How to Measure the Signal Strength for Direct TV
By Maya Austen
Updated September 28, 2017
If you have Direct TV and you’re experiencing a frozen picture, intermittent picture, or no picture at all on a Direct TV channel that’s included in your program package, the problem could be due to a weak signal. You’ll have to test the signal strength of your satellite dish receiver to see if this is the case.
Measuring Signal Strength
Turn on your television and Direct TV box. Press the menu button on your Direct TV remote control. A menu should pop up on your television screen with options for “Search for Shows,” “Scheduler,” “Caller ID & Messages,” and “Parental, Favs, & Set Up.”
Use the down arrow on your Direct TV remote control to scroll down and highlight the “Parental, Favs, & Set Up” option. Press Select on your Direct TV remote control. This will bring up a new menu of options for “Parental Controls,” “Favorite Channels,” and “System Set Up.”
Use the down arrow on your Direct TV remote control to scroll down and highlight “System Set Up.” Press Select on your Direct TV remote control. Another menu of options will pop up which will include “Info & Test,” “Satellite,” “Remote Control,” and so on.
Push the down arrow on your Direct TV remote control to scroll down and highlight the “Satellite” option, then press Select on your remote control. This will bring up a new screen where “View Signal Strength” should already be highlighted on the bottom right corner of the menu. If it’s not highlighted, use the up or down arrow key on your remote control to highlight it. Press Select on your remote control.
Wait for the test to give you the captured reading for all 32 transponders, or you could use the arrow buttons on your Direct TV remote control to highlight the option for “Signal Meters” located on the bottom right corner of the menu. Press Select. This option will allow you to see the live signal strength (as it fluctuates) for a selected transponder. Highlight the plus or minus sign next to the transponder option on the right side of the screen and press select to go up or go down to the next or previous transponder.
If you get a 0 reading on your signal strength test for satellite transponders 4, 12, 18, 20, 26, or 28, this may not necessarily indicate a problem with your reception. Direct TV has a new satellite which doesn’t use those transponders to deliver signals in some parts of the country.
Maya Austen began freelance writing in 2009. She has written for many online publications on a wide variety of topics ranging from physical fitness to amateur astronomy. She's also an author and e-book publisher. Austen has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the New England Institute of Art and currently lives in Boston, Mass.