DISH Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the DISH satellites located?
How can I realign or reposition my DISH satellite dish?
Where do I dispose of an old, unwanted DISH receiver?
Which DISH package is best?
How do I send programming from my DVR to a TV in another room?
Do I have to buy a satellite dish to watch DISH?
How many dishes will I have to mount on my house for DISH?
How do I move my DISH receiver or DVR from one TV to another?
Why isn’t my DISH remote control working?
Why do I lose my TV reception when it rains?
DISH satellites are all in geosynchronous orbit above the Earth, which means that stay in the same location in the sky relative to the surface of the Earth. Satellites in geosynchronous orbit approximately 23,000 miles above the Earth. DISH references the locations of its satellites using the Earth’s longitude. The company currently has satellites at the following locations (all are west longitude): 61.5, 77, 110, 119 and 121.
This depends on your expertise where satellite equipment is concerned. In some cases, it’s actually quite easy to align a satellite dish, but that’s usually the case only when the dish is receiving its signal from one satellite. In those cases, if you have a general idea where in the sky the satellite is, you can, with enough time and effort, align it correctly.
As satellite dishes became more sophisticated, it has become more difficult to align them yourself. I had pretty good luck realigning my DISH 500 dish when needed, but since it received programming from two satellites it was a bit more difficult than the old dish it replaced which received its programming from one satellite. It took a bit more time and effort but I was able to realign my DISH 500 dish on the two or three occasions when it was needed.
I now have the “Eastern Arc” dish which is currently configured to receive broadcast signals from three satellites. I suspect that I would be unable to align that dish correctly without the same type of equipment that is used by the installation technicians. I’m sure that type if equipment can be obtained if someone is determined enough to align their own dish, so I certainly would not say it is impossible to align your own dish, even if it is one of the newer models. It just may require the purchase of some equipment and some time invested in learning how to use it.
If the receiver or DVR was leased from DISH, you should return it to DISH. If you purchased the unit yourself, you have more options. You could try to sell it if it still works. There might even be some people that would be interested in buying it if it does not work. I am not sure if DISH is interested in accepting units that were not leased from them. In my particular case, DISH accepted both my old receivers when I upgraded back in 2007. They provided me with a credit for both old receivers which I had owned and then provided me with the leased equipment. To find out if DISH will take your receiver or DVR, call them at 800-333-DISH and ask.
This is a question I see a lot but unfortunately, there is no easy answer. It depends entirely on your budget and what kind of programming you want to view. The lower-priced packages have fewer channels than the higher-priced packages. That’s probably pretty obvious. Like anything else, the more you want, the more you will have to pay. Just like a new car, the more options you want, the more it will cost you. If you are trying to determine which DISH package is best for you, I would suggest you review them all and see which combination of programming and price meets your needs.
This problem is pretty much obsolete now due to the introduction of The Hopper whole-home DVR system. Read more about that here. For people who still may have older equipment, the following answer may be somewhat helpful.
I am not sure if all DISH DVRs allow you to send programming to a TV in another room or whether only certain models are capable of doing it. I can tell you that my ViP622 DVR was capable of sending programming to another television but the process is a bit too lengthy to include here. What I can tell you is that you will have to have coaxial cable (such as RG-6) in place that will allow you to connect the additional TV to the DVR. Additionally, it is not possible for me to view programming in high-definition on the second TV. For details and instructions consult the user manual for your DVR.
No, the purchase of your own satellite dish is not required. DISH will lease the satellite dish to you as part of your service agreement but the company does retain ownership of the dish. The equipment will have to be returned to DISH if you cancel your service. Sometimes they prefer that the dish be left in place for possible future use, but they will probably want the LNB returned which is the part that’s out at the end of the arm that extends in front of the dish. It’s not that difficult to remove from the dish and ship it back to DISH with your receivers, DVRs, or other leased equipment.
In the beginning it was only one, but as DISH launched more satellites into space, it eventually became necessary to have at least two dishes mounted if you wanted to receive all the available programming. That was especially true for customers who wanted to watch high-definition programming. The good news is that we are moving back towards the good old days of a single dish. With DISH’s satellite’s now strategically located in closer proximity to one another and new dish technology that allows one dish to receive a signal from more than one satellite, the vast majority of DISH customers should be well served by just one dish antenna.
The process is actually pretty simple except for one key requirement. You must have a coaxial cable (such as RG-6) that originates at the satellite dish and connects to your receiver or DVR. Moving the coaxial cable from one location inside the house to another can be a daunting task and involve routing the cable through walls and ceilings as well as knocking holes in walls to bring the cable through to the receiver. If you get past all that, just move your receiver or DVR to the other room and connect it up the same way it was connected before. Take notes or draw diagrams that indicate which cables connect to which inputs and outputs if this is not something you are accustomed to doing. Another option would be to call DISH and have them send out a service technician, but it is quite possible that you will have to pay for that.
This is one of those kinds of problems that can have many potential answers. First, check the simple stuff. Are the batteries dead? My DVR warned me when the batteries were getting low in my remote, but that may not be the case for all DISH DVRs and receivers.
The remotes I am familiar with have a series of buttons across the top that light up when you use your remote to change channels or whatever. If the lights are dim or not working at all, there’s a good chance your batteries need replacing. Speaking of those buttons across the top, make sure the proper one is lighting up according to what you want to do. The buttons have labels like “SAT,” “TV,” “VCR” and “AUX” and are there so you can use your remote as a “multi-function” remote to control other devices in addition to your DISH receiver or DVR. If you accidentally pressed the “TV” button and you are trying to change channels on your receiver or DVR, it’s not going to work until you press the “SAT” button.
Many, if not most remotes are infrared and use an invisible beam of light to transmit signals from the remote to the device you want to control. This is pretty rare, but I once saw a problem where a remote was not working due to the presence of a certain type of light in the room. Like I said, it’s a long shot, but try turning your lights off in the room and see if that helps. Sunlight shining directly onto your receiver or DVR may also cause a problem. Keep in mind that with infrared remotes, you usually need to point the remote at the device you are trying to control before it will work. Make sure there are no obstructions between the remote and the device and that you have a clear view of the device you are trying to control. You can sometimes bounce the remote signal off a nearby wall or on the ceiling and have it work, but not always.
There are UHF remotes available that use a radio signal instead of an infrared signal which results in much longer range and negates the need to point the remote at the device while using it. I do not know if UHF remote are available for all DISH receivers or DVRs but it is worth checking into if you are having problems with your remote due to the environment in your room. If none of the above suggestions are helpful, your best bet is to contact DISH support so they can assist you with the problem.
The short answer is that you have a faulty installation. Before I get on with the long answer, it is important to realize that some weather conditions will indeed interrupt your reception. However, these interruptions should be rare and occur only when you have extreme weather like severe thunderstorms or torrential rain.
I had DISH service for 16 years and interruptions due to weather were rare. Since I lived on a large lot and had a very clear path to the satellites, as well as a properly-aligned dish antenna, I experienced excellent reliability with DISH.
If there are obstructions such as trees between your dish antenna and the satellites, your service may be more susceptible to weather-related interruptions because your signal level could already be degraded due to the obstructions. There are situations where satellite television is simply not a good option due to obstructions that prevent a clear view or “line of sight” to the satellites.
Even if you have a perfectly clear path between your dish antenna and the satellites, if your dish is not aligned correctly, you may be receiving a degraded signal which will also make your reception vulnerable to interruptions caused by normal weather events such as moderate rain.
The bottom line is to be sure that you have a good, solid installation and that your dish antenna is aligned properly. If you suspect that it isn’t you may want to contact DISH and find out if they can send a service technician out to check your installation.