THROWBACK THURSDAY: When Giant Dishes Roamed the Earth

Back in 2004, there was no more powerful satellite dish for DIRECTV than the Channel Master Gain Master. This was a monster of a dish compared to the dishes of the day, although at 24″x35″, it’s really about the size of today’s Slimline series dishes. Take a look:

It actually looks like a Slimline a little bit, but it uses three of what we would now call standard definition LNBs, each one pointed at one of DIRECTV’s three primary satellite locations at the time. The Gain Master made quite a splash when we announced it at AVSForum back in 2003, and it continued to make waves until 2006 when it was discontinued.

Why is this behemoth dish no longer with us? It was never popular at a price of over $375 (with no installation of course.) and it did not work for DIRECTV’s new satellite locations. While it was 2008 before there was any appreciable content at those locations, satellite enthusiasts began preparing as early as 2005, and they lost interest in the Gain Master as a result.

Unfortunately, Channel Master never made a larger dish for HD, since demand for dishes larger than 39″ is limited by the OTARD rules imposed by the FCC to force apartment owners to let people use their antennas. In the meantime, DIRECTV’s new LNBs are much more sensitive and more more effective, meaning there is much less need for a larger dish.

Check our our product listing for the Gain Master courtesy of

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.