Article ID : 00026764 / Last Modified : 10/28/2015

How to troubleshoot poor picture quality from a DSS receiver.

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All Digital Satellite System (DSS) programming may display some pixelization (small blocks or tiles) that affects the picture quality. This is normal due to the compression used in the signal. Many DSS providers have increased the number of available channels, many of which now include local broadcast channels for most major cities. The effect of this is increased compression rates, which results in the loss of fine detail for standard-definition programming and may create slight pixelization or a blotchy background that appears to move.

IMPORTANT: Poor picture quality on a High-Definition Television (HDTV) may be related to the type of signal being received. Additional information on how to troubleshoot a poor picture quality of videos played on an HDTV  is available.

  1. Confirm the coaxial cable from the wall is in good condition and connected securely to the SAT IN jack on the DSS receiver.
  2. Ensure the cable being used between the DSS receiver and TV is in good condition and properly connected to both devices. Replace it if necessary.


    • For best picture quality, use an HDMI® cable, DVI, Component Video or S-Video cable if both the TV and DSS have one of these connection types.
    • If using a coaxial cable, it should be connected to the CABLE or VHF/UHF jack on the TV.
    • If a VCR is connected between the TV and DSS using a coaxial cable, turn off the VCR.
  3. Ensure the TV is set to the appropriate channel or video input to properly receive the signal from the DSS receiver.
    1. If the DSS is connected to the CABLE or VHF/UHF jack, the TV should normally be tuned to channel 3 or 4.
    2. If the DSS is connected to one of the VIDEO input jacks, the TV should be set to VIDEO 1 , VIDEO 2 , etc.
  4. In rare cases, connecting an off-air (rabbit-ear) antenna to the VHF/UHF IN jack on a DSS receiver for local broadcasts may cause picture distortion.
    1. Try switching the RF channel selector on the DSS receiver between CH3 and CH4.
    2. Do not place the off-air antenna and wires on or above the DSS receiver.
  5. Check the antenna signal strength on the DSS receiver.

    IMPORTANT: Adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain or cloud cover, can interfere with the signal strength and cause pixelization.

  6. If the cable distance between the satellite dish and DSS receiver exceeds 100 feet, it may be necessary to install a signal amplifier.
  7. Run a system test on your DSS receiver to make sure it is operating properly.
  8. If the issue is still not resolved, try performing a power reset on the DSS receiver.

If the issue is still unresolved, service may be required. Go to Product Repair.