Why would you need a DIRECTV waiver?

Watching TV in your cabin after a long day of sailing is a great way to unwind. The best part about satellite TV, of course, is that it’s perfectly suited for life on the water. You obviously can’t take cable TV with you, cell service only works a mile or so off shore, and satellite internet can be expensive.

But, satellite TV is designed for homes (and businesses.)

The whole process of getting satellite TV and using it is really designed for buildings on land. I guess that makes sense since there are about 40 million homes with DIRECTV and DISH and fewer than 1 million marine users (probably a lot fewer, those numbers aren’t published.) So not only is everything designed around the experience of installing it and using it on shore.

Installation Verification

There’s a step that DIRECTV installers are required to take before they leave. In fact it’s automatic when you install a receiver for the first time. It’s called “installation verification” and it boils down to the receiver checking to make sure it can see all the satellite signals it’s supposed to see. That makes perfect sense in a home. However, what if you are installing the satellite system in one location and using it in another?

DIRECTV determines your local channels based on your billing address. So you may live in Nashville, Tennessee but sail out of New Orleans. In a case like this the receiver will throw up a big nasty error because you can’t see your local channels. In other cases, satellite TV is installed in drydock where there’s not even any satellite signal at all.

Your receiver will be completely useless if it fails installation verification. You won’t be able to watch anything because you won’t be able to get past the nag screen.

Where waivers come in

An installer who wants to leave the job site when the receivers can’t pass installation verification can get a “waiver.” This was originally set up so installers who got caught in the rain could leave. They knew the dish was set up right but there was just a momentary issue where installation verification wouldn’t work. It’s also worth noting that the “IV” requirements are much stricter than what you actually need to get live TV. In other words a weak signal will fail in IV when you can still get live TV. This is a very rare practice on land of course since the goal is to make sure people get great signal all the time even when it’s raining.

However, it does happen and that’s why there’s a department at AT&T to give waivers to installers. They dig into why the installer is asking for a waiver and they can give an installer a one-time code to allow the installation to continue even though there are issues with the satellite signal.

Ask an expert

Regular folks who self-install can’t get waivers. Only certified installers and certain customer service representatives can. Luckily, at Solid Signal we have a team who are all experts at getting waivers for RV and marine customers. We work hard with our counterparts at AT&T to get waivers for customers when they’re needed, and in turn the folks at AT&T have learned to trust us that when we ask, we’re asking for a good reason.

Don’t be all alone when you’re installing your satellite dish on an RV or boat. Even though the process is pretty easy (in fact easier than in a home because you don’t even need to aim the dish) the waiver process is hard. Let Signal Connect, the activation arm of Solid Signal, handle everything for you. We can get all your billing set up, handle waivers, and anything else that comes your way. We don’t even charge for what we do… it’s all part of getting DIRECTV service activated for you. The number is 888-233-7563… keep it handy for when you need it.

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.