An FTA dish is an affordable way to get hundreds of free satellite TV channels. Anyone buying a satellite dish for the first time or replacing or upgrading will see that an FTA dish will provide an array of free to air features without the need for a monthly subscription – unless access to premium channels is desired.
There are a lot of different dishes on the market. It’s important to understand how much has to be spent in order to get the different features. What brands and models are the best for each category are discussed below in low to high price order.
FTA Dish Review
Beginning in the lower price bracket is the GlobeCast FTA 36″ KU Band Satellite Dish Antenna by Sky Tech it comes minus FTA LNB and offers a few different mounting types, including pole and wall. It has fixed alignment but can be reset as necessary. See Product Features…
Moving up to the medium price category it’s easier to take advantage of more features. Often these include lighter weight satellite dishes as well as the ability to install without using a level to get the proper footing. These are stronger and will therefore cause fewer problems with strong winds and bad weather.
The GEOSATpro 36″/90cm FTA Satellite Dish and 0.5dB NR SL1PLL Single Standard LNBF is only 26 pounds in comparison to some that can weigh over 90 pounds. It has a 360 degree post leveling system that requires no level. There is a bubble level built in, allowing it to level itself out upon assembly. There are also support arms for stability against wind and other external elements. See Product Features…
The higher priced packages are usually inclusive of other things beyond the FTA satellite dish. These can include receivers as well as other items that will help to provide more channels as well as easier control of the satellite dish.
The PANSAT 3500 FTA Satellite Receiver + Dish 500 Dish Pro Twin LNB is paired with the Dish 500 and the Dish Pro TWIN LNB by PANSAT. This is an all-inclusive package for everything that is needed to get the Free to Air channels as well as everything else. It will help to find the satellite signal and provide some of the high definition channels that are out there – free or otherwise. See Product Features…
Some of the higher priced satellites also include higher warranties, unlimited phone support as well as the ability to purchase everything at once without having to deal with subscriptions, monthly fees and contracts.
The FTA Complete Glorystar Satellite One Room DVR System is an all-in-one full installation system which includes a receiver and remote with a full instructions. It doesn’t require a customer to purchase a contract or anything else. The system is also configured to receive automatic updates to keep track of all channel changes as they occur. See Product Features…
Shopping for an FTA dish can require looking at quite a few different features including, Size and weight of satellite dish, Installation instructions, Digital controls, Subscription requirements and in a lot of cases a complete installation package.
The size and weight of your chosen FTA dish can vary from company to company. Some can weigh as little as 20 pounds while others can weigh 100 pounds or more. When mounting to the outside of the home, it’s imperative to consider the weight, especially if one is planning to handle the install alone. The installation instructions will also vary. Some require a specific mount and others will require very little mounting.
You also need to consider pointing the system at the right satellite. This is where investing in a relatively inexpensive satellite signal finder can come in very handy.
Digital controls will include remotes, satellite signal finders and more. Not all satellite dishes require subscriptions. The FTA aspect simplifies this, however some people won’t need to buy a contract or anything based on the system purchased.
Finally, the total package needs to be examined. Every satellite dish can be packaged alone with other items to provide a better overall viewing on the television.
An excellent guide to FTA is Dennis C Brewers book Build Your Own Free-to-Air (FTA) Satellite TV System Find out how to find and install the correct components, set up an FTA dish and receiver, fine-tune the satellite reception, add local off-air TV stations plus pretty much everythi ng you’d need to know about installing an FTA system.
There are many satellites out there, so it’s important to see what’s available at each price level.