There must be a clear line-of-site from the satellite dish to the satellite. You can't go throught the tree's. The service you select (DirecTV, Dish Network or Primestar) dictates the compass angle and the elevation angle you must point the dish at. You can usually be creative on where you mount the dish and successfully get the signal. Go to www.dbsdish.com for more info, including some boards where you can post detailed questions. It includes a "pointer" program where you can find the exact satellite locations for your zip code.