I’ve Never Been a Fan Boy

I’m not a hardware person. Opening up a computer case to replace a component (or even to just use an air can and blow out the dust) tends to fill me with dread. Software–well, that’s a different story.

I mention this because the fan on our DirecTV DVR (Samsung DirecTivo SIR-S4080R) is starting to make the noise like a bearing is going out (I don’t think it is the drive, as usually they have more catastrophic problems). So, I would need to replace the fan. This, of course, is a hardware repair on a box long out of warranty. I’ve dropped an email to the satellite shop we use, but I’m curious if anyone here has done such a repair, and knows how hard it is to do?


DirecTV Update

Folks may recall that, over the weekend, I wrote about the problems we were having with DirecTV–in particular, we kept having outages where we couldn’t receive the first four Showtime channels: 537, 538, 539, and 540.

We had the DirecTV technician out yesterday. It turns out that our original installer at the end of June screwed up. Not only did he install every connector wrong (each causing a loss of 10% of the signal), but he put in the wrong dish (oval instead of round). The problem now seems to be fixed.


In other news, this was the week we got our love note from the county, together with our supplemental love notes. Ouch! Now I see why the counties aren’t objecting to the run-up in property values… it brings them a hell-of-a-lot more in property tax income. Our tax has more than tripled from what it was at the old house.

Update: I normally pay by printed check. But I know there are folks that pay electronically. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that payments may now be made electronically, at ttax.co.la.ca.us or at lacountypropertytax.com. The service is called Vcheck, and to use it, taxpayers fill out an electronic check with their bank routing number and checking account number, and provide their e-mail address. For those cutting it near the edge of the due date, this might give a few more days.


Do Not Adjust Your Set… Update

Well, the Sho channels came back for about 3 hours… and are out again.

We’ve called back DirecTV. They are being very good about things. They say the problem is the dish: it needs to be adjusted, as we don’t have strong signals on all transponders (only 18 and 28 for 101A are above 90%). Although it is 93 days past installation, they are giving us a free service call, and credit until we get Sho back on a regular basis.

We’ll see what happens when they come to service the system.

Update: Sunday at 10:40pm: The receiver in the bedroom just lost a local channel, rebooted, and now all are back. Weird. Perhaps it is a dish or LNB problem. We never had to reboot the receiver at the old house.


Grrr…. DirecTV

We have DirecTV in our house: 3 RCA recieved and a Samsung DirecTIVO. Since about 5pm last night, every receiver (all four) have been “Searching for Satellite Signal” only on the four Sho channels: 537, 538, 539, and 540. Called the dweebs at DirecTV. First, they think it is the receiver. No, I tell them, for it wouldn’t be failing on all four boxes. Then they think a satellite positioning or dish problem. No, I tell them, for then it wouldn’t affect only those four channels. They are sending someone out having someone call us to make an appointment to come out, but I don’t think that’s the problem.

Does anyone have a clue as to why only four channels would go out?

Update @ 10:00am PDT: Seems to be working now. Perhaps they were aware of the problem and just didn’t admit it. Still, grrrr….