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Cabling for Dish Network Systems

Understanding Satellite Signal Distribution

Satellite has so much more bandwidth than cable TV that a single coaxial cable isn't able to carry all of it at once. For this reason you can't use splitters to distribute the satellite signal to multiple receivers. Each receiver needs its own separate line back to the dish so it can select between different satellites.


What follows is a walkthrough of a three room installation with a Dish 1000.2, one dual-tuner (Such as a ViP 222) and one single-tuner (Such as the 311) using Dish Pro Plus. This is exactly the way a new system would be installed by Dish Network technicians. Note that if we were using all HD receivers we could use a 1000.2 Eastern Arc LNB, if were were using all SD receivers we could use a Dish 500.


  • Dish 1000.2
  • 1000.2 Western Arc LNBF
  • Dual RG-6 cable with grounding wire (Dish Network uses Vextra brand, I prefer Commscope BrightWire)
  • Grounding block
  • RG-6 cable rated to 2150 MHz or higher (Dish Network uses Vextra brand, I prefer Commscope BrightWire)
  • Diplexer rated to 2150 MHz or higher (Such as the Holland DPD2)
  • Wallplates rated to 3 GHz (Optional)
  • Cable clips
  • Compression connectors (Dish network uses PPC brand, I prefer PCT TRS-6)

Outdoor Cabling

The grounding block is considered the center of the system. It should either be placed outside - within 10 feet of the electric meter or inside as close to where the cables enter the house as possible. Strip the ground wire from the first three feet or so of dual cable. Install compression connectors on one end of the dual cable, feed them through the arm of the dish and connect them to the output ports of the LNB. Make a short jumper out of three feet of cable and feed it through the arm of the dish, connecting it to an output port - this is your tuning lead. (Note: the fourth port on the 1000.2 LNB is an input port. Nothing should be connected to it.) Torque all connectors to 22 in-lbs and mount the LNB to the dish with the screws provided.

After pointing and peaking the dish, make a 4" loop out of the dual cable and secure it to the back of the dish with cable ties, this should allow enough slack for future upgrades. Run the cable down the mast and secure with cable ties every four inches. Cut the ground wire off of the dual cable, strip it and connect it to the base of the dish mount using a self-tapping ground screw or an aluminum lug. Secure the cable to the wall of the building every 18" with plastic clips. If the ground block is installed outdoors, form a 4" drip loop around the block and install connectors on the end of the dual cable. Make sure the cables are all angled downward to direct water away from the connectors. Torque the connectors to 22 in-lbs. Strip the ground wire and connect it to the screw terminal on the grounding block. Using 10 gauge solid copper wire connect the other screw terminal of the grounding block to an approved ground. Approved grounds include: multi-system ground terminals, the building's ground wire or ground rod, metal electrical boxes and grounded copper cold-water pipes. Use plastic bushings and silicone sealant where exterior cables enter the building.

Indoor cabling

Inside the building, run RG6 cable from each room to the location of the ground block. Install compression or crimp style connectors to the indoor cabling. Wallplates may be used, be should be satellite grade wallplates, which are identifiable by their blue color-coded barrel connectors. Torque any connectors used inside a wall to prevent them from wiggling loose. Leave plenty of slack, one foot or so, inside the wall in case future upgrades or repairs are necessary. Never use staples to secure cabling, and do not use fasteners of any type inside a wall - the cable may need to be upgraded or replaced in the future. When using wall boxes, do not use electrical wall boxes - always use "low-voltage" wall boxes which have a completely open back.

Connecting the Receivers and TVs

Connect the 311 to its satellite cable. Hand tighten the connection or use an indoor torque wrench set for 5 in-lbs. Connect the 311 to the TV using the best connection available - S-video, composite video, or coaxial cable. At the ground block connect the 311's cable directly to one of the ports on the ground block and torque to 22 in-lbs. Form a drip loop if this connection is made outside.

Connect the ports on the triplexer supplied with the 222 to their proper inputs using the supplied jumpers. The blue ports on the triplexer go to SATELLITE IN 1 and SATELLITE IN 2 on the receiver. The yellow port on the triplexer goes to the HOME DISTRIBUTION port on the receiver. Satellite in 1 and 2 are the tuner inputs. Home distribution is the output of the UHF modulator for the second TV. The purple INPUT port of the triplexer is connected to the line coming in from the dish. Firmly hand tighten all connections or use an indoor torque wrench for 5 in-lbs. Connect the TV to the 222 using the best possible connection - HDMI/DVI or component video for HDTVs or S-Video or composite video for SD TVs. Dish network HD receivers output a 480i (SD) signal on all outputs by default. Change this to 1080 by pressing Menu > System Setup > HDTV Setup and select 1080 from the drop-down menu. Subcontractors almost always skip this step when setting up receivers, so it never hurts to check.

At the ground block, connect the cable from the 222 to the purple IN/OUT port of your diplexer. Make a short jumper and connect the blue SAT port of the diplexer to the ground block. Connect the white VHF/UHF port of the diplexer to the cable going to the second TV. Connect the antenna input of the second TV directly to this cable, set the TV to "AIR" mode and tune it to channel 60.

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