Where to start

Discussion in 'Free To Air (FTA) Discussion' started by SecretSquirrel83, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. SecretSquirrel83

    SecretSquirrel83 Thread Starter New Member

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    Hello all,

    I'm a COMPLETE FTA satellite newbie. I live in North Garden Virginia. I guess my ultimate goal is to get rid of my paid Dish Network satellite system.... if I can, while not missing my team's NFL games. I started with a OTA tv antenna, but due to my location, I'm not really able to reliably get all the channels I want. So my questions would be.

    1- Is it possible to get the right channels to not miss the NFL games I want to watch?
    if yes
    2- Can you recommend good write ups/articles for new people like me?

    3- What equipment, satellite, receiver, etc, anything that is needed, recommended, or just plain useful. I know there is C band and Ku band. I would like middle of the road, bang for your buck, equipment, etc.

    4- What satellite(s) would you recommend that I might enjoy? I like movies, Family guy, Futurama, American Dad type stuff, older shows like MASH, I have ZERO interest in non english, foreign country, or religious channels. I'm going to have an online streaming service of some sort to supplement my tv watching, but NFL is my biggest concern right now.

    5- What should I expect, not expect, do's and don'ts, variables I need to consider? Can I use an existing Dish Network mount that is no longer in use? (there are two on the roof since dish was relocated a year or so ago.


    Thanks in advance,

    John
     
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  2. FaT Air

    FaT Air HOA Free Zone
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    1) No :-( But you may catch a feed now and then. If you're a NFL junkie, you'll most likely have to pay, as that's the current domestic 'model'. Don't know if that is streamed or not. FTA is more a hobby, not a 'second source' for subscription services.(But for many, there's plenty to 'watch'.
    2) Not off hand can recommend one.. To see what is 'up there', Take a look at TheList (link on top of pages here, or Mikes lists at http://www.global-cm.net/mpeg2central.html or look at the satellites at Lyngsat: http://www.lyngsat.com/america.html ***(lyngsat can be out of date quite often)
    3) SatelliteAV has a Ku band package available for around $250 W/S&H. Their are other systems available also from other vendors(just can't say anything on their quality) You may save some money with cheaper, not recommended to purchase out dated equipment off the 'bay.
    4) C band, requiring at least a 6ft dish, would be necessary. I would recommend a 10ft. Most have been 'rescued' from previous owners not using them any more(see thread more Craigslist dishes for your perusal )
    Me-TV, THIS, RTN for older network shows and MOVIES(it won't be current run movies**)
    5) expect: learning some new skills. It's all DIY.
    Not expect: replacing the source of your subscription channels. variables I need to consider: too many to list here now. They'll be easily answered when they 'pop up'.
    DNet mount: maybe. Variables to consider.

    **30W satellite has some current run 'fare' (Ku band) in english with SP subtitles (that can't be 'turned off, but are hardly noticeable after you get used to it)
    ***lyngsat channels are color coded. See the 'code' on the bottom of their pages. '/clear' only (forget about analog)
     
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    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  3. northgeorgia

    northgeorgia SatelliteGuys Family

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    I'm just curious about your OTA antenna. Is it indoor or outdoor? According to TV fool, it is a tough area with slim pickings, but it should still be possible with a large enough (and high enough) outdoor aerial to get the big three networks and PBS.

    Ironically, I find I enjoy some of the bizarre and unusual stuff on FTA as opposed to the most of the stuff on OTA (other than local news). FTA doesn't seem to have quite as many commercials -- when I try to watch something on Dish, I feel like it's 5 minutes of programming (part of which is review before the commercial break) and then 5 minutes of commercials. Although you might or might not find your team playing on an FTA feed, there's hardly a day that goes by that there isn't some kind of sports feed somewhere being broadcast, including college and high school games. So, as FaT Air said -- it's not a replacement. But as a hobby, it offers more value for the money to me personally :)
     
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  4. SecretSquirrel83

    SecretSquirrel83 Thread Starter New Member

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    My antenna is mounted on the roof, it's a solid signal xtreme signal hdb91x, it's on a tripod, I need to get up there and nail down the signal, but as of right now, I got 8 channels of unreliable television.

    Thanks for answering my questions.

    I guess it would just be easier and make more sense, to strip down my television package during the off season, then pick it back up so I don't miss any games. I'm just in money saving mode, I've got automotive projects I want to start/build.
     
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  5. nhulst

    nhulst Member
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    One thing to add... you won't have much luck getting NFL game feeds during the regular season, but in years past there have been a tremendous number of preseason game feeds on Ku. No guarantees, of course. There are also a lot of pre-game/post-game type feeds which are kind of neat to see.
     
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  6. Lone Gunman

    Lone Gunman SatelliteGuys Family

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    PM sent. You're not but about 60 miles from me!!

    Oh, and WELCOME TO SAT GUYS! :D
     
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  7. FaT Air

    FaT Air HOA Free Zone
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    Go to www.tvfool.com Check Your Address for Free TV plug in your location and antenna height. Rough guess, aim ENE. Looks llike the terrain between you and the transmitters isn't the best. (Using zip code only)
    :welcome
     
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  8. jorgek

    jorgek SatelliteGuys Family

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    Fat Air,
    Don't waste your time with Lyngsat. Sathint.com listings are current and upto date, much better service.
     
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  9. SecretSquirrel83

    SecretSquirrel83 Thread Starter New Member

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    Oh yea, I've been through tvfool.com and others, there is NO line of sight, I'm getting 8 good channels now, and started to get CBS out of richmond, but they were just barely there and not watchable.
     
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  10. migold

    migold Active SatelliteGuys Member
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    I live in a difficult reception situation also. I have a large hill blocking my local reception from Roanoke Va. I found that since the digital transition, I can get good reception by pointing my antenna at the mountain to my west and getting the 'bounce' from it. With the old analog system, all I got were terrific ghosts across the screen. Now, when I look for a signal, I take a portable hand-held flat-screen TV and scan from all directions. Good Luck!
     
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  11. SecretSquirrel83

    SecretSquirrel83 Thread Starter New Member

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    Yea, that is basically what I've been doing myself. The terrain and trees are making life hard. I think 8 channels is all I'm gonna get on it. The terrain makes it hard to pick up anything out of Richmond (if not impossible). All this rain has really slowed my tinker time.
     
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  12. Balock

    Balock Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
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    You might also try changing the height of your antenna. Higher is not always better according to comments I've seen on AVForums in the past.
     
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  13. SecretSquirrel83

    SecretSquirrel83 Thread Starter New Member

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    I would like to go higher, but without a longer pipe for the tripod, or a tower, I'm as high as I am gonna go right now. If I drop the antenna point signal drops off drastically, and since I'm looking up hill in all directions pretty much, not sure how much I'm gonna gain by getting higher.
     
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  14. jorgek

    jorgek SatelliteGuys Family

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  15. SecretSquirrel83

    SecretSquirrel83 Thread Starter New Member

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    Yea, I've got the point of the antenna tilted to point just above the tree line. That's the only way I could really get anything at all.
     
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  16. migold

    migold Active SatelliteGuys Member
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    I had one antenna mounted 20 feet above ground trying to get a signal, and it came in very weak. I LOWERED the antenna and found a good strong signal at 7 feet above ground. It doesn't make sense, but it does work.... Channel number is 46, so it is a high UHF frequency.
     
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  17. Lone Gunman

    Lone Gunman SatelliteGuys Family

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    Well, the SecretSquirrel83 came and got his stuff today so I guess he's found out where to start. He left for home about 2 hours after he got here with more info than he probably will remember and his truck loaded with that 7.5ft SAMI dish, a piece of schedule 40 pipe to mount it on, about 100ft of coax, connectors and a pansat 3500SD. I also gave him an ESX241 LNBF that I had bought a couple of years ago to test with since I've got a DMX-741U to do that with now.

    Ennywho, he's going to have to buy concrete for the post mount, a Vbox something and the wire to hook up to the dish mover and reed switch and he'll be in business. Hopefully it won't be that much longer before he's in here with questions on how to tweak that dish in. Since he's due north of me and only about 50 miles as the crow flies it should be pretty easy to get the elevation/declination set. The receiver already has 78w programmed in and the LNBF is already tweaked too.

    Piece of cake, right? ;)
     
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