Can you put a separate dish on your garage?


The kind of folks who shop at Solid Signal are a special breed. You’re not the kind of folks who just take what the installer gives you. No, you want a custom solution for just about everything. Whether it’s your home theater or your kitchen or even your car, you’re the sort of person who likes things “just their way.” And that means you’re our kind of person.

You’re the kind of person who doesn’t take “no” for an answer when you ask if you can have satellite TV in your detached garage. And, you shouldn’t have to. You should be able to have satellite TV anywhere on your property that you want it.

The technical limitations

There are two issues you need to know about when deciding how and if you’ll get satellite TV in your garage.


In modern DIRECTV and DISH systems, there’s a limit of about 150 cable feet between any two devices. In other words, if you run 75 feet of cable between your dish and one receiver, and 75 feet of cable between your dish and the other receiver, that’s about the maximum.

Cable type

In a detached garage, there will be an issue getting that cable out there. The best option is burial-rated cable, but that’s very expensive when you’re talking about satellite systems. You’ll be tempted to string a cable through the air. That will work, but it’s not the best long-term solution. Even if you use messenger cable, you’ll find that it will sag and break prematurely. You’ll start having problems and have to deal with them much more quickly. This is especially true in areas where icicles could form on the cable.

The solution: A second dish

There is absolutely nothing in the contracts you sign with either DIRECTV or DISH that say that all your receivers have to come from the same dish. So if it’s easier, put a separate dish on your garage or guest house, or put one dish on each end of the house to save on wiring.

It’s worth saying, though, that if you use Genie or Hopper, you won’t be able to put the client boxes on one dish if the DVR is on the other. It just doesn’t work that way. But you can certainly put a standalone receiver or even a DVR on that second dish. You just can’t share anything between dishes.

Personally I would recommend making both dishes the same unless you are 100% sure that the only thing you’re going to run on that second dish is an old standard definition receiver. If that’s the case you can easily get away with an older-style round dish which is going to be easier to aim and easier to mount.

Get what you need from Solid Signal

No matter what your upgrade project is, you can find the parts and accessories you need when you shop at Solid Signal. And, if you need help and support, we’re here for you! Call us at 888-233-7563 or use our Facebook group to get advice from the entire community!

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.