Questions about 921 and satellite hookup


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Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
Newark, CA
Hi, I've just received my 921 and it is calling out to me to get going with the install!

1) I'm in CA and have a dish 500 pointed at 110/119. Is this sufficient to get all the HD channels or do I need to get another dish pointed at 61.5?

2) If I don't need another dish then I need to take the single cable from the LNB and split it into two to feed the 921. What type of splitter do I need?
You probably can't get 61.5 out there on the left coast. 148 will do the trick - if you need it at all. All that's there is CBS-HD, and you have to qualify for that - call Dish.

As for your satellite feeds, no splitter of any kind will work. Period.

You need two feeds from your LNBF/switch setup. the two feeds must have identical configurations.

Without knowing what kind of LNBF is in your Dish 500, and whether you already have any switches, we can't help you any more than that.
Yup - just run the second cable. guess you're not gonna use your old receiver any more. Otherwise, the thing to do is get a Quad instead of a Twin.
See, I just knew that setting up this 921 was going to be easy ;)

Seriously, I've read every 921 related post here and on DBSTalk in the hope that I can make this thing work. Life would have been so much simpler if I'd bought a HDTivo but that's not in my nature - way back I bought Betamax instead of VHS because B. had a better picture quality
You're on the right track

While you're at it, however, make sure you use only the highest grade RG-6 cable you can find. Personally, I've had good luck with monster. Yeah, it's more expensive, but I actually had the signals burn out the Radio Shack cable I used previously, and that was supposed to be their highest grade.
I've got a problem that is almost exactly like sjm992s. I'm in CA, have 2 receivers (a 301 and a 501) connected to the antenna setup. I'm replacing one of the receivers with a 921 (maybe tomorrow). I have two Dish 500s, one for 110/119 and the other for 148. I ran the Check Switch Test from the Installation menu and it tells me that I have a SW21 3-Sat switch. If I'm content with two receivers do I need to replace the switch? If so, what do I get? I understand that I need to run another coax. Where do I connect the new coax at the antenna.

Thanks for any help
oldbob: Welcome aboard, and please read some more threads.

Term Clarification: Antennas are used to get OTA. Dishes are used to get satellite signals. Most (all?) E* receivers can get both, so avoid being confused.

Now, don't get your hopes up on plugging in your 921 right away.

First, it's unlikely that you have 2 Dish 500's. More likely is a 500 (110/119) and a 300 (148). Please check whether the 148 dish looks the same as the 110/119, or if it only has one LNBF, and if it has a Y-arm like the other one.

Having SW-21 means you have Legacy LNBFs, not DishPro.

These techie details are important to the people trying to help you down the road.

Now, down to it. Unless, for some reason, you ended up with TWO Legacy Quad LNBFs, and have at least 3 SW-21s, you will NOT be able to get your 921 plus the old receivers running on all 3 satellites. Most likely, you're going to need a SW-64 switch to get the job done.

Here's some links to help you learn what's what. First one is what you will likely end up with for your setup. Note that the 2 dual LNBFs on the 110/119 dish might be a Quad instead. Quads look like Twins, but have 4 outputs.

This link:
will show you some pictures of LNBFs to help you out.
Thanks for the response. I'll have to wait until tomorrow to crawl up on the roof to see what I have. And, sorry about the terminology. I do have a UHF antenna and 2 dishes. At least one of the dishes is a 500. As I recall, the dishes looked the same. How do I tell the difference?

I only want to use one of my old receivers plus the 921. I'll sell the other one ... or give it away. What difference does that make with regards to what switch I need?
oldbob said:
How do I tell the difference?
Look at the links I posted. Try this one too: It shows what a Twin/Quad Dish 500 looks like.
The install-2 PDF shows a 500 with 2 Duals, and a 300 with one Dual.
oldbob said:
I only want to use one of my old receivers plus the 921. I'll sell the other one ... or give it away. What difference does that make with regards to what switch I need?
None. 3 tuners is the same as four for installation setup. Note that I said "tuners" not receivers. 322/522/721/921 have 2 tuners.
Thanks for all of the help so far. I actually have my 921 sitting in a box in my study. Now all I have to do is to get it connected. My dishes are on the 2nd story roof, so I will have somebody do the work.

I would like to know what LNBFs/switches I actually need to connect one 501 and one 921 to the two antennas. I believe that the 500 has a twin LNB and the 300 has a single LNB. The dishes are currently connected to a 301 and a 501. I'll take the 301 out of service.

I'm asking about the equipment requirements so that I can avoid being sold stuff that I don't need by the installer.
The good news is that you won't need to take the 301 out of service, because the external switches will run 4 tuners: 921, 501, 301.

The bad news is, bottom line, short answer, you're gonna need a LOT of gear.

You need to hope that your Dish 300 has a Dual and not a single, or it'll have to be replaced. Ditto for the Dish 500 - if it's got a Twin, you can't drive a SW-64 with it.

Good configurations:
  • For Legacy: Dish 500: pair of Duals; Dish 300: Dual; Switch: SW-64.
  • For DishPro: Dish 500: DP-Twin; Dish 300: DP-Dual; Switch: DP-34.
You can substitute an appropriate Quad on the Dish 500.

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