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Cool Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I live in a high rise building that is contracted out to Direct TV. They are charging me $60 for just standard cable and do not offer HD channels. I have multiple windows in my apt with a clear view of the the Southwest which is what I need from Chicago.

I was wondering if it will be possible to place a dish inside a apt that has a clear view of the sky threw a window. Will this be possible? Anyone tried this before? Any input on whether a mirror interferes with the dish signal? It will refract light...I am not sure if it will do anything to radiowave signal...which I think is what dish signal is.

Any input will be appreciated before I put in the time and money to get the neccessary equipment to make this happen. Thanks.
 

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rimmi2002 said:
Hi I live in a high rise building that is contracted out to Direct TV. They are charging me $60 for just standard cable and do not offer HD channels. I have multiple windows in my apt with a clear view of the the Southwest which is what I need from Chicago.

I was wondering if it will be possible to place a dish inside a apt that has a clear view of the sky threw a window. Will this be possible? Anyone tried this before? Any input on whether a mirror interferes with the dish signal? It will refract light...I am not sure if it will do anything to radiowave signal...which I think is what dish signal is.

Any input will be appreciated before I put in the time and money to get the neccessary equipment to make this happen. Thanks.
Clear glass is not a problem for radio waves but mirrored glass, (if that is wat you have), has a metallic coating that will reflect a lot rf energy. I have heard that satellites will not work through this type of glass but maybe a call to a local independent installer would get you a more definitive answer.
 

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It depends. Some windows have a treatment that will cause them to block signals. Most windows will pass the signals with some signal loss. The dish would need to be mounted very, very low to the ground due to line-of-site angles, but it's been done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
IIP said:
It depends. Some windows have a treatment that will cause them to block signals. Most windows will pass the signals with some signal loss. The dish would need to be mounted very, very low to the ground due to line-of-site angles, but it's been done.
Hmm how can I tell how my windows have been treated. They look like average standard windows....they are double paned...and the only other issue is that they all have some sort of tinted paper on the inside to block sunlight...would that be a problem? If it is a I can always take it off.

You mentioned I szhould have the dish mounted very low to the ground why is that? Shouldn't it point between 30-60 degrees depending on my geographical location. I live on the 30th floor...of the building...was planning of buying a 2-3 foot block of wood and screwing the dish into there...and then positioning it properly next to the window. Any other suggestions?
 

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The through the window shots I've heard of before replaced the glass with plastic that didn't interfere with the signal. Not something I would recommend on a 30 story building in a windy city in the midwest. Shooting through the glass might work ... it might not ... probably won't know for sure until you try. Got a friend with a DISH you can borrow?
 

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Window glass contains lead which can attenuate (absorb) EMR. If your window is large enough and your home can accomodate a dish with a larger surface area (~1 meter), a knowledgeable, experienced and adventurous installer may be able to 'get-r-done' for you.

If the mirror to which you refer is simply hanging on your wall and you're concerned about signal interference from reflecting signals, don't worry about it.

OTH, if you're thinking about redirecting the incoming sat signal to another placement of a dish, even if a mirror has the requisite metallic (silvered) reflective backing needed to reflect EMR, the sat signal itself would have to travel through two thicknesses of the mirror's glass in order to be reflected. Including the window pane(s), we're already up to three, possibly four thicknesses of leaded glass, so one can see where this is leading.

Yours is a most interesting problem of physics, logistics and asthetics. If you can do this, you will certainly be our hero. You and your friends may even come to consider the presence of a parabolic antenna in your living room as a conversion starter, perhaps,even a contemporary (post-modern?) sculpture, as it were. :sure:

Good luck, and please keep us advised of your progress on this interesting challenge
 

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I have used a satellite dish through a sliding glass door without a problem. I was on vacation in Florida in a condo, and just made an X frame and set the dish on the floor. Mirrored glass typically contains a metal backing that would not let RF energy pass through. Any tinting process that uses metal particles to filter sunlight would also filter, and probably block, the RF which is very weak anyway. They make a satellite locator that would let you test the window, but if you are savvy enough to know how to install a dish, the easiest way is to find an old dish and receiver and tune to channel 101.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bobham said:
I have used a satellite dish through a sliding glass door without a problem. I was on vacation in Florida in a condo, and just made an X frame and set the dish on the floor. Mirrored glass typically contains a metal backing that would not let RF energy pass through. Any tinting process that uses metal particles to filter sunlight would also filter, and probably block, the RF which is very weak anyway. They make a satellite locator that would let you test the window, but if you are savvy enough to know how to install a dish, the easiest way is to find an old dish and receiver and tune to channel 101.
I just moved to Chicago and the problem is that I don't have an old dish and unfortunately don't know anyone that I can borrow it from. Do you know if there are any local stores that I can get a satellite locator from and around how much do they run? Thanks
 

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rimmi2002 said:
I live on the 30th floor...of the building...was planning of buying a 2-3 foot block of wood and screwing the dish into there...and then positioning it properly next to the window. Any other suggestions?
Do you have a balcony?

I would find a Dish Retailer in your area, perhaps even just call Dish and ask to have an advanced level technician come out and perform a line of sight survey. They may charge you for this but it is a good way to assess whether or not you can achieve a signal. Tell them to bring a Dish antenna and a meter. I would come out with a meter and a dish, but something tells me your either in the loop or north-side, and it would take me like 2.5 to 3 hours to get there.

Also if you can get this to work, I'd buy a lost cost "Non-Penetrating roof mount" instead of rigging up some unattractive contraption to hold the dish.
 

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You can find used dishes and LNBs on Ebay, but it sounds like you want to get HD, and it sounds like you don't have much experience with aligning a multi-focal point dish... a complicated process. I suggest you contact a local dealer, tell them what you want to do, and they can come test your site for suitability. That way, you aren't out anything, and they may be able to offer you another placement alternative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jason Nipp said:
Do you have a balcony?

I would find a Dish Retailer in your area, perhaps even just call Dish and ask to have an advanced level technician come out and perform a line of sight survey. They may charge you for this but it is a good way to assess whether or not you can achieve a signal. Tell them to bring a Dish antenna and a meter. I would come out with a meter and a dish, but something tells me your either in the loop or north-side, and it would take me like 2.5 to 3 hours to get there.
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Wow I wish I lived closer to you in IL, that would have been really nice. Unfortunately I live in South loop area and my apt building is contracted out to Direct TV and they are charging me close to $70 after taxes and everything for just Top 150. The next lower package is family pack 40 which contains no espn or other useful channels...and on top of that they don't offer HD in my buidling. I doubt my building will let me know mount anything on the building roof. I thought my best choice would be to try to see if I can get something going it the building and subscribe to Dish HD package. I'll try to contact dish and see what charge to get a person out here to test. Thanks for your input.
 

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rimmi2002 said:
Wow I wish I lived closer to you in IL, that would have been really nice. Unfortunately I live in South loop area and my apt building is contracted out to Direct TV and they are charging me close to $70 after taxes and everything for just Top 150. The next lower package is family pack 40 which contains no espn or other useful channels...and on top of that they don't offer HD in my buidling. I doubt my building will let me know mount anything on the building roof. I thought my best choice would be to try to see if I can get something going it the building and subscribe to Dish HD package. I'll try to contact dish and see what charge to get a person out here to test. Thanks for your input.
No problem, Please let us know if you need more help.

Also let us know if you get this to work. This would be valuable information for other potential users.

Jason
 
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