How to Install a Satellite Multiswitch

Satellite television is a popular alternative to cable or antenna programming. But it cannot be split and sent to as many TV sets as you want. Each television needs to have a satellite receiver connected to it. A typical satellite set-up uses a satellite dish with a dual LNB (low-noise block converter) that's capable of handling two separate receivers or one DVR (TiVo) receiver, but no more. Each receiver must have a direct line run to it, or it won't function properly. A multiswitch permits you to add more receivers. Multiswitches also are sometimes used to add cable or antenna signals to your set-up, or so you can use multiple dishes or satellites.

Count the number of receivers that you want to connect to your satellite dish. Count any DVR receiver as two, since it is a dual receiver and requires two separate lines.

Select the right satellite multiswitch for your needs. The most commonly used satellite multiswitches are the 3-by-4 and 3-by-8. The first number is the amount of inputs to the multiswitch--two are from the satellite dish LNB and the third is for adding cable or antenna programming, but this is not always used. The second number is the amount of outputs the switch has. This is the number you must match to the number of receivers you have.

Find a good location for the satellite multiswitch. It should be added to the satellite-dish cable after the ground block in a place protected from the weather, if possible. Sites to locate a satellite multiswitch include inside a cable box, within a garage or attic, under an overhang or beneath a mobile home.

Use a drill and screws (if needed) to secure the multiswitch. Connect the cables from the satellite dish to the input ports on the multiswitch.

Connect as many cables to the output ports as you need. Remember that each DVR requires two. Use the proper connectors with a compression tool to ensure good connections.

Run these cables to the location of the satellite receivers. Connect the cables to the satellite input port on the receivers.

Things You'll Need

  • RG-6 coaxial cable
  • Connectors
  • Connector compressor tool
  • Wire cutters
  • Drill (optional)
  • Screws (optional)
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About the Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published online at the Travel Channel and Intel.