how to get free tv with a satellite dish

Asking how to get free TV with a satellite dish? You are not the only one.

This question has been a hot topic for discussion across the online communities and in this post, we will reveal the truth as it is.

After some digging, we have found several ways to enjoy cable TV without having to pay anything, using a satellite dish.

The best part is that it is 100% legal.

A lot of people around the world watch free TV channels legally by “catching” the signal over the air using HDTV antennas.

You can find them at very low prices, but the real dependence here would be the parameters such as the distance between you and the nearest tower.

If the tower is within 56 kilometers you should be able to enjoy the best signal reception.

Keep in mind that this is the most common method to get free TV, the legal way.

Further down in the post we will discuss even more methods in detail so keep reading, otherwise, you’re missing out!

How to Get Free TV With A Satellite Dish Legally?

As we mentioned in the introduction, you can achieve that by purchasing an HDTV antenna, which can receive an over-the-air signal.

You can carry out installations like this without any major investment.

Note that leftover satellite dishes from TV service suppliers might not be able to scan for over-the-air signals.

HDTV antennas are built with this intention and any other antennas might be designed to catch a different signal wave.


If you are living really far from a broadcast tower, you might not receive a good enough signal or in some cases no signal.

Some channels might run better than others, but distance is the only limitation here.

Before you make any purchases please check where the nearest broadcast tower is located. If it is further than 56 kilometers, is it worth it at all?

If you have experience with satellite dish installation, the quick guide below would be perfect to remind you of the process.

If not, further in the article we have a more detailed installation guide that would be suitable for beginners.

Quick Installation Guide

Install the satellite dish (antenna) facing the direction of the tower (recommended).

Equip the receiver and If you have ever had a cable TV within your household, you should have coaxial cable spread around your house.

You can use this cable to connect the HDTV antenna and the other end to your TV.

Once the antenna is connected, it is time to scan for channels on your TV.

How to Scan For Channels On a TV?

scan for free tv

Depending on your TV model, the “Scan for Channel” option can be located within different menus.

Here we will list the universal method to scan for channels that apply to most TVs.

If however, this method does not work for you, search the TV menus, until you find the option.

  • Ensure that your TV is connected to the antenna
  • Press the Menu button on your TV remote
  • Locate and select the Channel Scan option (could be in Settings, Channels, or Tools)

Once you select the option you might be provided with a choice. Fast scan or Full scan.

Make sure that you select the longer scan option as it is more likely to discover more channels.

At this point you will be able to see the scan in real-time, in other words, the channels that are currently being discovered.

Once ready, go to your TV channels and check how your antenna performs.

Is the signal good enough? If yes then you’re ready if not, down below we have the method of connecting your antenna in depth.

How Much It Costs to Get Free TV With A Satellite Dish?

The installation is simple as we explained it earlier, but if you haven’t had a cable TV within your household before you might not have the required cables, adapters etc…

If you have no experience with satellite dish installation, here are the prices and how to put everything together.

Here is a quick peek at everything that you will be needing at approximate prices.

We recommend targeting intermediate-level products to achieve decent results.

  • A satellite dish with a minimum radius of 0.8 – 0.9 meters. The bigger the better. Prices start from $11 all the way up to $30 and more
  • A universal LNB (switchable local oscillator frequency)
  • TV cable. The length depends on the distance between the dish and your TV. The more distance there is the higher the price for the cable
  • DVB-S2 satellite receiver. Older TV’s might not have this functionality inbuilt, which means that you should buy it separately. Cost is about $75
  • An H-H motor system (optional). If you want your satellite dish rotating on its own to “catch” better signals when necessary, you can consider buying an H-H motor. Cost varies from $50 to $75

All this equipment can be bought from a local hardware/TV media store. Another way around would be to find everything needed online.

In total you should be facing about $150 – $200, if you go with the medium-level product groups.

How to Put Everything Together?

connect satellite dish free tv

Here we will explain how to get free satellite tv with a dish, and if you have never done it before, pay extra attention.

There are two major steps that we are going to uncover down below, starting with the dish installation.

Installing the Satellite Dish

Once you acquire the needed equipment, you need to put everything together. Install the satellite dish and equip the receiver.

If the dish is installed facing the right way, you won’t necessarily need the H-H motor.

If you need help, we recommend seeking a DTH technician.


It is recommended to ensure that your country does not have a law against installing satellite dishes on a roof.

Before you start with connecting everything up, you need to decide whether your dish will be on the roof or the ground.

If you decide to plant it on the ground you will need a proper stand.

The satellite dish has to be positioned in a way facing where there are no trees or power lines, otherwise, the signal could be impacted.

Connecting to Your TV

Once installed, moving it can be quite challenging, so take your time and equipment and do it right.

Now it is time to get the coaxial cable and HDMI cable, and follow the steps below:

Step #1. Connect one end of the coaxial cable to the satellite dish receiver input labeled “LNB”.

Step #2. Take the other end and connect to your satellite receiver port marked as “Sat In

Step #3. Take one end of the HDMI cable and put in your satellite dish receiver port “Output”.

Step #4. Connect the other end of the HDMI cable to your TV (most TVs have more than one HDMI and it really does not matter).

Vendors offer installation service for a fee, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, we recommend choosing the paid but secured way.

They will also test and help you troubleshoot any issues that may appear after everything is connected.

Bottom Line

We hope our post was helpful enough to teach you how to get free TV with a satellite dish and if you got everything right, you should now be able to enjoy free channels over the air.

If you are having trouble with the installation, as mentioned, you should seek help.

And if you’re interested in more technical-related posts, in our blog you will definitely find something interesting to read.

Read Next: Can you get Netflix without Internet?

Nicole B