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Thread: setting up free to air

  1. #1

    setting up free to air

    Hi Guys,

    Just after some advice on setting up free to air satellite. Have been thinking about switching to free to air. Problem is I am moving location as well, and not necessarily a permanent one, so... what is the best way to do this, ie least fuss and least cost short term.

    I see a lot of info on free to air sat receivers and the cost is pretty reasonably but getting a dish (or keeping Sky's) I have no clue. I haven't done much of a search on this yet but can anyone recommend any links? Should I install the dish myself? (not a big fan of doing installs), hmm.. anyone using free to air, or have any advice.

    hmm.. Sky's site:

    “The free-to-air services are available as a separate package for which the customer pays a low weekly fee ($4.46) to rent SKY's digital decoder and satellite dish, but pays no programme subscription to SKY. The other services are available in a variety of packages.”

    New membership cost ->. $99 install and compulsory startup package for the first month @ $40 = $122 + ($18 per month). Existing membership cost $80.

    $80 bucks a pop and being tied to a nearly $20 a month service is the option with Sky. (rant: pretty lame but hey they're in business..)

    Doing it myself opens the possibility to getting a second dish to tune in to another sat(eg panamsat2) but there are only a couple of extra (worthwhile) channels anyway. (for those that only speak English anyway). So lame again.. two dish's = double the install effort and for what, minimal gain.

    Hmm.. I see some of the cheaper free to air satellite receivers don't have RF input. That is a worry also... anyone know anything about this?? I would definitely prefer RF input.

    I know a lot of you will say “ugh” at just two channels (tv1,tv2, ok.. maoriTV too, and national radio,etc) but considering most of what I watch these days is on tv1 (6pm news,headliners,60 minutes, bbc, etc) except for music (eg Juice,J2,C4) and documentary content (discovery,history channel. Neither of which I watch regularly) it really isn't worthwhile subscribing to Sky. See below for further reason to want sat.

    Just on a side note, having a decent uncapped broadband connection is really making the difference, big ups to wired country, If at $65 a month I am a profitable customer to you then wicked but unfortunately I doubt that is probably the case so stink lol, probably get nearly a half of my video content online these days (eg tv series,movies, occasional documentary,etc) but taking into account audio (music, commentary (eg podcasts,etc)) and readable content (eg websites, blogs,etc) it's definitely more worthwhile in terms of value for money and satisfaction.

    Granted the net still isn't geared for pushed video/audio content yet (legal or otherwise) but damn if it isn't close...

    Actually my sneak goal is to provide TV1,TV2 programming via p2p. Hahah, yes I am dirty little pirate, yes I sometimes feel sorry for my ISP, and yes i'm probably an idiot for announcing my intentions to infringe on copyright in this country but hey i'll be damned if its going to be wasted and I really want to contribute to the concept of world TV. I'm sure other tivo and pvr enthusiasts are thinking along the same lines. Is public TV fair game?

    Umm.. anyway. slight diversion from topic.

    Hope all ya'll tivoing is going great btw despite the suckage of content as most if not all of you agree with.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Wellington, NZ
    Timmy, I completely agree... unless you are a sports addict then Sky is a pretty hard thing to justify. About a 18 months ago I was looking into the FTA Satellite stuff (bundled with HDR's) there was a satellite (Optus?) that had a few of the Australian FTA channels on it, as well as TVNZ. Options were not particularly cheap, but were on-off costs rather than ongoing (I am not a fan of ongoing costs!!!). Now I am happy with two FTA-TiVo's, and blessed with great reception

    One such site with interesting gear is here, as they have some dual "tuner" dishes.
    Last edited by thomson; 07-11-2004 at 09:46 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    the BBC is going thru similar moral debate - the British public are saying - we have already paid for all those programs (particularly the old classics) therefore we should be able to access them on-line for free.. hard to argue with, but then the whole P2P question pops up!

    I would recommend these fellas they are the importers and wholesalers to most of the installers around the country including Ihug's Ultra dishes. They have self install instructions and it is definitely do-able. Max is good guy and is happy to talk thru the options.

    This site is a NZ site that reports all the sat tv developments including channels available, listings etc.

    See this article about TVNZ planning on making FTA sat tv available soon.. how sooon..?

    TVNZ approves satellite Free to Air channels

    From The Independent 23/9/04

    The TVNZ board has approved plans for a satellite operation delivering free-to-air television channels and radio to the whole of New Zealand (The Independent September 22nd).

    It is understood the satellite platform will carry TVNZ's own channels, Tv1 and Tv2, as well as other key free-to-air channels, including rivals Tv3 and Prime.

    TVNZ has booked two transponders on the new Optus satellite being launched in 2006. However it already has enough capacity on the Optus B1 satellite currently used by Sky, to launch the service any time it chooses.

    The project has been shrouded by a heavy veil of secrecy under the leadership of former TVNZ current affairs producer William Earl, who is managing the project from TVNZ's Wellington offices.

    The Independent discovered TVNZ has registered several trademarks - FREEVIEWTV FREESATTV, FREESAT and FREEVIEW - all names identical to, or similar to, the free free-to-air digital platform established in the UK (The Independent 22 September)

    The free channels, along with some radio stations, can be received by anyone with a small Sky TV-style dish and a digital box probably costing around $150.

    It is believed TVNZ has been examining different business models for additional channels on the satellite platform. Among them is a 24-hour news channel.

    The move would appear to end arguments about whether the future of New Zealand Digital Television should be from satellite or transmitted terrestrially.

    But getting business models to stack up economically will be a major challenge, especially for the first few years of the platform when audience numbers will be limited.

    At the end of last year, TVNZ's transmission arm BCL Ltd split from the state broadcaster to become a standalone state-owned enterprise.

    Another option was to use the Sky digital satellite platform.

    However, the government is believed to be squeamish about the "Murdochisation" of New Zealand television transmission. It is likely to endorse the New Zealand controlled option.

    An announcement is expected soon.

  4. #4

    From aardvark forums..

    “The latest issue of Tone magazine contains a review of Sky's yet to be released PVR. It is capable of decoding two signals so you can watch and record different channels. You can even record two channels while watching a previously recorded programme on the included 160GB hard drive.

    I got very excited when I read that but it seems it won't be available until some time next year. Why? I don't know. “

    Nb edited. Originally quoted 80gb drive.

    Cool so dual tuner and a sizable drive... but umm.. Sky sucks.. hehe.

    Methinks time to think about this free to air stuff a bit more seriously in light of these facts. A nice free to air sat receiver with Tivo like functionality so we could record New Zealand channels in digital would be wicked.

    Would'nt need to worry about guide data in that situation huh?

    Anyway rig that up with ur Internet content and u'd be set, ala home media centre, haha


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