Dish network wiring

Trying to hook up ota antenna to tv using dish network wiring that runs three coaxial cables to satellite dish. Question, is there something blocking signal from the ota antenna to tv. I hooked up antenna to splitter and the three cables going to satellite dish to the out on splitter, I get no signal to TV

Having worked with a Dish type installation before, I can say that there is nothing in the cable itself that would block a signal, it’s the same RG6 coax used for OTA and CATV. In satellite applications, the IRD powers a preamp in the dish, but disconnected at both ends it’s just a standard cable. Hopefully with a ground!

Your reference to “three cables” is confusing. There should only be one cable run from the antenna into the building, and unless you have a preamp at the antenna, no splitters should generally be used. If you have to split the signal three ways, and especially without a preamp, you’d need a distribution amp. First thing to try is a straight-through cable connection from the antenna to one TV with nothing in between.

The three cables that went to dish cone I hooked to antenna one by one and no signal through any of them

I vaguely recall that in our Dish installation, the coax from the dish went into some powered device before it reached the TV. This device was stuck behind a piece of furniture and had no controls on it. I don’t know exactly what it does but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t just pass the coax through. You might look around and see if there’s one of those in the coax path somewhere.


If I’m understanding you correctly, you have three different straight-through cables running from the antenna location to where you have a TV, and none of them produce a signal. And this time there is no splitter involved, as you originally stated. Correct?

Then all I can suggest, assuming that you have the right antenna (UHF or VHF) with the right gain and it’s pointed correctly, is two final checks:

  • make sure the TV is capable of, and configured for, ATSC reception. Many TVs may be configured for QAM (cable) reception by default, and a few may not have ATSC tuners at all.

  • check the cable for continuity with a voltmeter.

Getting antennas to work well is a bit of an art form, but getting them to provide any signal at all is pretty trivial in any moderately strong signal area and if it’s not working at all the problem is usually pretty simple.

I suppose that’s possible, but my experience with Dish-conformant equipment was that the power for the preamp on the dish came from the satellite receiver, since the dish and receiver were designed to work together in just that way. The “powered device” you describe is typically found in OTA antenna installations to power the antenna preamp, because obviously the TV itself can’t do it. Who knows what variants there may have been in different Dish setups, but I’ve never seen such a thing.

The device I’m remembering was definitely installed by a Dish installer. I wish I could remember the details but it was over 10 years ago. I think he installed it when we upgraded our system in some way, but I don’t recall exactly what the upgrade was. Most likely it was when we added a second Dish receiver. At one point our Dish stopped working. Finally I discovered that this thing had gotten unplugged from power, and plugging it back in restored service.


On my TV I have to go into the menu set up system to choose Antenna. Your dish system probably went through a box that made it a cable type system signal for the TV.
My TV has that selection in the channel set up part of the menu system.
This routes the coax input signal to the over the air digital decoding tuner section.

It sounds like your antenna has 3 “LNB’s”, each of which is pointed at a separate satellite in space. You don’t combine or split those signals, rather you switch between them!

You can’t just willy-nilly connect an antenna to a Dish system.

To connect one to an existing cable run between the dish and receiver, you need a pair of multiplexers, which let the different signals coexist on one cable. Otherwise, generally, you connect the antenna’s cable directly to the receiver.

This really is a situation where you should call Dish and speak with their tech people as it matters what kind of receiver(s) you have, what LNB configuration and how they’re connected.

I interpreted the OP (perhaps incorrectly) to mean that he was dumping the satellite dish and going OTA, and just wanted to use the existing cable run. But if he’s trying to use the existing cable for both at the same time that is indeed a whole vastly different issue!

I reread it and he says “ota antenna”. What is that?

OTA is Over The Air, or what we just used to call “TV” before we had cable and satellite options. Another name you’ll see is “terrestrial”

If the OP is trying to use “old” Dish wiring to run OTA signals into the house and not use the satellite hardware at all, there should be nothing preventing this - the cable itself is almost certainly RG6QS, and is an excellent option for use with an antenna as long as it’s not damaged, but it’s possible that there is a multiplexer or similar satellite-specific device in the line somewhere blocking the signal. These gizmos are small and resemble splitters.