Can you use a larger dish with a DIRECTV LNB?

Every so often, we get a legitimate request from someone in the continental US who wants to use a larger dish. That’s why we have dishes like this DS3100 from Winegard. It’s 39 inches (1 meter) from edge to edge and that’s more than twice the size of a regular 18″ dish.

When used with a single-satellite LNB like this one, it should give you the ability to pull in those satellite signals a little more easily. Unfortunately, this large dish isn’t designed to be used with multi-satellite LNBs like the Slimline series. It’s not just a matter of the LNB not fitting, but the dish itself isn’t designed to focus all those different satellite locations at the same time.

In general, we don’t recommend using larger dishes within the continental US. Those dishes are best used for Alaska, Hawaii, and other places where it’s legal to use DIRECTV or DISH service. If you need more signal, we recommend the following steps:

  • Put the dish up higher to avoid obstructions.
  • Use an amplifier and polarity locker to make sure the signals going through the cable are as strong as possible.
  • Aim the dish precisely. Even a misalignment of 1/32″ can mean that the dish is pointing at a location thousands of miles off course.
  • Check the condition of all cables to make sure that there is no corrosion on the connectors.
  • Make sure the dish is properly grounded. An excess of static electricity can actually affect the dish’s reception.

These five steps are usually all that’s required to get clear reception in almost every part of the country, in all but the worst weather conditions.

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 7,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.