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DISH Installation Guide: DIY vs. Professional Options Explained (2024)

Learn the ins and outs of DISH Network installation in our expert guide.

Can I install DISH myself?

If you’re considering DISH satellite TV service, you have two choices: Install it yourself or choose free professional installation.

Both methods are free, but professional installation is easier, faster, and safer. So, while you can go DIY, there are great reasons to leave DISH installation to a pro.

That said, you can make your own decisions. To that end, we cover the pros and cons of both methods in our expert guide.

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We say go for DISH Network’s free installation

DISH offers free professional installation if you pass a credit check. So it’s the way to go if you’re okay with a credit check, a 4–5 hour appointment window, and a stranger (but professional) in your home. A professional installer will be the easiest, fastest, and safest way to install DISH.

That said, if you have the technical skills to install DISH yourself—safely—go for it. Here’s what you need to know.

How to self-install DISH Network

Order your DISH service and equipment

When you sign up for DISH, let the rep know you intend to self-install. DISH can send everything you need.

What you need

  • DISH Network satellite dish
  • Receiver/DVR (Hopper Duo, Hopper with Sling, Hopper 3, or Wally)
  • Power cable
  • Coaxial cable
  • DISH installation guide/setup instructions
  • DISH documentation (privacy policy, terms and conditions, warranties, etc.)
  • Pre-paid labels and instructions (if you need to return something)

Self-installing DISH Network TV service

Don’t feel bad if you don’t have the skills to self-install DISH in your home. We can’t even do it. But if you think you can handle it, these are the major steps.

  1. Mount the DISH satellite on your home (typically on the roof), ensuring it has a clear view of the southern sky. Or mount the dish on a freestanding pole aimed at the unobstructed southern sky.
  2. Attach coaxial cable to dish.
  3. Choose where you want the cable to enter your home (it may require drilling a hole).
  4. Run the cable from the DISH into your home.
  5. Attach the cable to your receiver/DVR.
  6. Attach HDMI cable to receiver and TV.
  7. Connect the receiver/DVR to your home Wi-Fi network.
  8. Activate the receiver/DVR.

Activating your DISH TV receiver/DVR

Now that you’ve completed self-installation, all you have to do is activate your service.

  • Online: Log into your MyDISH account and follow the prompts.
  • Phone: Call DISH (1-800-333-3474) to activate your receiver/DVR with a tech support agent.
  • TV: Connect your DISH receiver/DVR to the internet. It may activate automatically. Follow any prompts.
  • DISH Anywhere mobile app: Log into DISH Anywhere. Tap Profile > Settings > My Receivers and select the receiver you want to activate.

Pro tip: See what else you can do with the DISH Anywhere mobile app in our DISH Anywhere guide.

Professional installation vs. self-installation

Again, professional installation is the way to go. Let someone else climb up on your roof and do the work. After all, it’s free if you pass DISH’s credit check (otherwise, it’s $199). And when the tech finishes his work, they’ll activate your service and hand you a DISH voice remote so you can get down to serious couch business.

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Professional installation
  • Free*
  • Faster and safer
  • Tech support
  • Warrantied work
  • Credit check
  • Appointment windows
  • Stranger in your home
Self-installation
  • Free
  • No appointment window
  • No need for a stranger to enter your home
  • Technical skill required
  • No warrantied work
  • Limited tech support from DISH
  • Risk of falling

* Contingent upon a credit check.

Self-installation is free, too. But, again, we recommend it only to those with the technical skill to do it confidently and safely. If that’s you, more power to ya. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Professional installation of DISH TV service

Cost Appointment window/duration Customer satisfaction rating
Free–$199.00 4–5 hours 4.36*

DISH TV equipment: Buy or rent?

You can choose whether to buy or rent your equipment, but each option will hit your wallet differently.

To buy, you’ll have to go to a local authorized DISH retailer (or Amazon if there’s no DISH dealer near you). You’ll need a dish, receiver/DVR, up to 100 feet of coaxial cable, possibly some mounting accessories, and a DISH programming package. The total out-of-pocket cost is $300–$700, depending on your equipment choices and DISH package. You could also incur installation costs if you don’t self-install.

Pros Cons
Buying equipment
  • Better value in the long run
  • More device choices
  • Limited tech support from DISH
  • Higher initial cost
  • No free replacements
Renting equipment
  • Affordability ($5–$10/mo.)
  • Free replacements
  • No shopping required
  • Tech support from DISH
  • No choice of device
  • Poor value in the long run

Buying is more affordable in the long run, and you won’t have to worry about equipment return hassles if you decide DISH isn’t for you. But if the equipment fails, you’ll have only limited DISH tech support. Instead, you’ll have to file a warranty claim. And if your warranty is expired, the replacement cost is on you.

With professional installation, you’ll rent the receiver from DISH for $5–$10 monthly depending on your device choice. Also, if the equipment fails by no fault of your own, DISH replaces (and, if necessary, installs) it free. A downside to this is that you could eventually pay more than the equipment’s worth in rental fees.

What’s the best way to install DISH TV service?

Our recommendation: professional installation. But really, the best way to install DISH TV service is the way that works for you, so DIY if you want to. Just don’t @ us if you overestimate your DIY skills after watching 10 YouTube videos—something we have definitely never done…

Learn more about DISH in our comprehensive review.

DISH installation guide FAQ

Can I install DISH TV service myself?

You can install DISH yourself if you have the technical skills and tools. We recommend professional installation, though, as it’s faster, safer, and free (with a credit check).

Does DISH have free installation?

DISH offers free installation if you can pass a credit check. Otherwise, installation costs $199.00.

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