How to Aim a DirecTV Satellite Dish
By Kelli Peacock Dunn
When you subscribe to DirecTV and receive your satellite dish, be sure to aim it properly to receive a strong signal. A DirecTV professional installer can handle this task, or you can do it yourself. The main necessity is the left-to-right positioning coordinates known as your azimuth and elevation. With these, you can adjust the dish position, aim it in the best direction and receive the highest possible signal for your location.
Find your azimuth and elevation coordinates. Go to the "Dish Pointer" page on DirecTV.com. Enter your zip code, and select the "Check" link. Write down the numbers for each. You can also find this information on your television. Go to the on-screen setup menu to access these coordinates.
Check the elevation indicator located at the edge of the metal on the dish. Adjust, if needed, to match the required elevation coordinate.
Rotate the dish. Use a compass to help you point the low noise blocks (LNB) to the azimuth coordinate. The LNB are the metal pieces extending from the front of the dish. You may need to loosen the nuts on the support sleeve to adjust the dish.
Go to the on-screen "Dish Pointing" menu. Access the signal meter to verify you are getting a signal from the dish. If not, adjust the azimuth setting until you receive a signal.
Listen for a continuous tone from the signal meter. Use the tick marks at the top of the dish mast, and rotate dish to the right one tick mark at a time, pausing for three to five seconds at each mark. Stop when you hear the continuous tone and reach the highest signal on the meter. The maximum strength is 100. If you do not hear the tone, start again, but rotate the dish to the left until the tone is heard. Tighten the support sleeve nuts when finished.
Loosen the elevation nuts on the LNB support arm. Move the dish up one tick mark at a time, pausing for five seconds. Stop when you get the highest signal on the meter. Repeat the process going in a downward direction. Choose the best spot with the highest signal. Tighten the nuts when finished.
- You can download an installation guide from DirecTV.com.
- The signal meter on your television can be heard outside while you are adjusting the dish. Turn up the volume or ask someone to stand by the TV and relay information to you about strength levels.
- Signal strengths vary; the highest is 100. However, the quality of your television picture is no less when the strength is as low as 60. The higher the signal, the less likely you will have an outage during a storm.
- If you have a multisatellite system, it is strongly recommended you hire a professional installer.
Kelli Peacock Dunn has been a news editor and photographer since 1998, working at a weekly newspaper in Northwest Florida. Her articles have also appeared in "Panama City Living" magazine and "The Lookout."