What are Free To Air (FTA) channels?
Free To Air (FTA) channels are digital channels that are not encrypted by the service provider and require no subscription or monthly payment. They are provided free of charge by the provider and are perfectly legal to receive with an FTA receiver.
Where can I find out what channels are available free to air?
There are many free to air channels available in North America on satellites such as Galaxy 10R, AMC4, Galaxy 19, AMC3, etc. These channels are from the USA and from around the world. See LyngSat* for a complete listing of what is available. Some channels listed are DVB FTA ( Free-To-Air ) and some are encrypted (Pay TV). Note that these lists can become out of date quickly as frequencies and channels change often. With an FTA system you can only watch the unscrambled clear DVB channels with an F. Other scrambled channels are not free and require a subscription from their provider.
What satellite system I can use to view the above channels?
To watch the free to air channels, you will need to buy a free to air (FTA) satellite system.
We have two main options for you:
1- KU Band only satellite system:
This system will allow you to receive the KU band channels only. A 31″ dish minimum is required.
Stationary FTA System: Allows you to received channels from one satellite only (one orbital location). Since most of the free to air ethnic channels are on one satellite (i.e. Galaxy 19 at 97W), a stationary system should be just fine. On Galaxy 19 there are over 100 free to air channels from several countries. The system is easy to setup and should not take you more than 2 hrs to get installed.
Motorized FTA System: If you are a satellite enthusiast and want to receive more channels, then a motorized FTA satellite system is the way to go. The motorized system includes a motor that allows you to move the dish East/West to track more satellites. The motorized system is little more challenging to install as it takes more accuracy to align the dish. We have prepared a help page on installing a motorized system which is a must read if you don’t have experience in this.
2- KU & C Band satellite system:
This system will allow you to receive the KU and C band channels. A minimum 6′ motorized satellite dish is required. [More info.]
These free to air channels are samples of the free-to-air (clear and un-encrypted) channels available on North American satellites today. Some of the channels may require a dish bigger than 30″ and/or an HH Motor. We don’t claim or guarantee that these channels will remain free to air for any period of time. Some of these channels may go off the air at some point or become encrypted and new channels may show up. We are not affiliated with or resell programming from any of the channels above. The list above reflects what is available to our knowledge.