Choosing a Satellite TV receiver..

Discussion in 'TV & Satellite' started by scotjimland, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    There seems to be is a lot of confusion surrounding satellite receivers, what channels are available, what the different services provide and what they are called..
    I am not an expert, so if I have made any errors please point them out.

    This is my understanding ..

    Free To View or FTV

    NOT the same as FTA. These are the so-called Free To View channels broadcast by Sky to the UK. To view ALL these channels, you will require a sky box with a viewing card supplied by Sky for a one-off fee of £20 and available by calling Sky directly.


    Free to Air or FTA


    Free-to-air means that a given channel transmitted from an orbiting satellite is unencrypted and needs no additional hardware or software to decode it other than the standard tuner. You can get many of Sky's FTV channels.. but NOT all, you won't get Channel 4, Film Four, True Movies and many others that are on FTV This type of receiver can be used anywhere in Europe to tune into the many different satellite services such as Hotbird, Nilesat, Eurobird etc

    then just to complicate matter we have

    Freesat

    The BBC and ITV companies combined service to provide around 140 free channels..

    IMO , This is the best 'free' service for the UK with the widest choice of free channels, and you can pick it up ( depending on dish size) as far south as Northern Spain. but you cannot tune into any other satellites.


    Freeview
    .

    Northing to do with satellite TV, the UK digital terrestrial service.


    So, when choosing a 'box' make sure you know whether it's a Freesat, FTV or a FTA .. it's easy to get confused and buy something that won't do as you expect.

    I had a FTA box in the RV, when we moved into the house it had a redundant Sky dish so we were using that.
    It works great but as already said, it doesn't get many of the channels on Freesat, so yesterday I bought a Bush Freesat box from Argos, £29.99 .

    It's a great little box for the money.. Plug it in, enter your post code ( this tells it what area you are in and to tune into the appropriate regional services ) , press tune and before you know it you have 140 channels of absolutely free TV .. :Smile:

    For a list of Freesat channels.. go to http://www.freesat.co.uk/index.php?page=whatson.Main
     
  2. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    I got the Maxview freesat tuner with my Maxview crank up dish. Seems to work well and no wind problems so far although the wind up mechanism used to fall out with a crash when driving :Eeek::Eeek:
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Yeah, a great dish, I have one, shame about the crap winder and brake.. :RollEyes:
     
  4. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Jim, I fixed the winder by cutting the square tube slightly shorter and getting a new winder ( the little plastic hooks wont hold once they have been pulled out ) , it doesn't fall out now.
     
  5. MAUBRI

    MAUBRI Funster

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    Hi Jim, that;s the one I had that stripped the gearbox, mind you on the same night the wind BENT my awning rail, its a shame they have stopped making Aluminium Casting type awnings.

    It has taught me to take in the awning at night if I havent got the Safari Room up, but at Least with a Camos Dome I dont have the Dish problem anymore.

    Brian
     
  6. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Not sure about the FTV / FTA distinction Jim.
    We are fairly new to sat TV and have a Zehnder FTA box. On that, we can get C4 and its derivatives and, I think, five. I will have to check the latter next time out, but don't watch it much anyway. I think both are broadcast 'in clear' on Astra 2D. The BSkyB carriage agreement ended in 2008 or 9.

    Philip
     
  7. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi Philip

    When we moved into the house, using the Foreteckstar FTA box I couldn't get Channel Four , Film four and quite a few others .. but I did get Channel 4+1 , More Four and Ch 5 .. oddly I used to get Ch4 and Film 4, so something has changed on the FTA service..

    Like I said, it does get confusing .... there is plenty of info on the net about the different services and the available channels, but some of the adverts for sat digi boxes don't make it very clear ..

    EDIT

    Just found this site which explains http://www.satcure.com/tech/freeview.htm
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  8. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I had a new gear box supplied free by Maxview. it was a long running story, I'm sure there is a zillion page thread about it in the Fun archives :Laughing:

    Hi Brian

    I wouldn't buy another Maxview crank up.. when I made a lot of noise about it on here, some implied I was talking nonsense or was expecting too much from it .. :RollEyes:

    There are better crank ups available...
     
  9. johnnerontheroad

    johnnerontheroad Read Only Funster

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    Philip,

    Get April's MMM and there is a Roadpro mag with it, it will explain about Freeview, Freesat and Free to Air and a lot more.

    Dave
     
  10. Satandpcguy

    Satandpcguy Funster

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    I think you have confused yourself..!

    FTA channels require no viewing card.
    On a FTA receiver you WILL NOT GET any Sky FTV channels - as the FTV channels require a viewing card.

    FTV channels are 8 ITV1 regions, Five, Fiver Five USA (and time shifts) Sky 3, Liverpool FC TV, Irish Channel 4, Viva TV.

    Channel 4, Film 4, e4, m4, True Movies are all FTA and do not need a viewing card.....and so can be received on a FTA receiver....(at least count there were 250plus FTA channels available on the UK TV satellites - including BBC, ITV1,2,3,4 c4,e4,m4,five,tm, m4men, etc)

    C4, F4 E4 M4 etc have been FTA for a few years now....and are still.
    Nothing has changed in the last few years...
    (unless you men the irish versions of C4 e4 m4 that are on 12480 and are FTV?)

    The freesat EPG only has 140 channels allocated to it.....and most of those are regional BBC versions.

    There are still many FTA channels available that are not on the freesat EPG....

    But you can add another 100plus by putting your box into "nonfreesat mode"

    For example, Sky News is FTA, but not on the Freesat EPG, but you can watch Sky news on a Freest box by adding it in on nonfreesat mode - freq 12207!

    A sky box with no card, or a generic FTA receivier will get the same channels as a freesat box in nonfreesat mode.


    And in nonfreesat mode you can use a freesat box on other satellites - as you can add other frequencie to the list and manually scan other channels - also in nonfreesat mode you have access to the disecq switching system, something not possible with the box in freesat mode...

    in many cases, using a freesat box for the "fringe" reception areas is not ideal. in many ways a sky box with a freesatfromsky card allows a greater choice than a freesat box, as the fsfs card allows access to ITV1, c4 and Five, on a small dish, yet a freesat box, that cannot use a sky card, needs a big (sometimes a 1.8 or 2,4m) dish in many areas of spain and southern europe.

    Freesat may be an option in areas where the siganls are not too weak (UK France, very north of Spain), but in areas of mid to southern spain, the weaker astra 2d signals make reception of the "freesat" channels difficult.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  11. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    as I said I'm no expert, I'm not confused, I know what the different systems are, but I may not have explained correctly.

    I was trying to keep it simple, and only saying as I have found using different boxes.. there is much info on the net , maybe too much which can serve to confuse rather than clarify..

    There is also a lot of misleading posts with the wrong terminology .. freeview, freesat. free to air, free to view.. all used and often wrongly..

    The main thing is that people are aware that there are different services and when they purchase a box know exactly what the box can or cannot do .. especially when buying on line.

    Thanks for the information
     
  12. manu54

    manu54 Read Only Funster

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    Hi all...which is the best box to get Sky sports news on ??

    Phil
     
  13. Satandpcguy

    Satandpcguy Funster

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    If you are in the UK Sky Sports News is available on Freeview.....via your tv aerial - for free....

    Otherwise you need the news and events mix as part of a Sky subscription.

    It is not free to air or free to view on satellite - it is subscription only on satellite.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  14. Satandpcguy

    Satandpcguy Funster

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    Agree that terminology so similar is not a great help, and it is confusing.

    FTA - free to air channels - no card required -BBC ITV1,2,3,4, C4
    FTV - free to view channels - viewing card required - Fiver Fve USA
    Sub - viewing card and monthly payment - Sky Sports, Sky Movies, Sky One.

    freeview - FTA (UK ONLY)
    freeview and TOP UP TV - FTA and SUB (UK ONLY)
    http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/terrestrial/epg/




    Generic FTA reciever - FTA
    Freesat - FTA - http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/satellite/freesatepg/
    Sky box with no card - FTA
    (all three types of receiver can get the same channels one way or another! - ie nonfreesatmode!)


    Sky box with "freesatfromsky" card - FTA and FTV

    Sky box with sub card - FTA, FTV, SUB
    http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/satellite/skyepg/
     
  15. johnnerontheroad

    johnnerontheroad Read Only Funster

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  16. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Free to Air or FTA

    Free-to-air means that a given channel transmitted from an orbiting satellite is unencrypted and needs no additional hardware or software to decode it other than the standard tuner. You can get many of Sky's FTV channels.. but NOT all, you won't get Channel 4, Film Four, True Movies and many others that are on FTV This type of receiver can be used anywhere in Europe to tune into the many different satellite services such as Hotbird, Nilesat, Eurobird etc

    your info source is well out of date Jim....

    i get all the above and the secondary versions as well IE film 4 +1, true movies +1 and true movies 2

    channel 4 and 5 are also transmitted on free to air sat
     
  17. charliebarnwell

    charliebarnwell Read Only Funster

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    quote Freesat, so yesterday I bought a Bush Freesat box from Argos, £29.99 .

    It's a great little box for the money.. Plug it in, enter your post code ( this tells it what area you are in and to tune into the appropriate regional services ) , press tune and before you know it you have 140 channels of absolutely free TV .. :Smile: unquote

    Jim does this run from 12v via 240 transformer? Wondering if I will need an inverter with it

    Thanks
    Charlie
     
  18. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi Charlie , it is 230v AC only

    you would require small inverter to run off 12v
     
  19. john-A

    john-A Read Only Funster

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    I do find this a bit of a mine field so thanks to everyone for shining a little light on it.
    One question for you experts what is a DREAMBOX DM500(s) BLACK SATELLITE RECEIVER BRAND and is this FTV or FTA?
    Thanks for your answers they are £54 on eBay so seem a bit expensive
     
  20. Satandpcguy

    Satandpcguy Funster

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    YOu can use it with or without a sky card...witht he correct firmware....

    without a card it will be a FTA receiver.....

    with a sky card it can receive FTA, FTV and most subscription channels...

    but there is a huge quetion mark about nonsky boxes and sky cards once sky fully activate and impliment their anticardsharing tricks that they are rumoured to have up their sleaves...
    as some boxes can be used for cardsharing - illegal and not really for discussion.
     
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