More than 24 hours after swapping satellite boxes between the bedroom and living room, I haven’t had a single problem with the satellite signal. It looks like it may have been the box after all. I don’t check the box in the bedroom as much but I’ve checked it several times and the signal seems fine in there too. It could be that I jogged something back into place on the box when it moved it. I’ll give it until Thursday and if things still look good, I’ll ask the DirecTV folks to bring a replacement box.
On Sunday, I was having my problem with not getting a signal on certain channels again and I called DirecTV ready to tell them I had it and I was giving up and switching to Comcast. But the tech support person I got, Liz, was very nice and worked methodically through the issues. She was very understanding and when all was said and done, she scheduled a service call for me on Friday afternoon. (She actually said it could be done tomorrow, but I’m in meetings all day long.) So I’m giving DirecTV one more chance to fix the problem.
In the meantime, I am attempting to narrow down the problem myself. The channels go out several times a day and unplugging the co-ax cable and plugging it back in fixes the problem every time. The troubleshooter in my says its either a problem with the cable or a problem with the box. The last DirecTV guy I talked to said, “In the 2-1/2 years I’ve been with DirecTV, I’ve never seen a box fail.” Fine, but it’s a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument. If I can rule out one, I know it’s the other. When I got home from work this evening, I swapped the satellite receivers in the bedroom and living room. If the problem continues to happen in the living room, I know it’s the cable. If it stops happening in the living room, but starts happening in the bedroom, I know it’s the satellite box. In the latter case, at least, I can call the service people and tell them to bring a new box on Friday.
I should know one way or another in a day or so. The problem happens so frequently that if it doesn’t happen in the next day or so, I think I’ve got my answer. In the two hours since I switched things around, so far, so good.