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What can and can't I do with a FTA receiver such as the AZ Box?

Discussion in 'Free To Air (FTA) Discussion' started by SeaRayKindaDay, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. SeaRayKindaDay

    SeaRayKindaDay Thread Starter New Member

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    I'm kind of thinking about dropping my cable tv because it is costly. If I go with an FTA set up will I still be able to pick up normal shows like How I met your mother and American Pickers/ Pawn stars, and will there be normal channels like CBS, NBC and the History Channel?

    I keep reading about 8PSK chips and I can't figure out if they have a legal purpose or are just for picking up dish network/ direct tv that should be paid?

    I have a small dish network satellite dish on my house already but it has a round LNBF so I guess I'd have to buy a different piece for that to work.

    If I get far enough that it does pick up some channels will it only be 5 or so or like 100 channels? My tv has a digital tuner and I can get about 5 channels when I hook up an antenna straight to that. I'm having a hard time noting a difference between those $20 boxes the government gave out for old tv's when they transferred to digital and FTA receiver boxes. I don't want to get several hundred dollars into this and find no real benefit for the work and cost.

    If someone could shed some light on some introductory questions I may just take up a new satellite hobby. Thanks ahead!

    -Kirk
     
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  2. madmadworld

    madmadworld SatelliteGuys Family

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    where are you ? should get 20 or more channels from a big city

    needed 1 meter dish and a 8'-10' old or new cband dish
    channels in link
    http://www.satelliteguys.us/thelist/
    dish you have only good for buying dishnet
    advice: pay for tv switch back and forth every 2 years to get best deal.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  3. Lone Gunman

    Lone Gunman Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member

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    IMHO FTA is NOT a substitute for subscription programming! Do we get some encrypted channels in the clear? From time to time yes but they usually don't stay that way for long. There's a fair amount of sports feeds that show up, but then again you can't count on them being there tomorrow.

    When I got rid of my sub, I replaced it with OTA (over the air) TV and just use the FTA stuff as a fill in but it's basically a hobby more than anything else because I like fooling with "odd stuff" that other people only wonder about!

    I'll leave you with this though. Happy WIFE, happy LIFE! And what I mean by that is if you're married your darling Wife probably isn't going to be impressed with FTA!;)
     
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  4. truckracer

    truckracer SatelliteGuys Family

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    We are over the air antenna and free to air c/ku HD in our house . We have Netflix also with 2 Roku boxes, two blue ray players with Netflix.

    So far none of us miss cable or subscription satellite. That's just us, this arrangement may not work for everyone.
     
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  5. AcWxRadar

    AcWxRadar SatelliteGuys Family Pub Member / Supporter

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    SeaRay,

    Welcome to Satellite Guys forums! We are very glad to have you as a member for certain! There are individual forums for FTA sat, OTA terrestrial and DN and DirecTV and others, so no matter what you decide upon, you will be very well served by being a member here.

    As stated by Lone Gunman, FTA satellite is not a replacement for DN or DirecTV, but I might believe that it could almost replace your cable. If your cable is anything like ours here, I would have no qualms with operating with free satellite (Ku/C band satellite FTA and OTA terrestrial channels) just for the sheer cost savings. I can rarely find much to watch on the cable here. Although it is a minimal package, so TCM and AMC are the main channels. It really depends upon how much you really watch TV. I am not a TV couch potato so I don't mind it at all. Some people may be totally turned off by it.

    Truly, FTA satellite television is a game for hobbyists and DIY'rs that just want to pick up a few random channels and seek the thrill of the wild feeds. You won't know if it is really your cup of tea until you have dabbled with it for about a year or so. You can get your feet wet in FTA rather inexpensively if you desire to, but I would not recommend the AZBox for you to find this out. I'd go with the microHD and a very simple Ku band fixed point dish. A couple hundred bucks for a full system and play for a while. I wouldn't make any decision if I were you until you have hung around a little longer to gather some information and talked to a lot more people. It can be a LOT of fun and really entertaining, but it isn't for everyone, you must have a specific mindset to enjoy it. I recommend that you keep your cable for the time being and just read the posts here and ask questions for a while. You may gather enough tidbits from general conversations that will enlighten you one way or the other, but don't rush out and spend any money right off the bat. No one here wants you to buy into anything that you may not like down the road and regret investing in. That's not the way any of us work as we are not a cult and we are not trying to selling you anything, we are just strange folks who enjoy doing something that is out of the ordinary and fascinated by the results that we get. So, just stick around for a while and evaluate what you see and hear for a while, then make up your mind. You will (in our book) and may (if you wish to) always be a member, regardless of what you decide to do, so that's a plus! :)

    RADAR
     
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  6. primestar31

    primestar31 SatelliteGuys Family

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    This above that I have bolded. Your FIRST step though, is to sit down with a pad of paper, and write down every tv show you want to watch, and/or can't live without. Then, look at "TheList" and at the various sat channels on: http://www.lyngsat.com/ also check to see what's available (local channels) to you over the air with a roof antenna. Don't forget if you have high-speed internet, a lot of shows are available on the networks website, or Hulu.com, etc.

    If you can come up with a compromise, and think you want to try installing a local antenna with a KU and C-band system, you should then do a site survey of your property, and see which sats would even be available to you. That might narrow it down enough that it wouldn't be worth it due to no line of sight. Obviously, if you can't under any circumstances receive a particular sat that you MUST receive, that's a problem. If you get this far, then you need to start looking for equipment. A full motorized KU and C-band installed system, even if you can get some equipment just given to you, will most likely cost at least $400~ or so in miscellaneous costs by the time you get all installed and "done".
     
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  7. madmadworld

    madmadworld SatelliteGuys Family

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    some good advice here. but mine is get away fast.
    some here call this a Hobby (hate that) this is alot of things but not a Hobby imho
    look here nothing about US there.(and don't add it now) LOL

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hobbies
    edit: Fishing not on that list thought that was one. it's there lower
    People watching Really??
     
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    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  8. Tron

    Tron SatelliteGuys Family

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    One thing that many don't understand about FTA is that it is not a "service". It is a hodgepodge of uplinked satellite programs spread across more than a dozen visible satellites across the sky. The programming comes from many sources, usually professional broadcasters uplinking programming to other broadcast or cable professionals. These are the wild news feeds, sports events, and backhaul programs being sent to network affiliates and cable headends.

    These programs are not meant for consumers to receive, we are just picking them up as the network affiliates or cable headends would. Very little FTA up there is meant for consumer reception. Most end-user programming is on Galaxy 19 at 97W, and is ethnic programming for reception by Globecast subscribers.

    With that said, I have been receiving FTA satellite since 2005, and would never want to give it up. There's always something to see, although its rarely the kind of programming you'd expect from a premium cable tier. Those channels are occasionally available, but usually don't stay unscrambled for long.
     
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  9. stecle

    stecle Member

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    For most of us that have been in the satellite industry or hobby for many years there is an irony that exists. Actually watching TV is not why most of us do it. We like the toys (equipment) and even better spending untold hours trying to get it to work.

    Finding a wild feed of a fast breaking news story is what we live for. I would much rather watch a back haul feed of the reporters and crew getting ready to go live at the Academy Awards than actually watching the show itself.
    If it was about actually watching TV I would simply call my local cable company and be done with it. :popcorn
     
    #9

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