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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had the Pansonic TU-HDS20 HD reciever since mid January. I've been using it for OTA only and it has performed great. Last week I bought the Oval dish (Ken Cranes) and had it professionaly installed by a co recommnded by Ken Cranes. The HBO HD channels break up on a fairly regular basis i.e. sometimes it will go an hour or two (rarely) without breakup, but mostly every few minutes. Sometimes it just pixelates and other times it blacks out for a second or two. I called the installer back to peak the dish and the best they could get is 91% on sat A and 68-78% on sat B (HD Sat). They said that was plenty of signal and should not breakup.


I then called Panasonic to explaine the problem to them. After having me do some things, reset etc., they said that the signal on Sat B had to be 85 or better to avoid the breakups. The rep I talked to was very , very rude and insisted that the installer was incompetent and to get another. I explained that they had peaked the dish and that is the best signal it can get. He said then you will continue to have breakups. He also said that I am the ONLY person in the country who hasn't been able to get a signal strenth of 85 or better. Whay an arrogant SOB. I bought Panasonic based on their reputation and their underwritting HDTV. Needless to say I'm very dissapointed.


So my question is what can (or Should) I do? Everybody is pointing the finger at the other. Panasonic says it's the installer, the installer say it's the reciever, this is all BS! Maybe should of gone with Dish Network, but I already had the TU-HDS20.

Thanx, Rick
 

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Rick,


My signal numbers are about the same as yours and my drop outs are very rare. There was a thread yesterday that suggested that Panny Dropouts may be heat related. I suggest moving the box to a ventilated area or placing Dry ICE packs on top to see if the drop outs disappear. I keep my unit on a rack shelf by itself and haven't had any problems.


--Rick


Check out the heat thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum11/HTML/013333.html


[This message has been edited by ricka (edited 05-01-2001).]
 

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I think the "it's gotta be 85 or better" line is a crock. I have the TU-HDS20 and it rarely gets above 80 and it's fine. Heat may be an issue, but that hasn't been any problem for me. Mine's in a rack and doesn't have any problems at all. Rarely do I get a breakup, and then it is usually weather related.


Are you sure your not getting any time of wind or weather related problems. If your dish isn't solidly mounted, wind will cause breakups if the dish moves a bit. Also, trees, rain, etc.


I also have heard stories of bugs(spiders, etc) on the LNB causing problems. If none of these problems exist, I'd say you've got a bad unit.


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Steve

Visit our dedicated home theater, The City Cinema.
 

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Refer to my post under the heading 'Panasonic TU-HDS20 Drop Out Issue'.


You will find that according to Panasonic, the problem is hardware related and will become a warranty issue.

 

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In my experiences as an installer, the 119 bird always measures weaker than the 101. Keep in mind the built in signal strength meter in the various brands of receivers is not calibrated, meaning the Panasonic 85 might be a 77 on a Sony, or a 89 on an RCA. While the highest reading is always better (less rain fade, less heavy cloud problems), it is not necessary to have an 85. Very sucessful installations can get by with mid 60's or so on the 119 location or even less. For a phone tech to insist absolutely that 85 or better on the 119 bird is insane. I have never gotten an 85 on the 119 bird on any receiver, ever.


I have seen a problem with a couple of installations with exactly the same problem like you mentioned though, and it didnt relate to dish pointing at all. When using 2 receivers with the oval dish, sometimes an inbalance can result in the multi-switch. This is usually seen with different brands of receivers because they sometimes put out a little different voltage to the multi-switch, but I have also seen it because of a very long coax run on one of the receivers (resistance loss). To test for this, disconnect the second receiver (if you are using one) and if this was the problem it should go away. If that did not do the trick, or you only have one receiver, I would swap the 101 and 119 lnbs to make sure the 119 lnb is not weak or intermitent.


Keep in mind that in dealing with tech support with different manufacturers and Direct TV, you are ALWAYS talking to a person that makes $8 bucks an hour tops, sitting in a little corner in some windowless cubicle, and has never assembled and climbed a roof to point a dish, or solved real world problems relating to satellite, off air reception, and home theater. Phone techs always respond to problems by refering to scripts, if you have a particular problem they have a scripted answer.


Ken Cranes as a dealer is about as good as they get, if the above does not solve the problem try taking the Panasonic unit down to their store and hooking it up to their dish and watching it for an hour or so. That would let you know if the receiver might be a rare defective one.

 

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I believe there are a few "dropouts" on 509 that have nothing to do with the signal strength. I have noticed that twice, when watching the Sopranos, I get a momentary large pixelation effect like it was about to freeze. Watching the re-run later in the week, it happens again. So, it may be in the source or in the ability of the box to handle that particular portion of the data stream or some huge coincidence (maybe I should run out and play the lottery http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif ). Other than those two incidents, with a 119 strength of about 73, I can't recall seeing a problem. I think the installation instructions say you need to have a strength of 60.


My unit is a Mits HD-5.


Good luck,


Mike...



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Mike Saemisch


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
UPDATE! As NeilNeil says Ken Cranes is as good a dealer as you can get. I talked to the store manager and explained the problem. Without any hesitation he said to bring in the TU-HDS20 and he would swap it out for a new one even though my unit was well past the 30 days (purchased in mid Jan). THAT'S the Good news. Unfortunately it still appears to be getting drop outs, passably less often but I haven't had time to really evaluate it thouroly. The dish installer is going to try and peak the dish again passable sacrificing some 101 signal to get better 119. We'll see what happens.


There is another thread that Stan from Panasonic has acknowledged there is a problem and it's hardware related. Hope we can get more info and a verified statement from Panasonic that the problem exists.


Thanx for all the replies, this forum is fantastic!

Rick


T
 

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Sounds like a hardware or cabling issue. Check the lnb's, multiswitch & all cable & terminations. Even a single strand of shield shorting out can cause the type of problem you are describing.


To eliminate the receiver, see if you can borrow a different brand of DirecTV unit, and try it. If you have the same problem, you know it's the other stuff.


And as far as needing an "85", well, that's just plain wrong.


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Rick,

I can tell you I had 2 Panny TU-HDS20s, and both behaved differently. The first behaved just as yours, dropouts virtually every one to two minutes. I got the same story from Stan at tech support, "the unit must see a signal strength of at least 85" (never mind that no other unit requires that type of signal strength). The 2nd Panny unit I got NEVER got those dropouts. The unit was located EXACTLY the same as the first in EXACTLY the same installation. So much for a minimum strength of 85. I believe there is a wide sample to sample variation of these units that better describes why some people get these dropouts and others don't.
 

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I Have the same unit and have trees in the way (a lot of trees) I put up a 24" dish and could only get between 68-78 signal and I have 0 problems. You may want to use a separate dish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! As mentioned earlier in this thread I had trouble with signal dropouts on DirecTV HD on my Panasonic TU-HDS20. The dealer I got it from swapped it with another but still had the problem.


Yesterday i decided to try a unit from a different manufacturer, in this case a Mitsubishi SR-HD5. So far everything has been perfect not even a berp, steady, solid picture. So the Panasonics definitely have some problems.


ALSO, I talked to Stan in Panasonic service and he did acknowledge that they are having this problem on many units. He said the problem is EMI causing some problems with the MPEG decoding timing, thus causing picture breakup. He also said they are working on work-a-round (not a fix) and it is being tested. He doesn't know how it will be implemented or applied to existing units.


Stan went on to say that in order to fix the problem we should unplug components in our systems to see which one(s)are causing the interference and remove the offending product and/or notify that manufacturer that there equipment is emmitting to much EMI and have them fix it. I asked him why other STB units were'nt having EMI problems, he had no answer. Boy, these guys are not going to take responsibility for what is an obvious design flaw!


Also, Stan said there would be a forced download upgrade in the next few weeks. He did not go into detail about all the improvemnts (except its not going to fix dropouts) but it will supposedly improve menu speed by a couple of seconds. He said that's about the best they will be able do do on that front.


Well, I really liked the Panasonic unit and it has a lot of potential but i'm sticking with the one that is working without dropouts. I'm hoping the dealer will refund my money, but not sure they will. I think Panasonic should eat this and not the dealer. There are some design flaws that Panasonic definitely needs to iron out before I would recommend there unit.

Rick
 

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If your wife can agree to it, 2 24" round dishes pointed at 101 & 119 will give absolute freedom from dropouts in all but blizzards/bad hailstorms. It will also look ugly. I live on 6 acres, with no neighbors, and have 6 dishes for C-band, Ku band, and DBS band reception. It's cheaper than DirectTV in the long run, and you get 1st generation picture quality on HBO & Showtime.


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