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Author Topic: Free to Air Satellite Receivers  (Read 11007 times)

UK-RV

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Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« on: April 04, 2006, 10:54:15 AM »
Hi Guys

Does anyone use a Free to Air Satellite Receiver, rather than subscribe to Dish Network et al.

It seems a waste to let our Tracvision Dish just sit there on the roof. To be honest, it would be good to see if it IS actually there inside that dome.† ;D

As we will be in Canada and Alaska, before returning to the US for 6 months and then going back to the UK, it is not worth subscribing to DN and others.

I just wondered what the FTA Receivers were like in terms of picture quality and channel choice?

I see they can be purchased from £100+

Thanks
Paul

Tom

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2006, 03:44:34 PM »
Paul,

Could you tell us more about the FTA receivers, where you buy them and which channels you can receive.

If you signed up for Direct TV or Dish, they probably allow you to suspend service for the time you're out of the U.S.
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Ned

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2006, 03:55:11 PM »
Free to Air channels are transmitted from multiple satellites and have nothing to do with Dish Network or DirecTV.  I'm not sure the Tracvision antenna will even be able to lock onto those satellites.  See http://www.tech-faq.com/free-to-air-satellite.shtml for information on FTA and the requirements to receive the FTA channels.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

UK-RV

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2006, 04:00:10 PM »
Hi Tom

Here's a link for USA accessible Free Channels - there will Im sure be 90% rubbish, but when in a campground with only 1 TV channel it will at least pass some time scanning thru the remaining 10%.

http://www.lyngsat.com/freetv/United-States.html

A google for "free to air satellite receivers" will provide loads of places selling the equipment.

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=RNWE,RNWE:2005-33,RNWE:en&q=free+to+air+satellite+receivers

BUT, I can't seem to find anyone actually using the stuff....

Im not sure the small Tracvision Dish is big enough for the job.

Cheers
Paul

UK-RV

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2006, 04:03:24 PM »
Ned,

 ;D I had that link too - but it is so full of google ads etc that you cant read the page - a definate case of ad-link overkill I think.

Paul


Tom

Someone said you can place DN 'on hold' at $5 per month or something like that. But as we are going to be in the US for just 7 months between now and next April, it isnt worth the cost of paying for a minimum 12 month subscription.

Paul

« Last Edit: April 04, 2006, 04:06:44 PM by UK-RV »

Ned

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2006, 04:22:42 PM »
Many campgrounds have cable tv, either included in the price, or as an addon.  One advantage of cable is you don't have to worry about trees in the way :)

I didn't see the ads as I run the AdBlocker extension on Firefox.  The site does have a lot of links to related sites.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

John From Detroit

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2006, 04:47:02 PM »
Oh, here is some FTA (Free to Air) information.  I do have a CoolSat 500oP sitting (Unplugged) in my motor home, I'm unable to configure it at this time, the reason is geographical, not technical (I did manage to find a window that lets me see my internet sattalite so it's set up (but currently unplugged too since I'm at home) I may be using it during tomorrow's Campfire)

This is where you find discussion on FTA receivers such as the coolsat, they also discuss dishes, instalation and the commericial services.  NOTE: Theft of service is NOT discussed here, you can not watch DirecTV on a CoolSat or other FTA receiver, (Nobody has broken the codec they use, at least that we know of offically) and you may not watch Dish TV shows either.. This however does not mean you can't find most all the TV you will ever want including all the networks as they are broadcasted un-encoded on many birds and the key word here is BROADCASTED as opposed to "Delivered"

Discussion link:
http://www.al7bar.tk/

ONE, and I stress ONE equipment provider,,, I do not think this is the one I got my coolsat from
http://www.dreamboxwarehouse.com/free_usa_satellite_tv_1610_ctg.php


Yet another provider... I'll check this one

http://www.dssboxes.com/

I think this is the company (Auto Accessories or something like that when you boil them down) I ordered from

I got speedy delivery, can not speak to after market support yet however as I can not get a good fix on a bird to test with due to the trees near me

Will (when the weather improves) try the other side of 83 (Fewer trees on that side of the dish, and I think I'll be shooting OVER the neighbor's roof)

NOTE: I have yet to watch so much as one second of FTA television.. But I will post more later when (not if) I succeed
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Tom

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2006, 05:09:47 PM »
Thanks for the info. I hadn't heard of it nor have I ralked with anyone who uses it. Sounds like something the WiFi freeloaders or WalMart campers would want.
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John From Detroit

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2006, 07:11:42 PM »
It is a bit more than that Tom....  The difference between "Wi-Fi" freeloaders and FTA is that FTA is paid for.. Just like OTA (Over the air) broadcast (IE: channel 2-62)

When you free-load on Wi-Fi normally you don't pay, and you don't read/view/hear ads from folks paying your "host"

but with FTA, you do see those ads, just like if you watched the local television broadcaster.  And they (The networks or the broadcaster) pay the sat provider out of the ad income.  Just like my local Channel 7 pays the power company for electricity to "beam" theirselves into my home... Some stations pay Hughs or someone to beam them all over the country
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Bob Zambenini

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2006, 07:17:12 PM »
Sounds like something the WiFi freeloaders or WalMart campers would want.

Tom, need to get that guy to write some more lines to the song.

Wow, sitting in your RV in Walmart free parking lot, with free Interent on neighbors Directway, watching free TV on you Free to Air Receiver and on Free VOIP SKYPE video phone with some camper in Outer Mongolia.

Jeff

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2006, 07:18:22 PM »
Thanks for the info. I hadn't heard of it nor have I ralked with anyone who uses it. Sounds like something the WiFi freeloaders or WalMart campers would want.

Careful Tom, I'm a Walmart camper on occassion but NOT a WIFI freeloader. ::) ::)

Tom

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2006, 07:58:53 PM »
I'm a Walmart camper on occassion

Not so Jeff; You're a WM overnighter. I doubt you put out the BBQ, the lawn chairs, fake grass and all the other trimmings.
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Tom

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2006, 07:59:48 PM »
LOL Bob. Those would be good additional lyrics for the song.
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Tom

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2006, 08:01:26 PM »
.... FTA is paid for..

John, are you saying there's a fee for FTA, or that the "cost" is having to watch ads?
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Jeff

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2006, 09:56:51 PM »
Not so Jeff; You're a WM overnighter. I doubt you put out the BBQ, the lawn chairs, fake grass and all the other trimmings.

Guess you are right.  ;D We did manage one WM for about 10 hours in Mesa on the way to Tucson. No slides, sat dishes, OR BBQ.!

Tom

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2006, 09:59:12 PM »
Guess you are right.

That's 'cos I'm using Smoky's definition  ;D
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Mick & Pat

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2006, 09:08:40 AM »
Paul,

Quote
It seems a waste to let our Tracvision Dish just sit there on the roof.

Will that dish be of any use when you get back to the UK?
Regards Mick & Pat Podmore.

UK couple who toured USA / Canada. Oct 2007 - Aug 2009

2005 Fleetwood Discovery 39S,Cat C7, Freightliner XC Chassis  2008 Jeep Liberty Ltd 3.7 .

UK-RV

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2006, 09:51:05 AM »
Mick

I dont know yet.

Just because the coach came with a fitted dish, wasnt the key factor for buying it.

It is only after spending time at the last 2 TT Campgrounds and only getting a total of 3 TV Channels, that I thought I would look into using it.

I think Ian H has one on his coach and I THINK he uses his for Satellite in the UK.

As the size of the Dish is fine for receiving the signals from Dish Network et al, it must be big enough and/or powerful enough to receive the FTA signals too.

I'm just trying to find the best FTA Receiver for the job - hopefully one which can be used in Europe when we get back too.

Paul

PS Thanks for the links guys - especially the forum link - I tried to post a Thank You last night but whatever I did I couldnt get it to post.




JohnSandyWhite

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2006, 09:59:53 AM »
 :) Hi UK-RV (Paul). I have the US Satellite Dish fitted to my Newmar. I have tried it here in the UK and get lots of signals from different Satellites. I just haven't managed to get what I am looking for yet. Will keep trying and let you know of the outcome sometime before you return to the UK. By the way. Although the US TV standard is NTSC and the UK PAL. The TV's you have should be OK to use with Satellite in Europe providing you use an NTSC to PAL convertor. Otherwise the picture will be Black and White.† ;D
Been there, done that. But I never stop learning

John From Detroit

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2006, 04:58:20 PM »
If you are using a Free to Air receiver and dish,  There are a few URL's you might wish to know

For those in Euroope, Africa & the Middle East

http://www.lyngsat.com/europe.html

If you are in the US:

Or somewhere nearby (North Americia)

http://www.lyngsat.com/freetv/North-America.html

You can link from either of these two sites (i'm sure of the 2nd) to any part of the globe you happen to be roaming around in.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Lou Schneider

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2006, 04:52:57 PM »
"Free To Air" sounds a lot like the old 8 ft. satellite dishes and receivers that preceded Dish and DirecTV.

They use satellite feeds that are intended to be received by cable TV head ends.  Usually this means they are lower power than Dish or DirecTV's signals, so you need a larger dish to receive them.

These signals may or may not be encrypted.  Encrypting is what sealed the demise of the old 8 ft. satellite dishes - as more and more people began using them, the content providers became concerned about the number of "freeloaders" bypassing the local TV stations (and their commericals) so they began encrypting their signals, blocking them from direct reception.

I looked at the "Free To Air" channel lists.  They idon't make any distinction between channels that are definitely encrypted, including feeds via Dish and DirecTV that cannot be received without a subscription.  Of the remainder, there's no indication of which are encrypted and blocked, or which are truely free to receive.  They also noted that a channel that's free today may be encrypted and blocked tomorrow, depending entirely on the whim of the provider.

Sounds like fun for an experimenter.  However, if I was interested in just watching TV, Dish or DirecTV are a lot more convenient.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2006, 05:13:49 PM by Lou Schneider »

Karl

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2006, 06:01:31 PM »
Quote
Otherwise the picture will be Black and White.  Grin

What? They've got colored pitchurs now?  Next you'll be telling me they talk too!   How dum you thinks I is? ::)
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

John From Detroit

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2006, 07:03:13 PM »
"Free To Air" sounds a lot like the old 8 ft. satellite dishes and receivers that preceded Dish and DirecTV.

They use satellite feeds that are intended to be received by cable TV head ends.  Usually this means they are lower power than Dish or DirecTV's signals, so you need a larger dish to receive them.

Well, in part you are correct,  You are refering to "C Band" transmissions, FTA also uses KU band (same as Dish and Direc) and works with standard DISH or DN dishes (or with a Direcway usinga Bird on a Wire) Though I have not gotten mine up yet) Some broadcases are encrypted (DishNetwork, Direcway and Bev) some are not, Some (NASA TV for example) are intended to be Free, most religous channels are Free, and many broadcast stations are also Free to anyone capable of watching them.   Of course you get the commericials too.   Just like "OTA" (over the air, or standard broadcast)

But you are correct C-band is part of FTA and many FTA receivers (mine included) are capable of using and controling a C-Band Dish and LNB
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

UK-RV

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2006, 08:10:35 PM »
Hi Guys

Starting with a reply from the manufacturer of the Tracvision......

........you can use the SF for FTA as long as the content is on the DBS satellites that are circularly polarized and in the frequency band of 12.2GHz to 12.7GHz.........I don't think the FTA content is in this band.

Thought I would add a reply Ive had from the FTA Forum mentioned previously.......

.....the dish is wide enough w/o a doubt but the hight i'm not sure about (no experience w/a dish that size) and the LNBF is good to go too.

with the proper firmware and STB(Set Top Box) you can achieve your goal! pick a STB...i prefer the pansat 3500S...of corse make sure it has support!! as does the pansat!

the LNBF(Low Noise Block-downconverter w/Freehorn) on your dish is a Ku circular polarized LNBF and can aquire signal from:
Echostar 1,2 @ 148.0W
Echostar 3 @ 61.5W
Echostar 4 @ 77.0W
Echostar 5 @ 129.0W
Echostar 6,8 @ 110W
Echostar 7 @ 119W
Nimiq 2 @ 82.0W
Nimiq 1 @91.0W

all of the above depend on your location!


So, it looks as though it will be worth it to order the FTA Receiver - I can always sell it on ebay later if no good.

Paul





UK-RV

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2006, 12:01:21 PM »
Hi Guys

A brief update on the FTA Receiver :-

After spending 2 days with the DVD/VCR and Splitter Box hanging out over the drivers seat - and cables, cables and more cables everywhere, I finally got the Receiver connected (turned out I only had to change 2 connections† ;D).

Getting the shelves back into the compartment was probably the hardest part.

With the Tracvision locked onto a satellite with strong reception, I uploaded a file to the Receiver.

After a few false starts, Ive got TV !!!

I have also got a few PPV channels too - I think that was a result of the uploaded file to the receiver.

Just got to see what happens, due to the small Tracvision dish,† the further North we go.

Paul



Tom

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Re: Free to Air Satellite Receivers
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2006, 09:31:46 PM »
Follow-up to an old topic....

I hadn't heard of free-to-air receivers until Paul started this topic. While we were recently visiting the UK I browsed around the local Tesco supermarket (something like a WalMart supercenter) and saw various models of free-to-whatever receivers. Seems like they're commonplace over there.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2006, 09:56:42 PM by Tom »
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