Prevention they say is better than cure. The post you are about to read today will be all about 90% preventive measure and 10% solution recommendations. What am about to discuss here cut across every brand of decoders irrespective of the design or features. My guide will work for satellite company branded recievers like Dstv, mytv, canaplus official decoders, bein decoders, tvsat, startimes and any official decoder worldwide. This will also work for full free to air decoders as well as fta combo decoders.

dead decoder

By the time am through, you must have learnt one or two things about the care, maintenance and troubleshooting of your decoders. Just that satellite company branded decoders have warranty within a reasonable usage limit. For example, if your dstv decoder is totally faulty from a fault that is not yours, you are entitled to a free replacement. If you even damage your decoder, your dstv dealer will help you repair while you pay a token. Be that as it may, we all know its better not to have problems than having problems and looking for solutions. For satellite-company decoders, please read my preventive measures while other should read both preventions and cures


Must Read: How to troubleshoot no signal or weak signal when tracking channels

While i will try and be thorough with this, my list may not be exhaustive. Look out for the followings that spells trouble for your decoder.

  • Picture distortion: all of a sudden(this is a hardware problem as long as you are sure you did not make any modification on your television. First, try and test your tv is okay, be sure you did not tamper with the AV/display settings on your decoder, try another decoder with your tv to be sure the picture distortion is only peculiar to your decoder)
  • Flickering images: This is when your picture is unsteady and jumping. To troubleshoot, apply the methods above. This is also a hardware problem. You also need to be sure one or some of the buttons on your remote control unit is not depressed.
  • Your picture is frozen or hung and both  the remote and the buttons on your decoders is not responding: This is also a hardware problem with can be triggered by a software issue. The easiest solution(pray it works though) if to force shutdown your decoder by removing it from the power source and restart it. If it is just a glitch, your decoder will be back to normal.
  • Decoder is switched on but it is not displaying anything only the red standby light is on or you got only “0000″ or “loading” or any sign that the decoder has not booted fully. This can be caused by a software problem in most cases especially bad software upgrade process. However, it can also be caused by hardware fault like bad Integrated circuit(IC).
  • The decoder boots but displayed funny characters or tells you to reset the decoder and you cannot get past the load page: This is 100% Software issue and you need full restore to get your device back. in most cases pc loader restore.


  1. Please if you are using any modern electronic device, you will agree with me that they come with a fragile and delicate chips. Please alway use a “step down” / ups or a good “surge protector” for your devices. I will earnestly advise you use Either ups or stepdown transformer and combine it with a good surge protector.
  2. Secondly, please always disconnected your electronics when you won’t be around for a while especially during raining season when we always have heavy thunder and lightening.
  3. For users of official decoders, please always try and upgrade or accpet to upgrade your decoder when you are sure that you can monitor the upgrade
  4. If you use A power generating set that is fluctuating and unstable, please do not use your fragile electronics with it. Better still use them with a step-down transformer. Also, make sure you avoid using an Automatic voltage regulator popular;y known as stabilisers in Nigeria with any generator that is equal to or below 1500kva.
  5. Guide against  water or any liquid from getting into your electronic devices. When this happens, please shut down the unit completely and disassemble. clean off the liquid with a soft cloth and let the devices to be air-dried. do not place it under direct sunlight and do not use any electronic device that has been submerged or that has accommodated any liquid.
  6. It is pertinent that you do not allow dust to accumulate inside your device. If you allow this to happen, you may be exposing the device to overheating.
  7. When your device is been updated either “OTA” or manually via usb, please do not allow power to go off on it. this is very important as it is the cause of most software problems for electronic devices including smartphones
  8. Please and please, do not connect incompatible external devices to your decoder. Also, do not leave unused external devices connected to your device indefinitely. Finally, do not connect multiple external drives / devices to your decoder simultaneously if they are not useful for the day to day operation of the decoder. E.G some people will connect a hard disk, a usb 3g dongle, a wifi adapter and a lan cable to the same decoder. Why not pick one best internet protocol and let other go since you cannot use everything simultaneously. Also, why leave a storage device connected to your decoder when you ain’t using it?


I already talked about the effect of failing to take care of your devices. now let me go to the solutions. The solutions is under two categories. Hardware repair and software repair.

  1. Solutions to hardware failure or faults. If the hardware problem is one that cannot be solved via a simple restart, you will need the expert to look into it. For branded decoders, please take it to an authorised dealer nearest to you. For standalone decoders, take it to a satellite engineer or a skilled computer hardware engineer.
  2. For Software issues, if the decoder’s menu is still accessible. doing a factory reset from within the decoder’s menu can solve the problem. However, if your device is inaccessible, please you will need a full hard restore which in most cases should be handled for you by engineers. Once again, for any issues on repair on any branded decoder, take it to the dealer.  Let me also quickly had this; if your device is under warranty, please do not tamper with it, take it to the seller for a warranty repair.


  1. Hi Lemmy, Pls I have a peculiar problem with my strong 4902 HD. The sensor in the decoder, I suspect, is weak to the extent dat whn de remote is pressed, it doesn’t respond. The reason I suspect de decoders sensor is dat, I brought a friend’s 4922A to test with my remote n worked whilst it wouldn’t wrk on mine. I’ve even sent it to strong tech official office in GH n dey soldered s’thing on de board but still persists. I don’t know wht to do. Really frustrating, I always hv to use the touch pads on the decoder. Pls help

    • @Richyboo: strong, official team must provide a solution as long as the decoder is genuine. Take it back to them. If you give local engineers and they are unsuccessful in repairing it, you would have voided your warranty. the choice is yours. take it back to strong or got after local prof computer engineers

  2. Please Lemmy, what’s the recommended cband lmb to use for tracking sony packages?

  3. for sport 24 problems use a cband with 150k to 250k working perfectly,coz they have reduced on the signal or wait until they increase the signal quality

  4. Please it true that qusat want to start work?

  5. Am using Q28g. Some stations on Multitv do not give sound no matter de level of volume. Pls I need help

  6. Same here no signal for sport24 hd.

  7. Mohammed Madube says:

    Thank you for the explanation, my old nodal star times decoder ( the White one ), some time showing no signal while it working. please what can I do to solve the problem?.

  8. Kumakech Denis says:

    Pliz someone help is sport hd 24 on the west working

  9. Thank you very much oga Lemmy, my decoder display LNBF. Please what is the way forward

  10. Can azsky work again or can I use it for another tin

  11. my DSTV explorer when watch it loses signal for some time then come back on again, what do you think is the problem.

  12. Ahmad Disa says:

    Good morning. My question is on the issue of stabilizer, most of us are using it on tiger 950 generator, please how could this affect our electronics? Please sir we need more information about this. Thanks.

    • @Ahmad Disa: the truth is that it won’t help your electronics cos that tiger doesn’t even have AVR. Secondly, it is subject to direct fluctuations. Finally, your stabiliser will consume even more than 50% of the rated power of your generator and reduce the generator’s lifespan. My advice, disconnect stabilisers and use step-down transformers and surge protectors. if your electronics is old and doesn’t support stepdown transformer, then use a good surge protector only. Immediately you reconnect to main electricity, you can go back to your stab. if you are using a big generator simply set the voltage to 220v and you won’t need a stabiliser as well.

      • Ahmad Disa says:

        Thanks Oga for this long explanatory, i am using tiger 950 with a stabilizer and the essence for using it is to protect the electronics from un expected high speed of the generator. Now I will look for one of the options. Thanks.

  13. good work sir thank you please any help my sport24H on nss57E the signal is fiuctuating i do bli scaning nothing change i don no, i dier from my end? or is a general problem because he work saturday stop on sunday

  14. Thanks for the explanation. The problem am having with my Qsat 23 decoder is that it always goes off whenever i change the station and i have to wait for some minutes before it will comes up. if i change the station again it will go off again please what is the problem with decoder and what is the solution? Awaiting your reply

  15. pls i try to uograde my qsat13 but all no avail

  16. God bless you man the house Mr Lemmy,i have been waiting for dis type of education on satellite,tanks alots.

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