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How to Troubleshoot a Lost Satellite Signal With Dish Network

by Billy KirkUpdated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Coaxial cable

  • Composite cable

  • Satellite receiver

A lost Dish Network satellite signal means a temporary death knell for your television programming, but fortunately, swift action can be taken to troubleshoot and identify the source of the problem and rectify the situation. Between checking for faulty cable connections to using the Dish Network satellite receiver as a tool to help re-aim your satellite dish, you can fix your satellite reception in short order even if you lack prior experience.

Check and make sure there is nothing obstructing the Dish Network satellite's view to the sky. An object, such as a large tree, that blocks the dish's pointed trajectory to the sky above will impair satellite signal reception. Consider mounting the Dish Network satellite dish in a new location if the obstruction cannot be removed.

Check the connection made between the Dish Network satellite dish and the Dish Network satellite receiver. This connection is accomplished thanks to the included coaxial cable, which runs out of the back of the Dish Network satellite's mast and leads inside to connect to the receiver via the receiver's rear "ANT IN" port. If the cable is disconnected or loose, reconnect it and ensure it's snugly in place.

Check the connection between the Dish Network satellite dish and the Dish Network satellite receiver. This connection is accomplished thanks to the included composite cable, which is an A/V (audio/video) cable that possesses a pair of matching plug sets on each of its cable ends. Each of these plug sets consists of one red, one yellow and one white plug, for a total of six plugs. Notice that there is a color-matching set of red, yellow and white composite ports both on the back or side of your TV and the back of the Dish Network satellite receiver. Re-attach any loose composite plugs to their ports, and also ensure that each port and plug are matched to their respective colors.

Turn on your Dish Network satellite receiver and your TV and allow the menu to boot up. Select the "Digital Signal Meter" entry from the menu and go outside to the satellite dish, leaving a friend with the Dish Network receiver. If you do not have a friend, proceed outside anyway, although the process will be more complicated.

Begin making elevation (up/down) adjustments to the Dish Network satellite. Only make one slight adjustment before allowing the digital signal meter screen on the receiver a few moments to update and gauge the changes you made in real-time. Your friend will report back to give you guidance on further elevation adjustments based on the Dish Network receiver's guidance. The meter screen will detect current signal strength and lead you toward pointing the Dish Network satellite to the correct coordinates in the sky above. If you do not have an assistant, you will need to move inside to view the signal meter screen after every couple of adjustments in order to gauge your progress.

Begin making elevation (left/right) adjustments to the Dish Network satellite in tandem with continued elevation adjustments as directed. Again, make only one slight adjustment to the Dish Network satellite, then wait for signal meter screen guidance or inspect the signal meter screen yourself. Continue this process until the meter screen indicates the coordinates have been reached for your Dish Network satellite.

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