Improve Your DishDVR UHF Remote Control Reception





Introduction: Improve Your DishDVR UHF Remote Control Reception

About: A programmer ever since I laid my hands on a TRS-80 writing BASIC programs like mad-libs in 1990. Goes back to 1984 if you count my trance-like state induced by a PET computer. Now I get paid to do it. Wh...

Our family has a DishDVR. It's changed the way we watch TV, but there was some pain. Remote control #2 communicates with the base unit via UHF, but from our back bedroom it worked very poorly. If you've got a DishDVR, you may be familiar with these problems.

We frequently tried to find that "magic place" to aim the remote so it would work -- be it at the corner of the dresser mirror, at the headboard, at the window and so on. Making the remote work was like voodoo, and all the newest batteries didn't seem to help.

Then I found a way to get much better reception between the remote control and the DishDVR receiver. Hurray!

Step 1: Identify and Gather Your Equipment

Firstly, this instructable is about the DishDVR receiver model 625. It probably applies to nearly all other models, but that's up to you to verify, YMMV, etc.

You'll want to get the following:
  • a 6ft length of coaxial cable with connectors
  • a barrel connector

Step 2: Locate and Disconnect the Antenna

Chances are that the antenna is a 8-inch piece of wire connected to the back of your DishDVR receiver. If it's like mine, it's buried within a big wooden box (entertainment center). Turn the unit around and unscrew the antenna from its connector on the back.

Step 3: Make the Connections

Connect the barrel connector to one end of the 6ft coaxial cable. Connect the opposite end of the coaxial cable to the "Remote Antenna" jack on the back of the DVR unit. Now connect the antenna itself to the barrel connector.

Step 4: Test the Antenna

Now that you've got a 6-foot extension to your antenna, put it someplace a little higher, more exposed. In this accompanying photo, I just kind of hung it up on the door of the entertainment center.

Now go to that problem area (for me, it's the back bedroom) and try out the remote. It works much, much better in my house! I'll probably move the antenna to the back of the entertainment center to get it out of sight.

Experiment with your situation. Try an even longer cable for the antenna. Maybe use really long cable to run the antenna halfway to the other end of the home. Maybe use a diplexer for the antenna AND the signal for tuner #2 to your own back bedroom, basement or den.



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    When i worked for Dish, way to many years, had to deal with this problem a lot. So i found a better way to solve the problem, put the antenna in the same room as the 2nd TV. All you need is 2 splitters and 3 small pieces of rg6 with connectors. All you have to do is combine the signal coming out of the UHF (antenna plug) and the TV 2. And this is how you do it: Unplug both, antenna and TV2. Plug both in to the 2-way splitter where it says "OUT".Plug the "IN" in to the cable that's going to your 2nd TV. Unplug RG6 from 2nd TV, and plug it in to the "IN" on the second 2-way splitter. Connect the UHF antenna in one of the "OUTS" on the splitter and the other "OUT" is going in to the TV, If this is confusing I just might do my first instructable on this, so let me know.

    16 replies

    THANKS, Works great . first time in years i don't have to wave the controller around.

    I did this, and it works great for controlling the channel, but when I put the antenna on the second splitter by TV2, I got a lot of signal degradation. If I take the antenna off of the splitter, the picture is nice and clear.
    I don't know if this interference is caused by the antenna picking up signals and putting them down the line, or from using cheap splitters, or that it's kind of a long run.
    Is there a way to clear up or filter the noise on the line from the antenna?

    Figured it out.

    I changed the output channel from 60 to 64, and it sharpened right up.
    I tried going down first to 58, but that looked worse.
    Just had to test it out a bit.

    ok, did all of this and its great with the channel changing in the basement now but seems to be degradation on mine to. How do you change the output channel on tv 2 like you did ? Maybe that will help me too. Thanks

    It's been a while, but IIRC there is a setting in the config menu that lets you change what channel TV2 is set for. I think it depends on what the UHF density looks like in your area, so you may have to play around with it a bit. I'll try to remember to double check it when I get home. You caught me at a good time because I'm *this* close to canceling my service and signing up with Playstation Vue or or DirecTV Now, since those all come over the internet and don't have a contract. (BTW because I get asked, Playstation Vue does not require a playstation, and DirecTV Now doesn't need a dish)

    I think I get it. You're just piggybacking on the main signal with the antenna signal, right? I'd put a splitter on both ends of my main coax and run a short jumper coax from the "antenna out" to the splitter at the beginning. Then at the end of the main coax, I just put my antenna on the end point splitter and a short jumper from the splitter to the in on the tv. Do think there would be a lenght limit before the antenna signal degrades to a useless point? I'd like to do 100ft.

    no. nothing to do with anntenna.

    i have a coax (tv1) running from behind the dvr and tv1 to the
    location where i want to put the mirror tv (tv2). i have hooked rca cables up to an rca modulator (red, white, yellow into modulator rg6 out). then rg6 from modulator to coax hookup behind at tv1 coming out at coax behind tv2, mirror location.

    worked like a charm.

    now i would like to mirror
    tv1 to another tv. i know that it will not be able control the dish, that it
    is only a mirror of what ever is on tv1.

    so i have dish, a
    vip772k, i have a coax running from behind the dvr and tv1 to the
    location of the mirror tv. i have hooked rca cables up to an rca
    modulator to get it to coax (rg8). then to runner coax at wall, to end
    of coax at mirror tv location. nothing happens. can you make a

    Should this work through a triplexer also? In the back of my vip 722 I have tv1 and tv2 cables along with a ch21-69 output cable all going though a triplexer. I tried a couple of combinations but never could get the remote to work at all when I moved it to tv2. Where should the splitter be in relation to the triplexer and which cables would I combine to it? Thanks!

    will this work through a diplexer

    This does work through a diplexer,

    Dude! Where have you been all my life (or at least the last 6 years that I'm with Dish) :-)
    You just resolved 6 years of UHF remote frustration!! Works like a charm.

    I just tried this with my folks' Dish receiver and it worked *perfectly.* Thanks so much for the instructions, ikssk!

     This works perfectly, except that since I split my TV2 into 4 drops I lost enough signal to see some picture quality hit at the TV where the antenna ended up.  To solve this, I bought a signal booster at radio shack and put it on the TV2 out from the DishNet box before it went into the "combiner"  Works like a chart now ;)

    Just joined Instructables tonite after searching the net to see how to improve my 2nd tv reception and found your answer to the problem.  I tried it and it worked perfect just like you said.  Thanks for solving this problem the local Dish people couldn't even figure out over a year ago.  Now I can finally enjoy watching tv in my bedroom.  I'm also glad I found this site, I've already found a few new projects i'd like to try.  This seems like a great site for anyone who likes DIY and learning new things.

    I'm glad you found this helpful.

    Great idea, very effective photos, and a great Instructable. I don't have Dish but I have other wireless stuff that I'll have to look at. Thanks!

    2 replies

    Good idea. Using a Diplexer in this situation is highly discouraged by my company, because with Multi-Room Receivers the combined signals have been known to decrease both picture and audio quality, however the RF remotes signal is picked up easier (duh). Dish network sucks, this may or may not be due to the fact that I work for DirecTV.

    Diplexers are just high pass / low pass filters... you wouldn't use more than 2 of them very often. AND only 2 % of the time would you use more than 4 in one install. DirecTV Still uses technology that dish discarded 2 generations ago so I would guess you don't know how all this stuff works... and that is fine. But the first poster on this is correct ... you would use 2 splitters and put the antenna in the same room as the TV2. Let me see if I can put a better description of the process. 1. Locate the cable coming to the back of your receiver box. 2.That line will be going to the IN/OUT port on the diplexer (looks like a splitter with a blue sticker on it) 3. Coming from the SAT port of the diplexer is a cable running into a separator which also looks like a splitter. 4. From the separator there are 2 lines .. One going to Sat1 and the other going to SAT2. 5. IMPORTANT!!! DO NOT DISCONNECT THE separator FROM EITHER THE DIPLEXER OR THE receiver BOX! 6. Coming from the VHF/UHF port on the diplexer should be 1 line going to the " Home Distribution" port on the back of the receiver box. 7. In the Same general area as the Home Distribution port is the Remote Antenna port. 8. Disconnect the cable from the Home Distribution port on the back of the receiver. 9. Attach a Splitter on to the cable you just disconnected. 10. attach a cable from one of the "OUT" ports of the splitter to the Home Distribution port. 11. Attach a cable from the other "OUT" port of the splitter to the Remote Antenna port. 12. GO TO TV2 13. Behind TV2 disconnect the Cable going to the TV 14. Attach a splitter to the line you just disconnected. 15. Attach the Remote Antenna to one of the "OUT" ports on the splitter 16. Attach a cable from the other "OUT" port to your TV. DONE!!!! Your Remote now Works as if you have an additional receiver box at your TV2. THE REASON THIS WORKS!!!!!!!! The Diplexer is a High Pass / Low Pass Filter NOT A SPLITTER! The satellite signal traveling down the line only takes up certain bands The Low Pass Filter is 950-1450MHZ the High Pass is 1650-2150MHZ. The reason this is important is that Cable(COX, TIME WARNER, COMCAST) signal travels between 5-850MHZ and so does the signal for the Remote Antenna. So DISH can Transmit not only the 2 incoming SAT Signals on one line but we can also Transmit the Signal to TV2 AND The Remote Antenna on the Same Cable. For Those of you keeping Score that is 4 Signals down and back up one cable. This also has the effect of letting DISH use 1 Box to power 2 TVs. Something DirecTV still can't do