Where are the signal meters in a Genie DVR?

Remember when it was easy? A tiny dish on the roof pointing at one satellite. Those days are over and if you have a Genie DVR, aiming your dish can be even harder. Why? Because those simple satellite finders (you probably still have one in your toolbox) don’t work with the new SWM technology that’s used for Genies. Of course, the right way to deal with that is to use a proper satellite meter, but those can be a little expensive for casual use. Luckily there’s a simple alternative built into your DVR.

Press the {MENU} button and arrow to “Settings and Help.” Press {SELECT}, then {SELECT} on “Settings.” Arrow down to “Satellite Setup” (may be called “Sat and Antenna.” Press {SELECT}, then arrow to “Signal Meters” and press {SELECT} again. That may seem like a lot of steps but from there you’ll see a simple meter like the image above that shows you how each tuner is doing. You can choose which satellite and transponder to use — usually transponder #1 is all you need for basic aiming.

The numbers aren’t a direct measurement of anything scientific but instead represent a “signal quality” number that tells you on a scale of zero to 100 how well you’re likely to receive that signal. (For engineers, it’s a measure of the inverse of the bit error rate, adjusted to conform to a scale of 0 to 100 arithmetically.) In most cases anything over 85 is ok, anything over 90 is stellar, and anything around 75 will do for a sunny day but may suffer during heavy rains or snow.

A bit of good news for you folks who thought it was too many button presses to get into this menu — simply pressing {EXIT} will get you out.

This menu is good for diagnosing basic issues related to satellite aiming and it will also tell you if you have a bad LNB if, for example you have perfect numbers for all the satellites but no signal at all for one satellite.

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.