Welp... Here I am. (1 Viewer)

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Thread Starter
I'm Back!
Lifetime Supporter
Apr 22, 2005
Columbus, Ohio
After 10 years, I dropped Dish Network because costs were getting out of hand.
Doing OTA / Netflix / Hulu

Then I thought... Haven't been on SatelliteGuys for a while...
Hey... FTA Satellite!

Might be a trip down the road to Sadoun soon to get started ( After the weather warms a little )

So, I'm moving from the Dish forums ( Which I've been inactive for quite a while ) and coming over here.

Looking forward to talking to some of the older guys from other parts of the forum, and some new ones ( at least to me )

So... the million dollar question...
What systems are good to get for HD ( And possibly DVR if they are out there ) ?



SatelliteGuys Master
May 6, 2005
Metro New Orleans, LA
For a new receiver, you'd want DVB-S2/MPEG-4/HD capability. There's a new DVR-capable receiver due out by the end of February by SatelliteAV that seems to be a real winner.

Welcome to the FTA section!


SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?

Currently, the AZBox Premium Plus is my prime IRD. But, they have issues with editing. This can be overcome and it becomes a very nice box if you are willing to pull your hair out for a while. This is from OpenSat.

OpenBox has an S9 and S10 IRD that a lot of people are testing recently. I will let them inform you of those.

Do you plan on checking Ku Band? C-Band? Both? I'd recommend using a BUD and trying for both. There is still a lot of channels available on C-Band that are in-the-clear.

Welcome to the FTA area. Be prepared, it can become very addictive. It is a hobby.



SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 16, 2008
SouthWest Ohio
I think I'd wait for the new receiver due out in February. I've had the Sathawk/Openbox S10 for well over a year and I like it. I'm going to get one of the new boxes that Sat Av has coming out though. I'd go with an 8 foot or larger for Cband...some of the HD stuff can be a little tricky to get. 36" or larger for KU.

Lone Gunman

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Mar 19, 2010
As far as receivers go, I've got two complete systems with two AZBoxes and also two Openbox S9s. I have an AZ Elite and also an Ultra and the reason for the Ultra was for it's blind scan feature only. Both systems have one of each connected with a diode protected splitter but only boot one at a time to keep my Vbox X dish controller from going bonkers trying to be two places at once!

Those AZs will do 4.2.2 video where the S9s won't but after having an S9 since early last summer, the lack of 4.2.2 hasn't been a problem to date. The AZ has a bunch more features but I find that most of those aren't used on either of my systems, ie, YouTube vid play from the internet for one?? I'll bet I haven't played more than a dozen since I got that Elite 2 years ago. Some do use that stuff regularly though. Down side is that even the "cheap" AZBoxes are now up @ $300 even on fleabay, which I believe is way over priced for a box with what is basically junk firmware that they won't fix.

So, that brings me to the S9 receiver. I use those probably 90% of the time on both systems now and what that means is that if I had bought an S9 before the AZs, I probably wouldn't own any AZBox receivers now since I don't use a good part of the bells and whistles on them. Another advantage of the Openbox S* receivers is price. The two I have were bought used and both work flawlessly and I've got less than $200 in the two shipped to my door. The cheapest AZ I have was $270 shipped. Aother advantage of the Openbox receivers is that there's a couple of companies writing firmware for them so you have another source for firmware, ie, Solomed, Sky Box and Openbox all appear to use the same hardware. There was some new firmware put out back in August that has worked out well for me on both my boxes and made them much easier to use.

And a major note, ALL THESE BOXES ARE A WORK IN PROGRESS!! So don't buy any of them expecting them to be perfect. Many of them were designed for the South American and Europe markets so we're sucking hind teat as far as North American features go. But, with Brazil's crackdown on TV piracy we "may" get a little more attention in the future.

Bottom line is that if I only could have one box now, it would be an Openbox and probably an S9 if I could find it.


SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 3, 2004
Roseville, CA
And a major note, ALL THESE BOXES ARE A WORK IN PROGRESS!! So don't buy any of them expecting them to be perfect. Many of them were designed for the South American and Europe markets so we're sucking hind teat as far as North American features go. But, with Brazil's crackdown on TV piracy we "may" get a little more attention in the future.

My projection and with historical observation is that the crackdown on theft of services in South America will not provide more attention on the North American market or support for the S9/S10/S11/S12/S13/S14/S15/S16/S17/etc..... STBs.

Did you know that in most Eastern European countries, which are smaller than an average US state, provides more STB sales than the entire North and Central American market for any of the major STB manufacturers? These manufacturers are only driven by major market sales and not supporting small markets like North America. Most likely the manufacturers attention will be turning back to Europe where key sharing is at epidemic levels and there is a great new terrestrial and combined Sat/Terrestrial STB sales potential with the emerging DVB T2 market.

On that note, read as much as possible on these forums and find out what receiver is working best at the time that you are ready to buy. Many promises are madebut never implemented. Make sure that the reeceiver that you are considering are working for the types of channels that you want to receive.
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Thread Starter
I'm Back!
Lifetime Supporter
Apr 22, 2005
Columbus, Ohio
Thanks for all the info... Good stuff...

I'm thinking I'll be staying with a KU system, as the dish is small, and I live in an apartment. I'm ok to have a dish like I had for Dish Network, so I figure I'll keep it as close to that size as possible.

I also need to check to see which birds I can see. By line of sight may be hindered by oher homes and a treeline in the direction the Dish Network dish used to point, but I had not troubles with 110/119/129 there, so we'll see how low i can go.

Thanks again, I'll look into some of the receivers, and start planning for something to takk foot this spring hopefully.


SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 29, 2008
North Central Idaho
I'll probably take some flack for this statement, but in my opinion there's not that much worthwhile mainstream English language programming on Ku FTA anymore, except for RTV and PBS. Most of the "good stuff" is on C-band. Suggest you study "The List" on this site and analyze your line of site issues before spending money on a Ku only system.

If you can get PBS and RTV Over The Air, you won't gain many "good" channels with Ku only FTA.

I have an Openbox S10, and suggest you wait for the soon to be released new HD receiver from SatelliteAV. Only a few dollars more than an S9/S10 S-whatever, and promises to be a much better unit for North American true FTA use.


SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 16, 2010
Nova Scotia
I have both an Openbox S9 and Coolsat 7000: total cost $90. And that's the point. Regardless of criticism toward the Openboxes, they are good value. But they also have some good features. In my case, the S9 works in almost every way I use it. I suggest you look at what is locally available used. This avoids shipping costs and let's you be in a stronger bargaining position, i.e. here's some cash on the spot for the seller. I will almost certainly get the new satelliteAV receiver when it's available IF it is as good as all information is indicating. At its suggested price, I can't imagine anyone interested in FTA not getting it.

Regarding no good English mainstream content on FTA Ku, in the conventional sense, that is probably true. What I don't understand about such a comment is why this is important. In Canada, for $27/month via conventional pay satellite TV, I can get all Canadian and American networks in SD and HD, plus more. If that is what I want, why would I waste time playing with FTA? $27 is good value if that's what you want. The point is FTA with OTA offers something "different" (better in my opinion). FTA and OTA also offer better quality signals which is important too. And I can't imagine getting involved with C-band to avoid paying $27, if all you want is mainstream English TV.
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