DirecTV brings TV entertainment to subscribers who lack access to alternatives or want programming options that remain exclusive to the satellite service. The clarity of your signal depends on a transmission from the Earth's orbit to your antenna. Any obstacle that interferes with your signal degrades its strength and your viewing experience. To maximize your reception, verify your current service, your connections and your dish setup itself. Some methods of improving DirecTV signal require professional help; others remain do-it-yourself tasks.
Check Signal Strength
A drop in signal strength can cause video distortion or dropouts. Heavy rain, snow or hail can interfere with reception, causing temporary signal reductions or outages. If you see blocky picture distortions or hear "chuckling" audio dropouts during fair weather, check your satellite signal strength. Press the "Menu" button on your DirecTV receiver's remote control, select "Settings & Help" and choose the "Settings" option. The Satellite section of the Settings screen includes a test you can run to display signal strength. During fair weather, you should see readings in the 90s for most transponders in the list. Some signal meters may show zero, however, especially for transponders 4, 12, 18, 20, 26 and 28. DirecTV's satellite setup doesn't access those transponders in some parts of the U.S.
Verify Cable Integrity
Regardless of how well you receive the signals from DirecTV's satellites, your onscreen picture looks good only if the cabling that connects your dish, receiver and TV delivers it properly. Damaged or unnecessarily long cable, or loose connections, can interfere with signal delivery. Leave the job of assessing and, if necessary, replacing the wiring from your dish to your wall outlet to a professional installer with the proper ladders and tools to tackle the task safely. You can take care of the connection between your DirecTV receiver and TV set yourself.