Misbehaving technology like televisions and dish networks leaves many frustrated consumers wondering how to stop Dish from changing channels.
Dish television is very attractive for people who either don’t have access to traditional networks or high-speed Internet.
Though it’s true streaming services have drastically risen in popularity and that old cable networks are not as popular as they once were, Dish televisions are still a viable option, especially in more rural areas.
However, it’s not uncommon for a television connected to a Dish network to change channels on its own. Fixing this issue typically requires changing firmware settings, configuring remote settings, and cleaning the buttons on televisions and remotes.
Do be aware, however, that the root causes of automatically changing channels vary. As such, remember to stay patient during the troubleshooting process.
If one troubleshooting method doesn’t solve the problem on its own, take time to move to the next solution.
Furthermore, remember that there could be multiple factors causing your channels to change on their own.
Note: One of the most common causes is a neighbor with a remote tuned to the same frequency as yours.
If you’re in the middle of a sporting event, television series, or movie, it is extremely irritating when the channel changes all by itself.
But before you call the Dish network’s support department and give them a piece of your mind, try some basic troubleshooting steps that could save you hours of headaches in phone queues waiting for tech support.
The following outline some of the most common reasons causing Dish televisions to change channels of their own accord:
- The television button is stuck
- Interference from UHF leaks into the receiver
- No remote control address is enabled
- Software glitches and anomalies
- Old or malfunctioning remote
Over time, lint, dust, and other fine particulate matter can get wedged in the tiny crevices around the physical channel button on your television.
In turn, this can cause the button to stick and change channels on its own.
Use a can of compressed air to clean buttons.
- Press and depress buttons repeatedly.
- Ensure the button no longer sticks.
- For 10-15 seconds, hold down the menu button.
- Wait for the reset procedure to complete.
Some remote controls are classified as UHF (Ultra-High Frequency) remotes. They allow you to send signals to a receiver from great distances.
Unfortunately, they are so powerful that the signal can leak and affect other receivers.
Your remote sends signals to your neighbor’s receivers. But what’s more problematic is that your neighbor UHF remotes can send signals to your receiver too.
The amount of interference and the likelihood of channels changing on their own depends heavily on the make and model of the receiver and the remote.
However, it is possible to disable UHF settings to prevent interference from happening in the first place.
- Ensure your remote has an unobstructed view of the receiver.
- Remove the small antenna from your receiver.
- Change UHF settings under Preference and Hardware Settings.
Note: This configuration requires that you aim your remote at the receiver.
In solution #2, the only caveat for configuration was that your remote has a direct line of sight with your receiver.
But how can you stop interference if your remote does not have a clear, unobstructed view of the receiver?
Do you have to relocate your receiver or constantly get up and go to another room just to change the channel?
The good news is that there is a much simpler solution: just configure the remote control address.
Doing so may answer the question, “Why does my Dish network keep changing channels?”
- Temporarily relocate the receiver for a direct line of sight.
- Alternatively, perform troubleshooting near the receiver.
- Go to Menu, Preferences.
- Navigate to Hardware Settings, then Remote Control Address.
- Press the Enter button and the Mute button.
- Hold these buttons down until the mode buttons flash.
- Enter a receiver code.
- Press the Enter button once again.
- Wait for the Mode buttons to flash.
- Press the Guide button.
There’s an old saying in the hardware and software engineering community: If there’s nothing wrong with the hardware, it’s always a bug in the software.
Try though they might, human beings are inherently flawed, and can never seem to develop software code that’s 100% perfect.
There are always bugs, glitches, and errors. Even though you may think your television code is stable, there could be hidden behind-the-scenes problems that make your channels change on their own.
Furthermore, note that the code in your television or Dish system is anything but static.
Service providers and television manufacturers frequently send out new code updates that alter the way your television behaves.
If you suspect a new code update (or a television that isn’t up to date with the latest code, for that matter) is causing your television to change channels, you can opt for a factory reset.
Use the following steps to perform a manual reset of the Set-Top Box:
- Unplug the power cord.
- Wait for 15 seconds.
- Wait until the front of the Set-Top-Box displays the time.
- Power on the Set-Top-Box.
- Wait as the code updates on the Interactive Media Guide.
As the old adage goes, nothing lasts forever. Over time, natural wear-and-tear can degrade the functionality of your remote, causing it to send incorrect and erratic signals to your receiver or television.
In addition, there are common accidents that damage the internal circuit boards and components of your remote, not to mention the physical buttons on the remote themselves.
For example, if you spilled liquid on a remote, it could make portions of the circuit board non-functional.
And if you have a niece, nephew, or child, you know they are likely the reason why the remote and its buttons are sticky.
If the channel button becomes stuck for a while before it is able to fully depress, you’ll notice the channels seem to be changing on their own.
Fortunately, there are several remedies to these problems.
- Research remotes compatible with your television.
- Consider new universal remote options.
- Use a damp Q-Tip to clean remote buttons.
Identifying the previously mentioned issues and applying the troubleshooting steps will help you understand how to stop Dish from changing channels.
More often than not, a neighbor with an overpowered UHF remote is unintentionally changing your channels by mistake.
Just remember that you don’t necessarily need to purchase an entirely new television set or Dish hardware.
Chances are that by changing a few settings, you can stop your television from changing channels by itself in as little as 5-10 minutes.
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.