dish playmaker not finding satellites

If your Dish playmaker not finding satellites, there are quite a few well-known issues that you might be facing.

In this post, we’ll review all of them and the proper way to troubleshoot and solve your problem in a matter of minutes!

If the playmaker isn’t getting any signals from channels, hard reset your device first. Next, make sure the wiring is in proper condition and check if you’re choosing the correct input on your TV.

Let’s first check if your equipment is compatible so we can exclude this as a possibility.

What Satellite Does Dish Playmaker Use?

With the dual versions of a playmaker, there are different compatible satellite channels you will be able to use.

Down below we have listed all satellite signals you can use, based on the type of your playmaker.


The base version of Dish’s playmaker supports up to 2 receivers and can be connected on satellites 119, 110, and 129.

Playmaker 2

The second released version of a playmaker by Dish, can also support dual receivers as well as devices running OS 2.1 or later.

It can also be connected to a Wally receiver and supports the 119, 110, and 61.5 satellite channels.

It is also possible that you haven’t selected the correct satellite channel for your playmaker, therefore it won’t acquire any channels.

The configuration itself is really dependent on the type of your configuration and receiver.

Why Is The Receiver Not Detecting Signals?

If your equipment is intact, then here is what might have happened:

Bad Weather

Potentially bad weather could have impacted your playmaker’s signal.

Wrong Configuration

An issue with the settings or incompatibility, in general, would also cause signal issues.

Wiring Problem

If something has gone wrong with the wiring in your configuration, your playmaker would also miss out on channel signals.

Device Issue

Sometimes the device OS has to be restarted to reboot services due to a glitch or bug

Knowing the potential suspects, you can proceed with the actual solutions and solve your problem.

How To Fix Dish Playmaker Not Finding Satellites?

fix dish playmaker not finding satellites

The solutions are provided in an order that will help you identify the origin of the issue, so make sure not to skip anything.

Solution #1 Setup Playmaker Properly

You should start with making sure that the Playmaker setup is established correctly.

Follow the steps below so you can be confident that everything is as it should:

  1. The RG-6 coaxial cable goes into the MAIN port of the Playmaker.
  2. Position the Playmaker facing the southern sky.
  3. The other end of the RG-6 coaxial cable goes into your receiver.
  4. Hook up the receiver to your TV.
  5. Connect the TV and receiver to the power.

Note: The Playmaker is supplied with power via the receiver and does not need to be connected as well.

Simple as that, your Playmaker is connected the right way. In case the problem is still there, proceed with the next solution.

Solution #2 Hard Reset Your Playmaker

hard reset playmaker

First, we suggest hard resetting your Playmaker in order to discharge it out of any remaining electricity.

This would practically resolve any power fluctuations and restart all services, which in most cases turn out to be helpful.

To hard reset your receiver, follow these steps below:

  1. Power OFF your Playmaker using the power button (if your type has one).
  2. Detach the power adapter of your Playmaker from the source.
  3. Wait for 5 minutes while your Playmaker is unplugged.
  4. Reconnect the power adapter into the wall outlet.

Tip: We suggest avoiding power strips or dividers, as they can be carriers of nasty, power-related issues with your Playmaker.

Make sure to also reset all of the receivers that are currently connected to your Playmaker.

Sometimes a glitch could have occurred with the receiver itself, therefore you won’t be able to locate any satellite channels.

Solution #3 Use Different Frequency

use different frequency

Depending on the type of your Playmaker, you should set the correct frequency settings.

As we’ve mentioned above, there are different compatible frequencies for DISH’s Playmaker series 1 and series 2.

Follow the steps down below to configure it properly:

  1. Go to the “System Setup” menu in your Playmaker settings.
  2. In the mode tab, select the frequencies your Playmaker supports (for the regular Playmaker use 119, 110, 129, and for Playmaker 2 use 119, 109, 61.5)
  3. In the next drop-down menu, choose the correct state you’re living in.
  4. Choose “Confirm” and wait.

These settings should manage to get you connected with the satellite. If the issue persists, proceed with our next solution.

Solution #4 Reconnect All Cables

Sometimes a problem with the cables could prevent your Playmaker from picking up any satellites.

We suggest examining all of the cables in your configuration, including the power adapters of your TV and receiver as well as the coaxial cable.

Make sure to reconnect them all and plug them tightly into their respective slots. In addition, take a closer look at the cables’ hardware and try to spot any visual hardware damage.

It is of great importance to inspect the coaxial connection between the receiver and the Playmaker itself.

If you’ve noticed damage to the body of the cables, you should consider a replacement as soon as possible.

Solution #5 Prevent Interference

Since the Playmaker is commonly used on trips and vacations in the wild, you could have accidentally left something blocking the signal.

Such interference can be caused by various things you probably own.

Here are some of the devices that could cause radio/signal interference:

  1. Radar detectors.
  2. Walkie-talkies
  3. Microwaves.
  4. Wireless RF headphones.
  5. Baby monitors.
  6. CB radios.

Make sure none of the following objects are close to your DISH Playmaker and retry detecting the satellite.

Note: Before continuing further, we recommend disconnecting your extra receiver (in case you’re using two) and continuing to the next solution, with only one connected.

Solution #6 Reset The Satellite Receiver

reset playmaker receiver

It is possible that the problem might not be with your Playmaker, but with the connected receivers instead.

We suggest performing a factory reset on the receiver since the problem might be related to it.

To factory reset a satellite receiver connected to your Playmaker, follow the steps down below:

  1. Make sure the device is up and running.
  2. Locate the factory reset button on the side panel of the device.
  3. Press the reset button and hold it for 25-30 seconds.
  4. Release once your receiver blinks.

After a while, the receiver will reboot and try searching for satellite channels again.

If your issue is still there, your next step would be to contact DISH customer service and report your problem. Hopefully, they’ll find a solution for you.

Read Next: How to Get Free TV With A Satellite Dish?

Bottom Line:

Thus, if your DISH Playmaker doesn’t connect with the satellite, hard reset the device and remove interference. Wait out any bad weather and try connecting with the satellite with the correct frequency & location.

Lastly, reposition and maintain your dish.

Now that you know why Dish Playmaker not finding satellites, we hope you can resolve the problem with our solutions.

Sometimes satellite connection is lost and all you need to do is check if all parts of your equipment are well. This way you can easily find and resolve any sort of issue so good luck.

Nicole B