How to Adjust a Dish TV Antenna

By Janet Metcalf

Over time, a Dish TV antenna may drift out of alignment and require adjustment. Professional satellite installers use a signal meter to adjust a Dish antenna to its maximum signal strength. It is possible for consumers to adjust their own dish antenna without a signal meter by using the signal strength utility included in the receiver software. The procedure is best done with two people; one monitors the signal strength on the receiver, while the other is outside adjusting the satellite dish.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish Network dish
  • Receiver
  • Remote
  • Receiver User Guide
  • Nut driver


Step 1

Turn on the receiver and television. If this is a dual receiver, use the television in the same room as the receiver. Wait for a picture or error message to appear.

Step 2

Press the "Menu" button on the number one remote. The "Main Menu" will appear. Each menu option is numbered one through nine, with a description next to the number. "Cancel" (numbered zero) is the last item in the list, and is the default selection. It will be highlighted with a different background color. Menu items can be selected either by pressing the number associated with the item on the number pad of the remote, or by moving the "highlight" with the remote's up, down, right, and left arrow keys, and then pressing the "Select" button. Most items on the Main Menu have two or three sub-menus.

Step 3

Navigate to the "Point Dish" screen by pressing number "6" for "System Setup." The System Setup Menu will appear.

Step 4

Press number "1" for "Installation." The Installation Menu will appear.

Step 5

Press number "1" again for "Point Dish." The "Point Dish" screen will appear. The layout of the "Point Dish" screen varies depending on the receiver model. Depending on the receiver model, the "Cancel" or "Done" menu option will be highlighted. Move the highlight to the "Satellite" box on the left side of the screen. Use the up and down arrow keys to change the satellite number to 119. Use the right or left arrow key to move to the transponder box and change it to number 11. Wait for the signal strength bar at the bottom of the screen to update. It can take as long as ten seconds. A green signal strength bar indicates the receiver has "locked" on to the satellite.

Step 6

Stand behind the satellite dish, and place your hand at the twelve o'clock position on the reflector and push forward. Have your partner check the change in signal strength, if any. Remember that it can take up to ten seconds for the signal strength bar to update. After your partner has noted the status of the signal strength, pull the reflector back towards you. Have your partner note the change in signal strength. Repeat this procedure at the three o'clock, six o'clock, and nine o'clock positions. The pressure applied to the reflector by the push/pull technique will result in small signal strength changes, revealing which direction the Dish antenna should be turned, and which direction it should not be turned.

Step 7

Loosen the bolts necessary to adjust the Dish in the direction required. The twelve and six o'clock positions correspond to the elevation, while the three and nine o'clock positions correspond to the azimuth adjustments. Refer to the Dish Antenna Installation section of the receiver manual to identify the locations of these bolts.

Step 8

Move the Dish in small increments of one sixteenth of an inch in the desired direction. Have your helper watch the signal strength indicator with each move. Remember to allow ten seconds for the receiver to update the signal strength. When the signal strength bar turns green, move the dish slightly back and forth to get the strongest possible signal.

Step 9

Tighten the bolts. Check the signal strength again to make sure the Dish did not move while tightening the bolts.

Step 10

Press the "Cancel" button on the remote three times to return to the picture. The receiver may initiate a download before the picture returns.

Tips & Warnings

  • Move the Dish slowly in small increments. Have your helper tell you when to make the next move.
  • Do not loosen the dish's skew bolts. Refer to the Dish Antenna Installation section of the Receiver User Guide to identify these bolts.