How to Set Up Direct TV

By Billy Kirk

  • Overview

    DIRECTV is a viable option for television programming versus more conventional cable methods, but it does require specific installation of a dish and corresponding setup. Setup can be fairly swift depending on your location, the placement of the dish and your understanding of where the satellite lies in the sky.
    • Step 1

      Look over the area for a likely site for your satellite dish. Are there any obstructions that would block an incoming satellite signal? Is the mounting area flat and safe for the dish to perch upon? Choose a smart site for the dish and then mount it carefully, making sure the device is entirely flush with the angle of the mounting surface.
    • Step 2

      Use a hand-held level and make sure the dish mast is perpendicular to a level orientation. Use the level tool and check in multiple spots along the mast.
    • Step 3

      Connect the receiver to your television set, and ensure that the wires from the receiver to the dish can be run with no problems and without anything getting in the way, as splitters cannot be used on these wires without diminishing the signal. Wire the receiver to the dish and turn the receiver and television on.
    • Step 4

      Pull the signal meter screen from the receiver up on your television. This will be used to test the strength of your satellite signal later on. Have a friend stay by the receiver and the screen.
    • Step 5

      Return to the satellite dish and point it toward the southern sky. Set the proper elevation of the dish by loosening the nuts securing the elevation bolts. Adjust the elevation by slightly moving the dish up and down. Wait five to 10 seconds between each movement and wait for your friend to report back from the signal meter. Know your basic elevation and use the tick mark that represents your elevation number as a guide.
    • Step 6

      Adjust the azimuth by loosening the nuts of the LNB arm of the dish, and then sweeping the dish slightly to the right and left. Check your DIRECTV manual to find your azimuth number and use this as a guide.
    • Step 7

      Check the signal meter screen--or have someone else do so and report back--after every adjustment of the position of the satellite, until the signal meter registers something above 0. Then make slight adjustments to these settings until, ideally, the meter reading is between 70 and 80. This will result in a strong satellite signal and hopefully some good television.
    • Skill: Moderately Challenging
    • Ingredients:
    • DIRECTV Satellite Dish
    • Level
    • Receiver
    • Television
    • Included wires
    • Standard toolbox
    • Warning:
    • Watch your step if mounting the dish in an elevated area.

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