A free to air receiver is a satellite television receiver that is designed to receive unencrypted broadcasts to deliver free satellite Television. If you are thinking of cutting the cord from subscription based television services, setting up an FTA satellite should be your option.
The receiver is free to air, which means that it picks up free satellite channels. It also comes with a card slot to enable you to subscribe to services if you are interested. The best free to air receiver is capable of working with different satellites (Source).
With the move to digital broadcasts, dish sizes have shrunk to an acceptable size and Free to Air channels which are now on the KU band. To receive the Free to Air channels, you will have to install a satellite dish and Low Noise Block (LNB).
When interested in a free to air receiver, it is important that you find a suitable receiver that will take care of all your needs. In this review, we will review the top rated FTA receivers on the market.
Best FTA Receivers 2018
|VOdmy Free Sat FTA Receiver||Support Biss Key, DRE, and PowerVu|
|Dynosat S2 HD FTA Receiver||DISEQC and USALS Motor Positioner Compatible|
|Manhattan SatPro Complete HD FTA Receiver||Includes S-Video, USB, and ViewSat Ultra Lite|
|Dreamlink T5 HD FTA Receiver||DVB-S2 and DVB-S Compliant and Free HDMI Cable|
|Dreamlink HD FTA Receiver||DISEQC and USALS Motor Positioner Compatible|
1. VOdmy Free Sat FTA Receiver – Best OverallThe VOdmy is an original free Sat 1080P Digital High Definition satellite receiver. The product supports Universal Serial Bus (USB), Wi-Fi to network sharing and USB Personal Video Recorder (PVR) ready. It also supports YouTube via USB Wi-Fi dongle. The broadcast range is 125 feet and the receiver supports multi-room capabilities.
This device has a microprocessor controller that ensures a reliable and stable performance. It supports different picture formats such as Joint Photographic Expert Group (JPEG), Portable Network Graphics (PNG), Bitmap (BMP) and Graphic Interchange Format (GIF). With it, you are promised a perfect sensual experience.
This receiver has an easy menu system with a plug and play installation. It uses multiple onscreen display languages such as English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, polish and Arabic.
A professional technical support website is provided for you to ask any questions on problems you may be facing. You may write an email or ask your query on the forum.
There is no need of drilling holes to run cables as the system works on a wireless aspect. It provides you with a home theatre experience as it removes cable clutter from your home. Its transmitter is capable of extending uncompressed HD signals.
2. Dynosat S2 HD FTA Receiver – Great on Motorized PositionersDynosat is a free to air with AC3 1080P blind scan. It requires C or KU Band dish installed before it works and ranges from 24W to 139W C-Band. This receiver is perfect on motorized systems and positioners. It includes remote control, which can be programmed to turn your TV on or off. It has one button for recording.
The machine has a fast, accurate blind scan. A maximum of 5000 channels are available with hundreds of free to air channels. Ultra-connectivity includes RF output used for connecting to older Televisions. The output can be used to watch television in two rooms with a single receiver.
A USB thumb drive can be connected for scheduling an event to record or even recording live Television so that you can watch later. Dynosat works on a time shift mode. With the thumb drive, you are capable of pausing live TV and resuming later on. It can also be useful in backing up channel list and satellite settings.
The packaging comes with a remote control, batteries, High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) and RCA cables.
3. Manhattan SatPro Complete HD FTA Receiver – Best US Made FTA ReceiverThis receiver is a complete RC-1978HD FTA system and dish with meter. The product includes ViewSat Ultra Lite receiver and USB in front and S-Video on back. It comes with a 76 centimeters satellite dish and orbital tracker with excellent reception.
The Manhattan SatPro includes New Standard KU single HD LNP for the best reception. The product also includes an analog satellite signal finder, which helps you align your satellite dish. It includes over 10000 TV and 3000 IPTV channels.
The receiver includes analog satellite signal finder that helps in installation. It is ideal for galaxy 18, 19, 25, 97W and more. The packaging comes with a remote, batteries, HDMI cable and user manual.
It has eight favorite groups selection. Multi-languages include English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Russian, Arabic, Polish and others. The receiver allows for various channel editing functions such as renaming, deleting, locking, moving and sorting.
4. Dreamlink T5 HD FTA Receiver – Brilliant Colors & Many ChannelsThis is the best Dreamlink FTA receiver on the market. It features an external USB 2.0 HOST HDD for time shift, playback or live recording. Brilliant colors up to 65, 535 full resolution on screen display. It also supports multi-languages.
It has a maximum of ten thousand channels that are programmable. Has a parental and receiver lock for parental guidance. Has a powerful channel controls, including favorites, skip, move, lock and delete.
The device has True to Life High Definition, Composite Video Blanking and Sync (CVBS) audio and video via RCA and a closed caption support. It is DVB-S and DVB-S2 compliant. It is multi LNB controlled by Universal Satellite Automatic Location System (USALS) and Digital Satellite Equipment Control-DisEqC version 1.2.
5. Dreamlink HD FTA Receiver – Supports Multi-LanguageThis is the newest receiver in the FTA market and has grown very popular within a very short period. It is about a quarter the size of other receivers in the market. It packs quite a punch for only a quarter of the size.
It is a dream Link HD Free to Air Satellite receiver with HDMI output and PVR capabilities through USB port 2.0. The device has an inbuilt Ethernet/LAN port.
It is best in class SD and HD channel picture. The external USB 2.0 HOST supports for live recording and time shift or playback simultaneously.
The product supports multi-languages, has brilliant colors up to 65,535 full screen resolution. It is multi LNB controlled by USALS and DisEqC control version 1.2 and includes true to life High Definition.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Free To Air Receiver
With the evolution of technology, a Television has become a necessity and is no longer an accessory. It is not restricted to entertainment as you can have access to economic, political literal and cultural news from all over the world.
The many different Television channels air news, documentaries, entertainment shows and much more. However, owning this device is not enough as you require a satellite device so as to watch numerous channels. The satellite includes a dish, Silicone-Controlled Rectifier (SCR) and a receiver.
There are many different types of receivers available in the market, making it confusing when selecting. They all have different features, designs, brands and models.
Before purchasing, you should look for the important specifications that make a receiver outstanding. Below are some of the main considerations you ought to look into.
Type of Satellite Receiver
Receivers can be divided into normal, High Definition and digital receivers. The normal receivers receives signal coming from the LNB that collects the signal from satellites. It then transforms the signal to audio and video and projects it on your television screen. It is the most common and cheapest type.
High Definition receivers receive signal, converts it and projects it on your screen. The difference between this kind of receiver and the normal is that it projects images that are high definition. The television channels, which transmits High Definition signals require this kind of receiver to be seen in High Definition quality.
Watching High Definition channels require three factors: the channel ought to be transmitted from its source in high definition, having a HD receiver and a HD Television. This allows you to view better quality up to ten times.
A digital receiver has more than one task. In addition to receiving TV signals, decrypting and projecting, you can rewind, pause and record programs scheduled to air later on.
Receiving Radio Signals
Regardless of the receiver type, you may want to listen to radio channels by using your television. This feature will enable you to do so without having to buy a radio. Make sure you check for this feature to enjoy your favorite radio channels.
Some receivers have USB ports while some may not. A USB port enables you to connect the product to other devices such as computer, iPod and others. With it, you may listen to music or access other applications on your television directly.
Distribution to Multi-TV Screens
You may require a receiver that supports two or more TV screens. The system is designed to receive signals then transmits pictures and sounds to more than one television through an output. It is advisable to check this specification if you are interested in powering more than one screen at home.
This is a crucial feature, especially when you want to live stream favorite shows or music through online websites.
Stationary or Motorized
Free to Air satellite systems are divided into stationary or motorized. For the stationery system, it is designed for specific targeting of television channels. Once installed, you will have to determine where to point the dish to get optimum channels.
The motorized system requires a motor that is attached to the dish. It is then connected to the receiver. This system enables you to point your dish at any satellite. With such a setup, you will get access to different broadcast lineup, which maximizes your viewing experience.
You should consider the number of television and radio channels provided by a given receiver. They all range from hundreds to thousands of channels. One that is versatile in terms of channels will ensure to transform your experience to a more exciting and enjoyable one.
The set-up and operation of the receiver should be easy. You should not be forced to incur costs in hiring a professional to set up the entire system soon after buying. Ease of use will ensure you get to enjoy what you paid for.
Our Final Review
The advantage of having a FTA receiver is that you can use it anywhere be it in town or remote areas. It is a good source of over-the-air reception as compared to HDTV antenna that struggles to get good signal.
Selecting a Free to Air Receiver is not a difficult decision, more so if you choose what you want from the different types, according to your budget. Keep in mind that the most expensive receivers cost less as compared to months or years of subscription based services. They are certainly worthwhile for cost-conscious viewing.
With the many different brands available, the receiver you select should guarantee your satisfaction regardless of your needs. The top types and important considerations provided above ensures your needs are well taken care of.