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  • How Do I Align a DirecTV Satellite Dish?

    A DirecTV satellite dish may need realignment when strong winds, accidental movement, and various other situations occur. It may also become necessary to set up a dish that has come loose or one that was purchased without an installation plan. Whatever the case, individuals can alight the DirecTV dish on their own.

    Checking the Signal Strength

    To determine whether the satellite dish needs realignment, take a look at the signal strength being received while the dish is in its current position. The following steps will help to find the signal strength:How Do I Align a DirecTV Satellite Dish?

    Turn on a tv with a DirecTV receiver connected and in the options menu (press the menu button on the DirecTV remote) select "Settings."

    Note: The settings option may be grouped with parental settings or favorite channels.

    From the Settings menu select "System Setup." Select "Satellite" and choose "Signal Strength,"  which will give the signal strength reading with the satellite dish in the current configuration. "Signal Meters" may also have to be selected to show the satellite signal strength.

    Typically, an acceptably aligned satellite dish needs to have between 75% and 100% signal strength to function well. If it is below 70%, choppy video, video outage during heavy weather, and other problems may be experienced.

    Aligning the Dish

    Dish alignment may be necessary to ensure better video quality and connection with the satellite signal. DirecTV uses satellites that are located in the Southern portion of the sky, thus the satellite dish must be pointing to the South in order to locate a signal.

    The satellite dish must be set to a 51 degree elevation. The back of the dish should be attached to a bracket that can be adjusted. A small meter on the side of the bracket gives the current setting for the dish. If the dish is not at 51 degrees, loosen and adjust it using the meter as a guide.

    Note: The bracket must be level in order to get the correct 51 degree measurement with the meter.

    There should be nothing obstructing the view of the southern sky where the dish is pointing. If there are obstructions (such as new tree growth), they must be removed. Otherwise the dish has to be moved to another location.

    Loosen the mast (pole) enough to be able to gently move the dish left and right. This will allow the signal being received through the dish to be fine tuned, and can be done with the receiver's system menu. Use the instructions for checking the signal strength to view the current signal on the receiver.

    Note: An additional person is often needed to relay the numbers on the screen. When the mast is turned slightly, wait a few seconds for the receiver to update.

    Once the signal is as close to 100% as possible, tighten all bolts or nuts on the satellite dish assembly to lock it into place. This will help to prevent misalignment in the future due to bad weather, large birds resting on the dish, etc.

    Note: For a variety of reasons, not all dishes are capable of reaching 100% signal. A cloudy day may impair the reading of the received signal. Try to align on a clear day for best results.

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    1. Matthew Kleinmann

      19 March, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      We have a slimline and we lost at least one satellite after the last really big snow and wind storm here. DTV wanted at least $100 to come out and look at it. I went out and had a look at it, and the slimline has a bubble level built into it and the bubble was way off center, it was obvious which way the dish needed to be pulled. One of the leg braces had a clamp that had slipped on it. It was obvious where it had been as you could see the mar in the paint from where it was. I pushed it back in, and the bubble level and the mar in the paint agreed. I had also brought out my phone in intercom mode and the signal snapped back in when I brought the bubble back to it’s center.

      I thought doing one of the dishes that catches multiple sats would be hard, but it turned out ot be very easy.

      If you have a slimline, the first thing to check for is that bubble being dead center in the bullseye.

    2. Doc Wilson

      13 December, 2015 at 1:19 am

      Hi all
      I have just come up against a problem Ive not encountered before and have spent a lot of time repositioning my disc and can not fix it any help would be appreciated.
      I have allined the dich and im getting 83% signal strength and 80% Quality but no picture and the buzzer on the meter doesn’t come on have moved it 4 times now and still no luck .
      I would have thought that at those strengths I would be getting the buzzer sounding and have a picture.

    3. simon yengi

      5 July, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      Interested to learn more in disc alignments

      • simon yengi

        5 July, 2012 at 6:59 pm

        it is clear technical imformation.


    4. Sara

      8 May, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      Wow this worked!!! I was dreading the call to customer service, they told me last week that it was impossible to move receiver to another room. Not impossible just had to switch wires around on the splitter outside. Thanks!!!

    5. sisira

      12 January, 2012 at 10:12 am

      sir,,,,  my location 07 07’42.65″ N  , 80 10 06.72″E  (srilanka, Attanagalla)  I  have HUMAX-XD200  sattellite  receiver and fixed  satellite disk..  so  please me to align  for  free  TV channel (I  don’t  have  satellite pay card)
      best regards,

    6. trackjudge

      26 September, 2011 at 12:34 am

      I believe setting elevation to 51 degrees is only applicable to certain locations.
      The elevation will vary as a function of the latitude of the receiver and the difference in longitude of the receiver and the satellite longitude

    7. Gary

      31 August, 2011 at 4:10 pm

      roofers moved dish.  I adjusted dish and can get all channels except HD i.e. ESPN and
      ESPN2 is good, ESPN NEWS AND ESPN U will not come in
      What can I do?

      • Susan Solomon

        3 January, 2017 at 3:38 pm

        Get the roofers to come back and fix it or pay for it to be done. As a CA resident in the bay area we demand that companies perform or else. Can’t believe what people put up with out there.

    8. clayton

      19 July, 2011 at 1:11 pm

      we  here in the bahamas have problems getting certain channels to stay in  (the word network)  etc.  transponder 32 you only get  54 no higher dish is beteen 3ft to 3ft.6 but it lucks in some areas some you dont get signal on transponder 32

      • jacob

        16 April, 2017 at 2:27 am

        you need a 5 feet dish

    9. Thys

      19 December, 2010 at 9:00 am

      Problems on rainy days. Picture break up in small squares.
      Teh picture freeze but sound is OK.

      Signal strenghts: 100%
      Signal quality: 37%

      I have so called pro’s to do the installation, but it stays the same.
      I am frustrated!!!!!

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