What Is Free To Air Satellite TV?

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Free to air satellite TV is a term used in describing satellite signals that you can legally capture with your television, even without a subscription. Unlike ordinary programming, a free to air satellite TV does not encrypt the signals. Instead, it uses MPEG-2 to encode the received signals. Free to air satellite programming transmits using C-band (a frequency allocation used for a communications satellite that uses 5.925 to 6.425 GHz for uplinks and 3.7 to 4.2 GHz for downlinks). However, modern free-to-air satellite TVs use Ku-Band programming that uses frequencies of 14 to 14.5 GHz for uplinks and around 11.7 to 12.7 GHz for downlinks. Uplinks are signal paths from earth stations going to a satellite. On the other hand, downlinks are signal paths from a particular satellite going to earth. Free to air satellite TVs enable you to pick up different unencrypted broadcasts via any appropriate receiver. You should not confuse free to air satellite TV with FTV (or free-to-view) because FTV programming also comes without charge, but is encrypted. This means that having free-to-view programming on your television can restrict various broadcasts, depending on your geographic location. How to Receive Free to Air Satellite TV Channels Unlike ordinary satellite TV programming that needs subscriptions from DirecTV, Dish Network or other satellite TV broadcast providers, free to air satellite TV channels can be received even without paying a monthly fee to broadcast providers. Free-to-air programming is commonly used for international broadcasting. In order to receive free-to-air satellite TV channels, you need to have a satellite dish (either a K-band or C-band), a free-to-air satellite receiver or a suitable PC card, an LNBF (low noise block with an integrated feedhorn) and an antenna motor, if you desire to capture channels from different satellites, instead of through only one satellite. Earlier systems used C-band satellite dishes, which are several feet in diameter, in receiving signals. However, modern dishes use Ku-band and other dishes that are under one meter for international DVB (or digital video broadcasting) standards. U.S. satellites carry most signals from international DVB. Because of this, free to air satellite TV channels may be scattered within multiple satellites. When this happens, you need multiple low noise blocks in order to receive all the channels you wish. Free to air satellite TV, regardless of the type of dish programming used, is a great alternative when you are located in areas with poor over-the-air reception. What Is Free To Air Satellite TV?


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