Once you have decided to get a Dish Network or DirecTV satellite system for your home, the next step is to have the system installed. Almost all Satellite TV Dish installations these days are done by well-trained professionals who are accustomed to considering both the technical requirements of your system, as well as your concerns about the appearance of your home. However, having someone (even a well-trained professional) approach your home with a power drill, 100 feet of coaxial cable and a staple gun, can be anxiety producing. In addition, that little satellite dish, while very cute and mostly unobtrusive, is not your average homeowner’s idea of what they want to have hanging over their front door.
Here are some things that you will want to consider and plan for before the ‘Satellite Guy or Girl’ comes knocking. If you follow these guidelines, you will avoid some of the common problems that might occur, and you will have a better overall installation of your satellite system.
1) Understand What You Are Getting. Before you even schedule an installation, you need to understand fully what is included in your system. Get answers to all your questions at the ‘Point of Sale’. How many TVs will be hooked up? Will they all be able to see different channels? Will any of the TVs have High Definition or DVR capabilities? How much will your total monthly bill be after any free programming promotions have run out? These are questions to ask the sales representative now, not your installer later.
2) Do Pre-Installation Planning. The Dish will need to have a clear view of the Southern Sky. Your installer will have appropriate dish pointing tools that will pin-point the position of the satellite, and he will advise you as to where the dish can be mounted so that it will have a clear and unobstructed view. Remember, the dish can not see through trees, your house, the neighbors garage roof, or any other solid or semi-solid objects.
3) Clear The Deck! Your satellite installer may need to access your attic and basement and possibly even closets to run the cables. Make sure that his/her path is clear. Don't ask the installer to move the wood in the basement or clean out the back of a cluttered closet to be able to run the wires. That is not part of a ‘Basic Installation’. Once you have an understanding of where the wires will have to be run, get ahead of your installer and clear the way if necessary.
4) Ask Questions. Any professional satellite dish installer who is worthy of the title will not mind you looking on and asking as many questions as you want about the install. Keep in mind that he is trying to work efficiently, but part of his job is to inform you about what he is doing and why. He may even ask if you want to help, depending on the type of installation.
Lastly, before he packs up and leaves, the installer will show you how to operate your system. But don't expect that you will remember everything he tells you at this point. So make sure that you have the users manual, the toll free help number for your service provider, and (most importantly) the number of the help and information channel on your Dish Network or DirecTV system. These channels repeat every hour all the information that you will need to use and enjoy your new satellite system.
Chuck DeVries is the owner of SkyBlue Home Systems in Hanover, New Hampshire. He has been selling, installing and writing about Satellite TV and related subjects for over 12 years. You can find more of his thoughts and musings on the Sat Biz at http://www.KissMyDish.com .
This article may be reused in whole or in part, provided the author's name and all links are preserved. Copyright, KissMyDish 2006