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josiahgould
Nov 10, 2009


I DO NOT WANT TO PIRATE DIRECTV/DISH NETWORK OR ANY PAY TV

Now that is out of the way, does anyone use FTA (free to air) satellite in the US? I just ordered the parts off of Amazon to put together a satellite receiver system. DVB decoder box, 30 inch dish and LNBF all for around $100. I live in North Florida, so I've got a high clear shot to Galaxy 19. I've done my research and I know that I'm not going to be getting what I can get from cable, but I figure that it will be fun enough to have a few dozen channels to flip through.

I'm just curious if anyone else in the United States has a system set up? I'm going to start off with Ku band and maybe add on a C band system if it holds my interest enough. Any interesting stories of seeing news anchors picking their noses on a commercial break? Interesting wild feeds you've caught? Did you know Captain Midnight? Wanna know how to do it yourself?

I'm going to post pictures of my setup as I'm constructing it, but that's about a week off.

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Doublethink
Sep 11, 2001

Umpossible my dear fellow, simply umpossible

Okay, interested tell me about captain midnight.

DreamtShadow
Aug 21, 2010



I read through the channel list of the galaxy 19 satellite and the few that are in English don't sound too appealing (although I'm curious what Ethiopian TV is). Is there another set of channels from another satellite you can get as well or is that pretty much it? What specifically caught your eye about this?

josiahgould
Nov 10, 2009


The abridged story of Captain Midnight.

Way back when, you could get nearly anything you wanted for free, as long as you pointed your big satellite at the right spot. Many people liked to watch HBO for free. HBO did not like people watching their content for free and so decided, along with many other Pay-TV services, to scramble their signal. HBO decided to charge you $12.95 a month to descramble their channel, about the same as what you would pay if you subscribed to it with cable service.

Captain Midnight worked at a Teleport in Ocala, Fl. A teleport is where they uplink signals to the satellites. After he finished transmitting the latest hit Pee-Wee movie for another channel, he swung his big transmitting dish to AMC-1, which was where HBO was beaming from. And he overpowered their signal for almost 5 minutes with a message of his own.



Eventually the FCC gave him a $5000 fine and a year of probation. Legends say he still runs a satellite business in Ocala...



As for other satellites, yeah, there are plenty of them. Galaxy 19 just happens to have the largest variety at the moment. FTAList.com has a good reference for what's free for the US, along with lyngsat.com if you want to know everything that transmits from a satellite. And what caught my eye? I like signals. I have an SDR hooked up to my computer, along with my various amateur radios and scanner so I have audio covered. I just wanted to move into video, maybe have something interesting to watch now and then.

Crankit
Feb 7, 2011

HE WATCHES


josiahgould posted:

As for other satellites, yeah, there are plenty of them. Galaxy 19 just happens to have the largest variety at the moment. FTAList.com has a good reference for what's free for the US, along with lyngsat.com if you want to know everything that transmits from a satellite. And what caught my eye? I like signals. I have an SDR hooked up to my computer, along with my various amateur radios and scanner so I have audio covered. I just wanted to move into video, maybe have something interesting to watch now and then.

Do you watch the ISS transmissions or anything like that?

josiahgould
Nov 10, 2009


Crankit posted:

Do you watch the ISS transmissions or anything like that?

Nope, NASATV isn't on the bird I'm gonna be pointing at. To actually track the ISS with a dish is outside of what I'm able to do at this point.

stash
Apr 18, 2007

It's not what you think...


Pillbug

It's been a few years but I had FTA setup for 3-4 years. It's definitely worth getting the motor for the dish although it can be a pain to align it correctly. Being able to move from satellite to satellite just by changing the channel is awesome and it's the only way you're going to catch any wild feeds since they aren't usually on (whatever 97W is called now). I liked watching morning cartoons on the various middle-eastern channels. And persian rug home shopping network. Interesting insight into current events and culture in countries like Iran, Syria etc. if you're into that sort of thing. No primetime programming but lots of weird and occasionally interesting stuff just flipping through the channels. It was definitely nice to have after I cancelled my cable service on the nights when I was bored and felt like channel surfing. I might have to hook my dish back up.

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josiahgould
Nov 10, 2009


Thought I'd pop up a little update.

I finally got everything hooked up and pointed in the (generally...) right direction. My signal strength is pretty bad, but half of my line of sight is the chimney on a neighbors house. I'm getting about 250 channels at the moment, although some of them are off the air. Most are religious, as expected. I did find what I think is a movie channel, at least it was playing the new Star Trek when I flipped past it. It's in an Arabic language, but I'm not sure what one. (EDIT - It's Farsi! Out of Toronto I think. At least I see the CN tower a lot.) A few channels for the kids, some soccer if you're into sports. I think I want to invest in a motor.

Word of advice, those dish pointing apps are useless. I tried for days to get it pointed right, and it only worked when I dug out a magnetic compass. I'll try to get some pictures of my janky setup when it cools off a bit, pointing a dish in the middle of the day is a stupid thing to do.

But hey, 200+ things to watch! And nothing on! All for free!

josiahgould fucked around with this message at 21:05 on Jul 11, 2014

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