Will leagcy LNBs and SW21 will allow me to receive HDTV


Original poster
Mar 1, 2004
Hi, I hope someone knows the answer to my question. I am looking to get two 811s and I have two dual legacy LNBs on Dish 500 and one legacy dual LNB on RCA 18" DirectTV dish pointed to 61.8 bird. They are interconnected via two SW21 (previous homeowner did the install). Now that I am adding 811 for HDTV, will my legacy LNBs and switches support 811? I know 811 is DishPro but I wonder if it is backwards compatible with legacy LNBs and switches. I know that 301 is backwards compatible and works just great with legacy.

Also I wanted to ask if anyone knows where to lookup what channels on what satellite. I know that some of the local channels are still on 61.8 bird but I am not sure what they are.

Thank you in advance. :confused:
Hi and welcome aboard!

811 should have no trouble with Legacy gear - I even use it with my 921 just fine.

I'm not quite sure how 2 duals plus a single is wired up via SW-21s though. I can see it if it's a legacy Twin on your dish 500 and then a SW-21 to tie in your 61.5 bird (yes, 61.5 not 61.8). Are there 2 separate LNBs on the 500, or do they share the same housing (Twin/Quad)? There's pictures here.

Just for public reference, look closely at the Twin - a Quad looks the same except it has 2 more outputs in the empty holes next to the Twin's outputs.

You can tell Legacy from DishPro by the big DP on the housing.

As for what's where on the birds, here's two good sources:
The listings are sorted differently.
It is a set of two dual lnbs not twin.

Thank you for your prompt reply. I apprecite it.
I have two dual lnbs separate housings.
Attached is the picture of a similar setup. I have noticed that it shows that Dish500 has legacy twin not two dual lnbs, I guess it is my problem then?

Thank you for your time.


  • Dish500duals.jpg
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  • dish install-4.pdf
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The picture you posted is of a pair of duals. the install-4 PDF shows the typical installation that I thought you had.

The issue is that a pair of duals needs an external switch, typically a SW-21, to run the 110 & 119 signals down a single cable to the tuner. The 4 signal sets are NOT sent at the same time - which is why it's a switch and not a combiner. :)

So, how many SW-21's do you have? If you're running a single tuner now and are using 2 of them (cascaded), it raises another issue. I don't think you can cascade SW-21s.

HOWEVER, there is a device known as an SW-21X that might be what you've got. Check out this page and see if that jives.

BTW, effectively, a Twin is a pair of duals with a pair of SW-21X switches built-in.

Bottom line, if whatver you've got is working for 2 tuners, it should drive 2 811's. If you've only got the wiring for one tuner, you could clone it for the second tuner. This might be the cheapest way - SW-21s are cheap, and the SW-21X should still be cheaper than replacing your dish 500 LNBs with a Twin.

There's several other solutions, too.

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