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How to set up a satellite dish

Updated March 23, 2017

If you are tired of the same old channels on your TV, then it is time to set up a satellite dish to receive a variety of new, exciting channels. A satellite dish receives data from satellites orbiting Earth. Satellite dishes often sit on a roof or inside a garden and have a large plate with a small receiver box attached in front of the parabola. Some channels are provided free, while others require subscribers to pay a fee to unlock the encryption.

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  1. Mount your satellite dish. Adjust the dish so that the dish mast is level. Use a carpenter's level.

  2. Attach the low noise block down converter (LNB) to the dish using the wrench at the end of the arm projecting from the satellite dish. Run a length of satellite coax cable to it.

  3. Aim your dish toward the satellites by adjusting the antenna reflector azimuth angle and the elevation-look angle to the position given by the manufacturer.

  4. Connect the digital receiver to your television and turn both on.

  5. Plug the receiver cables into the LNB. Check the signal strength display from the digital receiver's on-screen menu to measure the signal strength accurately. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to view the signal strength and quality.

  6. Connect the satellite dish to the television set and the TV to the decoder. Turn on the receiver and position it on a beacon channel. Beacon channels are used to tune your satellite dish.

  7. Begin tuning. Move the reflector slowly to the east in 1-degree increments for 3 degrees, then in the opposite direction. Monitor the receiver's signal strength throughout the process.

  8. Lock the antenna azimuth adjustment on the mount when you have finished maximising the signal level.

  9. Fine-tune the channels once you finished setting up the satellite dish. Loosen the elevation bolts and turn the dish east and west. Stop for a moment each time after you have moved the dish to check signal strength on the TV screen. Move the dish up and down the same way to improve the signal-strength reading. When you are satisfied with the signal strength, tighten the elevation bolts and enjoy watching TV.

  10. Tip

    Use high-quality aerial plugs and coaxial cable to achieve the best channel quality.


    Always have a helper when installing electrical equipment so that your friend can switch off the electricity in case you receive an electric shock.

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Things You'll Need

  • Satellite dish
  • Wrench
  • Low noise block down converter (LNB)
  • Decoder
  • Satellite coax cable
  • Aerial plugs

About the Author

Janos Gal

Janos Gal has been writing since 2008. He wrote for the "Global Journalist" magazine in 2008 and for the "Estrella de Arica" daily in 2009. Gal has traveled extensively in Europe, South America and the United States. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, honors, in journalism from Edinburgh Napier University.

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