FTA satellite Reception.....

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radsat.co.uk

Thread Starter
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Oct 28, 2005
13
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nr Gloucester, UK
'lo guys...

As I live in the UK I am very interested how the FTA satellite hobby is there in the USA. Is it me , but it seems like the FTA hobby has only just got going. Why does it seem to me that the FTA stuff is frowned upon? Is it the big boys like DirecTV and Dish will be loosing out or is it something else. I have enjoyed the FTA hobby here for at least 10 years.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Geoff B.
 
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stogie5150

Crazed Cajun Rebel
Jan 7, 2007
3,826
52
Slidell,LA
From what I understand, FTA on your side of the pond has been going on for years. Here in the 'States, Americans got used to paying someone for their TV very early in the scheme of things.

In the beginning 'cable' Tv was supposed to be commercial-free, uncut television. And eventually,programmers just added commercials, and, like sheep, we Americans just kept right on paying. So now you have two major satellite providers in the US making HUGE piles of money SELLING ad-supported channels that should be as free as what we get OTA with an antenna. And the channels themselves are just fine with that, because they make money TWO ways, selling commercials AND selling the channel to D* and E*, thus to you, the subscriber.

This situation is exactly the argument that the hackers use to justify their pirating of satellite signal, that it should be free to begin with because its ad-supported, and uses the public airwaves. At a basic level, I do agree with them, but alas the law says otherwise, and as a law abiding American I try to follow the law whenever I can. And, like it or not, piracy IS illegal.

Just speaking for me personally, I was tired of paying premium money for BS PQ and to watch commercials. I can watch commercials free anytime. Damned if I am gonna pay for them.:D So I take what I can get on FTA and OTA and be happy. So far I am not too unhappy with what I have found. :up
 

Fizbi

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 16, 2008
539
78
Wild and Windy Casper, WY
From what I remember, cable used to be commercial free. Subscribers were paying for the delivery of commercial free programming. Then, I guess, they discovered (from the marketeers and bean counters) they could make more money allowing commercials to be squeezed in between shows. Now, they are inside the shows.

That is what drove me away from subscription cable and SAT service.

I found out about FTA while looking for SAT internet service. The more I looked into it, the more it made sense. It was the only viable choice to avoid expensive subscription service. I can only receive one OTA TV station in my area and the signal is very poor. I could erect an expensive and ugly tower to improve reception and maybe pick up an extra channel, but I could not justify the cost.

When I first installed FTA, I was able to get just one SAT (G10R) and I was thrilled.
Now, that I have my system fully working and fine tuned, I get frustrated if I'm not able to receive a channel I know I should get.

The interesting thing is that if someone was to give me free subscription service, I'd still be watching the same programming I get on FTA. I rarely watch TV and when I do, I prefer to catch the international news and shows on PBS.

The international channels are far more interesting to me as most are commercial free and give a different spin on the world that I find refreshing. I even like to watch the foreign language channels as it becomes a challenge to figure out what is being said. Basically, FTA is a window that lets me peer into different parts of the world. My family enjoys it.

As for FTA catching on, that remains to be seen. You either mount a dish farm or install a motor. I doubt that many people want to do either. There is a "frig" factor that many viewers lack the IQ and patience for to make FTA work.

I believe "we" use FTA because we are smarter, more thrifty viewers than the average TV viewer. The average viewer is more than willing to empty their wallets each month because they are incapable, or too lazy to learn some basic technical skills. Can you imagine the service calls to come realign a motorized system every time the wind took out an FTA dish?

FTA might catch on if the manufacturers were to design the systems so that the dishes had positive feedback positioning systems so that the dish would automatically align to the desired transponder. This is possible. Imagine, opening a dish the size of an umbrella and watch it automatically align to the desired transponder. If they can give us a Q meter inside the FTA box, they can make the dish auto-position. You could take it camping. You can do it now, you just have to get past the "frig" factor.

Now we have commercial free subscription radio. I wonder how long that will last.
 

Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
13
L.A., Calif.
Now we have commercial free subscription radio. I wonder how long that will last.
About as long as free SMS text messages did on new PCS cell phones when they first came to the market.
That was about 10 years ago.
Once they became main stream, and customers couldn't tell them from any others, then the charges increased.

As for FTA for campers, talk to rv1pop.
I think he sets his up as he travels across the country.
That's motor home living, and not hardly roughing it, but still quite a ways shy of taking it to your cabin in the woods. :cool:
. . . where people apparently leave things like C-band dishes for those hunting 'n fishing trips . . . :D
 

Tron

SatelliteGuys Master
May 6, 2005
6,599
33
Metro New Orleans, LA
A major difference between FTA here in the States and FTA in Europe is that most of the FTA channels here aren't uplinked for consumers, but rather are up there for broadcasters and cable TV headends to receive. There is little up there, other than religious channels, meant for direct-to-home reception.
 

Steveo

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 9, 2007
108
0
Cairns, Australia
Said your interested in the U.S side of the hobby but haven't check out this site in a while (Hi guys:hatsoff:) so thought I might chip in:)
Looking at the Lyngsat pages, even less channels down in this neck of the woods. Although if you do speak Mandarin or Cantonesse you'll do ok. Plenty of stuff from S.E. Asia receiveable with a big dish. Sadly over the years most english speaking channels have encryipted but still enough along with the daily international and national feeds to make it a worthwhile hobby but don't count on it for prime entertainment. A small but dedicated group of enthusiast down here. Here to, I think FTA by the big guys is frowned upon a little. I know for a fact that one channels we used to receive here (English version of Star Sports Asia) was encrypted for that very reason.
Happy searching and viewing guys.
Steveo.
 

radsat.co.uk

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 28, 2005
13
0
nr Gloucester, UK
I am surprised that there aren't more newsfeeds on the satellites above the U.S., or perhaps there are but over here I can get feeds from CBS, NBC, Fox occasionally and I used to get the CNN Newscource feed but now encrypted. Do you guys get feeds being sent back to Blighty by the BBC or Sky?

Geoff B.
 

GrumpyGuy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 17, 2006
249
0
Northeast Ohio
FTA in the U.S. can be traced back to the late 1970s, and really took off in the early 1980s. Quite a few of us on this site have had a hand in the hobby since the early days. Although back then we called it satellite TVRO (TeleVision, Receive Only), not FTA.
 

Tron

SatelliteGuys Master
May 6, 2005
6,599
33
Metro New Orleans, LA
On Ku, there are tons of occasional news and sports feeds daily, most from the major networks or affiliates. C-Band has feeds and backhauls as well. There's plenty up there, but there is not much of a consumer-targeted, direct-to home FTA market in North America.
 
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