How to Troubleshoot a Dish Network Smart Card


In order to unscramble the signals the satellite dish receives, a Dish Network receiver uses a smart card. This smart card is roughly the size of a credit card and is inserted from the exterior of the receiver. Without the card, the receiver is unable to unscramble the satellite signals. If you experience problems receiving all of your subscribed channels, your smart card might be damaged or malfunctioning.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish Network receiver
  • Clean cloth
  • Flip open the small lid on the smart card port. This is located on the front of the Dish Network receiver.

  • Push in on the smart card and it pops out of the receiver. Wipe off the smart card with a clean cloth to remove any fingerprints or dirt.

  • Spray compressed air inside the smart card chamber to remove any dust stuck inside, which may be blocking the connection signal.

  • Insert the smart card back into the Dish Network. If the receiver is not connecting to all of the stations, contact Dish Network (1-800-823-4929) and ask for an up-to-date smart card. The company will mail you one free-of-charge and you can insert the new card into the receiver. Once the receiver scans the card, all of the programming should appear on the screen.

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  • Photo Credit Satellite dish image by Scrivener from
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