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-"Searching for Satellite" is an On Screen Display message that appears when the signal is unable to reach the receiver. In order for a signal to be received, it must first travel from the orbitting satellite down to the satellite dish, focused into the low noise blocker (LNB) and sent through cables, possibly a multi-switch, and finally to your receiver. If there is any break in the process, you will see a "Searching for Satellite (ext. 771)" in some form on the screen.
-Most often on an aged dish the LNB will start sending signal to the receiver in a way that it cannot read it. Also this issue is caused by the weather. If there is snow or ice build-up on the dish, VERY CAREFULLY remove it. ABSOLUTELY DO NOT TOUCH THE LNB'S!!!!!!!! They are extremely sensitive and can be easily damaged. The problem should then resolve itself.
-Also, very often the issue is caused by a change in installation, purposefully or not. Check the cabling to make sure there is no damage or misinstallation (cables disconnected or connected incorrectly).
-If neither of these seem to be a problem, reset the receiver by unplugging the power, waiting 10-15 seconds (30-40 for DVR's) and plug it back in. If the problem persists, continue below.
If you have a DVR or an HD DVR, see Directv DVR SFSS
If this message only appears on a local channel see SFFS on Directv Local
If this message only appears on a foreign channel see SFFS on Directv International
Before you continue be aware that: if anything recently changed in your equipment setup, if there is any new contruction, if there is any tree growth this may prevent a signal from reaching the receiver. Check channels 490 and 491, follow the steps below on the situation that applies.
Some older homes and cable installations may have reused RG-59 cable with splices that were not replaced or over looked by the original installer . Note that all satellite installations, RG-6 is strongly recommended (vs RG-59) and it is important to check and potentially rerun RG-6 cable and to eliminate or reduce any splices, especially between the power inserter and the SWiM itself.
If this still hasn't solved the issue then ordering a DirecTV Service Call is Recommended