How to Use a TV Sat Receiver as a Decoder

By Eoghan McCloskey

A satellite receiver, decoder or descrambler is a device used by satellite TV providers like Dish Network and DIRECTV to take a signal from an orbiting satellite and convert it into watchable TV programming. Receivers combine this important function with the ability to provide many convenient features like on-screen channel guides, digital music stations and DVR recording capability. To use a satellite receiver to descramble satellite programming takes a few simple steps that even the least tech-savvy can achieve with ease.

Connect the coaxial cable coming out of your satellite TV service coaxial cable outlet to the coaxial input on your satellite receiver. On most satellite receivers, this connection will be labeled "satellite in."

Connect the audio/video connection cables from the output ports on the receiver to the input ports on the TV. Take note of how the input is labeled on the TV.

Configure the TV to receive signal from the box using the input selection control. This button will likely be on the TV and on the remote and will probably be labeled as "input," "source" or "TV/video." Press it until the TV displays the input into which you plugged the satellite receiver. For example, if you noticed in Step 2 that you plugged the connection cable into the TV's "Video 1" input, press the input selection control until the TV displays Video 1.

Contact your satellite TV provider and have the receiver activated. Once it receives authorization signals from the satellite provider, the receiver will descramble satellite programming for viewing on your TV.