Free to Air TV

FTA Television -

Satellite dishes never are enoughWhen it comes to talk about FTA TV, it is better to start with the "real" definition of it:

Free to air television is no other than TV channels that are broadcasted without encryption. Free to air TVcan be transmitted by satellite and / or using UHF (Ultra High Frecuency) and VHF (Very High Frecuency) bands. VHF and UHF are used for short distance terrestial broadcasting while satellite allows a wider audience-range.

To deliver TV via satellite a terrestial antenna is required to upload the signal to the satellite this process is called uplink; the inverse process (from satellite to earth station-receiver) is called downlink. At this point I'd like to state that this is not a technical guide thus I'm not providing further details on satellite transmissions.

On the other side there is a "Free To Air TV" or FTATV that is not really free; it describes a group of practices, tools, hardware, software, technicians, forums, etc that join efforts to obtain encrypted TV for free.

This post is not meant to explain how they do it or why they do it, the idea here is to offer a new point of view, not from TV satellite providers nor from Korean- Chinese, etc "Free to air receivers" but from a normal user.

There are a lot of questions to answer when it comes to talk about free to air TV; let's begin...

I should say before I start that:

  • We won't explain how to modify FTA receivers to catch encrypted TV, instead we will try to explain how to get Free to Air receivers back to their original condition
  • We won't include links to download bins that allow to modify receivers making them able to decode Nagravision or other encryption methods, instead we will link to websites where you can find original software for the most popular brands and models and step by step guides on how to revert software changes.
  • We will review and publish reviews from our visitors on receivers functions, charateristics, strengths and weakness programing issues, etc
  • We will build a list of TV channels and radio stations that are available without encryption, this is not a Lyngsat style list; it is, on the contrary, a list with channel/station info, how to tune in it, which receiver model / brand is able to "catch it", what configuration works better with that channel, what tools are required, and what kind of hardware will offer the best signal, image and sound quality combination.

Why are we building this guides?

Easy; Nagra III is on its way and all channels around the globe must switch to High Defintion TV before 2010 (2012 in some countries), this two milestones will change the way FTA receivers work, we strongly believe that they will be "free to air" again or... expensive paperweigths; since there are more than 800,000 receivers sold in North America alone, most of them owned by normal people without technical background, it is not hard to imagine that guides like this one will rule over FTA forums and groups.

We have also a second and powerful reason: While we were browsing Internet looking for material to write this guides we noticed that many forums owners, moderators, advanced users and FTA gurus use to answer newbies questions disrespectfully, even though many of them are at the same time distributors, making those "dumb users" with silly questions their own customers. What kind of business can afford that kind of customer support... just one ... FTA TV.

Disclaimer:

FTA receivers makers, importers and distributors clearly explain in their websites that using software other than the originally installed or directly authorized by them, will void product warranty, they also state that those satellite receivers are only intended for legal use... The following text with variations, of course, is shown in all brands websites and forums:

"...We do not provide or condone the use of third party software. Using third party software may be illegal and void product warranty. Do not email or call asking about DN, DTV, etc. Our satellite receivers are designed and intended for 100% legal use only. We will refuse sale to anyone whom we believe intends to use our product illegally or sell our products for illegal use..."

So, we (worldtvradio's owners and employees) don't intend to blame anyone, our only intention is to attract those receivers owners that want to watch real free, unencrypted satellite TV

This is the list of FTA receivers that will be included in our guides:

  • Ariza
  • Buzz
  • Captain
  • CaptiveWorks
  • ConaxSat
  • Coolsat
  • Digiwave
  • Dreambox
  • ExtremeView
  • Fortec
  • Humax
  • NeoSat
  • Neusat
  • nFusion
  • Pansat
  • Skyview
  • Sonicview
  • Viewsat
  • VisionSat

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