DISH OTA Signal Meter To Improve Antenna Reception

Satellite television provider DISH continues to hedge their bets, given a variety of cord cutting streaming hardware and services that seemingly acknowledge the contraction of traditional pay television. They even mount OTA television antennas, under the AirTV shingle, via their network of satellite dish installers! And they’re about ready to improve installation precision for improved reception.

Shown at DISH Team Summit earlier this month, the DISH SLM 1000 OTA Signal Meter does exactly what you’d expect in reporting signal strength. The battery-powered meter plugs into the target antenna and uses Bluetooth to communicate with an associated app for optimal positioning.

The upcoming $119 DISH OTA meter is intended for the professional installers but, because it’s manufactured by Winegard, there’s some speculation the device could make it’s way to hobbyists through retail channels.

11 thoughts on “DISH OTA Signal Meter To Improve Antenna Reception”

  1. No date was provided that I know of, but it looks pretty complete given the demo. I’d *guess* it’d be released before end of summer, at the latest.

  2. Why would the average OTA user wish to pay $$$ for the Wineguard air shingle? When you can Google the locations of OTA broadcast sites and use a free Compass app to Zero in on those signals? Works just fine for me and it’s free!

  3. Well, it’s primarily for professional installers. But many can benefit the additional precision, especially those on the edge of receptivity, and this can also help include/exclude/tune amplification.

  4. Compass is all nice and fine if you have no terrain issues like I do. My installers used that and a pro meter and optimized my antenna’s location and height for something that worked only on the date of install. They laughed at my AntennaWeb printouts. Some channels like CBS I have never gotten since that first day. My issues are clearly height related — AntennaWeb makes it clear it would resolve most of the terrain issues — but they refused to come back and move it to the upper roof or use a longer pole.

    For me, the bottom line is do I get the channel. I like to use the signal meter on my TiVo. I believe if they had they wouldn’t have locked in on a spurious height. The TiVo meter overlays the picture so you can see the real world consequences. Is it stable, can it hold a lock? But my method requires 2 people and they would have none of that, which is understandable. So years later I still have awful reception despite professional installation and a hefty outlay of money (over $500) for free

  5. This signal strength meter would have been helpful when I installed the OTA antenna on my roof, but it’s priced a bit high for occasional use. As others have mentioned, many (most?) modern TVs and DVRs already support this capability.

    It would be great to have in a tool lending library.

  6. I used the free HDHomeRun Signal Meter app while I was on the roof. I ran the HDHomeRun app on an one phone and then checked the signals for every channel on another before I climbed down.

    Yes, slow. But did it once and done. The app is open source and still available.

  7. @Dave, Actually, TV/STB read out works fine as long as a helper can relay the information to the person aiming the antenna. I speak from experience. :-)

  8. We are in final testing of a handheld OTA (ATSC/8VSB) & QAM meter. It can also read DOCSIS 3.1 OFDM 6 MHz power slices for dual use by installers to check over the air antennas and latest cable TV standards for coaxial signals. Built in compass, built in speaker for tone locating peak transmitter power, amplifier for 60+ mile ota roof work, attenuator for high plant level CATV, & carry bag for protection in a low cost handheld meter at 13 ounces. I guess great minds think a like.

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