How to Signal a Direct TV Satellite

By Billy Kirk

A strong DirecTV signal can be achieved via proper elevation and azimuth adjustments.
i Satellite TV image by Bryan Crowe from

While the positioning of a DirectTV satellite dish is often left to an installation specialist, you can handle signal reception duties at your home even if you lack any satellite expertise. By using the satellite receiver's signal meter screen to gauge the appropriateness of your dish's positioning in relation to the satellite above, you can establish a strong satellite signal with no professional assistance.

Step 1

Point your DirecTV satellite to the south. This initial adjustment doesn't need to be precise, as more exact alterations will be made later on.

Step 2

Run the coaxial cable that comes out of the back of the DirecTV satellite down to your satellite receiver inside, which should be positioned by your television. Plug the coaxial cable into the back of the receiver, specifically into the port listed as "ANT IN." The receiver will later communicate with the DirecTV satellite dish and determine the strength of the signal.

Step 3

Connect the satellite receiver to your television via the use of the included A/V cable. This cable has one set of prongs on either end. Each set has one red, one yellow and one white prong. Your TV and your receiver each have a set of A/V prongs consisting of one red, one yellow and one white prong. Match the prongs up to the ports by matching the colors, then make the connections.

Step 4

Power on the TV and the satellite receiver and wait for the receiver to boot up and display its menu on your TV. Choose the "Signal Meter Screen" option from this menu and return to the dish outside. Have a friend remain at the signal meter screen.

Step 5

Use a wrench to loosen the elevation nuts. These nuts are located right beside the elevation bolts on the back of the DirecTV satellite dish's mast (the manual that ships with the dish will also have a visual diagram of key nuts and bolts). Once loosened, make slight alterations to the up/down orientation of the dish (also known as elevation adjustments). After each alteration, wait 5-10 seconds for reports from the signal meter screen. Your friend will receive updates from the meter screen after every dish adjustment. The meter will measure how close you are to "hitting" the correct coordinates in order to receive a signal from the satellite above. Continue to make elevation adjustments as the meter screen prescribes.

Step 6

Use your wrench to loosen up the LNB dish arm nuts. These nuts will be located just below the elevation nuts on the DirecTV satellite dish's mast. Once loosened, make alterations to the left/right orientation of the dish (also known as azimuth adjustments). After each alteration, wait 5-10 seconds again for signal meter reports. Once the meter screen indicates that all the correct coordinates have been hit, your DirecTV satellite should be correctly positioned to receive its satellite signal. Tighten all nuts and you are done.