Thrusted Centralized Info Source for FTA ?

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New Member
Original poster
Dec 26, 2006
Hello To All: Being very, very new to FTA, is there a central source of
information that I can trust, and go to learn? I want to get into FTA for the experience of seeing rest of World.

I figured that this site is a great place to get educated, however, I also would like to explore what info sources are out there that I can use. Then when I get up to speed I can have an appreciation of what question need to be asked, and how to ask them.

The subject matter, to say the least seems to be very large, and right now, very confusing to me.

Would someone please recommend a bibliorgraphy of web sites, tutorials, etc. that exist on this subject. The internet is fill with bits and pieces, some good and some not so good it seems to me.

Are there learning CDs or videos that that I can get my hands on?

Lot of stuff out there, and confused.

Thanks in advance for any help I get.

Last edited:
There's no definitive source of info on FTA (except, perhaps, this forum :) ) as it is not a satellite service per se. What we are doing is receiving in-the-clear satellite signals that are being uplinked for use mostly in the broadcast and cable industries. We are not the intended audience for these signals, we're simply eavesdropping. In the United States, FTA is still a very little-known-about hobby, and the equipment is not widely available in retail outlets.

I recommend reading this forum as far back as you can, starting with the FAQ and then the equipment reviews. There is a wealth of information on the subject of FTA here. If you have any questions, someone will always be here to answer them :)

Welcome to Satellite Guys!
What are Free To Air (FTA) channels?
FreeToAir (FTA) channels are digital channels that are not encrypted by the service provider and require no subscription or monthly payment.
Where can I find out what channels are available free to air?

There are many free to air channels available in North America on satellites such as Galaxy 10R, AMC4, IA5, AMC3, etc. These channels are from the USA and from around the world. See for a complete listing of what is available. Some channels listed are DVB FTA ( Free-To-Air ) and some are encrypted (Pay TV). Note that these lists can become out of date quickly as frequencies and channels change often. With an FTA system you can only watch the unscrambled clear DVB channels with an F. Other scrambled channels are not free and require a subscription from their provider.
Are there any DSS / DBS channels that are FTA?

Almost all of the channels provided by the DSS / DBS companies are NOT FTA. The channels are encrypted and require an authorized receiver and monthly subscription.

Can I use an FTA receiver to receive DSS/DBS premium channels?
Absolutely not. These channels require subscription and special receivers supplied by the service provider only. Any tampering with your FTA receiver (whether by hardware or software modification) to try to receive the premium channels without paying is not only a violation of the law and unethical, but also will void the warranty on your receiver and may hinder it unusable. We do not support or condone piracy of signal.

Can I use my existing 18" DSS/DBS dish to receive FTA?
No. All FTA channels are available on satellites with much weaker signal than DSS. The minimum size dish required is 30". Also, FTA and DBS / DSS satellites require different type of LNBFs.
What size dish I need for the Free to air channels?

  • For the C-Band signal channels you will need a
Can you help me choose an FTA system?
Yes. Start by reading the following pages: Choosing a Free-to-Air-FTA satellite system If you still have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Where on your website can I find technical support?
Go to Technical Support pages​

Do You have a Technical Support forum?
Yes, we do.
Please reply by conversation.

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