Free to Air Receivers
An FTA (Free to Air) receiver is a satellite receiver that is equipped to receive unencrypted FTA (Free to Air) satellite transmissions. An FTA satellite receiver is able to decode the MPEG-2 data compression protocol used in most Free to Air satellite transmissions. An FTA receiver will not be able to decrypt Dish Network or DirecTV satellite programming. Old analog FTA receivers are not used anymore.
FTA Receiver Types
Most FTA receivers are stand-alone hardware boxes that look very much like Dish Networks or DirecTV receivers. Some PC-based FTA satellite receivers also exist. These devices enable users to watch FTA satellite on their computer.
Features to Look for in an FTA Receiver
Here are some of the valuable features to look for in an FTA satellite receiver:
- Does the receiver have an Electronic Program Guide (EPG)?
- Does the receiver allow the user to zoom into a picture?
- Does the receiver support picture-in-picture?
- Does the receiver have a built-in PVR (Personal Video Recorder)?
- Does the receiver have dual tuners to enable viewing and recording of two different channels?
- Does the receiver have a PIG/PIP interface?
- Does the receiver have S-Video output?
- Does the receiver have Dolby SPDIF output?
- Does the receiver have Blind Search Power Scan to find all channels that a satellite transmits?
- Does the receiver have an On Screen Display (OSD)?
- Does the OSD allow the user to move, delete, and rename channels?
FTA Satellite Receiver Vendors
Coolsat Receivers – Coolsat uses state of the art FTA technology. Coolsat 5000 or the Coolsat 6000 are good products. Coolsat 5000 is one of the popular Coolsat series products, with Coolsat 6000 also being a top class product. Coolsat products are also bundled with 5 years warranty.
Fortec Receiver – Fortec Lifetime Ultra is a good product for all the television watchers. It is a product from Fortec that guarantees customer satisfaction and customer delight.
Pansat Receiver – Pansat is a major role player in the television satellite business. The digital Pansat receiver satellite is capable of receiving data from a satellite directly. The product range is Pansat 2500 Bin, Pansat 2500a, Pansat 2700, Pansat 2700a, Pansat 3500, Pansat 3500 Receiver, Pansat 3500 Receivers, Pansat 3500 SD, Pansat Bin, Pansat Files, Pansat Key Data, and Pansat Last Bin.
Viewsat – Viewsat provides a wide range of products for satellite television. Some of the Viewsat products include Viewsat 2000, Viewsat Files, Viewsat Receiver, Viewsat Ultra, and Viewsat Xtreme.
Sonicview Receiver – Sonicview has a high competitive edge on Pansat and Viewsat. There are numerous features on the new Sonicview SV1000.
Other quality FTA satellite receiver manufacturers include BlackBird, UltraStar, Ariza, MultiStar, Digiwave, and Twinhan.
Additional Equipment for FTA Satellite
In addition to an FTA satellite receiver, the following are needed:
- A satellite dish (Either C-Band or Ku-Band)
- An LNB
- An antenna motor (In order to receive channels from more than one satellite)