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FTA Keys Explained (Simplified)


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This is a very broad and simplistic overview of what FTA Keys are and why they are so popular. A more ‘tech’ style article will be published soon for those who want to understand the frequencies, code structures, K band limitations and other aspects of Free to Air TV.

FTA, the abbreviation for “Free to Air", simply refers to the receiving of satellite signals via a satellite dish, and decoding them to be displayed as picture (Television) on your TV. To view “Free to Air" signals, you must input a set of keys into your receiver in order to descramble the signals properly.

FTA Keys simply remove the barriers that normally prevent non-subscribers from receiving the Free to Air signals sent out from certain satellites. The keys give the holder of those keys the freedom to access multiple satellite signals. The keys are inputted into an FTA Receiver that usually sits on or under a TV much like a DVD layer.

A typical satellite dish can pick up signals from only one or two satellites. An FTA receiver is a special kind of dish/receiver combo that has been programmed to pick up free to air signals. The owner must input the keys to ‘unlock’ or descramble the signals. Once unlocked, the FTA receiver has the ability to pick-up the many signals that float freely in the air.

How do you enter the keys into the receiver? FTA keys are really just a set of numbers. They can be entered manually or through files, called FTA Bin Files. They can also be entered via a computer that is attached to the receiver via USB. There are so many different types of FTA receivers that explaining every operation would take pages - the best way to find out is to simply go to a Free to Air webpage and look one that supports your model. Once a receiver gets those numbers, it can pick-up and decode the many signals in the air. FTA Keys unlock the proper program on the receiver, much the same way that a password can unlock a computer program. The programmed receiver responds to the “code word", the numbers contained in the key.

For those who want to enjoy the programming on Satellite TV, but who do not want to pay for Satellite TV, the choice to access FTA keys is more and more being viewed as an economical alternative. There are now several different companies that charge for the service of providing updated FTA Keys for your receiver, as well as full setup support and FAQ's for your particular receiver. Because the cost for these services are much less than the amount of money that would otherwise go to the Satellite Company, many TV viewers now pay for this service. It is important to mention that Free To Air TV is perfectly legal.

One can find many FTA Key companies online. Because of high competition, rates are low and usually include full support options. Find a company that offers all the latest FTA Keys AND offers free support for your receiver setup. Customers searching for a way to get keys should look for a company that has constantly updated keys. Keys are constantly changing, and only a handful of companies online get updated FTA Keys (and pass them to their customers) in an immediate fashion.

For a more technical overview of Free to Air, visit the article FTA Keys Explained.

Jared Mumford is an Internet Marketer and Freelance Writer. FTA Keys information provided by


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