Most of us have experienced it at one time or another. We’re sitting there watching the big match, the striker is making a beeline for what would be the winning goal in extra time and just as he rears his foot back to let it fly… the TV service drops out. At a time like that – if you can resist the urge to put your foot through that nice big flat screen – you really want to just pick up the phone and complain to someone. But what exactly do you complain about? Is it a problem with the box or some of the other hardware? Or did the technician just do a poor job with the install?

Get Your Ducks in a Row Before Calling Sky

You know Sky customer service is going to ask you what the problem is and it would be in your interest to have all the facts before ringing them up. Below we’ll go through how a bad Sky box and a poor install might manifest themselves so you have a better idea of what to tell Sky when you call.

Sky Box Errors

If instead of the winning goal you see an error message that says something to the effect of “no satellite signal available” it’s likely an issue with the box. In that case, here are a few things you can do to try and identify the problem before you place a call to Sky TV customer service.

  • Verify the Signal Quality – Check that the signal quality is reading above 50%. If it’s significantly below 50% you likely have an alignment problem. Try realigning the dish using a Satellite Meter. Also, check that the lock indicator is reading “OK” as well.
  • Swap Out the Sky Box – If you’ve realigned the dish and nothing happened, the problem may lie with the box itself. If you know someone who also has Sky TV borrow their box and swap it out with your box. If the borrowed box works then the problem is with your Sky box.
  • Check the Cables – If the borrowed box didn’t do the trick inspect the coaxial cable for pinches, wear and other types of damage. Check that all connections are solid. If you detect any signs of water damage on the cable or LNB connector, you may need to replace things.

By the time you finish checking the cables you should have a good idea whether or not the problem is hardware-related. If it is, ring up Sky and tell them exactly what you discovered. If it isn’t, you may be the victim of a bad installation.

Poor Installation

If your trip through the Sky TV hardware didn’t yield any obvious issues, it may be that you are suffering the consequences of a poor install; especially if your service is dropping out on a regular basis. There are a lot of ways a dish can be improperly installed. Below we’ll go through a few of them.

  • Installed Just Beneath a Roof Overhang – Some careless installers will put the dish anywhere that is within easy reach of them, including right under the overhang of the roof. Installations like this often result in signal strength below 50% because the roof is blocking the dish.
  • Among the Trees – We love trees as much as anyone, but slapping a dish up behind a large tree is asking for a poor signal. Satellite signals can pass through windows and walls and all manner of things, but will get distorted by branches swaying to and fro in front of the dish. When that happens your picture is bound to drop out or get jiggy.
  • LNB Misaligned – The low-noise block downconverter or LNB is the device mounted on your satellite dish that receives the signal. It works by scooping up the radio waves that bounce off the dish. If the LNB is not properly aligned in relation to the dish you’ll have regular problems trying to get and keep a steady signal.

Contacting Sky About a Bad Box or Poor Install

Now that you have a good idea what your problem is (or isn’t) your call to Sky won’t be wasted. The Sky complaints department typically do a good job of handling issues but it always helps to provide them with as much accurate information as possible. This will help ensure your service will be back up and running as soon as possible. The bottom line: do a bit of homework and avoid a ton of headaches in the long run.