Free-To-Air, or FTA, channels are satellite television channels that are not encrypted and are, therefore, available to anyone who is able to receive them. FTA channels are not provided by premium satellite companies, but rather open source satellite providers, such as Galaxy, AMC, and Telstar. FTA channels require subscribers to have a 30-inch satellite dish or larger, but do not require the user to pay any monthly fees or access charges. FTA channels are available from a variety of different satellites around the world, but may change in terms of availability over time.
How Free To Air Channels Work
Although all satellite programming is broadcast through the air via radio waves, most broadcasting companies encrypt or scramble their signals to prevent unauthorized users from receiving their programming without paying for it. In contrast, some broadcasting companies provide the general public with news, sports, weather, music, and even entertainment programming for free. These types of broadcasts are known as “free-to-air channels” because they are not encrypted or scrambled, are completely free, and can be used by anyone who has the proper equipment to receive them. Although FTA channels are generally not of the same level of quality as premium channels purchased from a satellite broadcast company, such as DirecTV, or a cable company, such as Cox Cable, they are free.
FTA channels can be used by anyone who has a satellite dish that is 30” in diameter or larger and the proper software. FTA equipment can often be purchased through third-party companies who specialize in providing satellite equipment to users without providing any services. While most FTA channels are ethnic-based and may be targeted towards subscribers in the Middle East, Asia, Central America, or other parts of the world, some FTA channels may be found enjoyable and up to par with premium service.