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Learn how to troubleshoot missing channels on your satellite set-top box. A set-top box requires two things to display a channel: authorization and signal. In some instances, an authorized channel signal may not be coming in.

Find more set-top box troubleshooting tips with our Satellite set-top box FAQs.

HD Network Upgrade

The channel you are missing might be part of our recent HD channel conversion. For more details, visit this page.

Troubleshooting tips for missing channels

Are you subscribed to the channel?

There may be channels that you are not subscribed to. Visit our support article on how to check and see which Shaw Direct channel line up you have and learn how to view your Shaw Direct channel listings.

What are the weather conditions in your area?

  • If you are experiencing signal loss on all set-top boxes, it is very likely that the weather is to blame. If the problem persists after weather conditions have improved, please contact our call center at 1-888-554-7827.
  • If you are experiencing signal loss on only one set-top box, the weather is not likely responsible. Try swapping the location of the set-top box to see whether the issue follows the set-top box or if it's the line that may be faulty.

Is there snow on the dish?

Snow accumulation on the surface of the dish, arm, or LNB can cause signal strengths to drop. If you are able to do so safely, GENTLY brush the snow off the dish. If you are not able to do so safely and without damaging your equipment, please contact our call center at 1-888-554-7827 to arrange for a service call.

Are you using a joiner?

Joiners used with our system need to be high power passing, with a maximum frequency range of 2100 MHz or higher to work. Joiners also may occasionally burn out, requiring replacement. Some surge protectors come with coaxial ports which will cause problems when used with satellite. Try hooking up the set-top box to a segment of cable before the joiner to see if the joiner is the cause of the signal dropout.

Are you using a splitter?

Apart from a few rare situations involving special equipment, splitters will cause signal dropouts on what will seem like random channels. Generally, if a splitter is suited to a situation, our installers will let you know. If you require more lines than your dish currently has capacity for, please call us to discuss possible solutions.

Are you using RG6 cable?

Inspect the coaxial line for an RG specification written on the side. Shaw Direct requires an RG rating of RG6 or higher to work. RG59 cables will tend to work for a short time on some Shaw channels before burning out.

Is there something obstructing the dish?

Our satellite requires a clear line of sight. Depending on where your dish has been installed, you may experience loss of signal due to obstruction by a tree, new construction, or simply a movement of the dish itself.

The solution will be different depending on the object. In most cases a service call or dish relocation will resolve the issue.

Are you using an electronic product that maybe causing interference with your Shaw Direct system?

Shaw Direct equipment has been known to be susceptible to interference from the following products:

  • CB radio
  • Radar detectors
  • Furbies, walkie-talkies, and other electronic children's toys
  • Wireless RF headphones
  • Baby monitors

Could there be any external interference?

If the satellite dish is located near power lines, this may cause interference. Cell phone towers, power transformers, and radar detectors have also been known to cause interference with some frequency ranges.

Is the dish visibly damaged?

If so, please contact us to book a service call to have it replaced.

Signal levels

To check the signal level on your set-top box, press Options, 4, 7 to enter the System Status screen. The signal level will be displayed on Line C, and also Line E, for PVRs.

Strong Signal – 65+ and 6.5+ ECB

If you are seeing this signal strength or higher, you should be bringing in a signal with no issue.

Moderate Signal – 40-64 and 4.0 - 6.4 ECB

If you are seeing a signal reading of 40-64, you may be able to bring in some programming, but will likely see intermittent issues with channels dropping in and out during light weather, or simply not coming in at all. When seeing a signal reading in this range, the problem generally comes down to dish alignment or poor weather.

Low Signal – 11-39 and 1.5 - 3.9 ECB

If you are seeing a signal reading of 11-39, you are getting a low signal. It is likely unable to bring in any programming, and if some is coming through it is likely cutting out for long periods of time. As with the moderate signal, when seeing a signal reading in this range the problem generally comes down to dish alignment or poor/severe weather.

No Signal – 0-10 and -3.0 – 1.4 ECB

If you are seeing a signal reading of 0-10 you are getting no signal and no programming. Some common causes of no signal are alignment issues, connection problems, severe weather, and set-top box issues.