Free to Air on PC through DirecTV satellite (1 Viewer)

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ljstevens

New Member
Apr 28, 2008
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Hi All
I am new here and new to all this too! I have been trying to search around here, on google and on other sites, but am still a little confused about what I will need. I don't understand many of the acronyms that are being thrown around.

OK, so I have a DirecTV satellite dish on my house, and have 4 standard def set-top boxes in various rooms in the house. I am building a new computer and I have a wall socket right next to my computer that links to the DirecTV satellite.

Basically is there a PCI or PCI-Express card out there (if not then a USB device) that I can connect directly to the wall socket (ie to the DirecTV satellite) to receive the free over the air channels? Preferably in HD. I am building a PC with a QX9650 quad core CPU, so it will be fast enough to handle HD content. I plan to run Vista Media Center to watch the TV on the pc too, so compatability with this would be great, and if I can get H.264 recording that would be a bonus. I have been looking at the AverMedia Combo PCI-e card, but am worried that it will only work with a cable signal, and not a satellite signal.

If it helps at all, my zip code is 84315 in Utah - Near Ogden. Maybe that is useful to know the dish angle or what I can receive or something :)

Oh and I am not looking to get a whole bunch of niche channels... just ones like ABC, NBC and FOX etc, ie the major local ones that are free... obviously anything additional would be a bonus!

Any advice or thoughts would really be appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Lawrence
 
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stogie5150

Crazed Cajun Rebel
Jan 7, 2007
3,819
46
Slidell,LA
There are NO unencrypted HD channels on ANY of the Directv satellites. Without paying for service, your directv receivers are likely only good for receiving channel 100. Oh, and doorstops, there's always that.

So, No. :)
 
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Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
12
L.A., Calif.
what's on FTA

Here is the most user-friendly list of what's available on FTA satellites.
We have more technical lists that are better, but to get you started, this is fine.

Your question was a little unclear, but if you meant you have DirecTV and are keeping the service, and can you plug into the existing dish without re-aiming it, the answer is a resounding NO.

If want to receive anything on the DirecTV satellites with a PCI card, encrypted or not, hi def or not, the answer is a resounding NO.

If you want to scuttle DirecTV service, and re-aim the existing dish to use for some other task, then here's the answer:
They have several different dishes, and no matter which you have, any modest FTA capability that one may or may not have, is not something I'd encourage.
We do have threads where experienced FTAers snag a few transponders off a couple of birds, but those are few and far between, and generally require changing out the LNB.
So, for the beginner, the safer, and more reliable path, is to get a 36" dish with a linear (Standard or Universal) LNB.

Also, aligning a dish with only a PCI card is one of the more difficult tasks.
Using a stand-alone receiver at the antenna with a small monitor, works far better.
If you read the forum, you'll see most users of PCI or USB receivers, have other set top boxes (and use them for initial alignment).

So, knowing all this, what do you want to do?
If it's do-able, we can help ya. - :D
 

pasco8

New Member
Mar 20, 2008
1
0
I appreciated ljstevens question because I had similar thoughts and Anole's answer was very explicit... If you have a DirecTV dish, their are NO free unencrypted channels. Does the same hold true for Dish Network..???

Thanks,
 

Tyralak

SatelliteGuys Master
Oct 21, 2003
5,702
167
Secure, Undisclosed Location
I appreciated ljstevens question because I had similar thoughts and Anole's answer was very explicit... If you have a DirecTV dish, their are NO free unencrypted channels. Does the same hold true for Dish Network..???

Thanks,

I think there might be some PI channels in the clear on Dish (NASA, etc), but I might be mistaken.
 

VinceT3

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 12, 2006
2,101
5
Rainsalot Florida
you would be correct.. there are a few .. very few.. but a few in the clear channels (nothing worth setting a dish up for) on dish's satellites..

Some of the other sats (non-dbs sats) are much better for FTA.. unless your into sports, news, worship, or foriegn.. fta won't be very interesting.. I haven't messed with my dish in a while.. I was thinking about re-aligning it for some eastern arc setup as well as a few other fta spots.. :)
 

Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
12
L.A., Calif.
... Does the same hold true for Dish Network..???
Check out this great reference thread for what you can get on a little 18" dish.

why not point him to thelist?
Its up to date and our own :)
Because sometimes a kiddie tricycle is better than a big motorcycle. ;)
It's sure a lot less scary.

And, it's got a list of channels by language.
That has got to be the big hook to get a newbie interested (or not).
Show him how many channels are in his favorite language(s).

I'm a big supporter of Qwert1515 and TheList, and regularly beta test it.
For the even slightly technical users (or anyone who can spell FTA), it's outstanding. - :up
What? No FTA porn? :D
It's highly over rated. :)
 
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