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.

Common scenarios

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. DIRECTV has been moving agressively to take all content off that 119 satellite. The only things that are left now are some standard definition channels and sometimes some music channels. Chances are you won’t miss that stuff if you go to the new LNB. On the other hand, you will start getting reverse band content, and there will be more of that in the coming years.

If you’re on a boat or in an RV

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.

Note that the instructions above are for the older non-Genie systems, as that is the most common installation in marine and mobile satellite TV. If you have a Genie, it’s fairly similar: MENU, Settings, Satellite.

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.

Get the latest and greatest accessories at Solid Signal

If you think there’s something broken in your DIRECTV system, you can get the parts you need to replace it when you shop at SolidSignal.com. If you need help, call us during East Coast business hours at 888-233-7563. We’re here to take care of you!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.