I saw you added your 5th dish (wow!) to get FTA. I have thought about getting an FTA setup but want' sure it's worth it.
What all do you get/watch on the FTA satellite?
I have 2 FTA dishes setup..one is setup to Galaxy 10 (123W).. Here is a link of everything on G10 http://www.lyngsat.com/g10r.shtml
I like it for the different UPN, WB & Fox from different parts of the country. I really like the ABC affiliate out of Cheyenne (KKTU), just because my local ABC affiliate (KSTP) the last 2 Saturdays have pre-empted NHL hockey for either College B-ball or..get this...figure skating!! (This is the reason why so many people want to get distants on E*). My second dish right now is aimed at Galaxy 3C (95) right now for alot of Univeristy of North Dakota sports (hockey, some b-ball, football). The other big satellite is Telestar 5 (97), but almost all of it is ethnic. The best thing to do is check out lyngsat...everything that can be picked up on FTA has to be KU band (for the 30" dish)
Did you install a rotor, and if so, how often do you change to different satellites?
I didnt..but I know some people who have. There are specific receivers that can do that..unfortunatelly, mine cannot.
I know there is some FTA, HD out there but haven't found a HD, FTA receiver. Do you get any HD stuff? If so, what do you use?
I dont have a HD FTA receiver and havent really tried to get anything on HD yet. I thought it all was scrambled.
I originally bought a FTA receiver about a month ago to get the Bell ExpressVu music channels (both those and Dish's music channels are FTA), but then starting looking around on Lyngsat and saw all the different stuff on G10. Now I wish my receiver could do so much more (I have a real simple receiver).
With FTA, you can spend as much or as little as you want. You can get a fixed system for around 125-150 bucks or a motorized system for more. It really all depends on your budget and what you plan to pick up with it. Some receivers have what they call a "blind search" and allows you to scan everything on a satellite for stuff that isnt posted on lyngsat (like news feeds). Technically, the ND hockey games are classified as "feeds" because the signal is only on when the game is on. Unless you know the info (frequency, polarity, etc) to input into the receiver, you wouldnt get the games. However, a blind search would automatically find it for you.
My setup is pretty simple...
a 30" for G3
a 30" for G10
a feed from my Expressvu Dish (for music)
a feed from Dish Network 119 feed (for music)
all of this is running into a DiSEqC 4x1 switch, which runs to the receiver. The switch is designed for when you have more than one source going to the dish (they do make a 2x1 switch to). In the receiver setup, you tell it what feed to go to (LNB 1, LNB 2, etc).
The key thing is it is a hobby. Stations do disappear or become scrambled on occasion. As an example, the Huntsville, AL stations (the big 4) left a month ago.
Hopefully I was able to answer some of your questions.