Dish 500 for fta

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Michael Webb

New Member
Jul 12, 2018
I have a dish 500 with the dual lnb, just got rid of my dish service. I used this dish for my camper, connecting to 119 and 110 satelite. Is there a way to get a fta receiver and still get the locals , abc,nbc,cbs,fox. Most places i camp i cant get any tv with the power ant. Thanks for any help
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Lifetime Supporter
May 23, 2013
Meadow Vista, Northern California
No "locals" FTA channels are available on KU band. You might occasionally receive an unencrypted channel from Dish Network, but mostly only promo channels.

A Dish 500 reflector with a swap to a linear type LNBF and a DVBS2 receiver would receive some FTA programming, but due to the undersized reflector, it would be limited to the strongest transponders, which are without interference from nearby satellites. With a slightly larger dish 36" you could receive some network feeds on various satellites.
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SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
Salem, OR
Is there a way to get a fta receiver and still get the locals , abc,nbc,cbs,fox.
FTA retransmission of US OTA channels is not a thing. Outside of the occasional "wild feed", you'll not find much of anything you're familiar with on FTA (save NASA and a couple of PBS stations).

Alexander Olar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 24, 2017
Macomb Michigan
In the world of FTA, there are no locals . But all the networks that you mentioned above are available, though mostly on C-Band. Only NBC and some ABC feeds are available on KU which you can get with a 90cm dish. You would need a 6 footer to get CBS and FOX. Hope this helps
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SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 24, 2016
I played a bit with a Dish500 dish that came with my house, and while you won't be able to get any of the networks, you should be able to get a few other things.

Based on my experience, you should be able to get:

- NHK World, RT, CGTN News on 103W (Respectively Japanese, Russian and Chinese "news", in English)
- CGTN on 95W (in Chinese, English, French and Spanish) plus a couple of other Chinese channels
- ABC News feeds on 91W
- Probably KBS America on 123W (Korean TV, often with English subtitles)
- Maybe PBS national feeds on 125W - but I have not tried that one with the Dish 500
- Most channels on 97W but on some of them you might have a bit of difficulties with interference from 95W
- If in the Eastern part of the US you might be able to get Hispasat @30W, with some channels from Cuba, Spain and the Middle East

In my opinion, for what it's worth, NHK is quite interesting, and very high quality, and CGTN is good too, especially their documentary channel on 95W. KBS can be quite entertaining. 97W has many religious channels and many foreign-language channels.

Note that there won't be much of a margin for signal degradation from rain, so all listed above are likely to vanish whenever there's heavy rain (with 103W and 95W probably the most resilient)

So, it's up to you to decide if it's worth investing in a receiver and a new LNBF. Like Titanium said, a 36" dish would get you more channels (NBC feeds on 103W, Louisiana PBS on 87W, PBS on 125W) and reliable reception. But obviously, a 36"dish is a lot larger than a Dish 500, and a bit more difficult to aim properly.
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