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Eastern Arc Upgrade

Advancing Technology in Space Can Make Things Complicated on The Ground

Back in 1998 when I installed my own DISH system, it was a pretty simple process. The dish antenna received all of its broadcast content from a satellite that sits some 23,000 miles in space above the equator at 119 degrees west longitude.

As the satellite industry evolved and more programming became available, the old 119 satellite started to reach its capacity to broadcast channels which made the launch of new satellites a necessity. DISH soon had satellites at 110 west longitude and as high-definition programming started becoming available and demanding more satellite capacity, other satellites were launched, including the one at 61.5 degrees west longitude.

As you can see from my DISH Review page, I eventually ended up with two satellite dishes mounted on my house in order to receive all the programming that was available in my programming package. The old satellite dish on the left received its broadcast signals from the 119 and 110 satellites and the one on the right received its broadcast signal from the 61.5 satellite.

That’s the way my DISH dish antennas looked after early 2007 when I upgraded my old DISH 5000 system to a new HD-capable DISH ViP622 system.

Technology on Terra Firma Catches Up With Satellites in Space

Back around the beginning of 2010 I was contacted by DISH in order to schedule an upgrade of the external equipment that’s part of my DISH system. DISH had launched even more satellites and managed to position them close enough to one another to allow three of them to be received with only one new satellite dish known as the “Eastern Arc” dish.

This new dish is a little larger than the old dishes and has a longer feed arm on it, but considering the enhanced capabilities of this new dish, it really isn’t all that much larger than my older dish antennas.

The only real downside for me was that I seriously doubted that I would be able to adjust the new dish in case it got knocked out of alignment. Granted, that’s a very rare event, but it was kind of nice to just skip the service call and realign my own dish on the one or two occasions it was called for. I guess those days are over.

Out With The Old And In With The New!

DISH Network Eastern Arc Upgrade My upgrade was originally scheduled to happen sometime in March, but in snowy New Hampshire where I used to live, it was still too hazardous for a technician to be climbing up on the roof so we had to reschedule the service call for late April.

As scheduled, the technician showed up to install the new dish you now see in the photo on the right. The technician was very friendly and cooperative, even helping me remove the mast that I had mounted some weather station equipment on before installing the new dish. This was necessary due to the orientation of the new dish and the longer feed arm, but as you can see, I just relocated the weather station equipment on the existing mast that is positioned behind the dish.

The new “Eastern Arc” dish receives broadcast signals from satellites located at 61.5, 72 and 77 degrees west longitude. The service technician was at my house for at least an hour and did a really nice job with the installation. After climbing up on my roof to check out the installation, I found that all the wiring was secured very neatly and the dish was mounted very securely, with the mounting hardware attached to the main structural support beams located near that part of my house.

When the technician was done with the work on the roof of my house, I did sit with him while we checked the signal levels on the service menu of the ViP622 DVR and made sure everything looked good. Everything has been working great since the installation and I have not had any problems at all. Kudos to Shawn for a very nice job.

Chances are that any new DISH installations will now be using the new “Eastern Arc” style dish. I cannot be certain that other dish antennas aren’t still being used as well, but I suppose it could depend on what type of receiver or DVR is installed and what programming packages are ordered. However, my guess is that the old smaller and rounder gray-colored dishes are a thing of the past for all new installations.

A New Home And A New Installation

Change has come again for my DISH installation. This time it’s a major change since we decided to move our family from New Hampshire to North Carolina. It’s a move we’ve been thinking about for a long time and since the time seemed right, we decided to do it.

Although my old home in New Hampshire was ideal for DISH reception due to the lack of trees and other obstructions around the house, we weren’t quite as fortunate with our new home in North Carolina.

There are numerous trees around the property with the only real open space being in the large front yard. Fortunately, the installer that was sent out was willing to go the extra mile and install the dish on a pole that was placed in the front yard (thanks, Steve!). It was the only good location on the property where he was able to get proper line-of-sight (LoS) to the Eastern Arc satellites.

I was still getting programming from the Eastern Arc DISH satellites, so nothing changed in that regard. Making use of DISH’s “Dish Mover” service was easy and straightforward. They even scheduled our installation date on a Sunday afternoon which was the day after we arrived at our new home.

In the two years I was with DISH after our move to North Carolina, the installation worked just as well as it did in New Hampshire. One advantage to having the dish mounted on a pole in the yard was that it is a lot easier for me to access it to clear any snow or ice that might accumulate on it and interfere with reception. It sure does not snow as much here at it did in New Hampshire, but we do get a little bit of it once in a while.

It will be a lot safer and easier for me since I don’t have to use a ladder to get up on my roof any longer. Although I don’t recommend it, there were a few occasions where I actually went up on the roof to play with the dish during the winter with snow and ice on the roof! I was very careful when doing so and was lucky that I never had any problems.

What Comes Next?

Your guess is probably as good as mine, but if the past is any indication, the satellite TV companies, including DISH will continue to launch new satellites to accommodate new programming. Who knows? Maybe the next new DISH will have the capability of receiving broadcast signals from five or six separate satellites!

It appears that DISH is planning to be around for the long haul. The company has completed new agreements that will further their development of new receivers and DVRs and they seem to be continually forging new agreements with content providers in order to deliver more diversity in programming to subscribers.