How to Install a Dish Switch


A satellite dish switch is a device used to connect multiple dish antennae to a satellite receiver, which feeds the broadcast signal into the television. The switch offers increased flexibility to your satellite service. With a dish switch, you can connect multiple satellite dishes for better reception and more channels (Reference 1). The dish switch is typically installed along with the satellite antenna; however an additional switch can be added later on by the end-user whenever an additional satellite is installed, and does not require a technician for installation (Reference 2).

Things You'll Need

  • Dish switch
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • RG-6 coaxial cable
  • Two satellite dish antennae
  • Satellite receiver connected to a television
  • Choose a permanent location for the dish switch somewhere outside your home, preferably next to the satellite dish, although this is not required nor is it always possible. The switch is designed to operate outdoors and should be installed near the dish if possible so all signal cables are located fairly close together. Find a solid structure where the switch can be mounted, such as the side of the house or some other sturdy structure (Reference 3). Be sure the power to the television and the satellite receiver is off. No further electrical precautions are necessary.

  • Drill two holes through the mounting plate, one on each side, where a screw will hold the switch to the wall. Screws and washers and other mounting hardware are usually included with the switch kit. Orient the switch so the port labeled "To Receiver Satellite In" points downward. Use a screwdriver to tightly fasten the switch to the mounting surface (Reference 3).

  • Connect both dishes to the dish switch with the RG-6 cable that exits through the LNBF. The LNBF is an apparatus on the dish antenna that extends from the bottom of the dish like an arm. RG-6 is coaxial cable that carries the satellite signal. Connect one cable from each dish antenna to the switch, one in each port labeled "To Dish" (Reference 3).

  • Run an RG-6 cable from the port at the bottom of the switch labeled "To Receiver Satellite In" to the satellite receiver inside the house, connected to the television. Connect the cable to a port on the receiver labeled "Satellite In" (Reference 3).

  • Turn on the television and the satellite receiver. Go to the satellite system setup Main Menu and select Installation, and then Point Dish/Signal. The onscreen display will show details about the satellite connection. Select Check Switch, and the procedure will run automatically. Let the Check program run its course. When finished, the system will display an Okay message, and you may start watching television (Reference 3). Consult the dish switch owner's manual if any message appears at the conclusion of the Check program other than Okay, or consult a satellite dish technician.

Tips & Warnings

  • Install the switch anywhere within 200 feet of the satellite antenna as long as the coaxial cable is rated RG-6, a designation that ensures the cable operates at a particular frequency (Reference 3). Ideally, the switch should go near the dish antenna, although this may not be possible if the dish is mounted in an awkward position in order for it to point toward the proper location in the sky.

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  • Photo Credit Satellite TV image by Bryan Crowe from
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