How To Set Up A Satellite Dish
Learning how to set up a satellite dish is not all that complicated, if you do a bit of footwork ahead of time. Considering the aesthetic appeal of some free dish install jobs around the neighborhood, the odds are good that you can do it better.
To begin the exploration of how to set up a satellite dish, you need some hardware:
- Satellite dish
- Coax cable
- Satellite receiver
Finding out how to set up a satellite dish introduces the television aficionado to two phases: initial setup and fine tuning. The initial setup is relatively painless.
- Identify the satellite company. Major players in the market are Dish Network and DirecTV. The process is similar except for the fact that the companies’ satellites are located in different areas of the sky.
- Obtain a clear line of sight. It is acceptable to mount the dish to the chimney, the roof, the side of the home or anywhere in between, as long as there is an unobstructed line of sight between the dish center and the general area of the sky where the satellites are. Frequently it is this requirement that dictates placement of the dish, rather than aesthetic appeal. Use the compass to follow the company’s general direction.
- Drill the holes and attach the dish. While learning how to set up a satellite dish, remember that later adjustments accompany phase two of the process. Set up the dish but do not tighten it down too much. Use the hardware that comes with the dish kit.
- Connect the dish to the receiver. Use only the coax cable the company suggests. Lower-rated cable is cheaper but distorts signal strength. Bypass the entertainment system or VCR and instead make a direct connection from the dish to the receiver and from the receiver to the TV. Modify the setup later on, when the signal is locked.
At this stage, the first phase of the setup is complete. It is now time for phase two of the instructions covering how to set up a satellite dish; frequently this is the more frustrating portion.
- Turn on the TV and receiver. Depending on the service provider, the screen should say “searching for signal” or something to that effect. This is a good sign, since it means that the basic hookup was successful.
- Maneuver to the on-screen menu for signal strength information. Leave the assistant in front of the TV and head back to the dish.
- Slowly move the dish in minute increments. The assistant helps by yelling “up” or “down,” which denotes whether the signal strength indicator is going up or down. The more signal strength the indicator shows, the closer you are to the “sweet spot.” If the indicator goes down, move the dish in the opposite direction.
- Aim for 80 percent signal strength or above. Tighten the dish so that the wind won’t move it.
Remember that this guide only covers how to set up a satellite dish with a basic television and receiver. There are additional steps to take when hooking up a multi-dish system that supports various providers and satellites. Moreover, integrating various components into the system, like a VCR and home theater system, is a different discussion altogether.