NICE AND EASY: Can you put a DIRECTV LNB on a DISH reflector?

There are folks out there who change TV services every couple of years. I don’t blame them. There’s such a difference between the “teaser” rates from some companies and their long-term prices. Are you one of those people? If so, you’re probably thinking of ways to keep your home’s walls and roof from looking like swiss cheese. Every service wants to install their own equipment, and drill new holes to do it.

So can you recycle equipment from service to service? For example, can you use the mast from DISH hardware and the LNB and reflector from DIRECTV hardware? At least, that would save a few holes being drilled.

The answer you’re not looking for

Sadly, no. Even though they look very much the same, DIRECTV’s dishes are completely different from DISH’s. If you look closely you’ll realize that they’re not even really the same shape.

The news gets worse from there. You can’t even put a DIRECTV dish on DISH’s mast, they’re different thicknesses. At least you can reuse the cable, at least most of the time, but it’s still a good idea to use new cable if you’re doing a new installation.

Another thing you might not have thought ot

This is at the heart of all those “DISH and DIRECTV are merging” stories that come up now and again. The companies may someday merge, but their equipment, both in the home and in their broadcast centers, is so different that it would take a decade and millions (maybe billions) of dollars spent before you ever see any real benefit to the customer, and while you’re doing that, the competition isn’t standing still.

I feel your pain

It’s frustrating if you’re the sort of person who goes back and forth between the satellite services and maybe even gets into the cable TV world too. There are a lot of people who do that, bouncing from one “triple-play” offer to another and the result is a lot of wiring and hardware left on the home. It used to be that DISH would come and take the LNB (the front part of the dish) but leave the rest. Now they don’t even bother with that, so you could end up with several generations of dishes on your home after a decade or so. That’s no fun, but the sad but true part of all of this is… it’s not really something you can avoid.

Changing TV services? Call us!

Before you make a change, call us at 888-233-7563. We handle DIRECTV, DISH, and AT&T TV and can explain all the options to you. We can tell you what discounts can apply and we’ll arrange for professional installation. We provide white-glove service at the same prices that those overseas call centers charge. You’ll always get a real person to talk to and we’re here to support you! Start with a call to 888-233-7563 or, if it’s after East Coast business hours, fill out the form below! We’ll get back to you, usually within one business day! We specialize in working with DIYers and people who want their installations “just so.” Give us a try!

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.