We've subscribed to DirecTV satellite service for many years. That goes back to the days when we lived in Cleveland and the city had no cable TV service. Satellite gave us lots of programming, excellent customer service, and at a price lower than cable when cable became available. Sunday morning we had a power outage of about two minutes. When the power came back our DirecTV receiver rebuilt its channel list the way it normally would in such a situation. The difference this time was that our local channel satellite feed was gone. No matter what I tried I couldn't get the local channels back. We get lousy off-air reception except for a couple of digital channels so we really want those satellite local channels. A call to DirecTV customer service didn't resolve the situation… the guy said we should buy a new receiver. Well I have to say that sounds bogus. We're receiving all of our other satellite channels with good strength only the local channels have disappeared — channels we must pay a surcharge to receive this way! Stupid. So AT&T's U-Verse IP television and Internet service package is looking better all the time; it also isn't affected by weather the way DirecTV is. Kind of hate to say goodbye to our satellite provider but customer support means a lot and I didn't get it Sunday. I'll try again tonight and what happens then may just be the deciding factor!
UPDATE: Tonight I unplugged the receiver so that I could connect it to a spare UPS I had laying around. Kind of clunky but I figured it would be good to protect the satellite receiver, stereo receiver, and the DVD player from power problems including brief blackouts. I called DirecTV customer service to give them one more chance. Just as I was finishing my explanation of our situation I checked the on-screen channel guide and –surprise– the local channels were back! All I can figure is mebbe having the receiver unplugged from power for a longer time may have completed the reset it needed whereas it didn't get fully reset with an intentionally short power-down. Or mebbe it was DirecTV's fault and they didn't want to fess up. In any case, the DirecTV support woman said she thought when I was working on the equipment I must've jiggled the antenna cable just right to restore service. BLOCKHEAD! The satellite feed is a "1" or a "0" — it's either connected or it's not so you'll always get all or nothing. A loose cable isn't going to cause most channels to be listed and leave out a few. Where did they go? Did they leak out on to the floor?? Sheesh! DirecTV support used to be fast and effective — call 'em up, within a few seconds you were talking to a real person, and the problem got resolved. Now, once you get past the horrible phone answering system, it's little help and a lot of sales talk. A year or so back we also had a less-than-pleasant experience with their local on-site service provider who tried to trick us into signing a service contract! We have our local channels back now (no thanks to "them") but this experience has really soured me on DirecTV. It still may be time to move on and the end for DirecTV.