Free to Air (FTA) Satellite Dish Setup


Introduction: Free to Air (FTA) Satellite Dish Setup

About: I like finding new uses for things, making things, and improving things. I'm a student who is currently looking for a better job, one where I can make an actual difference.

I was able to receive around 230 international channels just from one satellite using this simple fixed dish setup. There are a few fta satellites out there which broadcast a variety of channels all around the world. The first step would be to do some research on which satellites and channels are available in your area. Keep in mind that for C band channels you need a dish that's around 8 feet across and for KU band you need one around 35 inches in North America. Also Motorized dishes can move from one satellite to another is that's in your budget. I wanted to spend less than $150 so I went with the fixed dish KU band setup. I used two websites primarily during my research to check if a satellite is receivable from my location and to see what channels are on the satellite. I decided that the one satellite I wanted to connect to was Galaxy 19 97.0*W, it is the most popular KU band satellite.

Step 1: Hardware Required and Installation

I bought everything using ebay, I received everything all at once and quickly with free shipping.

FTA Satellite Dish 33" with mounting hardware $70, HD ready KU band LNB $8, DVBS2 HD Generic FTA Receiver with HDMI $55, RG6 100ft Coaxial Cable $10.

I decided not to install the dish on the side of the house but instead made a free standing base for the dish using 2x4's. Once you pick a location for your dish make sure it is clear of obstructions between the dish and the satellite. Run the RG6 Coaxial cable from the location back to where the receiver and tv are. It is easiest to install the mast before sliding the dish over it, keeping in mind that the mast should be installed perfectly vertical. I used a small level to check my mast before tightening it down. next install the LNB onto the dish and skew it for your satellite. Once you have done that slide the dish onto the mast and adjust the elevation (up/down) to what it needs to be for your location. Most dish mounts have marks on them to indicate this. Once the Elevation is adjusted tighten it down and using your compass point your dish toward your satellite (left/right) Azimuth. Connect and check the signal on the receiver and adjust left/right to get the best signal and then tighten down. There are plenty of tutorials online for installing and tuning a satellite if you need more information check them out.



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    Can I get HBO? I am down here on Pitcairn Island, far below the Equator. We have very few options, and only recently got Internet access to most of Pitcairn. We have never seen Game of Thrones or The Sopranos!
    Please help!

    How many channels can I see on Galaxy 17 ( can't I use any other than that? )

    Can I recieve UK channels too as they are free to air

    Is the satellite receiver plug and play? Do I need to sign up to any site or flash the box? with codes? Does the satellite box unscramble the signals to watch tv?

    Hi my question is can you get all the sports channels??

    I have reliance digital tv dish. Can I have a fta channel setup without recharging it?

    1 reply

    yes only if it uses a ku band lnb and ku band reciever.

    Please Khaleel 123, I wish to find out if you still have up to the 230 channels on this satellite? I wish to connect to it. I reside in Nigeria. Is there anything you did other than the things stated here that made it possible for you to receive up-to that number of channels?

    7 replies

    Some channels come and go, but around 230 are always available for free. It is important to see if galaxy 19 is available in your area and if it is what size ku band dish is required. All this information is available online. It really is just a matter of pointing the dish and connecting it to your reciever.

    Thanks for your response. I checked with and it gave me the readings for installation. But I don't think that Ku-band dish will do the job. From all indications, I will need a C-band dish of 1.8m-2.5m.

    Hope you don't mind asking questions were necessary

    I don't mind answering any questions you have. I looked up Galaxy 19 97W on the dishpointer website location set to Nigeria. And found that it gave me an negative elevation. This means you have to point the dish at the ground in other words that satellite is unavailable there. I would try for another satellite. There are many that are available from there, channel lists are on and availability can be checked with Also the line on the dishpointer site that shows direction from location changes from red to green if the selected satellite is receivable from the selected location.

    Thank you. I really appreciate your help. Never knew two things that you have thought me now before: red turning green to show that the satellite is receivable and negative elevation means none availability.

    Besides you still took your time to check out the satellite's availability from my location. I truly appreciate. Thanks.

    I tried looking up for the channel list. But it appears one would have to search Satellite by Satellite to see the channels in each satellite. Is there a way of seeing all the channels on other than searching satellite by satellite? Perhaps there is something I am not seeing.


    As far as I know that's the only way to do it, somebody needs to make an up to date fta channel master list.

    I checked as suggested but really couldn't find anything as good as Galaxy19 97°W. Opting for 5.0°ses5. Has lots of Christian channels. Wish it had discovery n other channels in g19 97°w.

    I have understood that the elevation from a point on the horizon (say 0°) to any point upward up to 90° perhaps. But if the azimuth is 186°, for example, and I am facing the sun which is the east and which is 90° from true North, does it mean that I have to turn my dish clockwise until I get to 186° which I believe is 6° ahead of true South at 180° coming from the North? Is the dish still on 5.0°E SES5 since it is already facing south?

    They have apps for cell phones either Apple or Android that can help with pointing your dish. These make it easy to get in the general area. You are aiming for the azimuth listed on dishpointer for your location, 5*E has no relavence in relation to your location.

    I was told by some body I can use my old dish from dish network as long as i place sheet metal over the dish and extend the pan to 33 inch. I am going to extend a pan using sheet metal to 48 by 48 square. i hope it will work. if it works i will let you know. replace the dish lnb with fta lnb and extend the pan out to 48 inch by 48 inch using sheet metal and spray paint the metal black set the lnb and there you go i hope. has anybody tried this yet?

    1 reply

    Interesting, wondering if it worked, and if it will work in western USA.

    Would I be able to use an old satellite dish that I currently have (I use to have direct tv but cancelled it) and just put the new LNB on it?

    1 reply

    It might just work, depends on the dish size and your location but HD Ku band lnb's are like $8 so trying it doesn't cost a lot as long as you have a receiver that is capable.

    So far I've only tried the one satellite g19 97*W. It alone has over 230 tv channels along with a bunch of radio stations on it.