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mutton-javelin 2-Aug-2015 4:29 AM

Using existing Dish setup to mount antenna
Hello all,
I have not posted in some time.
Just bought a house that has an existing setup for DISH or DIRECT TV (not sure which one as I need to look at it).
Can I use the hardware and cable to mount a DB4 antenna?

ADTech 2-Aug-2015 11:35 AM

Replacing satellite service with an antenna

A common question we receive usually reads as follows: “I am dropping my satellite service and would like to switch over to an antenna. Can I use the existing mount and cables from the satellite system with an antenna for digital TV?”

Our answer is “usually, but”.

There are several things to consider:

1) The satellite dish was mounted in a location that gave it an unobstructed view of a certain arc of the southern sky. Usually, this location was selected by the installer so that it would work while allowing him to use the shortest ladder on his truck. Consequently, the physical mounting location of the dish may or may not be in a suitable location for the reception of your local broadcast signals. You will need to use a broadcast tower locating tool such as to determine the direction from your location to the local broadcast towers. If the current location of your dish happens to also allow a good, unobstructed view in the directions of those towers, then the mounting location has a chance of being successful with your antenna. On the other hand, if the dish location requires the antenna to be pointed into trees, your roof, or your neighbor’s house, be prepared to relocate it
to a more appropriate location that offers a better path to your broadcast towers.

2) Depending on when the system was installed, there may be anywhere from one to four (or more!) coaxial cables running from the dish to various locations within your home. The coaxial cable required by the satellite companies is completely compatible with an antenna system, so it can usually be re-used. You, however, must look through the cables to determine where each goes and you must remove any special equipment that the satellite installer may have used such as multi-switches, amplifiers, splitters, and the like.

mutton-javelin 2-Aug-2015 9:54 PM

thanks for the info. The placement if the mast is OK. It is on my lower roof. (I just don't want to climb up to the high roof on the highest part of the house.
Reception here is really basic.
On a side note there are a bunch of cable points inside the house. The one I wan to use was in use when we bought the house.

rickbb 5-Aug-2015 5:51 PM

You may run into problems with existing cable. Sat signals are stronger than OTA and the existing cable runs may be too long, or split into too many different runs for your antenna to be able to push the signal through.

Sat signals aren't usually affected by this enough for the typical home install to be a problem, but often are for OTA reception.

I tried to use my existing sat cable runs in my house when I switched, but got very poor performance from them. I wound up replacing it all with new, shortest length possible runs and reception improved greatly. By greatly I mean 30% more channels and better quality signal, just from replacing the cable and splitter.

mutton-javelin 6-Aug-2015 3:15 AM

I have not tried to take the dish off yet. I will try this weekend and post my results.
thanks for the info

ADTech 6-Aug-2015 4:55 PM

Satellite signals are already amplified at the dish so they will overcome downstream substantial cable loss. Antennas may or may not be amplified, you have to do the math.

Satellite installers use standard RG6, usually quad shield, for their installations. That cable is 100% compatible with TV signals and is virtually indistinguishable from what you can buy either online or in any big box store. I should know, I've tested numerous samples as part of my job.

Splitters intended for satellite use are optimized for that usage, they may or may not be usable for OTA signals. It's simply better to use a known item in the first place instead of experimenting if one wants it to turn out right the first time.

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