Forum > Decoders > PVR Decoders > Weather havoc with Explora
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Old 2014-06-05 , 11:13
Dark.Wing Dark.Wing is offline
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Angry Weather havoc with Explora

I live in Cape Town and bought an Explora in September 2013.


Up until 2 weeks ago I was in love with the Explora and bragging to my friends about how much better it is than the HD PVR ... then the wind and rain started! Since then the only way I can describe the signal quality and the Explora's reaction is DYSFUNCTIONAL!


While I understand that the weather does affect the signal, in all the years I have had DStv I have never experienced so much signal interference. Is this because of the Explora's switch and Unicable input or is it due to the change to the IS20 satellite?


I set a large number (40-50) of recordings each week. When I first got my Explora I tried using the series recording, but it seems as though the conflict resolution only looks 1 day ahead (?) and most didn’t record, so now I set individual episodes to record. I used to think the Explora was “intelligent” in the way it automatically reschedules a recording if there is any problem. However, in the last 2 weeks I have realised that it just picks the next time slot (?), even if this results in a recording conflict, so besides programs not recording due to bad weather, others then don’t record because of the conflict that it has now introduced.


I also had problems last night while recording 2 abutting programs. The first looked fine during the recording, showing the total time that had recorded on the playlist. When I checked during the “second” recording, the red REC indicator was showing on the front panel, but looking at the playlist only the first program was showing, now with ****** and no duration. I thought program 2 had got lost and tried to reset for another time slot, only to be informed that it was already recording. I waited until well after the recording plus the “Safety Net End” of 10min had past and checked again. Program 2 was not on the playlist but the REC indicator was still showing. Trying to start a new recording at this time told me it was still busy recording – forcing me to reboot.


This morning when I went to check for failed recordings and new conflicts (now that I am aware of this problem) I noticed that even “future” recordings for Thursday (today), Friday and Saturday had all been rescheduled for Sunday, resulting in a plethora of conflicts. I was able to move some back to their earlier time slots by selecting “OK” -> “Other Airings” and then the “Record Episode” and the“Reschedule” option. Others, however, only showed EITHER a “Set Reminder” OR “Record Series” option when pressing OK on the “Other Airings” listing and I had to first cancel the recording that had erroneously been set and then go and manually locate the program on the TV Guide and reset it to record in a more agreeable (and earlier) time slot.


Through all of this Catch Up has not caught up very well, with some episodes showing up 2 to 4 days late and others never showing up at all (for 2 weeks in a row). Part of the reason I set so many recording each week is because I had lost faith in the reliability of Catch Up on the HD PVR. Just as I was starting to think that the Explora Catch Up was working flawlessly and I could eliminate two-thirds of these recordings, this happens.


Right now I am highly frustrated and being forced to illegally download episodes that I have been unable to watch on DStv, because they get rescheduled/conflicted so many times that there are no more repeats in the immediate future.
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  #2  
Old 2014-06-05 , 11:17
MC Fathima's Avatar
MC Fathima MC Fathima is offline
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can you PM me your contact and residential details
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  #3  
Old 2014-06-05 , 11:39
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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I see that you have been on the forum for a short while only.

There are still a few forumites around that may be able help you a bit.

The old forum had a thread where the issues with series recording were logged and monitored for a while. the thread stopped when MC undertook to prepare a document describing how Series recording works on the Explora. No such document has been tabled on the forum.
I will post a link when I find it.

The link is: http://forum.dstv.com/showpost.php?p...6&postcount=37

As to the weather:

It has nothing to do with the cut over to IS20 from IS 7.
The suceptibility to weather depends in the very first instance on what your install looks like especially the size of the antenna. The minimum antenna size recommended by MC is 90 cm ( 85 cm). A smaller antenna size than that will expose you to more weather issues than "normal".

Then next is what type of LNB is installed and how well has the antenna and LNB been aligned. This is crucial. So provide us with some signal strength and quality figures all the tuners in the Explora and we can see if there is a need for some adjustments. Make sure a recording is in progress when you check the signal strength and quality values.

Poor signal quality WILL even under normal weather cause the decoder not to successfully download CU. Hence this could explian why you seems to be missing CU content.

40 -50 recording sessions is a lot, and yes the conflict resolution rules do not work as some of us believe they should.

The cascading effect of failed recordings is one the most serious problems.

Back to back recordings on the same channel is one thing, but when the abck to back involve more than one channel the risk of failed recording is increased.

In the original thread a number of us were able to show that in some situations a recording will "never" take place and the series will expire but the settings will remain behind cluttering up the schedule.

There is only one way to resolve the situation, and that is to clean out ALL the settings and start again.
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Last edited by Geoff D; 2014-06-06 at 08:58. .
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Old 2014-06-05 , 12:31
Dark.Wing Dark.Wing is offline
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Thank you for the prompt response.

The signal quality is low: 40%-50% with cloud, 60%-70% no cloud. Signal strength is 98%. These are the figures from the HD PVR. Not sure how to get numbers on the Explora, but the first bar is around 75% and the second bar around 40% for tuners 1 & 2. Tuner 3 comes and goes!

I have just been speaking to my installer in the interim. My current dish is 70cm. I will have the installation checked out first and I am considering getting a 90cm dish.
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  #5  
Old 2014-06-05 , 13:04
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark.Wing View Post
Thank you for the prompt response.

The signal quality is low: 40%-50% with cloud, 60%-70% no cloud. Signal strength is 98%. These are the figures from the HD PVR. Not sure how to get numbers on the Explora, but the first bar is around 75% and the second bar around 40% for tuners 1 & 2. Tuner 3 comes and goes!

I have just been speaking to my installer in the interim. My current dish is 70cm. I will have the installation checked out first and I am considering getting a 90cm dish.
The figures, are they maybe 98% quality and the low figures Signal Strength? 60 - 70 is borderline

Tuner 3 on the Explora: comes and goes? That is bad news and will explain quite a bit of your problems if it is going up and down. This could mean it is a skew angle issue.

The antenna size is on the small side, especially for Cape Town.

I found the link to the series recording issues on the Explora, see previous post where I added the link
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  #6  
Old 2014-06-05 , 14:00
Dark.Wing Dark.Wing is offline
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Attached are some photos showing the different signal statuses.

You say the antenna size is on the small side, especially for Cape Town, however it is the most common size I see around where I stay. I'm not disputing a bigger antenna will improve the situation.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20140605_133741.jpg (30.1 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg 20140605_134026.jpg (31.8 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg 20140605_134141.jpg (32.6 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg 20140605_134201.jpg (32.1 KB, 17 views)
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  #7  
Old 2014-06-05 , 14:02
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MC Fathima MC Fathima is offline
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Justin from our CPT branch will contact you

but basically it points to a signal problem - specially on the 3rd tuner, which acquires the TV Guide, DStv Catch Up and BoxOffice and applications


Justin will have a look at your set up and resolve
Please keep us posted here on the forum
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Old 2014-06-05 , 14:09
Gabrielleb Gabrielleb is offline
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I'm also in cape town and I would definitely say that the bigger dish is the way to go. I have 2 exploras, and whilst I cannot get higher than 70 signal strength,,the quality is normally 100. Those figures you are getting are definitely affecting your pictures. Get your guy to ,at the very least, check alignment and lnb .if you can , I'd say go with the bigger dish ASAP .....we in for a looooong winter ;-) to get exact figures on ecplora press blue button then go to help, general information,tuner status and then you will get tuner 1 ,2 and 3. Tuner 1 is viewing, 2 is recording and 3 is for CU and BO. Let us know what happens
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  #9  
Old 2014-06-05 , 14:20
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark.Wing View Post
Attached are some photos showing the different signal statuses.

You say the antenna size is on the small side, especially for Cape Town, however it is the most common size I see around where I stay. I'm not disputing a bigger antenna will improve the situation.

Yes well, Unfortunately for a fairly long period, installers all over the country were not adhering to MCs recommended antenna size.

And yes the argument is most of the time 60 cm is "okay" except in bad weather conditions. MC has recently come up with a minimum specification for antennas again so hopefully over the longer term the position will change. It really depends on your tolerance to poor performance in bad weather. The spec is measured not in antenna diameter but in the minimum gain required, which is scientifically a better way to spec these things. The minimum gain spec equates to an antenna diameter of about 85 cm

Those pictures are disturbing and surprising at the same time. The issue is almost certainly poor skew angle adjustment on the LNB.
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Spare decoders: SD PVR(2), PACE HD PVR 4T, DSD 660, 1110, 1131, Explora 1
2 unmentionable FTA decoders
Win 10 Pro (64-bit) version 1703, build 15063.138
1.2m antenna, 8-way universal LNB, 2x6 MS, FSM permanently connected.
MS Edge 40 with MSEdge HTML 15

Last edited by Geoff D; 2014-06-05 at 15:00. .
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  #10  
Old 2014-06-05 , 14:50
Dark.Wing Dark.Wing is offline
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Thank for all the input and help.

I have just adjusted the skew angle on the LNB and got the quality up to 90% / 3 tuners showing signal.

Will see how it performs when the weather get really bad again.
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