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Discussion Starter #1
I'm just curious why there are so few threads being posted here. This used to be an active FTA forum. Are Canadians no longer interested in FTA? It's never been better to be involved for the news feeds alone on Ku as well as what's available in legal free broadcast TV on Ku- and C-band.
 
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I would think that most of everything can be found online plus Cband and KUband are becoming obsolete and satellites broadcasting are disappearing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I use my satellite receiver to also view IPTV. There's is lots of stuff of interest online. But on election night this past Tuesday, I blind scanned in 42 transponders on 91W Ku. Many of these were visible live news feeds from the different news organizations. So IPTV and FTA satellite complement each other. There are lots of satellite signals that I can receive on both Ku-band and C-band using only my 1.2-metre dish.
 

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I would say it fell off when DrSat moved on. He was an active participant, and still runs his business I believe.
But left the forum for some reason ...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's a long story of which I only know pieces. I bought my current 1.2m dish from him at his shop in Ontario so, personally, I had a good interaction. I was always appreciative of being able to physically pick up a dish like that in person, avoid shipping and enjoy FTA activity.
 

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I don't have any stats but I would guess that FTA shops have seen a significant decline in sales and service. It was very popular while it was easy to pick up lots of US network and specialty channels in the clear. Those days are long gone. Satellite TV in general is declining in popularity and probably only retains large market shares in rural areas and places without high speed internet. I looked at FTA a few years ago and decided against going that route.
 

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For sure there's been a huge decline in FTA programming especially on the KU band. FTA is not a substitue for OTA, or cable or pay per view sat services.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Exactly. Perhaps at one time, FTA was a partial substitute. Now, FTA offers something different. The shame is that for those who might find FTA useful, they may not know it exists. In many markets, the combination of OTA, FTA and free streaming sources can offer more than enough news, entertainment and an interesting technical hobby to boot. But for many, FTA wouldn't be worth the effort.
 

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My impression was that FTA is now good for people interested in foreign language and other specialty channels that are either way too expensive or unavailable on mainstream TV services. People who want mainstream networks are better served by OTA or commercial TV services. Many will want both but I honestly did not see enough on FTA that justified the cost and effort.

The situation was different when C band first became popular. There was more available in the open than could be picked up with OTA or provided on Canadian cable. The barrier to entry was equipment cost and dish size but it was worth it for many Canadians. That was 10-20 years before DTH satellite launched and years before signals started being scrambled. People were basically picking up clear network feeds intended for network and cable system rebroadcast.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
In Halifax, we have only CBC, CTV and Global via OTA. We cannot receive any U.S. network or independent channels via OTA. With that in mind, following is a quick Ku bandscan summary of the FTA channels I find interesting and that I can reliably receive or record for time shifting with a 4-foot dish.
  • PBS collection of channels from two different satellites
  • Korean channel (mostly Korean language, sometimes with English subtitles)
  • Veteran's channel (U.S.)
  • Ici Tele (Montreal)
  • Reuters news feed
  • Sports such as hockey, car and horse racing, soccer, volleyball, football.
  • NHK World Japan in English
  • NBC collection of channels including Cozi with old programs
  • Jewish and Infowars channels, Fox news feeds
  • International channels including CNC China, Russia Today, Press TV Iran all in English. Many foreign language channels including from Romania, Portugal, Poland, Turkey, Kazakhistan, Hungary, Netherlands, many African countries, Thailand, Vietnam, Middle Eastern countries
  • China Global TV news and documentary channels both in English
  • CNN news feeds
  • Cuban collection of channels including music, movies, news. All in Spanish except movies often have original English soundtracks.
  • Special feeds including Grand Ol Opry, Metropolitan opera, miscellaneous concerts, award shows
  • Surprise channels that spontaneously come into the clear for viewing such as CBS, ABC, Fox networks. These are surprise since they come and go quickly without warning.
On C-band with this same dish I can receive Classic Arts, BYU TV, True Crime, FETV with its collection of old programs. There are many more channels available on C-band if you have an 8- or 10-foot dish. For example, NBC, Fox and This TV networks from Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands can be easily received with one of the larger C-band dishes.

In general, channels mentioned are either good quality standard definition or high definition.
 

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And how many satellites do you have to visit to enjoy all those channels. How many are on the KU band and how many are on C band.
Having a rotor on dishes adds complexity to the setup and subsequent maintenance can be problematic.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have used both motorized and fixed dishes with offset LNBs. I prefer motorized since it gives the maximum number of channels, each satellite is the strongest since the LNB sits at the dish focal point and ultimately satisfies my curiosity about what might be on the next satellite. I like to say once you've had a motor that is properly aligned, then you'll never go back to fixed dishes. Although I only have one TV; with multiple TVs in the house then fixed dishes with diseqc switches may make more sense.

I can access satellites from 123W to 30W using my motor. I could see more if it wasn't for trees that block further west and east.
 

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With my KU band dish and motor I can access many sats as well. However maintaining the system is not worth the effort. Constantly moving the dish from one extreme of the arc to the other extreme of the arc to view a handful of channels is PITA. Many of the news outlets such as Press TV and RT are heavily biased and just as bad as Fox in terms of fake news. I get enough fake news from CTV, CBC and Global. The rest of the many ethnic programs I'm not interested in.
Additionaly the lack of EPGs is also discouraging. Local news and programming is non existant. FTA is a great hobby but not suited to family viewing.
 
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Cyber et al...
I do look here once in a while but guess I sit on many other forums when I get to sit in front of the computer. Our internet has been really spotty over the last few months, so sometimes when I have something to post I can't.
Should be lots of FTA activity, not a lot of other stuff we can do other than hobbies one can do at home.

I'll try to make a point of posting here more.
-C.
 

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Hey Guys, I've had fun with FTA for 20 years or so and still appreciate the channels still available on ku band. I'm usually on linuxsat-support forum for the linux reciever images and plugins available. I go to Rick's Satellite forum as well for new feed postings and discussions. I too have a receiver that receives satellite, OTA and IPTV. I go to the frugal streamer website for legal and free IPTV playlist. He's done a good job. Anyways, I'll try to visit this forum more often to participate and help others where I can.
 

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Cyberham you're getting a lot of channels! I don't watch a lot of TV. One hour a day on average. So I am happy with my 3 dishes pointed at 30W, 103W and 87W. There's a lot that can be streamed on the Internet but as I spend my working hours in front of a computer, I enjoy just moving away from the keyboard and once in a while just sit and relax in front of a TV with just a remote. It doesn't sound logical but to me it's not the same as watching stuff from Netflix. Sometimes I find myself watching a movie on Cuban TV (a Bruce Lee movie last week!) or then a miniseries on LPB PBS like the "Jazz" one.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I recorded the Miles Davis movie and other jazz shows from LPB lately. These wouldn't have been available to me without PBS via FTA. I record in order to timeshift many shows from PBS including the nature and Nova shows. I have added to my satellite receiver some channels that stream from the web such as NASA, DW, France 24 and even NHK Japan (for use when satellite conditions aren't favourable). This way I can access them with only a button push on the remote control as I do for any satellite channel. And I can record these streamed channels too which I can't do if I stream them using my computer. It sounds like you are taking advantage of FTA to use what appeals to you.
 
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