Do you need a Slimline-5 Dish for tailgating?

Quick Answer: probably not. DIRECTV’s Slimline-5 dish is its most versatile dish, pulling broadcasts from DIRECTV’s four primary satellite locations. (The fifth location, 110 degrees, is no longer used for US operations.) It would seem to be a no-brainer, but before you go out and get that dish instead of the less expensive Slimline-3, here are some things to consider.

First, look at what you have at the house.
The best thing to do when tailgating is to use the exact same dish you use at the house. This makes setup a breeze and lets you use a receiver from home confidently. (Remember though, if you take that receiver from home, DIRECTV’s rules specify that no one at home should be using any other receiver while you’re at that second location.) If you have a Slimline-3 at the house, it makes no sense to use a Slimline-5 while tailgating.

Ask yourself, are you leaving the local area? The only HD channels that require the Slimline-5 dish are the ones used for local channels, and if you’re traveling to another city, you won’t get your local channels or theirs unless you live in New York or Los Angeles. So a Slimline-5 really doesn’t make a lot of sense if you’re going to another city.

Why are New York and Los Angeles special? Those channels are carried nationally for the benefit of the roughly 3% of subscribers who still can’t get their local channels from the satellite.

What sort of meter are you using to aim?
While it’s harder to aim a Slimline-5 dish than a Slimline-3 dish, most satellite meters won’t aim the SWM-equipped Slimline-3 dish completely; if you’re using an inexpensive meter and a SWM dish, you’ll need the Slimline-5.

When all is said and done, choosing the right dish takes a little bit more information. If you have a question, click on the Forum link at the top of this page, post your questions, and one of our fine folks will answer them!