FTA Satellite TV

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Dave Dixon
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FTA Satellite TV

Post by Dave Dixon » Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:22 pm

Hi all,
Has anyone here played around with Free to Air Satellite TV reception? I bought a reciever on a whim on Ebay. Don't even have a dish yet, but have been cruising the web, and it looks interesting. Any hints or suggestions for good forums would be most welcome! Thanks, Dave

Bigglez
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Re: FTA Satellite TV

Post by Bigglez » Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:34 pm

Greetings Dave,
Dave Dixon wrote:Has anyone here played around with Free to Air Satellite TV reception?
Jollyroger is the SME on FTA, he'll probably see your post later
today. Here's some background reading found in this thread.

Comments Welcome!

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Dave Dixon
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Post by Dave Dixon » Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:39 am

Thanks Peter,
NOW I remember that thread! Must have had it in my subconscious when I bought that receiver. I'm also know what an SME is now. Regards, Dave

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Bob Scott
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Re: FTA Satellite TV

Post by Bob Scott » Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:31 pm

Bigglez wrote:Jollyroger is the SME on FTA, he'll probably see your post later today.
I am on the edge of my seat too. I have a very high quality 10' Andrews C band stamped steel dish that should (hopefully) also work for KU.

JollyRoger, are you out on the bounding main?

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Post by sallyxi » Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:44 pm

As a new one here,it is very nice to see every question can be solved here.

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Dave Dixon
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Post by Dave Dixon » Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:14 pm

JollyR.... I got my receiver in the mail today. I haven't found the right forum to check on, out of a dozen or so I've checked out yet! This newbie needs your help.
I JUST want to start out with a small dish and get the free channels I can get quickly.
Then I might have a million questions about "expanding" from there.
TIA for the help I am sure I will find from my friends on this forum and 73's, de Dave

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jollyrgr
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Post by jollyrgr » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:30 am

Sorry, I've been busy the past couple weeks so I have not spent nearly as much time on the Internet as I usually do.

FTA is fun to play with. I am not familiar with all the receivers but will help as much as I can. I will suggest that you may be fustrated the first time you attempt to get a signal to come in. With analog C-band I was able to get a signal by just mounting the dish and "roughly" pointing it. In fact when I first turned on the receiver after installing my big dish I had a signal on the analog system. It was of a photo finish of a horse race and was a "paused" still picture. Literally the dish was mounted and just "generally" pointed at the arc and I got a signal without tweaking. The FTA digital was not as forgiving.

When I got my first FTA receiver I probably spent several hours before I got all of the receiver programming, dish tweaking, etc. in line and got the receiver to "discover" channels. This was with a dish that was peaked on the satellite.

Unless you are getting a big dish you will be using Ku birds. Most likely you will want to get the G10R satellite as it has quite a bit of free channels. But there is a satellite right next to it (G23) carrying Dish Network signals. The Dish Network transponders are MUCH more powerful than regular Ku transponders. This causes all sorts of grief when setting up a dish to receive G10R.

If that sounded confusing, head over to http://www.lyngsat.com and vew what is there. This is the listing of just about every satellite, transponder, and package available. Take a look at the Ku frequencies for an idea of what is available. When programming the receiver you will need to know a number of things just to get it started. The LNBf IF frequency (usually 10750MHz), the transponder frequency, the Symbol Rate (SR) and so on. The LNB frequency is usually entered one time unless you will be dealing with multiple LNBs and types. The transponder frequency is entered for each transponder and usually goes with a symbol rate for the package. Depending on the receiver the other parameters will be automatic or may need to be entered.

Another thing that you will discover is even with an updated listing (link above) things change on FTA often. If you have a receiver with blind scan you will discover a whole new aspect of watching satellite. You will point at a bird, set up a blind scan and discover channels not listed. Most common (at least for me) have been backhauls and wild feeds. These are reports from "in the field" reporters or sporting events to the studio and distribution of TV shows to the stations. Getting information on these is closely guarded. Once revealed to the "public" stations will move these and the signal will disappear. For instance, in the analog days I would watch a number of UPN and WB shows several days before the air date. I would watch Jay Leno and hear the band play when others were watching commercials, and I got all sorts of sports feeds for my dad and brothers that were "blacked out" locally. It was real easy to find this on analog C-band. FTA is much more complex but not impossible.

Let me know how things progress on getting a dish. You will likely want a 31" to 36" dish to start; unless you have a big dish. Avoid a fiberglass dish as you won't know the mesh size and this matters for Ku.
No trees were harmed in the creation of this message. But billions of electrons, photons, and electromagnetic waves were terribly inconvenienced!

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Dave Dixon
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Post by Dave Dixon » Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:10 am

Wow! Thanks so much. That is a lot of great information. I hope to get some time this weekend to digest some of it! This is just the type of information I am looking for. Looks like patience will be in order. Muchos Gracias!! Dave

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