Satellite TV

Satellite TV Tips for Dish Network

Pointing the Satellite Dish

How the dish is pointed is one of the most critical elements of how your home dish satellite TV will  work. Just 1/8 of an inch out of proper alignment can cause problems, especially during rain and cloudy sky conditions. The following satellite dish pointing tips are the most common mistakes made when installing the outside dish.

Make adjustments in very small increments. Do not make large movements of the dish or you will have a very hard time getting the best possible signal strength.

You must use a compass if you are going to point the dish correctly. Do not even attempt if you do not have a compass or do not understand how to shoot an azimuth. This previous link is for RV satellite installations, it is very descriptive and applies to permanent installations.

Ensure that the top part of the satellite dish mast is absolutely vertical. Verify this with a bubble level. Take measurements at 90 degree intervals around the top of the mast. If this vertical alignment is off even just a few degrees, it can be virtually impossible to find satellite signals.

Set the angles in the following order. Skew - once set do not make fine adjustments. Elevation and then the Azimuth. Remember to follow all instructions of the owners manual.

Resetting Satellite Systems

Most issues can be resolved by simply resetting the system. Hold the power button on the receiver for a few seconds or unplug the unit from the wall. Sounds too easy, but you will be surprised at how many times this will do the trick.

Cleaning Satellite Systems

Keep all electronics clean. Get a can of air duster (made for electronics) to periodically blow out your satellite receiver at least once a month. More if you live in a dusty area. Remember that dust is electronics worst enemy. Unplug the satellite tv receiver and wait 30 seconds before cleaning.

GENTLY wipe off your dish (the outside round thing) with a clean dry cloth. Be careful not to knock the dish out of alignment. Do not apply cleaners to anything on the outside satellite dish.

We will say it one more time, DUST IS YOUR WORST ENEMY. This applies to anything electronic. We have seen so many computers completely ruined by dust. The new DVR receivers have hard drives just like computers.

Cleaning is OK, but never attempt to service any satellite equipment yourself. You will void the warranty.

Updating Dish Network DVR System

With the newer Dish Network DVR receivers, be sure to have it setup to perform automatic updates and hard disk checks.

Run check switch function to update the TV guide.

DVR Caller ID

If you have a newer Dish Network DVR receiver (like the 522) and you have caller ID service with your home phone - turn the caller ID function "on" in the system setup and see caller ID on your TV. On our system, it would only work through the S-video cable connection. The RG-6 connection would not show the caller ID box. Definitely worth the time and effort to run a S-video cable, plus you will get a better quality picture with that type of connection.

Surge protection

Do not attempt to run your satellite TV without a surge protector. Get a good one. We recommend a high end one from Radio Shack. Make sure the surge protector has inputs for the coax cable and telephone jack as well. Do not forget to protect any antenna inputs you might have coming in to your receiver. Do not think that you can get by without this. Sooner or later it will come back to haunt you and cost you money that will not be covered under warranty. 

Avoid Sudden Shock

With DVR receivers, think about where you put the unit. Make sure it is stable and will not get wet, hit, knocked off, etc. As said before, there are hard drives in them, which must be handled with extreme care.

If you have to move a satellite TV DVR, unplug it and wait for at least 30 seconds before moving.


Just like computers, the newer DVR receivers have fans and need to maintain certain temperatures. Be careful when placing  them in cabinets. Must have proper ventilation.

Do not place your receiver on top of or below other electronics components.

Electronics Cold Dangers

Do not store your satellite TV receiver in a cold environment (below 40 F). When it warms back up, moisture can form inside and damage the electronics inside. If it is cold to the touch, let it set at room temperature unplugged for at least 45 minutes.


Disclaimer - We do not and will not accept any type of responsibility for any tips, information or recommendations given on this website.

Copyright 2013 Wilsons Electronics