How to Align a Direct TV Dish

By Justin Obrien

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Screwdriver

  • Socket set

  • Ladder

Installing a satellite dish can not only be rewarding financially by saving you money on installation fees, but it is also a very fulfilling task to accomplish on your own. So don't put a damper on your great installation by not having your dish properly aligned and therefore unable to get reception; follow these steps to assure your satellite will be aligned correctly in order for you to have optimal reception.

Mounted the dish securely to your house, ground, or roof.

Made sure the mast is level on whatever surface you have it on, in order for the elevation and azimuth settings to be accurate.


The dish is pointing in the proper direction (pointing south in the USA) and toward an open area (no obstacles such as trees or buildings in the way).

All the necessary cables are securely connected to the satellite, ground, television and the receiver.


Go inside and turn on your Direct TV receiver. Right away after you press select on the welcome screen, you should be asked to select your language preference and then the on screen menu will guide you to the "Test Satellite Signal" screen where you will type in your zip code and you will be given the proper elevation and azimuth coordinates for you to adjust the satellite itself to. If you aren't prompted through these screens or you are adjusting your satellite after a possible accident or movement of the satellite, you may still navigate through the main menu and then to the "Test Satellite Signal" screen via your remote control or the buttons and arrows directly on the receiver.

Adjust the satellite elevation & azimuth angles. There will be a screw to loosen for the up and down elevation angle and then there will be a screw to loosen to adjust the satellite from side to side for the azimuth angle. It would be optimal for the satellite strength to be 100, but between 60 to 85 is still a very good signal strength.

While adjusting the elevation and azimuth coordinates on your satellite, you may either turn up the volume on your television to hear the high pitch noise the receiver makes when the single is strong; or you can use a friend to monitor when the signal is at its strongest and when it is, that is the time you will want to re-tighten the screws that adjusted the elevation and azimuth coordinates.


Always practice safety while working on your roof or on a ladder. If you ever become confused, refer to your satellite and receiver manuals or contact your local Direct TV provider.