In this article, we will explain how to get free satellite TV, which equipment you need, and further details that will enable you to capture the free signal and watch certain channels for free. However, before we can go into a deeper discussion on how to get free satellite TV, you must have at least a basic understanding of what satellite TV is.
Satellite TV represents TV signal beamed to TV receptors from orbiting communications satellites in the Earth gravity field, yet outside the atmosphere’s portion where they’d be grown to earth. Those satellites are located above the earth from a range of 22, 000 to 37, 000 miles. This makes it possible for TV programs to reach extremely wide areas, much wider than was feasible with either the conventional terrestrial or cable, which are both limited by the planet’s curvature and physical distances.
It is time that we move on to learn how satellite television works.
How Does Satellite Television Work?
The signal that your satellite TV receiver captures is initially sent from the ground station via huge dishes. The signal is then received by the orbital satellites. Those satellites turn the signal beams down-to-earth and it is this signal that is captured by your satellite dish. Your decoder box finally transforms that signal, which enables your TV set to display pictures and sound.
There are various types of dishes and decoders, however, the above understanding is all you need for our discussion.
You also know that there are hundreds of satellites orbiting around the earth and many TV channel companies own their own satellites, while others rent them from those larger companies. Moreover, some of the signals are encrypted, while others are not. To make the use of encrypted signals, you will need to pay for the viewing card, which will take care of encoding the signal. However, there are many signals that are “free to air” (FTA). Those are signals limited to your part of the world, according to the satellite’s footprint (t.i. an area of the earth’s surface it broadcasts to).
FTA signals are what you are limited to when you want to learn how to get free satellite TV. FTA signals are basically all Radio and TV signals broadcasted by a satellite and not encrypted.
Can I Get Free Satellite TV?
If you went through the above paragraph, then you know that FTA signals are not encrypted and as such free to use. Now, of course, those are limited to your location. The easiest way to see which satellites offer FTA content and discover them in to go online. There are websites that track content satellites. One of such reputable websites is LyngSat.com.
Using the above website, you can find out which FTA signals are available in your region. Now the information provided may vary from site to site (herein we will focus on the above website). The information obtained on those sites will be used on your Set-Box to tune the channels.
So the answer to the above question is YES. However, in order to be able to get free satellite TV, you will need to purchase the equipment that will let you capture the free signal and convert it into sound and picture.
How to Get Free Satellite TV?
In this section, we will cover all the details on how to get free satellite TV with a dish. So, the above step will help you discover the FTA signals available in your area. Now you need to set in place the equipment that will enable you to capture those signals. This and other details is what we will cover below. After going through each of these sections, you should be able to know how to get free satellite TV.
Satellite Equipment Needed
So now you know that there are certain free signals touching down in your area. In order to capture those signals and finally convert them into sound and picture, you will need specific equipment.
- Satellite dish – In general, the bigger the better applies here. The actual size needed depends on the signals you want to capture. Finding the footprint for the satellite will give you information on the signal strength and dish size required. Many websites have footprint pictures of the main satellites. Smaller satellite dishes‚ (those under 1.2m) are relatively cheap. Also, make sure to check if the dish comes with LNB or not. For some dishes, you will also need a mounting pole. If your dish does not come with one then you will need to get one. If your dish does not come with an LNB then you will need a separate LNB (twin or multiple LNB is needed if you want to use the signal on several TV units).
- Satellite Receiver Box – These days there is a wide range of receivers available (single tuner, twin tuner, PVR). Make sure to choose the one that meets your needs. Prices vary greatly depending on the signal formats supported and various functions (Ethernet jack, wireless in-home signal transmission, etc.). Since these days an HD one is as cheap as an SD one, make sure to get HD one.
- Satellite Signal Meter – It makes sense to invest in a cheap satellite signal meter. It is not an essential piece of equipment, however, it may save you a lot of time and trouble.
- Satellite Cable – Obviously you will need a coaxial cable running between dish, box, and your TV set. Make sure to get a decent length (you don’t want to run out of it). Moreover, if you are using a twin tuner system or even quad, then you will need twin cable, so keep that in mind.
- Tools to complete the installation – To put it all together, you will need proper tools. A ladder, a drill, screwdrivers, spanners, and some cable clips are what normally does the trick.
Once you have obtained all the equipment presented above, you will need to install it. If you are not a handyman and comfortable installing it yourself, you can always hire professionals that will do that for you.
There are two satellite antenna installation methods:
- fixed installation;
- install the satellite dish using a motorized system.
For those with no experience installing a satellite dish, it is recommended to use an HH motor mount, which makes things a lot easier. The motorized system rotates the dish automatically according to the satellite from which you want to receive a TV signal, according to the satellite you configured to be searched on the receiver. With a proper motor, the antenna rotation is relatively fast (around 20-30 seconds) and silent.
So, how to install your free-to-air system? How to install the satellite dish (DTH) to receive channels for free?
Make sure you have the equipment and long enough cables ready.
NOTE: Before proceeding to install a satellite dish, make sure your state/region does not have any law against installing satellite dishes.
- You need to start by physically installing the dish in place. Make the necessary measurements prior to any drilling. Then drill the holes in your wall, or set the satellite pole in the ground or any other way of fixing your dish in a stable and reliable manner.
- Connect the dish but do not tighten really tight yet. Then fit the LNB, and connect the cable and connectors. If you went with a twin tuner, then you will have 2 wires to connect in the back of the satellite receiver. Make that connection to your satellite receiver in the house.
- Connect the receiver to your TV set.
- Turn it all on. If you made the connections right, you should see the satellite receiver menu on your TV.
NOTE: If you decide not to buy a satellite signal meter‚ then you will have to do a manual signal install, which will be a bit tougher and will take much longer.
- Go to Lyngsat (or some other website with satellite FAT signal info) and look at the channels on the satellite you want. Locate the frequency for one of the channels and set it up on your satellite receiver, then turn this channel on. With the satellite receiver connected to the TV and the TV turned on, you would then move the dish slightly until you get a signal. We advise you (if possible) to put the TV as near the window as possible so you can see the progress. Alternatively, make use of the sound to determine the quality of the signal. Perform the fine-tune until you get the best possible picture and then tighten the dish. Very fine tuning can be done by skewing the LNB (moving/twisting it).
NOTE: You can refer to your neighbor’s dish position and point yours roughly in the same direction and go from there. Move the dish side to side very slowly, going a tiny bit lower each time, eventually, you will find the satellite signal you are looking for.
Tuning channels on your satellite receiver
The majority of receivers have an auto search/setup, which makes things rather simple. The ones that don’t have the auto-setup option, are the ones that are made for specific satellites.
Setting up this part should be rather easy. Of course, assuming that you have directed your dish properly and that you are receiving a signal from the correct satellite.
Once you have pointed the dish at the correct satellite (as you have tuned in 1 channel (as described above), then you can simply use the auto setup to search for all channels on this satellite. Keep in mind that a single satellite can offer 10s or 1000s of channels, depending on your country (region) and the type of satellite and FTA available on it.
OTA HDTV Antenna for Free Satellite TV
OTA HDTV Antennas are an alternative option for satellite dishes. There are quite many American citizens, who use OTA HDTV antennas to watch different TV shows. The great thing about these antennas is that they are highly affordable.
Now, whether you are able to capture some free signals or not depends on a wide array of parameters, including the distance of the nearest signal tower. If you are lucky enough to have your home located within 35 miles of a signal tower, you will be able to enjoy the best signal.
If you live very close to the broadcast signal tower, you can exploit an overdrive OTA tuner and an attenuator to capture those free signals.
Choosing the right antenna
It is very important to choose the right antenna. To do that, you will need to determine which channels are available in your area and which of these would you like to be able to receive with your antenna. The antenna types vary quite a lot.
A good place to determine this is the above used Lyngsat or TVfool.com, which pairs the FCC’s broadcast TV database with topographical maps to give you a pretty detailed estimation of which signals will reach your house and how strong they’ll be. It may require some getting used to as some researching to learn to read the results, but the chart you will get is rather simple. It displays the strongest signals on top.
Moreover, if you will decide you want a very wide range of programs, you will want to think about adding a signal amplifier and/or a rotator. To get a good quality signal from the antenna to the TV set, you will also want to use high-quality coaxial cable (“coax” for short).
Keep in mind that predicting which antenna will work with certainty is almost impossible. The information gathered from sites like TV Fool will provide a strong indication of what should work, but there are other variables at work.
In many areas, especially in cities or areas with lots of hills, signals can bounce off obstacles like buildings and cause interference, trees can grow leaves in the spring and block stations you got fine in the winter, and atmospheric conditions can alter the way signals reach your house.
Moving an antenna just a little to one side, up, or down can have a big effect on reception. So be willing to play around.
Mobile applications for Free TV
Now you can make the best use of your smartphone and use it to get free TV for both, premium and basic channels. Besides, you can also connect the TV to the smartphone. To do so, you’ll need an HDMI or high definition multimedia interface and USB OTG adapter cable or On the Go for the same thing. The procedure is relatively very simple. All you need do is follow the directions, as mentioned by the phone manufacturer. Some Internet TV channels you can capitalize on your phone already includes HBO Now, TV, History Channel, ABC TV Live, cartoon channels, etc. Most providers enable you to download the application from the channel on your mobile phone to watch a show of your choice.
To make things even easier for you, we decided to present you with a list of apps that you can get. Below are the 10 best legal free movie apps and free TV show apps. When it comes to FREE content, Androids are the best, thus apps below are mostly limited to Androids.
- Crunchyroll, VRV, Funimation
- Hoopla Digital
- Pluto TV
- Bonus: Roku and Plex
For any of these apps simply visit Google Play store and download them to your Android Smartphone or tablet.
Triple Play Systems for Free Satellite TV
You can use the Triple Play to watch free TV channel. Triple Play refers to an old technology that enables telecommunications companies to negotiate landline phone and high-speed internet through a single Fiber Optic cable connection. Triple Play service providers already include cable TV along with a variety of premium and basic channels. Make sure to check the available options in your area.
Tripleplay’s IPTV and Video Streaming platform is a full AV/IT software solution built onto the HP enterprise-class server ensuring high resilience and reliability compared to black-box alternatives. Their IPTV headend, which comes with a complete set of management tools, receives, encodes, and distributes content across an IP network in digital format, securely to Set Top Boxes, Smart TVs, Personal Computers, Mobile Devices, and Thin Clients.
If you are interested in obtaining a Triple Play system, simply visit their official website (https://www.tripleplay.tv/) and submit your inquiry, which can be done via email.
How to Watch TV Without Cable or Satellite? Alternatives to Cable And Satellite TV
There are several valid options that can get you access to local channels and more without cable.
Amazon Prime Video
If you are a member of Amazon Prime, you have the access to Amazon Prime video, which includes a wide range of TB channels and videos. If you are not an Amazon Prime member, you will be charged the monthly subscription fee of $12.99. One of the top advantages of Amazon Prime Video is that it enables you to watch TV without cable. All need is an Amazon account as well as a device, which is connected to the World Wide Web.
Netflix is a widely popular option that is used all across the globe. If you have access to the internet, you can use Netflix on various mobile devices. There are also convertor boxes available that let you use Netflix directly on your TV. Moreover, most modern ‘smart’ TV sets enable you to access your Netflix account directly on the TV set.
Sling TV is set in place to offer thirty programs for watching. The user is provided with several choices as s/he opts for Sling TV to watch the local channels without the cable. Sling TV falls in the same category as streaming services like Hulu or Netflix, which can all be accessed through the internet connection. It is very popular for watching live streamed TV shows.
Hulu Plus is considered to be one of the highly reputable choices for watching TV without the cable. It is known to stream many cable TV shows, foreign TV series, old movies, and more.
Many latest gaming consoles, including Wii, Xbox, and Play Station enable you TV streaming directly via the interface.
The Google Chromecast is considered to be the most affordable option, especially for those who plan on watching the content on computers.
Apple TV is known to function in a similar way as the television. It operates with the Apple ID for streaming different content across a bundle of Apple devices. If you are the owner of Apple Computer, iPod, or iPad, Apple TV is a very solid choice.
Installation of antennas
Using antennas is regarded as an effective means of watching TV without cable. To obtain a proper signal, you need to connect the outdoor or indoor antenna. Installing the small indoor antenna is less imposing, in comparison to the other models, available in the market. For more details refer to the ‘OTA HDTV Antenna for Free Satellite TV’ section.
Omnidirectional antennas are known to be designed for intercepting the signals in the horizontal directions in a perfect manner. They can also maintain satellite connectivity. In comparison to directional antennas, they are considered to be more expensive.
As the world’s largest online video platform, YouTube enables you to watch a wide range of content for free, of course, as long as you have an internet connection. The exact shows and TV series are very limited.
Free Satellite TV Scams
Unfortunately, there are many people online trying to exploit the trust of those looking for free stuff online. As such, you need to pay extra attention when searching for how to get free satellite TV online.
One well know scan is the “Satellite TV on PC” scam. It includes software that promises to give you access to thousands of premium satellite TV stations on your PC for a one-time cost of $49. Make sure to avoid this offer. This or any other similar “free satellite tv downloads” will NOT get you free MTV, VH1, or any other subscription satellite channels.
Perhaps you have also heard about special satellite receivers you can use, along with ‘FTA keys’ that are downloaded from various sources on the Internet, and that they will enable you to decode and view those encrypted premium channels. These options might be real but are illegal, thus better stay away from them.
Instead, use the valid information provided herein and install your satellite dish properly to capture the FTA signals or use other legit alternatives.