Fun new free channels on satellite

FTA satellite
TV news reporters clowning around before their report
With my FTA satellite receiver, I can watch live remote footage as reporters set up and sometimes clown around before their 30 seconds on air.

Did you know that there are over 250 free TV channels that don’t require internet access or a subscription? They’re available through free-to-air satellite via a medium-sized (30-inch) dish and some inexpensive equipment. (When I mention this, newcomers usually look at me like I’m crazy or nefarious. I’m definitely not nefarious, but I digress.) Because there are so many channels, and because they come and go without warning, I created FTAList.com, which is now in its 10th year of operation. FTAList only carries permanent (until they change) TV channels, but there are also dozens of radio channels. My favorite FTA sessions are live feeds of news crews and sporting events, but those are gone within hours; your best bet to find such ephemeral TV is constant scanning or Ricks Wildfeed Forum.

Long-term (over a month) readers may remember that this blog was once known as FTABlog, because its original purpose was to talk about free-to-air satellite news and other FTAList stuff. The last few days, I’ve been checking the skies to update those FTA channel listings. So what the heck, let’s talk again about what’s new on free satellite TV these days.

Over at AMC 21 (125 degrees west), there are more PBS feeds than you can imagine, including some PBS channels you might not get locally: PBS Kids, V-Me, World, Create, and FNX.

On Galaxy 18 (123 W), the University of Washington channel is gone (although available as a live stream on the internet) but KBS World is available again after years of being scrambled. Both were around during the FTA glory days, so I notice them more than some others.

Another channel that emerged after years of scrambling is Macy’s Satellite Network on AMC 15 (105 w). It’s not all that interesting, but there are several Macy’s music channels on the same transponder.

Azteca 7 popped up in a couple of places, Eutelsat 117 (116.8 W) and in Azteca 13’s old slot at Galaxy 25 (93.1 W). Azteca 7 shows some pro football games (in Spanish, of course); it had the Pittsburgh-Denver playoff game last Sunday.

The majority of Ku-band FTA channels can be found on one satellite, Galaxy 19 (97 W), so it also occupies the majority of my updating time. Sadly, I’m not that interested in most of the channels there, either because they’re preoccupied with someone else’s flavor of religion or in a language I don’t understand or both. I’m happy to see Retro TV hanging in there, and I wish more of its sister channels were also available.

So there’s a quick update on some of the FTA changes I saw this month. For more complete channels listings and information about how to watch, visit FTAList. Next time, I’ll return to terrestrial TV, and the best antennas to receive it.

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