Considering a new foray into FTA... what do I need? (1 Viewer)

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comfortably_numb

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It's been nearly 20 years since I've had any contact with FTA equipment... the last time was with a C-Band dish at my parents' home in Ohio. Now I live south of Kansas City, and I'd like to be able to receive the FTA PBS stations on AMC 21. What are the bare minimum size requirements for a dish? What kind of receiver do I need? Do they make FTA receivers that can act as a DVR?

I'd put up a new BUD today, but I don't think my landlord would let me. He's pretty lenient about what I mount on the roof and close to the building, though.

Throw me your suggestions!
 

Titanium

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The minimum size reflector for reliable KU reception is 90cm. The PBS services on AMC21 are problematic and many do not have reliable reception with a 90cm, so probably should plan on a 1.2m reflector if the PBS channels are your primary interest. The GEOSATpro 1.2m dish (offered with a free PLL LNBF on Ebay/Amazon) is a good solution as it has good construction, but still light enough to be motorized for multi-satellite reception with the addition of a motor such as the STB HH120. The Amiko HD265 is a solid performing DVBS2 receiver with DVR capability if you connect a USB drive.
 

comfortably_numb

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The minimum size reflector for reliable KU reception is 90cm. The PBS services on AMC21 are problematic and many do not have reliable reception with a 90cm, so probably should plan on a 1.2m reflector if the PBS channels are your primary interest. The GEOSATpro 1.2m dish (offered with a free PLL LNBF on Ebay/Amazon) is a good solution as it has good construction, but still light enough to be motorized for multi-satellite reception with the addition of a motor such as the STB HH120. The Amiko HD265 is a solid performing DVBS2 receiver with DVR capability if you connect a USB drive.

What about this? It's only 90cm, but comes with the receiver: GEOSATpro HDVR3500 FTA Complete HD/DVR Satellite System with IPTV | eBay
 

phlatwound

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You may know this but there is really no "program guide" with FTA, you will have to do your own scheduling of any DVR recording you want to do.

If you are talking about parking a dish on 125W Ku you might look for a 1.2 meter fiberglass commercial dish, lots get abandoned on gas stations and convenience stores.

One of those would make a great signal collector for a fixed dish install...and might be free to boot.
 

kittyhas1000legs

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90cm MAY suffice for 125W if you have it perfectly aimed. I found that Montana PBS was still touchy, and weather could interfere if there's heavy rain/wind. Personally, I'd go for a slightly bigger dish as others suggested (1-1.2m). I've salvaged a couple 1m dishes, though they're now at hank123's house since my balcony still needs room for seating and plants. If I had the room, I'd have a dish for PBS plus my current dish (90cm aimed at 103/97/91).

I have a LinkBox 9000i Local which has DVR ability, but mine has a temperamental clock, so I use a PC with a DVB-S2 tuner and Windows Media Center with manual recordings.
 

iBoston

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I have had my 90cm on 125w for about 2 years now, and i have NO problems with 125w main PBS channels. It's also a dish i have 3 LNBF's on. 118/121/125. I have no problems with receiving locking any of the channels on any of the LNBF's EXCEPT sometimes Montana PBS which is seasonal and depends on weather. Currently, no problem locking Montana PBS. I am located Mid USA north of 45 degrees, as I know location can have a lot to do with how strong a lock is.

Now 87w PBS channels is another story for me. That one requires a 120cm to lock that one 100% of the time.

As for a receiver, i recommend the Amiko receivers. They are simple and reliable.
 

comfortably_numb

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Does anybody have a list of installers by state? I don’t have a signal meter to point the dish when I order it, and I’d also like to install a rotor, although I don’t know if that’s possible with a roof-mounted dish. At any rate, I’d be willing to pay someone for the help
 

JFOK

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comfortable_numb,

There is a site that shows by state, satellite dish installers. I can't find it at this moment, but maybe someone else can chime in with its location. I'll keep looking.
In the meantime, I think it would be wise for you to get an inexpensive signal meter, otherwise frequent calls to an installer for help will get expensive for you. There are many here who helped me with my install and would gladly help you also. Just be careful up there on the roof.
Good Luck.

John

Found the site http://www.satellitetechnicians.com/


..
 

comfortably_numb

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comfortable_numb,

There is a site that shows by state, satellite dish installers. I can't find it at this moment, but maybe someone else can chime in with its location. I'll keep looking.
In the meantime, I think it would be wise for you to get an inexpensive signal meter, otherwise frequent calls to an installer for help will get expensive for you. There are many here who helped me with my install and would gladly help you also. Just be careful up there on the roof.
Good Luck.

John

Found the site http://www.satellitetechnicians.com/


..

Thanks. Honestly climbing around on the roof doesn’t bother me at all. I have my OTA antenna up there and I’m always messing with it. I have special boots that help hug the shingles. I tell the neighbors if they hear a “thud” to scrape me off the lawn :biggrin

PS- the search funtion at that link seems to be dead. I tried entering several different zip codes and nothing happened :(
 

comfortably_numb

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Is there any way at all that the dish could go on a pole in the ground?

It's possible, but the issue is the lawnmowing crew tend to run into the dish poles with their zero-turn mowers. So I've stopped putting anything in the ground. My Dish Network dish is on the roof and there is still a foot and mast up there from a Hughesnet dish.
 

comfortably_numb

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I had another thought. I've been contemplating purchasing a Muzak subscription for my music studio for awhile now. The install fee is $200 and includes a tech visit. Doesn't Muzak use a KU dish? I've seen them around town at banks and restaurants. It's a white dish with an M in the middle, and it looks to be bigger than the ones they use with Dish Network installs.

Thinking maybe I can kill 2 birds with one stone- have Muzak install the KU dish and then use the dish for Muzak and then manually adjust it for TV? Or is that not a good idea?
 
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Titanium

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Muzak brand no longer exists and is now distributed by mood media. While some services are available via satellite, most delivery is via IP. Best to keep the business audio needs and FTA usage separate.

Old retired Muzak dishes are readily found and are great for fixed FTA installs. I repurposed one for 103w that was found on the roof of my business. There is a thread on this forum where I grafted a portion of a PLL LNBF onto the OEM Scalar/Feed.

The audio channels on 103/105 are only be for private personal listening. They could not be played in a business as they require licensing.
 

comfortably_numb

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most delivery is via IP

I know that Mood/Muzak still broadcasts their entire lineup on Dish Network; several of the channels are private but most are available in the higher end packages.. Mood/Muzak still uses Dish Network installs in restaurants as far as I know. They do also have an IP service like you said, but I'm more interested in the "old school" satellite-fed service
 
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comfortably_numb

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I just bought the last Amiko HD265 that KE4EST was selling on Ebay. So now I just need to find a dish and an LNB. What is a good signal meter to use? I can't afford anything spectacular, I will just need to use it for aiming I guess (does the Amiko receiver have any sort of aiming tools?)
 
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