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How To Get Free Satellite TV With Free To Air, FTA
A typical 75 cm (29.5 Inches) Ku Band Free To Air Satellite Dish
What Is Free To Air or FTA Satellite TV?
You can get free satellite TV with what is called Free To Air Satellite dishes. FTA satellite TV is simply unencrypted satellite TV transmissions that can be picked up with a simple dish and receiver. Many years ago all satellite TV was free. Those with large dishes could pick up everything from the Playboy network to Disney and HBO, plus all the "feeds" or transmissions from the network to local television stations. You may recall when owners of these dishes picked up president Ronald Reagan on a network feed when he joked "the bombing will begin in five minutes." Once people got hooked on the concept of satellite TV many premium channels started charging for the service but many of the channels still remain free. Even though the "premium" channels are now pay only, there are still some good entertainment on FTA.
What Kind Of Equipment Do You Need For FTA Satellite TV?
Unless you have an old 8' dish, which also picks up the C band, you will use a 75 centimeter (29.5 inches) Ku Band FTA dish. You can get an amazing number of channels. The FTA receiver is about the same size as a DirecTV receiver and connects to a computer for easy programming.
What Kinds Of FTA Free Satellite Channels are There?
Free to air satellite channels include everything from the network feeds to dozens of foreign language channels, local United States television stations, including all the major networks, religious channels (including over forty Christian and family networks), free radio stations, sports and public broadcasting. You can find just about everything you can imagine on the free satellite channels if you have a FTA dish. In addition to the many English language free satellite channels you can find almost every language in the world represented. For soccer fans there is always a game on, though it may be in another language.
Free to air satellite channels include nature programs, live feeds from university classrooms and lectures, science programs, space program news, weather channels and much more.
I find the incredible variety very educational for my children, though you may have to block some racy European channels that contain nudity and soft porn. You may find that there are new FTA channels that appear from time to time, such as network feeds from sporting events and a guide is helpful. There are several free to air forums on the web where users post new and unusual channels and events and how to tune in. The number of free to air satellite channels grows each month.
Note: The smaller 75 cm dishes for sale only pick up the Ku band. There are many channels of all kinds in the Ku band. See the list of Ku Band FTA channels below.
How do free to air satellite systems work?
Today's FTA satellite systems are much smaller than those big dishes from years ago. They operate much the same way but because of much more advanced receiver and satellite dish technology they are much smaller and don't take up half of your backyard for a giant dish.
Ku band FTA dishes are 29.5 inches across, or just a bit larger than the standard Dish Network satellite dishes and include a motorized control that automatically moves the dish to lock onto different satellites. There are many different satellites and transponders but good FTA systems automate the process and all you have to do is tune to that channel and wait for a couple seconds until the free to air receiver locks on to the signal. Most new FTA satellite receivers hook up to a PC, which can run a program to help you keep track of channels and download software updates. There are both digital and analog free to air channels and most newer receivers pick up both.
You can use a FTA satellite receiver and dish anywhere you have a clear view of the sky. Even if you live in the back woods in the United States or Canada, where there is no local TV signal you can get all of the major networks and public broadcasting, plus United States and Canadian weather channels and dozens of radio channels with a free to air satellite dish system.
Can I Get Pay Channels on and FTA Receiver?
No, if you want pay satellite you will need a system like Dish Network. Many users of FTA have two dishes, one for free and another for pay satellite.
Free To Air Satellite TV Channels, Ideal For The Recession
Many people are being forced to get rid of their cable and satellite TV. With a couple hundred dollars invested in an FTA system your family will have scores of free satellite TV channels to watch, many family oriented programs and great music channels.
How To Get Started In FTA Satellite TV
The best way to get started is to simply order a dish and follow the instructions to set it up on your roof or in your backyard. You will have to mount the dish on a solid, totally level surface, such as a pole set in the ground with cement, with a clear view of the southern sky. Next you will run the cable into the home. I recommend burying a one inch PVC conduit and running the wire through it.
Next you set up the receiver and begin to program it with the receiver hooked to a PC or Mac. Most all FTA satellite systems include complete instructions and a number for technical support. Virtually none of the sellers will leave you out in the cold since they want your free to air system to work properly and for you to not return it frustrated. You can find dozens of complete FTA satellite packages on e-Bay and from retailers on the web.
Once your free to air satellite TV system is up and running there are no more fees forever and you can watch almost any kind of program you can imagine.