Fun and Pain with Free to Air Satellite TV

I am getting into Free to Air Satellite Tv for two reasons, 1 - Cabletv and Pay dish tv is horribly overpriced. Honestly nobody will argue that fact that it is overpriced for what you get and that the quality of programming is utterly dismal. Free stuff on the other hand is far better. I put up an antenna to get the local stations (fuzzy but I get them!) and have been playing a bit with this free satellite stuff. I decided to cheap-out and looked on ebay for a cheaper reciever, you can buy a FTA reciever online from a reputable dealer for around $100-$180US depending on features... I found what I though was a steal at $50.00 total with shipping from some canadian seller. I was wrong. the Fortec star lifetime ultra reciever I bought was for the middle-east and has no sattelite info for the USA, is set for PAL and keeps defaulting to PAL and can not be flashed to USA use as it breaks when you do. So you haveto not only chop off the cord and rewire it but then you have to spend 4-6 hours reprogramming it to have all the info for USA satellites, that is IF you can find the information. This one tidbit of info you think would be very common and in a FAQ or HOWTO... nope. FTA people try to be secretive and have no realy collections of information to help new people to get into it.....

So first off, beware... if you want into this neat hobby (watching a brazil soccer game from a brazillian feed is really cool!) DO NOT BUY your reciever from ebay unless you know 100% that it is a working USA version. You really cant trust eBay ratings as most of these people do retalitory feedback if you leave them bad feedback to warn others, so people do not leave feedback in fear of this.

My reciever does work after lots of work, and I will have a TON more work to put into it typing in data with a IR remote to get it 100% useful, if you want to avoid this, really... buy your reciever from a better dealer online that will actually stand behind what they sell, answer emails and are happy to give you their phone number.

FTA is currently really cheap, but is full of pitfalls if you dont watch it.


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