When it comes to FTA Receivers you have options with your purchase. There are many to choose from with different features and quality. Some high quality FTA Receivers include Sonicview, Captiveworks, Pansat, Coolsat, Viewsat and more.
Free to Air Satellite Receiver prices start at around $100. These entry level boxes are normally of lower manufacturing quality. They lack good time with support and usually the processors aren't fast enough to give out a detailed program guide. The cost range for a higher quality FTA Receiver can range from $150-$250. FTA Receivers with PVRs and high definition receivers sell for $400-$500 at the moment. These high quality boxes are typically manufactured in South Korea where the quality standards are high.
FTA (Free to Air) satellite transmissions that are unencrypted can be received with an FTA receiver. The MPEG-2 data compression is used in most FTA satellite transmissions and can be decoded by a free to air (FTA) receiver. Most are stand-alone hardware. The receivers use FTA Keys to unencrypt the signals.
A few features to look for in a FTA receiver include an Electonic Program Guide (EPG). You may also want the FTA receiver to let you zoom into a picture and also support picture in picture. Most people prefer their receiver to include a built in Personal Video Recorder (PVR). Some FTA receivers have dual tuners which allows you to view and record two different channels at the same time.
Some FTA Receivers also have great features like S-Video and a Blind Search Power Scan to find all channels transmitted by a satellite. Receivers with On Screen Display (OSD) should allow you to move, delete, and rename channels. In addition to a receiver, you will also need a satellite dish, an LNB and if you want to receive channels from more then one satellite you will need an antenna motor.
Jim Deagle - FTA Receivers