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How to Fix DirecTV Error Codes

Updated on January 18, 2018
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As a trained DirecTV technical support representative, I am offering this free help to those suffering from DirecTV errors.

Do you have an error code on your tv?

As a trained DirecTV technical support agent, I am here to help you fix your DirecTV service errors.

From error codes 711 to 771, I will do my best to walk you through each troubleshooting step in order to get your DirecTV service back up and running as soon as possible.

Why am I getting an error code?

Most DirecTV error codes can be fixed by you just by following a few simple steps.

Each error code is specific to a certain problem or malfunction. Sometimes error codes can show up due to a cable or power supply being accidentally disconnected. In many cases, error codes show up after a storm, leaving your receiver off for an extended period of time, or by unknowingly tampering with elements of the DirecTV setup.

The following codes will be addressed:

711, 721, 727, 733, 747, 749, 761, 762, 771, 771A, 771B, 772, 775, 777, 780, 781, 792

If your code is not listed here, please leave a comment, stating your problem and I will get back to you within 24 hours.

Error Codes 711, 721, 727, 731, 733, 747, 777, 780, 781

If you have one of these codes showing, then you are most likely going to be ready to resume normal viewing within 5 minutes. All of these codes are associated with your Access Card (that small card with a microchip on it that slides into the front of your receiver). Access card problems just happen, sometimes for no apparent reason. Here's how to fix them.

711 means that your access card has not received authorization. This is a rare error as all installers are required to make sure the customer has their programming before completing a work order. The only other cases would be if a receiver was sent as an upgrade or replacement or if you have purchased a new receiver from a retail store. All you need to do to fix this is call DirecTV technical support. Yes you will have a short wait, but it is usually within 5 minutes. Once you are connected to a technical support agent they will ask you for all of your information regarding your account for privacy purposes. Just bear with them and provide the necessary information because all they will have to do after you state your problems is click a link on their computer screen and you should be up and running.

721 can also be an access card problem, but quite often is due to a blackout (a restriction due to your location, usually a sporting event). If the channel that this error is displaying is not broadcasting a sporting event there is a good chance you need to repeat the steps for error code 711.

727 If you are receiving this error code, I am sorry to say that you are probably out of luck. As stated above, blackouts are local restrictions. There will be nothing DirecTV can do to help you except explain to you why you are receiving this message. It is not DirecTV's fault. Blackouts are enforced by certain Professional Sports Teams or Event Venues. The whole idea is to get people to come to the venue and buy a ticket to support the event.

731, 732, 733, 747, 777, 780 & 781 These, too, are related to access card issues. 731-743 error codes are PPV error codes. When your DirecTV was installed, the installer probably used a phone line to hook into the back of your receiver. If they did not do this and you have used pay per view in the past then that is the problem. All of these codes will require you to call Technical support to resend authorizations. They will also have to force a call-back to your receiver in order to collect data for past purchases. In some cases, your account may have a limit set for PPV purchases. In any of these cases this should be a quick solve for you. The one extra troubleshooting step I would recommend would be to make sure you have a phone line plugged into the back of your receiver. Some receivers also have ports for a broadband or ethernet cable. In other words, to keep from getting irritated by having to troubleshoot with a phone in one hand, do this prior to calling. If the tech support agent asks you to troubleshoot over the phone again you can just play along, knowing that you have already completed the steps.

Location of access card and reset button

DirecTV Access Card and Reset Button Location
DirecTV Access Card and Reset Button Location

Error codes 761 & 762

For these codes all you need to do is remove and re-insert your access card. Your access card is located in a slot, usually covered by a small door on the front of your receiver that either slides to one side or flips down. If for some reason you do not regain programming, simply reset the receiver by pressing the tiny red reset button located in the same area as your access card. This should fix the problem.

Error code 749

This code is usually an easy fix:

749 has to do with your Multi-switch. This is a small power box that is providing service to your receivers. Usually this installment is associated with HD programming. So if you have a newer installation, you probably have this multi-switch. The hardest part of troubleshooting this is to locate your multi-switch. I have seen these installed inside and outside of the house. If it is outside it will most likely be under an eave or somewhere that water can not get to it. If it is inside it could be in an attic, basement and even behind one of your TV sets. I have included a picture below to help you find your multi-switch.

Troubleshooting this error code is fairly simple. The most common problem is due to the SWM power converter losing power. The SWM is a small charger-shaped device that has to be plugged into a power outlet. If it has come unplugged then that is definitely the problem. Suggestions are to leave it unplugged, check the cables that are connected to your multi-switch to ensure they are indeed snug and tight. After doing that you may plug your SWM back in to the outlet. Some SWMs do have a power switch or relay. If your programming does not return after following these steps check to make sure your swim is powered on.

This is a general SWiM & Multi-Switch setup

DirecTV SWiM-16 & Multi-Switch installation
DirecTV SWiM-16 & Multi-Switch installation

Know your receiver

Before we continue to the codes that require more in depth troubleshooting we need to know what our receiver looks like from behind and what we are looking for. A basic DVR receiver is picture below to show you a general idea of what you will be dealing with from here on out. Please do not be discourage as I will be walking you through the entire process.

A basic DVR receiver layout from behind

DirecTV receiver/IRD back view
DirecTV receiver/IRD back view

Error codes 771, 771A, 771B, 772, 775 & 792

I am not going to sugarcoat this for you. These are the most frustrating codes you will have to ever deal with in respect to DirecTV, but they are solvable in most cases. To save anybody from wasted time, if you have one of these codes and it is raining or about to rain or has just rained, do not bother calling technical support. They will not troubleshoot during a storm as storm clouds and cover affect signal. It is the biggest drawback of having satellite, but everything has a weakness.

771 is the most dreaded and common error code for DirecTV customers. Often it is associated with weather conditions, but not always. If you have determined that it is not storming, raining, snowing, sleeting, hailing, is not about to storm, has not just stormed, or is not severely cold enough to produce ice on the satellite dish you may proceed to troubleshoot.

There are several different variations of this error code, some of which display the code, but still provide programming for some channels and some that display a blank screen on any channel you select with only the error code. In either case it is due to a partial or full loss of signal.

I know what many of you are thinking. "I am paying all this money for DirecTV. Why can't they send someone out here to fix this for me?". Well they can, but there is a downside. In many areas it takes up to two weeks to get a service call. I have scheduled service calls that took 6 weeks to schedule. So if you want your television service back as soon as possible follow these fairly easy steps. In 99% of cases they will help to resolve your problem.

In my experience, this is the fastest way to solve this error code. Find your way to the back of your receiver. Once you are able to see the back of the receiver, locate the cable that is connected to the port labeled "Sat in" or "Satellite In". If there is not a cable screwed into that port then you need to try to locate it. I have had many encounters where the cable gradually came unscrewed from this port, due to the receiver being moved or cables being moved around over time. Once you locate the cable if it is screwed in carefully unscrew it and leave it unscrewed for about 10 seconds. After 10 seconds has elapsed screw the cable back into the "Sat In" port. This solves about 90% of all 771 error codes. If your programming doesn't come back instantly you may need to reset the receiver. This is done by pressing the tiny red button located underneath the small flip down door on the front of your receiver. Sometimes this has to be done so the receiver knows to search for the signal and also to rebuild guide information. If this step did not work for you continue to the next paragraph.

If you are having to go on to this step I am sure you are feeling a little frustrated, but bear with me. There are several questions you need to ask yourself before proceeding. Has anything happened recently that could have disrupted my satellite signal such as the dish being misaligned due to any circumstance or what you were doing when the satellite stopped working. Think to yourself the last time you remember your satellite working. Think about what you or anyone in the house were doing at that time. These ideas will help you to resolve the problem.

The basic setup for DirecTV installation is:

Satellite Dish - Cables - Receiver - TV

or in some cases

Satellite Dish - Cables - Multi-Switch - SWM16 - Cables - Receivers - TVs

Step 1 -The best way to solve the problem is to start with the satellite dish. If you are able to access your satellite dish, inspect it for anything out of the ordinary. Many things can affect a satellite dish from lightning to rain to ice. There is no need to touch any part of the dish and I strongly urge you not to because it could cause alignment issues. Closely look at the extending arm and make sure that the LNB (the big white projection pointed towards the center of the dish) is not cracked or broken. If that is not the case continue to check the cables. To do this you may need a pair of pliers. Needle nose are the best in my experience. First use the pliers to see if the cables are indeed tightly screwed in. If they are I suggest unscrewing them, if you are able, then screwing them back in. Make sure you unscrew them all the way in order to reset the signal. I would go further in depth on how signals work, but I will just say that the signal can sometimes reverse, causing loss of signal to your receiver. Once you have everything screwed back into place, you are done with the satellite dish step and can continue.

Step 2 - Revert back to the top of this paragraph to see which setup you have. If you have High Definition programming then you will have a Multi-Switch or SWM or both. Follow the cables that run from your dish and you should find this. If the cables are concealed and you can not follow them, inspect the exterior of your house or ask the person that was present during the time of installation if they remember anything about the Multi-Switch or SWM. If you are still at a loss, no worries, you have inspected the exterior of the house and there is no sign of cables connected to a multi-switch device or SWM so it may be inside your house. Look in areas that could conceal this device as most people prefer for it not to be out in the open. If it is inside it is often behind your main living area television or master bedroom television. Refer to the section above to see a picture of what you are looking for. Once you have located your multi-switch follow the steps for error code 749. You will need to unscrew each cable and screw it back in tightly. Do not unscrew all of them at the same time. This can further complicate your problem. After each cable has been unscrewed and screwed back in you are done with step 2.

Step 3 - Follow the cables that go from your multi-switch to your receiver(s). We are at the final stage of troubleshooting, the same one we started with before going to the satellite dish. It is necessary to repeat the steps of unscrewing and screwing your cable back in to the "Sat In" port to complete the re-sending of the signal. Once you have done that, reset the receiver once more. We have just completed all of the steps that a technical support representative would have you do. If this has not fixed your problem you will need a house call. It is unfortunate, but sometimes it happens. Hopefully this helped you get your service back. If not, maybe you at least learned how to troubleshoot it in the future should the problem arise again. Remember this works 90% of the time so don't always assume that you will need a house call. You will always get your service back faster if you are able to troubleshoot the problem and fix it yourself.

771A & 771B - Both of the error codes have refer to your SWiM. Sometimes the SWiM can have more connections than it can support. These error codes can be troubleshooted with the same process as error code 749. Another quick fix is to disconnect a receiver that is not in use. This will enable the SWiM to function again. If your problem persists after troubleshooting for error code 749, you will probably require a SWiM-16, which is a higher powered SWiM module. You will need to contact technical support and will have to do some quick troubleshooting, but now you know how to do it and can just go through the motions.

772 & 775 - Refer to error code 771 to troubleshoot these error codes.

792 - This is usually an easy fix. DirecTV technical support is not obligated to help you troubleshoot this, because they do not guarantee your antennae connection to work. To troubleshoot this, you follow the same method for error code 771, but instead of checking the satellite dish you want to check the off air antennae and instead of the "Sat In" cable you will want to check the "Ant In" cable/port.

Still having problems?

If you are still having problems after trying all of the troubleshooting information provided, chances are DirecTV will have to send a technician to your house. You will have to follow troubleshooting procedure over the phone in order to receive a free house call, provided that you have DirecTV's protection plan, which most customers do. If you are an ATT-DirecTV customer they too offer plans. If you are having other error codes you may leave them in the comments and I will do my best to help you.

If you are having remote issues refer to this video

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