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First a quick definition- Free-to-air satellite transmissions are transmissions that you don't have to pay a subscriber fee. The satellites transmit the stations, sometimes encoded, but frequently not, so if you have a dish that's positioned correctly, you can pick up those stations. You pick up those stations with a satellite dish. While you can certainly have a dish system installed that you pay a monthly fee for, this book is about building your own system to pick up free signals.

My husband is a tinkerer who has been messing with building antennas for years. FTA satellite antennas were the obvious next step.

This well written manual is written for non-experts and hobbyists who are just getting interested in building home satellite television systems. The language is very clear and defines the technical jargon in easily understandable ways.

You learn how to set up anything from a small dish or if your budget and area zoning allows, a 6 foot dish.

A resource list allows you to find the materials needed to build your dish, and sites that will help you position your dish according to location.

The book also explains about how satellite transmissions work, going into the science in a clear way.

There is also information on setting up surround sound for the best satellite television experience possible.

I'm really impressed with how well it covers the subject matter without becoming too dry to read. It's laid out in such a way that it's easy to find what you need to go back over while your building your system.

In a world where a lot of people think they have to have cable or a paid satellite service just to get basic channels, this opens up a lot of possibilities in finding free transmissions for a one time cost. If you're in an area where cable is not an option, or you don't need premium cable stations, this is a great alternative.

My husband was completely inspired by it. Our neighborhood will NOT allow a 6 ft dish, despite how much he wants one now.

If you're like my husband, or you know someone who is as interested in such projects, I really recommend this book.

We don't have cable, at first, it wasn't an option for our neighborhood. Now that it is, it's something we've found we can live without. So this is a good, less expensive option for us. It costs less to set up a basic system than cable does for a year.

[I received a complimentary copy of the book to review on my craft blog- Don't Eat the Paste. My reviews are always my honest opinion]
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on November 28, 2012
Book is long on talk, short on concrete information and examples. References are dated and of little help. On the plus side the book does give you a broad brush look at what potential lies in a satellite system.
Unfortunately the book does not provide enough information for a novice or even mid-tech person to build your own system.

I recommend a pass or see if your local library might have one
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on September 25, 2013
I wanted to learn about FTA and evaluate then the possibilities / advantages to start in that line. As an ignorant of this subject I was looking for a book that could explain in plain English what is all about FTA. This book fulfilled my expectations and convinced me to join into this hobbie.
Thank you Dennis!
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on April 29, 2012
Not much useful information. If you are a complete beginner, and don't know a phillips screwdriver from a Torx , then maybe.
I also didn't buy it to install a dish on my motorhome. Not much technical data. I thought it might have data on sizing a dish for various locations, based on radiation foot prints , etc. ... It Didn't. Google is far more informative than this book.

NB:"Be detailed and specific." This book is not worth that much effort.
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on May 3, 2013
I have never been one to go with the crowed. The net works put out the signal for all to see,just like the radio stations do. We live in a city of 80,ooo in Europe and there is not one cable company there. I will be building my own FTA (free to ais) system and not have to pay any one to watch TV. There are enough electronic wizards that will help you build a FTA system and just look how much you will save every month.
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on July 8, 2013
it sounds like the person who wrote this book knows what he is doing, but I think he could do a better job on the installation of the dish. I think a lot more photos would help. I installed a 10 ft. dish back in the 80s by taking a bunch of photos of a display model. I did learn a lot from this book, but I think a person that does not have any experience with this stuff may have a problem.
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on March 3, 2013
There was a lot of introductory tech material on tools, cables, tv's etc. but only two chapters on what I bought the book for. I skimmed all but the receiver discussion and still felt lost shopping for one. I put up my own BUD and did analog C-band in the 90's but it is all quite different now.
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on January 14, 2014
This book is exactly what i needed in order to put an old dish to use for receiving free to air tv.
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on December 25, 2012
I was looking for a book on this subject and this one is exactly as described and delivered promptly. I recommend this for anyone in free-to-air TV.
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on March 3, 2014
This is a great book. It tell,s you everything you need to know.I would order again.If you want to know anything about [F T A]satellite TV system,s this is it.
Thank you,
Louie
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