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Satellite TV Installation

Making them work

Once you’ve signed up for satellite service, and you have your equipment, there is one more required step beyond getting into couch potato mode: installing the dish. There are basically two ways to go about this: The easy way and The hard way

The easy way

Suck it up and fork over some cash for professional installation. It will save you oodles of time and will ensure that it's done correctly. Though the average cost is usually around $200, there are always ongoing promotions to be found and dollars to be saved. But if you happen to be mechanically-inclined, have a look at “the hard way” and see if you're ready to install the dish yourself.

The hard way

If you're ready for the challenge, install the satellite system yourself, either with or without the aid of an installation kit. An installation kit, sold in almost any store that sells satellite dishes, is highly recommended. It comes with all the necessary hardware and a book/video to guide you.

The only thing you'll need besides the satellite equipment is a working phone jack near the location of the receiver. Once that's taken care of, here's what you'll need to be able to do if you decide to go solo:

Mount the actual dish somewhere outside. It's not necessary to mount the dish on the roof; you can install it anywhere it has an unobstructed view of the direction of the orbiting satellite. Place the dish in an inconspicuous place, because if it's stolen, then all your hard work and tv programs are gone with it. Another good idea is to try to situate the dish so that it has some sort of a covering (but not so much that it obstructs the signal). The reason for this is that heavy rain and winds may scramble the reception. Don't worry too much, every little drizzle won't break your streak of consecutive hours remaining motionless, but it's something to consider.

Connect the dish to the receiver. This generally involves grounding the wire and then running it from the outside to the inside. If you know something about electronics, this shouldn't be difficult. Fortunately, the installation kit will provide you with lots of detailed information about this process.

Point your dish. This is a very most important part: you need to point the dish at the correct satellite location in order to receive the signal. To do this, you'll need to determine the correct azimuth and elevation (that is, rotation and lift). It's not quite as hard as it sounds, and each provider's website has a feature that gives you the correct azimuth and elevation numbers just by typing in your zip code. The websites also have information on how to apply these numbers to the actual dish. So one last time (we promise), we suggest you go to direct tv or dish network and click on the "dish pointer" section.

After you've accomplished the aforementioned steps, you're ready to get comfy and spend hours in a euphoric, zombie-like state in front of the ol’ tube . Again, to cover our own butts, we recommend that you take the easy way out and just have it professionally installed. Satellite television offers you an enormous selection of programming at a reasonable price.

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