Will A Satellite Dish Work In The Loft?
If you want to have a new satellite dish installed to keep the installation discreet, or have moved into a new build property and all the cables are already installed inside your loft. Read this blog for all the information that you require.
Can You Install A Sat Dish In A Loft?
In short, I’m afraid that the answer is no. You can put a satellite dish in a loft but it won’t work. This is because the frequencies that the satellite dish uses are too high to be able to penetrate your roof tiles and require line of sight. This means that the satellite dish must be installed outside in order to be able to obtain a usable signal. This is usually on a south facing wall (in the UK) or on a wall mount that will allow the dish to point over the building.
In theory however, if you absolutely determined to install a satellite dish in the loft it could be possible if you had a skylight installed and managed to find the correct Sky dish position to find a signal as the signals can pass through certain types of glass. This itself would be very difficult and not a task for the faint hearted, never mind fixing the dish in position which could be very tricky in there are no nearby loft beams. To be honest this is not something that I would even try but you may find that you lose satellite signal in rain with water settling on the glass on the Sky light. To be honest I would advise even trying it, all that’s likely to happen is that you will lose an afternoon trying to align your satellite dish and getting no satellite signal.
Cables Have Been Installed In Loft Ready For Satellite Dish
If you have had a re-wire or the house has been installed with coaxial cabling throughout ready for your satellite dish to connect to. Cables will need to be installed between the dish installed on the exterior of the building and join onto the cables that feed the respective satellite wall plates. These will usually enter through a soffit, fascia, gable end wall or pop in under a roof tile. Depending on what system you’re running will depend on the amount of cables that will need to be installed between the satellite dish and the loft. Typically, this will be:
1-2 x cables for Freesat (1 TV)
2x cables for Sky Q
4x cables for a Quad LNB (Up to 4 satellite TV points)
6 cables for a Hybrid LNB (Quad + Sky Q Wideband)
8 cables for an Octo LNB (Up to 8 satellite TV points)
If you have arranged with Sky to come and install you a satellite dish, it is very, very unlikely that they will enter the loft to join onto any existing coaxial cables. Unless you find an installer that is willing to risk his job in order to do so. As I understand the situation the Sky installers are not insured to enter the lofts so will instead install a new cable on the exterior of your property that enters to the Sky box through a hole in the wall. This obviously isn’t ideal if you have just had the house wired and wanted to minimise visible cabling. It really does seem silly have all the cables installed internally only to drill a hole in the wall. In situations like this you may want to employ an independent satellite engineer(like us!) to come and install the satellite dish for you. This will mean that you may need to pay a bit extra for installation, but it would normally look much better.
Other Ways To Keep Satellite Dish Discreet
You may be disappointed to find out that the loft is not a suitable position to install your Sky dish and have resigned to the fact that you will have an ugly satellite dish on your wall. Fear not there are solutions for you that can keep your satellite dish hidden. I won’t go into great detail here as I already have done in an older blog which I recommend that you read, but to summarise the satellite dish could be hidden by the following methods:
-Install dish on chimney
-Install on pole in garden
-Paint the dish
-Use a satellite dish that doesn’t look like a satellite dish. E.g Squish Dish
Other Options & Solutions
If you really do not want a satellite dish installed on the exterior of your property or you live in a listed building with covenants prohibiting the installation of satellite dishes. There are a couple of other potential options that you could explore.
Install Loft TV Aerial Instead
Just because a satellite dish will not work installed in your loft, it doesn’t mean that a TV aerial couldn’t be installed there instead. Before you go ahead and book your loft TV aerial installation please be mindful that TV aerials do not always work in lofts. It depends on what sort of a signal strength area that you are in. Assuming that a TV aerial will notwork in your loft obviously you can’t get your Sky TV package through a TV aerial. You can receive free to air digital TV services, in the UK this is called Freeview. In Ireland this is called Soarview. If you wanted a subscription based TV service you could opt for BT Vision or TalkTalk TV as an alternative to Sky. Or if you wanted just a recordable TV service something like Freeview Play or Youview is compatible with a TV aerial.
Please be mindful that installing TV aerials in lofts is usually a compromise. It is advised to install the TV antenna outside for best TV reception. If have a loft that has a foil lining or a foil backed insulation board like Celotex. The signals will bounce off of here and no allow the signals from the TV transmitter to reach the TV aerial.
Sky TV without A Satellite Dish
It’s not here yet at the time of writing this, but Sky have promised Sky without a Sky dish very soon. Instead of receiving it’s signals via a satellite dish an internet connection is used instead which you can connect to via WIFI or with an Ethernet cable (recommended). You should be aware that for this service to work you will need a good internet speed. If you’re internet speed is slow you may need to wait a few years until this service is available to you.
Internet Options - Sky Go/ Now TV
If you had your heart on Sky content and having a dish installed is not an option. You could always opt for a service like Now TV or Sky Go which connects to your internet connection. Now TV is sort of like a pay as you go Sky TV service which allows you to access things like Sky Movies and Sky Sports. You buy a pass or set up a 30 day rolling subscription and away you go. You can also get some Now TV boxes that allow you to connect a TV aerial so that you can still access most terrestrial live TV. For Sky Go you will need an active Sky subscription and via the app you can login which will allow you to watch most of your Sky content. There are compromises with Sky Go however, most notably being that absence of BBC services. Most Smart TV boxes will allow you to access iPlayer in a separate application so this isn’t usually the end of the world.
Sky Dish In Loft Questions
If you have any comments or questions regarding this blog. Please feel free to POST YOUR COMMENTS/ QUESTIONS IN THE BLOG COMMENTS SECTION BELOW and I will get back to you ASAP (please be patient). Please, please, please DO NOT CALL OUR TELEPHONE LINES with your questions or technical advice, we are a small business operating in Sussex and Kent only and the phone lines are intended for customers only. We simply do not have the staff/ resources to help this way. The success of the blog has been a bit of a double edge sword in this regard but like I said if you post your comments in the blog comments section I will help out where I can. Please also DO NOT FILL OUT OUR WEBSITE CONTACT FORMS OR E-MAIL. If you do this you're very likely to not receive a response. By posting your comment in the blog comments section everyone reading the blog at a later date will get the benefit of the question asked and the answer given.
TV Aerial/ Antenna & Sat Filters - All You Need To Know
If you're suffering with TV interference & need a TV aerial/ sat filter. Read this for all you need to know, inc filter types/ brands.
A Guide To HDMI Distribution Equipment
Read this article for all you need to know about different HDMI equipment & how to send full-HD/ 4k/ UHD signals around your house.
What Cables Should I Install In My New House?
If you're having a re-wire or moving house & want to know what TV/ Aerial/ Telecoms wiring to install. Read this for all you need to know.