June 29, 2018

DIRECTV Installation Help

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You've done the research and decided to subscribe to DIRECTV. Maybe it's their extensive HD channel line-up, or their NFL Sunday Ticket, or even their 1TB DVR storage which won you over.

Either way, once you become a DIRECTV customer, here's what to expect on the day of installation.

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Once you've ordered your DIRECTV service, the first step is to set an appointment for a certified technician (also known as an installer) to install the service in your home.

If you've ordered via the official DIRECTV or AT&T website, you can do this online. If you've signed up via an online retailer or local electronics store, they will help set an appointment for you.

You can also liaise directly with installers in your area by checking the local phone book or online directory.

Installation dates are usually available within 24 to 72 hours after placing an order, depending on availability.


On the day of the appointment, you'll receive a call notifying you when the technician is on the way.

You'll need to ensure that an authorized adult (above the age of 18) is home. The adult will have to sign for the completed work and authorize possible structural modifications (e.g., whether or not it's okay to drill a hole in the wall, etc.).

Also, make sure that your TV sets are accessible to the technician. To get the most out of your installation, it's best to have an active phone and/or internet service on the day of the appointment.

During the installation, the technician will first do an interior and exterior site inspection. This is to determine the best placement for the satellite dish and routing of the cables.

DIRECTV dishes need a clear view to the southern sky for optimal reception. Usually, the dish is installed at an elevated location with open-air access to the satellite signal, such as the roofline, side of the home, or balcony. Some apartment buildings are also pre-wired for DIRECTV, so make sure to check with the property manager prior to installation.

Tip: For a smooth installation process, ensure that you've checked with your landlord, homeowners association and/or property manager that it's okay to install a satellite dish on the property. The DIRECTV installation may require structural modifications, which might violate the terms of your lease or rental agreement.

It's best to have verbal or written permission from your landlord, homeowners association, or property manager. DIRECTV does provide an installation permission form on their website, which can help you with this process.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) forbids local governments and homeowners associations from preventing you from installing satellite dishes one meter or smaller. However, it's still best to check with the relevant parties beforehand - better safe than sorry!

After the inspection, the technician will proceed with installing the satellite dish. He/She will also route the cables and connect your DIRECTV receivers to your TV and/or other devices.

Note: The standard professional installation only covers up to four rooms/TV sets only. Additional rooms and custom installations will cost extra. Check with DIRECTV to have a better idea of your installation costs before subscribing.

Finally, the technician will conduct a system test to verify the signal strength. Once they are satisfied, they will then activate your system and brief you on how to use your new TV service.


  • Installers/ Technicians: An installer or technician is someone who installs the DIRECTV service in your home. The installer determines the best location for the satellite dish, and then installs it using appropriate mounting hardware. He or she would also ensure proper connection with the receiver box.

  • Satellite signal: Satellite TV providers use satellite technology to help transmit the broadcast signal to the end user. A transmission satellite orbits at a constant spot above the Earth's surface - this means that it will always be at the same location. That's why DIRECTV's dishes are best placed facing the southern sky, where the satellite is.

    From Earth, satellite TV providers have an "Uplink center" that collects all the programming and channels from various networks, and transmits them to the satellite. The satellite then transmits the signal to millions of receiver dishes on the Earth's surface. The receiver dishes catch these signals and convert them into the various channels and programs that you can watch on your TV.

  • DVR: Certain DIRECTV set-top boxes come equipped with DVR functionality. Their most popular HD-DVR unit is the "Genie," which can record up to five shows at once and store up to 200 hours of HD programming (or 800 hours of SD), and which you can watch on your own time.

  • Parental Controls: DIRECTV has a parental control function that can block out shows with violent and/or sexual content inappropriate for children. The feature can be set up from the receiver's remote control, and asks for a special pin number to access the restricted programming.

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