When I told you to get a spare satellite dish

Don’t laugh, I used to recommend this all the time. Back in 2015, I even wrote a whole article about it. You can check it out here. If you think back five years ago, a lot of people got most of their entertainment from live TV. Ten years ago, almost everyone did. I know it’s super common for people to stream now, but there are still people who watch live TV and not much else.

But it doesn’t mean they need a spare dish.

Here’s the problem with my advice. It was really a little bit out of date when I said it. Now it’s very very out of date. It doesn’t matter if you have DIRECTV or DISH, the round dish is really not an option for most people.

DIRECTV systems

DIRECTV has been using multi-satellite dishes for over 15 years. All of their HD and 4K content requires one. Not only that, they’ve been using SWM technology for a long time, since about 2009. This technology requires either a multi-satellite dish or a special SWM multiswitch.

To cap things off, Genie DVRs require a multi-satellite dish as well. So, if you think about it, having that single-satellite round dish isn’t going to do most people a lot of good. If you still have an H24 receiver, you can use the round dish. Most people can’t.

DISH systems

DISH moved over to needing multi-satellite technology later. It was still possible until a few years ago to use a round dish, although it meant you got fewer channels. But at least it was possible. It’s technically still possible if you use a Wally receiver.

However, DISH systems today require a Hybrid LNB or DPH42 multiswitch. If you have a system with a Hybrid LNB for your Hopper 3, you can’t swap in a round dish. If you have a DPH42 multiswitch then you can put in a round dish but then you have to do a Check Switch to make it work again.

Round dishes and marine or RV systems

A lot of folks with marine or RV systems tend to have older technology. This has a lot to do with the mobile dish manufacturers themselves. It’s hard to put a multi-satellite, self-aiming dish into a package that’s small enough for an RV or small boat. This means using a single-satellite dish.

As a result, more mobile and marine equipment is optimized for single satellite equipment. This means that in a pinch you could use a round dish. Of course you couldn’t use one on a boat.

But, at least it’s possible.

Get the satellite equipment you need

Whether you’re looking for a spare remote or an upgraded in-motion dish, you’ll find everything you’re looking for when you shop at Solid Signal. If you’re looking for something special, why not give the experts a call? We are the nation’s largest satellite activation specialist for mobile and marine. Call us at 888-233-7563 and we’ll show you how to make the most of what you have, or how to get the system of your dreams!


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.