Why choose FTA?

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AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
2
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
That is a good idea. I have already started compiling that information, and just about have enough information to present, but it may not scratch the surface. I do know that here in Kodiak signals are pretty easy to come by, but north of the Alaska Range is another issue in and of itself. Villages such as Kotzebue, Barrow and Prudhoe Bay are off the footprints of most DirecTV and Dish Network programming, which would be good for FTA, but up there you need a 4 meter dish if you have any remote hope of receiving FTA signals. That can be discouraging to most people.

Personally, I generally view 137°W and 139°W for the Alaska programming on C-Band, but for me it's about having a mixture of everything, that way it relieves the repetitiveness that paid satellite offers on both C and Ku Band. One big letdown with potential customers up here is the cost to get equipment sent here from the States. Otherwise, for me having FTA has been a blessing from day one. If I could successfully market this here, I think people would be relieved to have a different lineup of programming with the excitement of having various wildfeeds of programming that one wouldn't normally receive with paid satellite television. I guess I would have to really ask myself if I should continue selling and advertising FTA satellite, or pull my inventory and not worry about it?
Brandin,

In my opinion, I believe that the future is going to be more and more based upon streaming internet and the content therein as opposed to any home-based/personal satellite avenues.

Obviously, someone has to set up a receiving station which would include a satellite based access to the internet on a large scale in order to accommodate the subscribers of said internet service, but this whole avenue is leaning in that direction. I totally believe that Netflix (among others) are a major competitor to DN and DirecTV and creating a positive atmosphere of competition here in this regard.

How the whole scenario plays out is yet to be seen, but there is no justification to abandon any specific option at this time. Personally, I wouldn't altogether drop your approach of promoting FTA satellite services, but I would also be inclined to lend your talents to the expanding enterprises for as far as it can go at this time. Promoting anything such as FTA Satellite and streaming news/videos and what-not through all available technologies is definitely a positive direction for you to provide to your customer base. Some of your customers may or may not be willing to subscribe to the options open to them, but you have the opportunity to at least present the notions and options to them. What you are prepared to offer them and how far you are willing to go to represent your customers and expand your customer base is all a matter of how serious you are at supporting every venture that is available. Where and how you should begin, which is your basic question, has to revolve around how committed you are to maintaining the whole thing. It could be a great deal of fun, but I wouldn't consider it to be a lucrative venture for your business plans. I believe it would be more of a hobby for you as an individual to follow through with what YOU ARE INTERESTED in as opposed to something you can make money from.

I suppose, in other words, that you have to analyze your own willingness and desire and passion for this venture and promote it to others with the same level of enthusiasm that you have inside your heart and mind. If you believe in it strongly, you already have the answers that you can present to others which will influence them.

Are you personally interested in this avenue and do you believe in this option that much? Would you truly dedicate your personal time and expertise to promote it? If YES, then you have a great deal of passion to work on it and make it happen. It boils down to the notion of whether or not you like or LOVE your job and how much dedication you are willing to put forward to accelerate it.

RADAR
 

freetoairalaska

Thread Starter
Member
Feb 17, 2013
8
0
Kodiak, Alaska
I wish to thank you for your kind words of encouragement. Yes, my passion and dedication to FTA is greater than any paid satellite service, and I think that is what has driven me to this point. I do think that in Alaska, FTA would be a good thing since the availability of high-speed internet isn't as widely available as it is down in the States, so there is a great deal of room to work with in my opinion since most residents up here can't receive streaming video through the internet without encountering some major difficulty. Having installed satellite television, telephone and internet all over Alaska, I have had the privilege of fully understanding and experiencing the many challenges involved with successful acquisition of satellite signals and the amount of work required to complete an install. Granted, some days I wish it were as easy as it is down in the States where you could install a 75cm dish for DirecTV or Dish Network and be done with the installation in less than two hours, but up here it takes several days in most remote villages. Since Alaska relies heavily on satellite entertainment and communications, it takes a special installer to be up here and to demonstrate a sense of passion for the field because there is no such thing as a "typical install" up here.

But, at the end of the day I believe that there is something to be said for satellite television up here in Alaska, whether it be paid service or FTA. Alaskans love their television, and I do know that most of them don't do much during the long, brutal winters here so I do think that there is a market for it up here. Maybe I need to relocate my business and make it more centrally located for accessibility purposes. I am still open to any further comments or suggestions on this topic, and I do thank you all very much in advance for your support and input as it is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
 

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
2
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
Brandin,

You are welcome.
I commend you on your desire / willingness to follow through with this enterprise and accelerate the use of FTA in Alaska.
I do comprehend the fact that FTA satellite TV would be a desirable option for the residents there. So, let's discuss this
in more detail so that we can understand what actions you need to pursue to get more people involved.

Why haven't the people there already pursued this up until now with more fervor?
Do they lack the resources or the personal aptitude to install such systems?
Or do they simply think that it would be beyond their scope, therefore no confidence in their ability?
Do they think it is just too expensive for the content that they will receive?
Or maybe they simply do not realize that this option is available to them?

What I would do is set up a most basic FTA system from bare scratch for someone other than yourself.
Find one person who is willing to test it out for you if you install it and pay for everything.
Itemize the total $ cost of the whole project and the time required and allow them to evaluate the merits of the system to be a compensated endorser of FTA satellite TV.
Try to pick an individual who would be willing to go along with such an experiment. Maybe run a lottery of sorts on a local radio station and select the guinea pig from the
list of applicants based upon their answers to a set of key questions and/or a submitted essay of "Why I want FREE satellite TV". This would not only get the attention of
the people, but it would be an advertising scheme for your business, too. Now you will have promoted the awareness of FTA satellite as well as your company's name and
yourself. If they hear your voice on the radio, they will be more receptive to you as a friend and not just some salesman.

After the winner has been selected and the installation is complete and the lucky person has had time to evaluate the FTA system, you could do a follow-up ad where the
winner announces how much they appreciate the system. Maybe you can start your own FTA radio program to advance the knowledge of FTA satellite technology and have
a call-in type of show to answer questions and discuss it all. Now you should be able to gain the publicity and move forward with paying clients.

What do you think of this idea? Is this something akin to what you were looking for and could use?

RADAR
 

freetoairalaska

Thread Starter
Member
Feb 17, 2013
8
0
Kodiak, Alaska
Having read through your suggestion, I believe that this would be a great possibility. To answer some of your earlier questions, the lack of knowledge with FTA is very prevalent up here. Additionally, most people up here are not too savvy when it comes to installing something other than a basic satellite system, thus being motorized. There are no installers in Alaska that specialize in hobbyist/FTA motorized systems so many people will be skeptical. As far as resources go, Alaska is huge. To plan the necessary logistics in shipping equipment to some of these remote villages takes time and patience; in most cases it isn't cheap. Weather also plays havoc on any satellite system up here. Many people believe that paying an astronomical amount for a television system doesn't make sense, but most people here have never seen one so we are really back to square one in that regard.

In Alaska, you mention "free" television, most of them think that it is some sort of an advertising scam, and we are then again back to the concept of "...let's set up a demo unit." I think that many people would take one good look at the price and be immediately discouraged. Now, you have most assuredly given me some great advertising ideas, and I will gladly take them into consideration. I do thank you again for your positive, constructive input and if you or anyone else thinks of something to contribute, I welcome all input.

Thanks again,
 

madmadworld

Official TV Watcher
Apr 7, 2006
13,274
3,398
up on the roof in SinCity
Why choose FTA? don't it is a sick addiction not a hobby lol

"I had branched out and expanded to selling Free-To-Air satellite systems, but I have had no takers." ..smart people up there.
what have you been trying to sell ?
receivers ? what brands?
lnb' s what brands?
dishes what brands?

too funny
 

mikekohl

Prehistoric Satellite Guru
Supporting Founder
Jun 4, 2004
750
138
Montfort, Wisconsin
As a pioneer of Alaskan satellite reception, I feel qualified to speak on this subject.
Take a look at my website: www.global-cm.net for a full history of what I did in the 1970s and 1980s while living there.
And visit my Free To Air Charts, which also include an Asia-Pacific section that may be helpful in places around the Aleutians, Nome and northwestern Alaska. I built a cable system about 1700 miles west of Anchorage, at the Kupol Gold Mine in Far East Russia---so have hard-to-find local knowledge of Russian and Asia-Pacific signals that will work in some areas.

You already have competition for Free To Air systems in south-central Alaska, especially in Anchorage and on the Kenai Peninsula. John MacPherson at Satellite Alaska is an old friend, and can supply C-band as well as large diameter Ku-band antennas that he brings in by ocean container to Anchorage. Pero Marinkovski (Pero's Satellite in Soldotna) has extensive experience with the foreign language market via 97 West and others.

We can suggest a preprogrammed MPEG-4 receiver called the Manhattan RS-1933, which is customized with channels already in place. Excellent for the various Alaskan radio and TV signals from 139 West, the "secret" radio signals on same satellite, and other satellites in your region. While low on your southwestern horizon, you might want to peek at 140 East for the Russian signals, which may be of great interest to many Alaskan natives of Russian extraction.

There are hundreds of C-band antennas installed in the 1980s and 1990s across the state, and many are probably not being used right now. A great place to start, and piggy-back a free to air receiver, and bring those systems back to life, either using the previous receiver as a dish positioning device, or adding a V-Box or one of its close cousins to move the dish. Since you have probably seen more than your share of 4, 6 and 8 foot offsets for DirecTV, if any of those are surplus, you could look at my website's main page for a primer on converting offset dishes for multiple satellite reception of Ku-band signals. Stronger satellites such as 121 West C-band could be easily received with an eight foot offset and a conical scalar adapter with C-band LNBF or C-band feedhorn and LNB. Perhaps you might find a few of those channels on a six footer, too.
Canada still provides a number of free to air channels on C-band. Ku-band is possible too, for those with access to a Canadian address---Shaw Direct subscription is entirely possible with a larger offset (4 to 6 feet or more).

A 10 to 12 foot C-band antenna should work anywhere in the state of Alaska. It's just been my experience that severe winter storms in the northern and western parts of the state that are on the ocean can make short life of a mesh antenna. We shall soon have replacement mesh panels available from a new facility in Michigan, so if you need to bandage a dish with an otherwise salvagable framework, that could be a possibility. Look for Manhattan Digital to finally have knockdown mesh antennas that ship at a reasonable price by late spring. We've been promising it for a year, but the light is now at the end of the tunnel. In other words---you will soon have all of the tools necessary to expand your new FTA business in Alaska, even if you are based on Kodiak Island.
 

freetoairalaska

Thread Starter
Member
Feb 17, 2013
8
0
Kodiak, Alaska
I would like to thank you for your input on this. At this point in time, I do purchase my larger dishes from numerous distributors, however the problem has always come up with the price of shipping. I can mention that here in Alaska, it has been my personal experience that a good offset six foot dish can receive all available Ku Band signals on the visible horizon, with some C-Band signals with an EIRP value greater than 38. As far as "surplus" dishes are concerned, the 1.0, 1.2 and 1.8 meter offset dishes are the most common until you get north of Fairbanks and start heading towards the Brooks Range and on up to Prudhoe Bay. Additionally, I have also seen a fair share of wire mesh dishes up here, and I would have to agree with you that the winter conditions do shorten their lives in a hurry. The only disadvantage with that particular dish style is the poor signal quality of Ku Band, especially if you are on the north slope and in northwestern Alaska. The size is suitable, however most satellite users here seek to have a setup that is meant to last a long time. I think what needs to happen is I should set up a demo unit somewhere and go from there, but I still welcome any further input on this.

Thanks,
 

hitch hiker

New Member
Feb 20, 2013
1
0
western NC
I still see a lot of old BUDs standing around, not being used. The best answer I can give is "because it's there". When paid programing gradually disappeared several years ago, it was either switch to FTA or sell it for scrap. Got the Openbox S9 change over special that was being sold at the time and have not been disapointed.
 
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