated picture

Problem: Your picture is breaking into squares or pixels.

Possible causes:

  • Severe weather (heavy rain or snow) can interfere with the signal, causing your picture to freeze frame or “pixelate.”
  • This may also happen if there are any obstructions (such as tree limbs, buildings, etc.) blocking your dish’s clear view of our satellite, or excessive water pooling on the face of your dish’s low-noise blockers (LNBs).

Solutions:

  • Unplug your receiver for 15 seconds and it will reset itself
  • If there are obstructions blocking the dish’s clear view of the satellite, you should contact a professional to remove them or ICS Advanced Technologies at 877-504-7618.
  • If your signal strength is lower than 70 (60 or lower on HD receivers) on most transponders in good weather, contact ICS Advanced Technologies at 877-504-7618. Your system manual explains how to check your signal strength

Troubleshooting channel changing issues

Problem: You are unable to move from one channel to another.

Possible causes:

  • Your remote isn’t operating the receiver.
  • You may be trying to select a channel that isn’t displayed in the on-screen guide or in the favorites list you are using.
  • You may be trying to go to a locked-out channel.
  • Your receiver’s Channel Lock feature may be active.

Solutions:

  • Change the channel using the channel up/down buttons on the receiver. If you can change channels on the receiver, change the batteries in your remote.
  • If you can’t change channels from the receiver, turn it off and unplug it. After at least 15 seconds, plug the receiver back in and turn it on. Again, try changing channels from the receiver itself.
  • Tune to a channel by entering the channel number on the remote’s keypad. If this takes you to the correct channel, adjust your favorites list.
  • Press the “guide” button on your remote. Then press the “fav” or “list” button several times. Watch for an indication at the top of the guide that you are moving from “all channels” to a particular favorites list.
  • If you are locked on one channel only, your Channel Lock feature is likely active. Consult your system manual to unlock the rest of your channels.
  • Enter your password, if necessary.
  • See your system manual for information on managing favorite channel lists and locking out channels.

How to troubleshoot a black or snowy screen

Problem: Your screen is black. When you change channels you may get the information bar with program title and description.

Possible causes

  • Your TV is not receiving or displaying the signal from your DIRECTV® Receiver.
  • Your receiver has correct guide information, but is not processing video correctly.
  • You are viewing a channel where an upcoming sporting or special event is scheduled or has recently ended.

Solutions

  • Turn TV off and on.
  • Turn DIRECTV Receiver off and on.
  • Make sure light on front panel of receiver is lit.
  • Press the “TV/DSS” button on the remote control or front panel of the receiver (not all receivers have this option).
  • Reset the receiver by unplugging the power cord for 15 seconds.
  • Check all cable connections between the wall jack, receiver and TV.
  • If the picture is black, but the program title and description display in a banner at the top of the screen:
  • If the problem is only occurring on a few channels, check the detailed description of the program through the on-screen guide on those channels. Often, we display a blank screen with a banner before and after a high-profile event to alert customers about the event.
  • Reset the receiver by turning off and unplugging the power cord for 15 seconds.
  • Run a signal meter test to check your signal strength (press “menu” and look under “setup” or “installation”).

If your signal strength is below 70 (or below 60 on HD receivers) in clear weather on transponders 1 and 2, see our troubleshooting steps for “Searching for satellite signal. Please stand by.”You may see zero strength on transponders 4, 12, 18, 20, 26 and 28. This is normal in many areas. Your system manual shows how to run cables.  

How do I reset my receiver?

On some DIRECTV receivers there is a reset button inside of the access card door. If your receiver has a reset button, you can simply press it to reset your receiver. If there is not a button inside the access card door or pressing the button does not correct the problem, try these steps to reset your receiver:

  • Leave the receiver box on.
  • Unplug the receiver from the electrical outlet. (If your receiver’s light is still on, you have pulled the wrong plug.)
  • Leave the receiver unplugged for 15 seconds.
  • Reconnect it to the electrical outlet and return to normal viewing.

If you are still having problems, you can find more help in the Troubleshooting section of DIRECTV Technical Forums at forums.directv.com or you can call DIRECTV at 800-531-5000 and select the option for technical assistance or you can call ICS Advanced Technologies at 515-268-4000 or 877-504-7618.

Channel Not Purchased

  • Check to see how many channels have this message.
  • Check locals (5, 8, 11, 13, 17, 23)
  • Check channel 290 (Disney), if it states Channel Not Purchased reset the receiver
    • Unplug the receiver’s power for 15 seconds.
      • You can unplug from the wall outlet.
      • You can unplug from the back of the receiver.
      • You can press the red reset button for 15 seconds
  • On the right hand side of the receiver, there is a door that needs to flipped opened
  • To the left of the access card is the reset button, press and hold for 15 seconds
  • If it is, check the transponders
    • On remote, select Menu
    • Press arrow down to Parental Fav’s & Setup
    • Press Select
    • Press arrow down to System Setup
    • Press Select
    • Press arrow down to Satellite or Satellite & Antenna
    • Press Select
    • Press Select on View Signal Strength
      • To see the different satellite transponders, press the Select on + for Satellite
      • For standard and DVR receivers, you will only get the 101, 110, and 119 satellites
  • You will not see all transponders, they will either show 0 or –
  • On the 101, make sure the first 3 transponders are above 80
  • On the DVR’s, make sure there is a signal on both tuners
    • Press arrow button down to Tuner
    • Press Select on + to change between tuners
      • For HD and HD DVR receivers, you will see 101, 110, 119, 99(c), 103(ca), 103(cb), and SWM
  •  HD locals are on the 99(c) satellite
    • If there are issues with the HD locals and set up is correct then it could be problem with the dish
  • If the transponders in 99(c), 103(ca), 103(cb) are low, it usually is a dish or equipment issue
  • SWM will show channels 1-9
    • 0’s mean the channel is being used
    • Multiswitch will not show
  • If it show’s 0’s Call ICS at 515-232-4453

Pixelating

  • What channels are pixelating?
    • Locals pixelate, cannot fix sporadic pixelation
  • How often?
  • Is it happening during certain times?
  • Reset receiver
    • Unplug the receiver’s power for 15 seconds.
    • You can unplug from the wall outlet.
    • You can unplug from the back of the receiver.
    • You can press the red reset button for 15 seconds
  • On the right hand side of the receiver, there is a door that needs to flipped opened
  • To the left of the access card is the reset button, press and hold for 15 seconds
  • Check transponders
    • On remote, select Menu
    • Press arrow down to Parental Fav’s & Setup
    • Press Select
    • Press arrow down to System Setup
    • Press Select
    • Press arrow down to Satellite or Satellite & Antenna
    • Press Select
    • Press Select on View Signal Strength
      • To see the different satellite transponders, press the Select on + for Satellite
      • For standard and DVR receivers, you will only get the 101, 110, and 119 satellites
  • You will not see all transponders, they will either show 0 or –
  • On the 101, make sure the first 3 transponders are above 80
  • On the DVR’s, make sure you are getting a signal on both tuners
  • Press arrow button down to Tuner
    • Press Select on + to change between tuners
      • For HD and HD DVR receivers, you will see 101, 110, 119, 99(c), 103(ca), 103(cb), and SWM
  • HD locals are on the 99(c) satellite
  • If the transponders in 99(c), 103(ca), 103(cb) are low, it usually is a dish or equipment issue
  • SWM will show channels 1-9
    • 0’s mean the channel is being used
    • Multiswitch will not show
    • If low, call ICS at 515-232-4453

No Signal/Input Issue

  • Make sure receiver is on (blue light(s) on front will be on)
  • Press Guide on the remote and verify what it brings up
  • Use the remote that came with the TV
    • Find the input button on the remote or TV
    • Cycle through all the inputs, give 10-15 seconds in between, until a DIRECTV picture comes up

Problems Communicating with Dish

  • Reset receiver
  • Unplug the receiver’s power for 15 seconds.
    • You can unplug from the wall outlet.
    • You can unplug from the back of the receiver.
    • You can press the red reset button for 15 seconds
      • On the right hand side of the receiver, there is a door that needs to flipped opened
      • To the left of the access card is the reset button, press and hold for 15 seconds

Channel Changes on its Own

  • Reset receiver
    • Unplug the receiver’s power for 15 seconds.
      • You can unplug from the wall outlet.
      • You can unplug from the back of the receiver.
      • You can press the red reset button for 15 seconds
  • On the right hand side of the receiver, there is a door that needs to flipped opened
  • To the left of the access card is the reset button, press and hold for 15 seconds

Receiver Will Not Power On

Make sure the receiver is on (blue light(s) on front should be on) and TV is on

  • Check power cord, make sure plugged firmly into back of the receiver and at the wall outlet/surge protector) / Could even unplug and then plug back in
  • Check input
    • Find the input button on the remote or TV
    • Cycle through all the inputs, give 10-15 seconds in between, until a DIRECTV picture comes up
  • Check if it is a blown breaker, plug something else into that outlet

Recording Issues

  • Check transponders
    • On remote, select Menu
    • Press arrow down to Parental Fav’s & Setup
    • Press Select
    • Press arrow down to System Setup
    • Press Select
    • Press arrow down to Satellite or Satellite & Antenna
    • Press Select
    • Press Select on View Signal Strength
    • To see the different satellite transponders, press Select on + for Satellite
    • For standard and DVR receivers, you will only get the 101, 110, and 119 satellites
  • You will not see all transponders, they will either show 0 or –
  • On the 101, make sure the first 3 transponders are above 80
  • On the DVR’s, make sure you are getting a signal on both tuners
    • Press arrow button down to Tuner
    • Press Select on + to change between tuners
    • For HD and HD DVR receivers, you will see 101, 110, 119, 99(c), 103(ca), 103(cb), and SWM
  • HD locals are on the 99(c) satellite
    • If you are having issues with HD locals and set up is correct then it could be problem with the dish
  •  If the transponders in 99(c), 103(ca), 103(cb) are low, it usually is a dish or equipment issue
  •  SWM will show channels 1-9
    • 0’s mean the channel is being used
    • Multiswitch will not show
  • Repeat Satellite Setup
    • On remote, select Menu
    • Press arrow down to Parental Fav’s & Setup
    • Press Select
    • Press arrow down to System Setup
    • Press Select
    • Press arrow down to Satellite or Satellite & Antenna
    • Press Select
    • Press Select Repeat Satellite Setup
    • Press the dash (-) button on remote
    • Make sure Dish Type is Slimline 5
    • To change the dish type have them press Select and use the up / down arrows to change to the correct dish
    • Switch type will select automatically
    • Make sure Tuners are set to Dual
    • To change the tuners press arrow button down until Tuners is highlighted and then press Select
    • Change to Dual then press Select
    • Use right arrow button to highlight Continue