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. What…
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.