Fixes and a free replacement for snow-interrupted satellite TV
Satellite-TV reception can suffer from what's "rain fade" and "snow fade"--when precipitation in the air degrades the signal. But many satellite subscribers have suffered a different sort of snow fade during this weekend's epic blizzard: snow piling up right on the dish. Which can be a big problem with the Super Bowl kicking off in about six hours--one friend has already cancelled his game-watching party because of this, although the unplowed streets around his Herndon residence also factored into that call.
If your dish is close enough, try using a long pole, stick or broom to brush the snow off the dish and the "LNB" antenna mounted in front of it. If that's not possible, some viewers have reported that throwing enough snowballs at the dish and LNB can shake the snow loose. Or you could try to go out on the roof and take care of things firsthand... but, please, be careful up there. Very careful.
Another option, if you have a digital TV or converter box and an antenna, is to watch the game off the air for free. CBS affiliate WUSA will be broadcasting the game, and it recently increased the power of its transmission. If you can't get your satellite reception in gear--or if your cable's gone out--try tuning into channel 9.1 or having your tuner rescan the airwaves to pick up that channel. You'll need a VHF antenna, such as one with adjustable rabbit ears, to pick up this signal; an indoor antenna can work in many spots within a few miles of WUSA's transmitter in Tenleytown, while farther out you may need an attic or rooftop antenna.
Got other tips for working around snow-driven TV and telecom issues? Share them in the comments....
February 7, 2010; 12:43 PM ET
Categories: TV , Tips
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