How to Align a Dish Satellite

Dish satellites, the type of receiver used by various satellite TV providers (such as DirecTV), must be positioned and aligned in such a way as to receive the best quality of television signal from the TV provider's satellite. While the idea of aiming a satellite dish at a satellite in space may sound difficult, it is easy once you know how to properly align the satellite dish.

Plug the satellite dish's F-connectors into the satellite cable that leads into your house (provided by your satellite television provider). Follow your satellite dish instruction manual, as F-connectors may look slightly different depending on the manufacturer. A general rule is to make sure the connectors are securely screwed into the cable so that the edges of the cable do not touch the inside of the F-connector.

Set the satellite dish to the correct angle of elevation. Most satellite dishes have an elevation scale on their base which tells you the angle at which the dish is currently positioned. Gently but firmly move the satellite dish until it is pointed at 28 degrees east. This degree of elevation works in most locations in the Northern Hemisphere; check your satellite dish's instruction manual for more location-specific degree requirements.

Use the signal meter to check the signal strength of the satellite dish's current angle. If you do not have a satellite signal meter, use the meter on your television screen by using your television remote control to access the satellite set-up screen. It is easier to use a signal meter, as using the meter on your television screen would require you to check the screen before returning to where your satellite dish is set-up.

Rotate the satellite dish horizontally while monitoring the signal strength on either the signal meter or on the television screen meter. Stop at the horizontal level that gives your dish maximum signal strength.

Adjust the dish's vertical degree by one-degree increments while monitoring the signal strength. Stop at the vertical degree that best maximises the received signals.


When setting up your satellite dish, follow all safety procedures, as many dishes are placed at high elevations that may be dangerous to access.

Things You'll Need

  • Satellite dish
  • Signal meter (optional)
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About the Author

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.