Can This Little Amplifier Solve Your DIRECTV Whole-Home Issues?

This is Sonora’s SWM-A2 amplifier. It exists for a pretty specific purpose: it’s designed for apartment buildings, to get a SWM signal from the closet to the entry point of the apartment when the run is just a little too long or the signal is just a little too weak. With this amplifier, it’s possible to get over 300′ on a single RG6 cable between the apartment entry and the master closet.

Unfortunately, it’s not the solution you’re hoping for. It doesn’t help in most cases if you use it within a large home and it may actually have a negative effect. That’s because it only amplifies the one-way video signal from the SWM. It doesn’t amplify the control signal sent back from the receiver, and it doesn’t amplify the whole-home signal that’s used to share programming from DVRs to receivers or from Genies to clients. in cases where your problem is whole-home-related, adding another set of connectors and another device to a long line can actually decrease your signal levels, making the problem worse.

When it comes to dealing with truly long runs from receiver to dish or from receiver to receiver there sadly is no “magic bullet” that’s going to clear up these issues. It’s not technically impossible to build a bidirectional signal amplifier that could work to fix whole-home issues, but production costs would be high because it’s a very specific issue and very few people are lucky enough to suffer from that specific problem.

So what to do if you have one room that is more than 150′ from other rooms? Conventional wisdom says that you’re better off just putting up a second dish to serve that distant room, but that doesn’t help you if you want to put a Genie client in and share programs from room to room. There are fiber-based solutions that can help in a case like this, (coming soon to Solid Signal) but if you don’t have a massive budget the best solution may simply be to relocate your SWM multiswitch so that it is in the middle of your longest run. Further planning to reduce the cable run between the Genie DVR and the clients, and paring down the number of splitters, may help to stablilize the signal depending on the scenario.

We’ve written a whole tutorial on advanced troubleshooting that may help you find and fix your issues, and another tutorial to help you really understand the ways that problems with long cable runs can be avoided. Download them now, and you may find that among the many suggestions and possible solutions is a real answer for your DIRECTV signal problems! Unfortunately, though, the SWM-A2 isn’t very likely to be that solution.

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 5,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.