Free to Air

Free to Air is a term used to describe unencrypted radio and television broadcasts. These broadcasts allow households with a satellite dish to receive the satellite signals legally even without subscription. These broadcasts may have geographical restrictions. It is often encoded for MPEG-2 video.

Free to Air is often used for international broadcasting. It is a subset of TeleVision Receive Only (TRVO), and was formerly transmitted on C Band. Some parts of the world obtain encrypted Free to Air satellite channels on VHF and UHF frequency bands.

Nowadays, most television networks in the US are not available unless one has a satellite dish service or cable subscription, which are both able to break encrypted codes. If programming is broadcast via satellite and one has no satellite dish, Free to Air programming may be hard to acquire. Few stations still use previous broadcasting methods; thus, TV ear antennas have been widely replaced.

There are still numerous Free to Air radio broadcasts obtainable without having to subscribe to a satellite radio service. Majority of radio programs are broadcast in a Free to Air format. Excluding public radio, listeners must bear with frequent commercial interruptions. Some listeners may prefer to pay a fee that enables them to obtain uninterrupted programming.

Even now, majority of television stations with Free to Air format pause for commercial breaks or notification for sponsorships, with the exclusion of stations like PBS, an educational broadcaster. PBS does hold pledge drives wherein the station broadcasts its most popular programs with long breaks to plea for people’s support to the network.

Free to Air satellite television is fitting for areas where terrestrial reception is a problem. This is because it has wide-ranging geographical coverage even in locations where terrestrial signal reception is weak, such as those in rural areas, which are very distant from major cities.

To receive Free to Air satellite broadcast, you will need a satellite dish antenna, an antenna motor, an FTA receiver or satellite PC card, and a Low Noise Block Converter.

Additional Reading on Free To Air Television