What kind of dish would be needed?

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SatelliteGuys Pro
Original poster
Sep 7, 2003
A friend asked for recommendation on a two room (DVR/normal unit) combination. Checking some online vendors, I see they offer packages with an 18" dish and an 18x20" dish. The larger dish is $50 more. How do I tell what dish my friend would need? This is Houston, TX. He would want locals but no interest in speciality programming or HD.

Any Internet vendor recommendations?
Houston requires the Multi-Satellite triple LNB dish to receive your local channels.
No, Houston does not require the mulit-satellite dish for locals. All of Houston's locals are at the 101 slot, which only requires a small dish pointed at 101.

The only need for the multi-dish is for foreign programming, NASA TV, BYUTV and High-Definition.
You do need the Multi-satellite dish to get your local network channels from DIRECTV in Houston. Here's a copy of the search I did from DIRECTV's web site. Here's the direct link to check your exact Houston zip code, http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/LocalChannelsAction.do .

"Yes! Local channels are available in your area!

Because your ZIP code is 77092, we're happy to offer you these Houston TX stations:

Available Channels

Network Affiliate Local Channel # 3-Digit Channel # (for older receivers)
NBC KPRC 2 944
PBS KUHT 8 945
CBS KHOU 11 946
ABC KTRK 13 947
UPN KTXH 20 948
Fox KRIV 26 949
WB KHWB 39 950
Uni KXLN 45 951
TMO KTMD 47 976
PAX KPXB 49 956
Ind KNWS 51 957
Ind KTBU 55 952
AZA KAZH 57 953
Ind KZJL 61 954
TFT KFTH 67 955

You can receive these local channels using a DIRECTV® Multi-Satellite System. So sign up now for a package that includes local channels!

Programming, pricing, terms and conditions subject to change. Hardware and programming sold separately."
I wonder if that "Multi-satellite system" text is generic? Posts over at dbstalk.com all agree that Houston locals are available on the round dish. I also found this link:


It suggests that all locals are on a Satellite at 101 degrees.
The official source is DIRECTV and that's where I got my inf

-Robin, I also saw your thread and the replays on dbstalk and checked the orbit link as well. I am as confused as I assume you may be.

The official source is DIRECTV and that's where I got my information from. However, the need of a multi-satellite dish depends on your friend's exact zip code. Not knowing his Houston zip I tried several popular ones in Harris county. Please go to the DIRECTV link I provided above and type in his exact zip code. Please post back here the final results.
You're right, the link you provided does seem to indicate a Multi-Sat dish is required for my friend's zip code. I have no Internet way to resolve the conflicting information.

I can look out my window. My neighbor has DirecTv (and locals) and only has the around dish.

Anyway, thanks for pointing this out. We will make sure to get an "official" answer before making a purchase.
If your friend is going to be just gettiing service he will want the multi slot Dish, I understand that after the new satellite is launched iin the spring, some major shuffling might be taking place at DirecTV and he will probably need a multi slot dish then anyways. :)
This thread raises a interesting question....What channels are going to get moved around. I have locals here in the KC area...and I am considering a purchase of the Channel Master Gainmaster dish to help with rain fade, and while I have no long term plan for HD... will DTV move my locals? Anyone here with any insight?....I think I remember a thread from somewhere that indicated alot of locals will get shifted to the new sat. This would assume that the sat gets lifted and passes on orbit testing.

The best bet would be to purchase the three LNB version of the Gainmaster on the chance that in May of next year DTV will shift some channels...MMMMMM

Again, any DirecTV system will be able to pick up Houston locals. They are at the 101 west slot; a single dish pointed only to 101 will get the Houston channels.

Here is your litmus test. The "older receivers" are those that can only see the 101 degree slot, and they assign channel numbers in the high 800's and 900's. Houston, along with 44 other markets, have their locals at 101 only. And they only need a single dish pointed only at 101.

Do not worry about what is needed for the future. DirecTV has a habit of allowing no charge upgrades if anything else is needed.
Guess you kind of missed my point...my articulation must be lacking today :p

I have been thinking and probably will upgrade to the Channel Master GainMaster dish to hopefully address a rain fade problem. I will probably buy this online from solid signal and install it myself. Should DTV move my market when the new sat comes on line next summer I could see the following situation happening. I am aware that if a local market move were to happen DTV would take on the responsibility of the multi-LNB dish install, or least I hope they would. However the installer they send to my house probably wouldn't have the proper LNB and multiple LNB mount. The dish I will have bought and installed won't be the dish they expect….nor will it be the dish they installed when my service was activated.

I think my best bet will be to order the dish with the triple LNB, and new multi-switch....might save me a hassle later.

I guess I am just amusing myself at this point because the sat is having launch problems, and there is no real need to be worried at this point….by that HD big screen at BB is looking good so I might just take just go ahead and get the triple LNB dish.


Houston locals are available on a 18" round dish.

Houston locals are available on a 18" round dish. Sorry for the confusion.

I looks like the official DIRECTV site has a bug. Houston does get it's locals from the 101 satellite.

Further, DIRECTV has no plans to move the Houston locals to 119 or 110 degree satellites. However, they give no guaranties either. I used the DIRECTV dealer services site to confirm this information.
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