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Old 01-29-2009, 02:19 AM   #1
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Default Free to air satellite - does it work/know anyone who has it?

I was wondering if anyone has ever heard of or tried to set up "free to air" satellite? I've googled it a bit but can't find much about it except a couple of sites that describe how to install and set it up with a lot of technical jargon which is beyond me.
I can't find anything about how well it works or what sort of channels it gets, but it's apparently legal and free after you purchase the basic hardware, similar to a "pay for subscription" satellite system.

Any input would be appreciated if anyone has any.

Mike.

UPDATE: I did find out a bit more about it from further googling, and it seems it's pretty much what it sounds like.
There are Ku and C band satellites that transmit some pretty basic channels like ABC, CBS, NBC and some
highly specific PBS and Christian broadcasting much like OTA channels available from the basic antenna
systems in our motor homes. The 2 bands require slightly larger dishes than the paid subscription services.
There do seem to be more overall channels from the lists I could find, but whether they're the kind of thing
I'd watch, is another question. Still, it's another option to entertainment on the road, I believe.
I'd still be interested in hearing whether anyone knows anyone who has this type of TV, or has it themselves.
Seems like it would work in boondocking situations, where regular antenna signals might not be available.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: Free to air satellite - does it work/know anyone who has it?

I had a couple of satellite dishes 20+ years ago. Those were fun times. The first one was really basic - you tuned it in by physically moving it while someone inside the house yelled to let you know if the picture got better or worse

Makes me smile just thinking about it

The second one was bigger (10 foot) and had an actuator to move it. All of the mesh panels blew out during a wind storm. I gathered them up from all over the neighborhood.

Of course none of my comments answer your question......
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Free to air satellite - does it work/know anyone who has it?

Maybe not, but it's a good satellite story.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Free to air satellite - does it work/know anyone who has it?

My parents had one of those big satellite dishes. They could get any channel there was. The satellite companies decided to change the way they scrabbled their signal and then, the antenna became a useless lawn ornament. They could have upgraded the system but it would cost almost $1000 and then have monthly fees.

I know a few people that use the Free To Air systems. You have to do some research on them. Apparently, there are some that need internet access to update. Others can do it automatically. The one reason I haven't bothered with the Free to Air systems is what happened to my parents. I don't want to lay out the money and then have them change the signal and my system become useless.
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Free to air satellite - does it work/know anyone who has it?

Yes, the channels can change without notice according to what I could find online. I agree about taking a chance
with the hardware purchase, and then finding out it's not as useful as you thought. From what I could find,
the channel lineups are pretty much the same as domestic OTA TV now. The only possible advantage might be
the ability to have TV out in the boonies, and there are many more international channels available that may
be able to be viewed, although I have no idea how many international satellites are visible from North America.
I found a list of free satellite channels by country, alphabetically, and it was quite long.

I doubt I'll look into it any further. For now.

p.s. I still see those old 10 footers in people's yards every once in a while.
I'd think they still work if just getting the free channels, but the newer
Ku and C band dishes are smaller between 75 and 95 cms I think I saw?
Larger than ExpressVu or Star Choice models, but not beach umbrellas.
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Free to air satellite - does it work/know anyone who has it?

subscribe to DTV !
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Old 01-31-2009, 02:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Free to air satellite - does it work/know anyone who has it?

OK, can I use your address for billing?
Seriously, I'll be down there sometime nearer the end of February (we hope), and will be investigating all sorts of options
for mobile TV/Internet/Phones.
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Old 03-07-2009, 05:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: Free to air satellite - does it work/know anyone who has it?

I'm trying to learn about this.

I have a Motosat F1 dish on the "C". I won't pay the $60 per month annual contract for internet - I just won't use it enough. So, maybe I can use it for FTA satellite TV. Nothing illegal. Just get some news etc. when I've been away from it all for a few days.

Looks like I can either get a receiver for my laptop or one for a TV.

So much to do...........
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