DISH Network availability sounds like a subject that has a simple answer, but as you will see, that is not always the case. It might be easy for people to get the idea that satellite TV service like DISH Network or DirecTV is available “everywhere,” and in a way, that is true as long as you are talking about service in the continental United States. Service in the United States is the primary focus of this site and I am not really knowledgeable about getting DISH in other countries, so that’s a subject that won’t be covered here.
Satellites Are “Everywhere” (Maybe)
Since satellites are orbiting the earth and we can simply look up to “see” them, it’s easy to understand why people might expect that you can go just about anywhere and set up a satellite dish and start receiving television broadcasts from DISH. As with many things in life, the devil can often be in the details, as the saying goes. Receiving television programming from satellites is heavily dependent on certain factors, and while it can be said that DISH Network is available “everywhere,” it might be safer to say that it is available everywhere, as long the satellites can be “seen” from your location.
Naturally, it won’t be possible to actually “see” the satellites orbiting some 22,000 miles above the earth’s surface unless you have some kind of super-duper telescope or something. What I mean by “see”is that there must be a clear path between the satellite dish and the satellites in the sky. Any number of things can obstruct the “view” of the satellites in the sky, including buildings, mountains, hills, trees and other man made and natural objects. In some cases, there really is no hope of receiving DISH Network or any other satellite television service at a given location.
Say, for example, you live half-way down the north side of a 5000-foot mountain in Montana. There’s virtually no chance you are going to be able to receive a signal from the DISH satellites because the part of the sky where they are located is blocked by the mountain. That’s because Montana is a northern state and would require the satellite dish to be aimed relatively low in the sky towards the south.
Since the satellites are placed in orbit directly above the equator, that means they are seen in the southern sky from northern locations. The only way to get DISH under these circumstances is to move to another location. Things would probably work fine from the southern side of the mountain as long as no other mountains or other obstructions were in the way.
Obstructions Ruin Everything
Obstructions are probably the biggest potential problem for people who wish to sign up for DISH or any other satellite-based service. The signals that are transmitted back to earth from the satellites are not particularly strong like the 50,000-watt AM radio station you might listen to in your car, and the frequencies they transmit on are very high, making them more susceptible to interference from various objects.
That’s part of the reason that satellite antennas to receive DISH Network don’t look like a typical antenna that you might see on a car or on the roof of someone’s house. Satellite dishes are highly directional, meaning they have to be aimed very precisely at a satellite in order to receive the signal so the “dish” part of the antenna captures the signal and reflects it back onto the LNB, which is the device that sits on the end of the “arm” that you usually see sticking out in front of a satellite dish.
The majority of people living in the United States probably have a number of television services available to them and can choose between cable, satellite or internet-based services like Netflix. For those who live in some rural areas, services like cable TV and high-speed internet may not exist. Cable TV and internet companies are usually not willing to invest thousands of dollars (or more) setting up equipment and running lines into areas that are sparsely-populated because they know they probably won’t sign up enough subscribers to recover their investment in any reasonable amount of time.
How Important Is TV To You?
While it may sound a bit extreme, someone looking for a home in a rural location might want to ensure that the location they are considering for their new home is favorable for the reception of satellite television. In some cases it might be necessary to have a technician come out to check to make sure service can be delivered, in most cases it is safe to assume you’ll be able to receive satellite TV if you have an unobstructed view of the southern sky. If television is something you don’t want to live without and the location you are moving to does not offer cable TV or true high-speed internet service, it is probably worth it to make sure you can receive satellite TV before you commit to moving in.
Another consideration for people who are considering DISH Network are obstructions that are seasonal in nature. For example, there may be trees that will obstruct the signal from the satellites in the summer time when there are leaves on the trees and do not interfere with the signal at all on the winter when the leaves are absent. In a lot of cases it will be possible to have trees trimmed or cut down, but in other cases, the trees might be located on a neighbor’s property, which can complicate things significantly. So be aware that receiving a good satellite signal during one season may not mean that you will be able to receive that signal during another season. These are the kinds of things you want to consider before having a satellite TV system installed.
At this point it is easy to see why it can be said that DISH is available “everywhere” in the continental United States, but there are some conditions on the ground that must be met – namely a clear and unobstructed “view” of the broadcast satellites in the sky. As long as that condition can be met, there’s very little chance that you will have trouble receiving DISH Network from just about anywhere in the continental United States.