Satellite Dish

Satellite Dish on the Side of the House

Should we mount a satellite dish on the side of the house? That is the question many people ask especially if they have vinyl or aluminum siding on their homes. Even people who have brick on all 4 walls are asking this question. Many people allow installers to install the dishes on their homes regardless of the type of siding they have. Personally I am against allowing a satellite dish on the side of the house to be attached to my home for the following reasons.

Impact of a Satellite Dish On Your Home

  • At least 4 holes need to be drilled into and through the siding
  • These holes are potential points for water leakage
  • You need one more hole somewhere for the cable to run through
  • When you remove the dish, you have these unsightly holes to deal with
  • It looks ugly to have this dish on your home

Alternatives

Now there are steps you can take to protect your home if you have no choice. Many people do not have access to cable TV services. They may live in the country or in a small village were cable TV is not offered or available. Here is a list of potential alternatives:

  • Mount the dish on a pole away from your home
  • Install the dish on a garage or other building
  • Mount the dish on a side of your home were it is not visible
  • Install the dish on the roof
  • Attach the dish to the chimney

In all cases you must be able to have a line of site view of the satellite from the location were the satellite dish is being installed. This includes no building blocking the view or trees or shrubs partially blocking the view. If any of these things get in the way you will either not get any signal at all or it will be degraded.

Most installers are professionals and will seal all holes so that rain water and insects cannot get in. If you remove the satellite dish on the side of the house, you will have holes that must be plugged and sealed properly. You will have an unsightly set of holes, but after awhile you will not even notice them. They will be there of course and might be an issue for someone wanting to buy your house. We suggest that you leave the satellite dish on the side of the house even if you are not using it.

Let us know if you have any comments on our opinion about this. For more thoughts and ideas about mounting satellite dishes, click here.

 

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Mount Satellite on Siding of Your Home

Satellite TV signals have really made a difference in many people’s lives. Now Mount Satellite on Siding of Your Homesomeone in Rural Canada or the rural United States and in fact all over the world can now receive hundreds of TV stations, many in high definition. Also they now provide much needed competition to the cable companies and have kept the price of cable down as well. Competition is always good at controlling prices, but many people are worried about mounting these dishes on the side of their home. You need to Mount Satellite on Siding of Your Home in most cases.

If you have a brick home, a satellite dish can easily be mounted on the side of the house using lag bolts drilled into the bricks on your house. There will be no leaks and the dish will be very solid. If a dish sways in the wind or moves the signal will be degraded and you may even lose the signal. So a solid mounting is critical as is a clear line of site to the satellite. You need holes for the anchor bolts and also for the cable to run from the dish into the home either at the location were you mount the dish or lower down near a window or door of your home. More on that later.
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Trees are Impeding Satellite Signal

This is not really an indoor signal coverage issue. Instead we are writing about finding a clear path to the satellite for TV signals. We will discuss how trees are Trees are Impeding Satellite Signalimpeding satellite signal.  Most people will arrange for a professional to install their satellite dish. In most cases on the side of the house or on the roof. Some will even use a separate pole to mount the satellite dish in order to find a good strong satellite signal. Finding a clear path in the fall or winter may be much different from finding a path in the spring or summer due to leaves and growing trees.

For those of you who may not be aware the satellites that broadcast TV signals are placed in orbit around the earth. They occupy the same position all of the time. This is the reason that you can point a dish at the satellite and it will usually always receive good quality signals that are then broadcast on your TV set.

The problem comes in when these dishes have been installed for some time and something gets in the way to block the signal. Sometimes it is another building that blocks the signal from a straight line of sight. Most often though it is trees that are impeding satellite signals. Typically what happens is that when the dish was installed the trees are small or may not even be planted. Some years later and this can be only a couple of years, these trees grow and begin to block the signal. The solution is to either trim the tree or to move the satellite dish.

Trees are Impeding Satellite Signal – Installation

Another common problem involving trees impeding the satellite signal is a bad installation. The installer installs the satellite dish in the fall or over the winter when there are no leaves on the trees. The signal is strong and your TV works fine. Unfortunately as spring evolves and the trees fill out with leaves, they block the signal for the spring and summer. Again, you either have to move the dish or trim the tree’s. There is no other answer.

Rain and snow will also block the signals. Heavy rain has been known to block a signal from a satellite. It will momentarily  cause you to lose your TV signal on your TV, usually at the most inopportune times. Snow is another matter. Snow buildup on your dish can cause a significant degradation in the signal strength. If you already have a weak signal, you are going to lose reception as well. Fortunately both are temporary and can be cleared easily enough.

So if you have a satellite dish, remember to make sure you have a clear line of sight to the satellite. That is not blocked or will not be blocked by growing trees!

For more details about satellite dish installation, click here.

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Big Ugly Dish

big ugly dishSome readers will remember the days when you needed a large big ugly dish, 8 foot wide satellite dish placed in your backyard or in some cases even in your front yard so that you could receive TV programs via Satellite.  Thank goodness that the days of the big ugly dish are long gone and now we only need to deal with the smaller dishes that are approximately 2 feet across.

The picture on the left shows the kind of satellite dish many early adopters were willing to put up with in their back yards or even in their front lawns to enable them to receive a strong signal. Many municipalities even passed bylaws preventing these dishes from being erected in what we’re considered public spaces even thought they were on private land.

Although some people might see the new dishes as still falling in the category of the big ugly dish they are much smaller and compact than anything we had before and they deliver many more channels compared to even the large dishes.

New Style vs. Big Ugly Dish

The new style of satellite dishes are much smaller and can be mounted on top of a pole, on the side of your home or even on the roof. As long as the installer does a good job of installing these small dishes, you will not need to worry about water damage or wind damage. The key really is to make sure that all penetrations of the wall or roof are properly sealed to ensure that there is no chance of water penetrating through these holes and getting inside the walls. We will discuss this a little bit more later in this post.

From the picture you will note that there are multiple set top boxes which enable satellite TV viewing to be shown on multiple TVs with different channels at the same time. Basically when you are using satellite TV reception you must have one set top box for each TV otherwise you cannot use your TV without a set top box.

Small Dish Installation

This is an example of a small dish mounted on the peak of a roof of a home. When you are installing these dishes, the main issue is to be able to have an unobstructed view of the satellite or line of sight . If there are buildings or trees with lots of leaves in the way you are going to be unsuccessful in receiving a strong signal from the satellite.  Many people make the mistake of installing a new dish with line of sight in the fall or winter when there are no leaves on trees and receive an excellent signal.

When the spring rolls around and the leaves come out on the trees, the leaves block the signal and their satellite TV reception fails. Now they have to move their dish to another location.  You may be able to get a good line of sight from the side of your home, however some people will need to mount them on the roof of their home to avoid conflict with other homes impeding the line of sight view with the location of the satellite.

Installation on the Side of a Home

This is an example of a small dish being installed on the side of a wall of a home with no siding or wall covering. The cable from the dish runs down the wall and enters the home through the basement  somewhere and then is distributed to the right location within the home.  The installer was able to find sufficient height this way to gain line of sight with the satellite for this home owner. Once the home owner decides to cover the walls of his home with brick or siding he will need to remove the dish and reinstall it on top of the siding, which will cause holes to penetrate his new siding. As long as they are sealed properly he will have no problems with leakage.

The picture on the left shows what the installation would look like with the siding installed and the dish installed on top of the siding. In this case the wire goes inside the home at the dish location and they do not have an unsightly wire running down the side of the home. If you plan to get a satellite service as an experiment to compare to standard cable , remember you can return the dish and set top boxes, however the holes in your roof or wall are permanent and must be sealed properly to prevent moisture and insects from entering your walls and causing further damage.

Apartment Buildings

Many people in apartment buildings will install satellite dishes to improve their reception. Note that you usually must get permission from the building owner or condominium board prior to installation to ensure that they are allowed in your building. Many building owners refuse to approve them due to the damage they cause and the unsightly look of so many dishes.

I have seen apartment buildings with almost every apartment having a dish hanging off the balcony. It does not look very attractive to any one considering living in the building. Also you can only install these dishes on the side of the building that faces the satellite you are trying to receive a signal from. S o before you buy check to make sure you actually face the direction you need to get a strong signal.

The big ugly dish has shrunk in size , however when you add them together at an apartment building, they truly are the big ugly dishes!

Feel free to add your comments and thoughts about these satellite dishes appearing everywhere and ruining your view! For more satellite dish info, click here.

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