How to Install a Multiswitch for DirecTV

By Diane Dilov-Schultheis

Install a Multiswitch for DirecTV
i zapp image by djul from

DirecTV satellites call for the use of a multiswitch to install additional receivers on a single Dual-LNB, or to use the features of a DVR (TIVO). You must have two satellite feeds for each DVR (digital video recorder), since they have dual tuners that require this to function. Multiswitches are further involved when you want to connect several receivers to a multiple DirecTV dish or even multiple dishes.

Figure out what multiswitch you need. There are different ones available. The most commonly used are the 3x4 and the 3x8 or simply called "three four switch" or "three eight switch."

Select the place to put your multiswitch in your DirecTV satellite setup. You should always place your multiswitch in a site that is away from the outside elements. This could be inside of a cable box, under a mobile home or inside of a garage.

Run cable from both satellite feeds of the DirecTV's dish to the multiswitch. This should be done in the line after the ground block. Secure the multiswitch in its place using a drill and screws if desired. Connect the two satellite feeds into the two input ports marked "Sat."

Connect your DirecTV receivers to the multiswitch. Connect as many RG-6 coaxial cables to the output ports on the multiswitch as needed. Each DVR will require two cables, and other receivers require one cable. Run the cables from the multiswitch to the location of the receivers.

Add cable or off-air antenna signals to your DirecTV setup. You can access cable channels or antenna signals through your multiswitch, but you will need diplexers to do this. You will need one diplexer for each connection (two for DVRs and one for regular receivers). Hook up the cable or off-air antenna through the ground block to the multiswitch. Attach this cable to the third input port (marked antenna or local). Place the diplexer on the end of the cable connected to the multiswitch output. Connect this cable to the in/out on the diplexer. Use two more cables to connect the satellite signal to the receiver's satellite input and the other to the antenna input.