Will Satellite work with leaves off trees?
October 7, 2009 3:09 PM   Subscribe

Will a Hi-Defintion Satellite Signal go through tree branches in the winter months?

Just moved and found out the trees in my backyard will interfere with a Direct TV or Dish Signal (my request for them to move the satellites went ignored). Now I have cable and am just not a big fan as I don't get the international sports channels Direct TV offered (namely Gol TV) or the NFL package for free as Direct TV offered. It is also really expensive.

A Direct TV technician came out and said the trees in the back yard would've needed to have been cut back about 8 feet or cut down. This was in mid-Summer. I don't believe in cutting down trees for the boob tube (yeah, my relationship with TV is dynamic).

Here's the question... When the leaves fall off the trees (in about a month in my area), can a Hi-Def signal get through? My plan is to get Direct TV for about 4 months a year and possibly got on TV sabbatical for the other 8 or switch between cable and Direct TV. Any experience with this? Thanks in advance.
posted by priested to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It will probably work. Getting a professional install won't be likely, though, as if they do it, they're on the hook when it stops working later.

I've had friends with Dish Network use it fine even through the summer by hanging the dish on a tree that happened to be in a spot where there was a hole in the canopy that lined up with the necessary satellites.

What you might find a bigger issue is whether DirecTV or Dish Network will be willing, administratively, to allow you to only pay for service four months out of the year.
posted by wierdo at 3:23 PM on October 7, 2009

There are dishes on a house in my neighborhood that are mounted on poles extending 10 or 15 feet above the roof to peek over tall pine trees. Have you explored that possibility?
posted by longsleeves at 3:25 PM on October 7, 2009

Yeah, mine goes through tree branches with minimal problems. The bigger issue, as wierdo says, is that DirecTV requires year-long or two-year-long contracts unless you want to buy the equipment alright.
posted by proj at 3:49 PM on October 7, 2009

Green leaves ( and their water content ) soak up RF like a sponge. Branches - as long as they don't completely block the line of sight - should allow 'enough' signal to get through.

My issue was that standard-def direct tv was getting just enough signal thru the treeline to work ok with some occasional rain or wind fade. When I wanted to go high-def, there wasn't enough signal to get all five LNAs happy. That, and direct tv screwing me over in the billing and returning the gear for the nth time caused me to leave them.

Moral of the story, you'll be fine, for SD quality signal, until the leaves return, when it'll get dicey.
posted by HannoverFist at 9:07 PM on October 7, 2009

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