Troubleshoot A Digital Satellite Decoder

Satellite decoders, also called receivers, descramblers or converter boxes, are devices used by satellite TV providers to convert satellite signals, making them watchable on your TV. Just as with other electronic devices, satellite receivers can sometimes experience technical problems, such as missing channels, picture or audio degradation or a failure to power on altogether. Take a few moments to troubleshoot these issues on your own to save time over waiting for your provider’s technical support department to help you.


1. Reset the receiver by unplugging its power cord for 30 seconds and plugging it back in. Allow the receiver to complete its boot cycle, and try it again. This simple reset is the first thing any tech support rep will have you do, as it resolves almost any issue you may be having with the receiver.

2. Secure the coaxial connection between the wall outlet and the input on the back of the satellite receiver. Since this carries the signal from the satellite dish, verifying that the coaxial connection has not come loose is an essential step for troubleshooting a variety of problems, including missing channels, picture and audio distortion, flashing channels, pixelization or static.

3. Plug the receiver’s AC power cable into a different electrical source, such as an alternate outlet or surge protector. Use this troubleshooting step if the receiver intermittently loses power and turns off on its own or if the receiver does not power on at all.