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How Much Does It Cost To Install A Satellite Dish System?

Despite the increasing availability of streaming services such as Netflix and cost-effective, over-the-air broadcasts for local networks, satellite TV is still a popular option for people who want to enjoy a range of channels. However, installing the dish is not a simple task. Fitting the dish involves working on the roof of a property with power tools and is usually a job for a professional contractor rather than a DIY enthusiast.

National Install a Satellite Dish Costs

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by ImproveNet members.

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$182

Average reported cost

based on 267 cost profiles

$60

Minimum cost

$450

Maximum cost

Most homeowners spent between:

$135

To

$193

National Install a Satellite Dish Costs
Average reported cost $182
Number of Cost Profiles 267 cost profiles
Minimum reported cost $60
Maximum reported cost $450
Most homeowners spent between: $135 to $193

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Table of Contents

  1. Satellite Dish Installation Cost
  2. Satellite Dish Installation Cost Factors
  3. Dish Installation Vs. Other Cable Sources
  4. Advantages Of Satellite Dishes
  5. Disadvantages Of Satellite Dishes
  6. Satellite Dish Equipment
  7. How To Install A Satellite Dish
  8. Find A Pro

Satellite Dish Installation Cost

Installing a satellite dish system involves installing new electrical wiring, splicing into existing wiring, connecting televisions and fitting the dish in the correct location for the best signal possible. For these reasons, it is usually a good option to hire an electrician to complete the installation.

The costs of the installation vary considerably but usually range from $108 to $250, with an average cost of $168. Factors such as additional wiring, difficulty accessing the property and programming remotes add to the overall costs, which may be in excess of $400 in some cases.

When planning your budget, remember to factor in the purchase price of the dish, mast and installation hardware, which ranges from $440 to $500.

Satellite Dish Installation Cost Factors

Satellite Dish Installation Cost Factors

Every job is different with factors that may increase or decrease the overall cost. Shop around for quotes, ensuring your professional understands the full scope of the work involved.

Number of Televisions

After your fitter has installed the dish, he or she aligns the dish and connects all of your televisions. Connecting multiple televisions increases the amount of work involved and the time it takes to complete the installation, leading to a higher price.

Type of Dish

Different dishes come with different purchase prices. Additionally, some dishes may have a more involved setup and installation process. For example, a motorized dish has a more complex installation than a fixed dish.

Access

Access to the property plays a part in costs. If you have a steep roof or an inaccessible property where it is difficult to work, a professional may charge more to cover the extra time and effort involved. The difficulty of locating the exact position of the dish for the best reception may also impact price.

Free Installation

Subscription to some satellite television services includes free or reduced cost installation as a perk. All charges associated with the installation are part of the subscription fee, taking some of the hassle out of setting up your new dish.

Permits

You are responsible for checking with local authorities to ensure you have the correct permissions for a satellite dish. You may need to purchase permits or pay other fees before commencing with the installation.

Dish Installation Vs. Other Cable Sources

Satellite TV services and cable TV services involve paying a subscription, and both have pros and cons.

 Trait

Satellite

Cable

Availability

Nationwide

Only close to network providers

Installation

Dish outside house

Junction box inside house

Ease of Installation

Hire a pro

Hire a pro

Cost to Install

Approximately $168

Approximately $40

Cost Per Month

Up to $110

Up to $120

Contract

Monthly

Monthly or annually

Picture Quality

Uncompressed, HD at 1080p

Compressed, HD at 720p

Signal Dropouts

Occasionally in bad weather

No

Internet Access

Requires separate dish

Uses same cables

Advantages Of Satellite Dishes

Satellite dishes offer nationwide coverage, so even in remote locations, it is possible to receive high-definition, uncompressed broadcasts; and with a range of packages, it is possible to get a selection of channels to suit your tastes and budget. Additionally, if you move to a new home, you have the option of taking your dish and other equipment with you.

Disadvantages Of Satellite Dishes

Satellite dishes are quite expensive to install, and the process is more difficult than installing cable. Since the dish is outside, it is subject to wear and tear due to exposure to the elements, and in bad weather, it is possible for the signal to drop out.

Advantages Of Satellite Dishes

Satellite Dish Equipment

A satellite dish comprises two main components: The dish and the mast.

Mast

The mast is a tubular metal bracket that affixes in the required location to hold the dish in position. The mast is hollow, so it is possible to feed wires inside, reducing the risk of damage from exposure to the elements.

Dish

The dish fits into position on the end of the mast and has a cable that attaches to wires running from the property's electrical junction box. Some dishes have a motor or servo, making it possible to adjust the position of the dish using a remote.

Additional Tools & Equipment

Your professional electrician requires the correct wiring, including necessary cables for connecting the dish to your existing home entertainment system, and specialist tools, including a ladder or boom lift to access the location for the dish, a power drill for drilling holes and securing bolts and a signal meter for reading the noise and signal levels on the dish wire.

How To Install A Satellite Dish

If you have the correct equipment and know-how, you have the option of installing your own satellite dish; however, the process is not straightforward, and the associated risks of climbing onto the roof and working with electrical wiring mean that it is usually better to employ the services of a professional electrician. The installation of a simple dish without a motor involves the following steps:

  1. Install wiring from junction box to dish location inside the wall of the building.
  2. Pull out enough wire from the wall at the dish location to work with.
  3. Use bolts to attach the satellite mast in location, ensuring it is the right way up.
  4. Apply silicone around bolts to improve weather resistance.
  5. Slide dish onto the mast and ensure it is fully seated.
  6. Run the dish wire through the bracket and down through the mast.
  7. Test the wire with a meter and adjust the signal bar to be as high as possible.
  8. Attach dish wiring to wiring from the junction box.
  9. Seal the wiring access with a plate

Find A Pro

It is possible to install your own satellite dish, but there are risks involved, as you need to climb a ladder with the dish and accessories and work in an elevated position with power tools and electrical wiring. Major risks include falling and electrocution, and if you fail to secure the dish and mast correctly, they may subsequently fall.

Fitting your own dish requires special equipment, such as a signal meter, and the necessary skill to adjust the dish to get the best signal possible. Improper fitting may result in poor reception and increased risk of damage to the dish in bad weather.

In most cases, it is safer and more economical to find a pro to complete the work for you. Experts have the correct tools and equipment and should be able to install the dish in just a few hours, whereas you may spend all day trying to get the installation right.

Last updated on Nov 17, 2016

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