Can you run just 4 wires from a Reverse Band Legacy Dish?

This question came through our tech support department:

I’m using your Reverse Band 5 Legacy LNB to replace an old Slimline 5 LNB. Do I really have to run those extra two lines? I don’t care about 4K and I don’t want to drill more holes going into the house.

It’s getting to be a common question

AT&T has discontinued its Slimline-5 legacy LNB. This LNB was first used way back in the mid-2000s to provide HD programming. Back then it was needed because there was DIRECTV programming in five different satellite locations. Today, the 110 location has been  used exclusively for Puerto Rico, while the 119 location’s only satellite is about to be retired.

The replacement is the Slimline-5 Reverse Band Legacy LNB. This LNB actually requires six cables out and must be paired with a SWM-30. It’s designed for commercial use and is appropriately heavy duty. It provides support for all DIRECTV programming at the 99, 101, and 103 locations including the international and 4K programming that’s available there.

No, you can’t just run four lines.

If the Reverse Band LNB is used without the other two lines, you’ll get an error on screen. AT&T has engineered its multiswitches and receivers to be able to detect which LNB you have in most cases. The Reverse Band LNB will be detected and if you’re not getting the signals you should — including the extra two lines — it just won’t work.

No, you can’t use this LNB without a multiswitch.

Unlike older legacy LNBs, this one must be used with a multiswitch. That’s because your receiver itself has no way of actually using the fifth or sixth lines. Only the multiswitch has the ability to use those lines to provide the programming you need.

What are the options here?

If you’re upgrading or replacing an LNB, you have several good options.

Just run all six lines

If you connect all six lines to a SWM-30 multiswitch you’ll be completely futureproof. It’s not likely that you’ll have to do anything else cablewise, ever. There’s so much capacity on AT&T’s satellites now that it would take a real revolution to make them need more.

Use a Slimline-3 Legacy LNB

Solid Signal still has stock on the Slimline-3 Legacy LNB as I write this. AT&T has also discontinued this LNB  but we have a good supply of them for now. You can use this LNB as a 1-for-1 swap with a Slimline-5 LNB since almost all programming has moved off the 119 satellite. There are a few standard definition channels for some markets at that location and nothing else. The HD equivalents are available on the 99, 101, and 103 satellites.


The Reverse Band 3 SWM LNB will support up to 13 tuners (more if you’re willing to power them up in a specific order) and works with all the current satellite locations. That’s enough to support a Genie 2 or an HR54 plus three HR24s. That tends to be enough for most people. If you’ve never considered a SWM LNB before, now is the time to take a look at it. You can have DIRECTV satellite TV in seven rooms and the wiring is much, much easier.

Need more information?

You can get all the information you need by downloading our free White Paper, The Ultimate Guide to Upgrading your DIRECTV System. You’ll learn about all the current AT&T hardware, get clickable parts lists and installation diagrams. Over 75,000 people have used this valuable resource and it’s available for you now.

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.