Our recent Dish drama

by | Oct 11, 2008 | Daily life, Geek

Remember that new roof we got a few weeks back?  Our two Dish Network dishes were taken down as part of the process, with a scheduled reinstallation the following day. Thus began two weeks of problems…

The tech that showed up Tuesday morning told Leandra there was no way he could install the dishes on the ground or even back up on the roof because of the treeline. Surprising, since they’ve worked on the roof for the last two years. He refused to reinstall the two dishes, said a new dish might work, and left. As you might imagine, Leandra was not pleased. I called Dish customer support back that night, who apologized, comped the reinstall fee, and made a new appointment for Friday morning.

This time I stayed home to talk with the installer. I told him that I’d prefer a ground install due to the new roof, and he said that the new 1000.4 dish would work on the ground. The wrinkle: because it is a brand new dish it is only supposed to be used for new installs. He worked the phone talking with both Dish and the installation company. I even offered to pay for the new dish if it wasn’t too expensive, but nobody could even give us a price! After about 45 minutes we finally got someone to approve the exception, so he went ahead and put in the new dish on a pole in the backyard. A little while later we CNN HD running.

As he was finishing up the paperwork on the install I happened to change the channel to ESPN… and got nothing. No error, no warnings, just a black screen.  A systematic check showed that about a quarter of our channels were blacked out. After an hour of troubleshooting, and a call to the Dish tech support desk, we still had nothing. Since we needed to leave for our weekend trip to Charleston, I agreed to let the receiver run an update over the weekend and check back on Sunday.

Of course, things still weren’t working on Sunday, so I was back on the phone with support. They seemed confused as to which satellites I should be receiving a signal from on the new dish, but in the end they decided to send a third tech out on Tuesday afternoon.

The Tuesday tech spent a hour and a half testing the dish, making adjustments, etc, and finally decided that the HD receiver itself must be the problem. Two days later a replacement receiver arrived via UPS.

So last Friday night I was elbow deep in wires, and after a call to tech support and several restarts got the new receiver working. And ESPN worked! So the receiver was the problem.

Of course, we still had a bunch of unwatched shows on the DVR. While it is possible to transfer shows to an external hard drive, we decided that we could get all of the shows on DVD or over the internet, so we watched a few and let the rest go.

So three tech visits, several hours of troublehooting, and two weeks after our new roof we finally had our Dish system fully operational after replacing every major component. Hopefully things will last us at least another two years!

Tagged with: Dish problems

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