DIY Friday: Installing Satellite TV


Think you can install satellite TV yourself? If you’re a satcom engineer, you probably can — especially if you’ve got a spectrum analyzer sitting around your shop at home. If not, a Birdog satellite meter can certainly help.


The two leading direct-broadcast satellite service providers in the U.S., Dish Network and DirecTV, prefer to have one of their techs install it for you. In Europe, ASTRA encourages you to do it yourself.

What if you don’t feel like setting aside a "4 hour window" during the week to have it installed? Wake up at 5:00 a.m. on a Sunday and decide "I’m gonna get me some satellite TV, momma!" What them?

You can’t get a better source of reference materials and instruction than on the Sadoun Satellite Sales Web site:

To get a signal, the satellite dish must be pointed directly at the satellite, with NO obstructions between the two. This means NO trees and NO buildings. Take into consideration future tree growth, house remodeling or additions and new construction in your area.
The satellite signal WILL NOT PASS through leaves or branches.
Use our Satellite Look Angle calculator to determine the proper dish angles.

Finding a Clear Line of Sight

  1. Get yourself a good compass, the best you can afford. Check the "Azimuth" and "Elevation" for your location here!
  2. Locate at least one site on your property that has a clear view to the satellite.
  3. Do you have at least one clear view to the satellite? Remember, no trees, leaves, or buildings can be between the dish and the satellite. 

If the answer is NO, your site may not be suitable for installing the satellite system.

If the answer is MAYBE, you may want to contact a local digital satellite dealer for information about having a professional installer conduct a thorough site survey.

If the answer is YES, your site should be suitable for installing the system. Go ahead to the next section of these instructions.

Good luck, Jim.