How to Align a Satellite Dish for Direct TV or Dish Network

By Contributor

Updated December 10, 2019

Aligning a satellite dish for Direct TV or Dish Network is not nearly as difficult as those companies would lead you to believe. It is merely a matter of pointing the satellite dish in the right direction and pressing a few buttons. Doing it yourself can save you quite a bit of money.

Make sure that the satellite dish is installed correctly. It should be level, facing south, and clear of structures and trees. Wire the satellite dish into your home and to your satellite box.

Turn on the Direct TV or Dish Network satellite box. You will be presented a menu. Choose "satellite signal test" and enter your zip code. The satellite box will then give you the coordinates for aligning your satellite dish for your location. Make sure to write down both the elevation and the azimuth. These correspond to vertical and horizontal adjustments.

Align the elevation. Find the screw that locks your satellite dish into place vertically. Loosen it and move the dish to the elevation given by your satellite box for your zip code. Tighten the screw until the dish does not move vertically.

Align the azimuth. This is the side to side adjustment. There will be another screw that allows you to move the dish horizontally. Loosen it and adjust the dish to the azimuth given by your satellite box for your zip code. Tighten the screw until the dish does not move horizontally.

Go back inside and test the satellite signal strength. A perfect signal will be rated 100. Don't be upset if your signal strength is lower. Few people get a signal strength of 100. A signal strength as low as 60 will provide a decent picture.


If your signal strength is lower than 60, make small adjustments to the elevation and azimuth of your dish to see if it improves. If that does not help you may have a problem with the dish setup. If the dish was not set up level the adjustment numbers will be off. Trees and structures can also block the signal. Try moving your dish to a new location.


Unplug the electricity when touching the dish so you wont get a shock. Also, be careful if you are on a ladder or up on the roof. Falling hurts.