How to Set Up a DirecTV Box

By Billy Kirk

Many consumers rely on a satellite TV professional to hook up their DirecTV receiver box and install it alongside their television set. However, you can potentially save money by setting up the DirecTV receiver yourself. Even if you don't have any installation experience, you can utilize the included RCA cable to install the receiver and gain access to DirecTV programming.

Things You'll Need

  • DirecTV receiver
  • RCA cable
  • DirecTV account

Get Connected

Step 1

Connect the coaxial cable to the back of the DirecTV receiver. This cable comes from the satellite dish's base and needs to be run inside to the satellite receiver box, where it will connect to the "ANT IN" port on the rear of the box.

Step 2

Make the connection between the receiver and the television. Connect one end of the included RCA cable to the rear of the DirecTV receiver and the other to the TV. The cable has three prongs---one red, one yellow, and one white---on each end. There are color-corresponding ports on the back of the receiver and the TV. Match the ports and prongs and plug the prongs in. The cable carries both audio and video signals.

Step 3

Power on the DirecTV receiver and the television. The receiver will download information from DirecTV, with the progress indicated on the screen. As the download progresses, contact Directv to activate the receiver so you can access full programming from your account.

Step 4

If you are unable to access the satellite signal on your receiver after setting it up with the TV, you will need to complete the satellite dish setup using the receiver's signal meter screen. Select the "Signal Strength" option from the receiver's setup menu. The signal meter screen must be used in conjunction with the satellite dish when making dish adjustments in order to ensure a strong signal can be received.

Step 5

Go outside to your DirecTV dish and have a friend monitor the signal meter screen. Make adjustments as necessary to the dish's aim. After each adjustment, the signal meters will provide real-time updates on signal strength. Continue making adjustments until the receiver indicates you've pointed the dish correctly. When complete, you will be able to view satellite programming.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have a high-definition receiver and HDTV, you'll want to connect the receiver to the TV with a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cable, or with a component cable, in order to display a high-definition picture.