I have an oval dish sitting idle in the garage. Am I missing anything major, considering that I don't have a DirecTV HDTV receiver for HDnet? Any reason I should want Dish basic programming, considering that I already have DirecTV basic programming?
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Del, yes you can use your Dish 500 dish to pick up DirecTV's 101 satellite as long as you do not have a Twin or Quad LNBF. Those have switches built in that aren't compatible.
You will have to connect the DirecTV receiver directly to the LNBF, bypassing any switches you may have had in your system.
What you won't be able to do (well, not easily) is pick up both DirecTV orbital positions at 101 (main) and 119 (HDTV, locals & espanol). The Dish 500 isn't made for a 18 degree spread from 101 to 119. It is made for a 9 degree spread from 110 to 119.
But, as long as the LNBF's are compatible, there is nothing to prevent you from re-pointing it at the 101 satellite for DirecTV. Use the same elevation and skew as you would for Dish (or if the dish is still installed, leave it alone) but loosen the bolts that hold it on the post and sweep the sky slowly until you get a signal.
Once you lock in on the sat, you can fine tune it but the main thing is going to be the azimuth.
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