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Build Your Own Free-to-Air (Fta) Satellite Tv System [Paperback]

Dennis C. Brewer
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 8, 2011 0071775153 978-0071775151 1


Replace or expand your paid TV services with Free-to-Air television programming with ease. Build Your Own Free-to-Air (FTA) Satellite TV System shows how to affordably put together your own subscription-free home entertainment center from start to finish.

Find out how to choose the right components, set up a satellite dish and receiver, fine-tune reception, add local over-the-air stations, and go mobile with your FTA TV system. You'll get full details on recording to the latest digital devices, installing a TV card in your PC, viewing video over the Internet, and integrating theater-quality audio. Photos and diagrams illustrate each step along the way. Comprehensive lists of technical terms and definitions, available channels and satellites, and dish-aiming steps are also included in this practical guide.


  • Equipment, component, and tool selection
  • Satellite dish and FTA receiver installation
  • Stereo, 5.1, and 7.1 sound
  • Dish alignment and synchronization
  • Local over-the-air channel reception
  • Video over the Internet and movies on demand
  • DVD players, DVRs, PCs, and VCRs
  • Mobile, RV, and remote Free-to-Air TV

Frequently Bought Together

Build Your Own Free-to-Air (Fta) Satellite Tv System + FREE Internet: Don't pay for internet - Save hundreds of dollars a year by building one of these simple WIFI antennas! + X2-fta Dvb-s Mini Digital Satellite Receiver (New Version)
Price for all three: $55.05

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dennis C. Brewer is a Novell Certified Network Engineer and IT solutions specialist with more than 14 years of experience in field. He has authored several books as well as enterprise-level IT and telecommunications policies, procedures, and standards currently in use by the State of Michigan.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Tab Electronics; 1 edition (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071775153
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071775151
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #591,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dennis C. Brewer is a graduate of Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. His varied career path includes both military, government, and private sector experience.

His military service includes the U.S. Navy having attained the rank of Chief Petty Officer; Interior Communications Electrician with sea service on the USS Bristol and USS Prairie, and nearly six years as a Navy Recruiter for the Milwaukee Recruiting District stationed in Houghton, Michigan.

After serving in the Navy, he attended Michigan Tech and co-enrolled in the Senior Army Reserve Officer Training Course and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1981 in the Combat Engineer Branch, U.S. Army Reserve. The Governor of Michigan accepted his transfer request to serve the Michigan Military Establishment in the Michigan Army National Guard where he served honorably for twelve years in many engineer units and retired as a Captain in 1992.

His work experience highlights include loan officer, electrician, federal facilities management specialist, and information technology solutions specialist. Dennis retired from the State of Michigan; Department of Information Technology, Office of Enterprise Security in 2006 and returned to the Copper Country in Michigan's Upper Peninsula where he writes books and magazine articles and runs an independent consulting practice.

He and his wife Penny enjoy the Michigan outdoors and travel extensively in their class C motor home.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for DIY people who don't want cable January 14, 2012
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.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a complete waste of time and money, but close November 28, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars build your own free-to-air (FTA Satellite TV System April 29, 2012
By baomike
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Fer Or
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full Explanation July 31, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A bit over my head, but the extra information may be useful for those that understand it. I got what I need and I am keeping the book in my tech library for future use.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am tired of paying money to a cable company May 3, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exactly what I ordered. January 14, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too little satellite dish and receiver info. March 3, 2013
By Chris
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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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