What can you do if you get an Error 920 on your DIRECTV receiver?

Have you seen this message?

Missing Guide Info
Your receiver has not received Guide Information from the satellite for 4 hours. Please contact DIRECTV Customer Service (920.) 

If you reset your receiver, it will usually work for a while and then you’ll see this message again.

There are two common scenarios where you will see this message. If you have the DIRECTV Slimline-5 dish, this generally means that the dish does not have a clear line of sight for the 119 satellite or a component on the dish itself has failed. Take a good look not just straight ahead bout about 20 degrees to the left and right and see if there are any trees or anything blocking the dish’s view of the sky. You may not have noticed any missing programs because very few programs come from that satellite now, mostly it’s local standard-definition programming.

If you can find something to trim or move, that will generally fix the problem but if not, the solution is to change out the LNB (the front part) with a Slimline-3 version. For the most part you won’t lose too many channels by doing that and the guide data messages will go away.

The other scenario is less common and it involves mobile satellite dishes, such as are commonly found on RVs and boats. The instruction manual for these devices generally has you set the dish type to 18×20 (3LNB) and for most of the country that isn’t necessary. Try setting the dish type to 18″ round (go to the menu, then to Settings&Help, Settings, Satellite and choose “Repeat Satellite Setup.) Some mobile dishes will work fine this way and some will not. Before you make any changes, make note of the settings that are there in case you need to go back to them.

Why does this happen?
For some reason, if your receiver thinks you can see the 119 satellite location, it tries to get guide data from there. I think at one point it had to do with local channels being on the 119 satellite so the feeds were somewhat different. However, if your receiver thinks you can’t see the 119 location, it will get guide data from the 101 location which is the central location that your receiver will pretty much always be able to see.

Since mobile satellite dishes can usually only see one satellite at a time, they don’t tune to the 119 satellite often enough to get the data they need.