How to get TV channels for free using a satellite dish

How to get TV channels for free using a satellite dish

We will explain here how you can get TV channels for free using a satellite dish in case we want to get rid of our cable provider and get rid of paying a subscription.

In case we have some free time and we can get over the commodity of having the satellite dish installed by the service provider, we can manage ourselves the TV antenna installation.

In order to get free TV channels using a satellite dish (DTH) we need the following:

  • satellite dish (antenna): the antenna can be over 1 meter (3 feet) in diameter or under 1 meter (3 feet), the bigger the better;
  • LNB (one or more outputs depending on the number of TV sets we want to use inside), we can have single-LNBs or multi-LNBs (dual-LNB or even quad-LNB);
  • receiver (decoder), preferably to be bought from a TV/media store (not from a cable/service provider);
  • dish TV cable and connectors (the TV cable length depends on the distance between the satellite dish and the receiver/TV set);

How to install the satellite dish (DTH) to receive channels for free?

To receive signal from a satellite, the antenna installation can be done using one of the following methods:

  • fixed installation;
  • install the satellite dish using a motorised system;

In case we do not have any experience installing a satellite dish, it is recommended to use an HH motor mount, as it is the easiest method. This motorised system rotates automatically the dish according to the satellite from which we want to receive TV signal, depending on the satellite we configured to be searched on the receiver.

The antenna rotation is fast (around 20-30 seconds) and silent depending on the distance between the initial satellite and the destination one. Using a satellite we can receive from tens to thousand of TV channels, depending on the satellite.

Which are the costs to receive channels for free using a satellite dish?

Although the TV channels we will receive are free to air (FTA), therefore we don’t have to pay something for them, we will have to invest a small amount of money for the equipment we need to receive the channels. We will have to invest in the beginning somewhere between $100 – $300 but after this we will not pay a subscription, therefore the investment will be recovered in time.

How to install the satellite dish (DTH) to receive channels for free?

In order to get free channels using a satellite dish, we would need the following:

  • a satellite dish with the radius of minimum 0.8-0.9 meters (minimum 3 feet), the bigger the better; prices start from around $11 and can be up to $30;
  • an universal LNB – price can be around $17;
  • TV cable, length depends on the distance between the satellite dish and receiver; price can be around a quarter / meter (3.3 feet);
  • a DVB-S2 satellite receiver – price can be between $60 – $75; if we already have a TV set with a DVB-S2 receiver we don’t need a separate receiver, we can use the one included in the TV set; some of the best satellite receivers are Amiko;
  • an H-H motor system which allows rotating the antenna according to the configured satellite on the receiver; this motor systems costs around $50 – $75;

The equipments can be bought from a TV/media store or online.

After we acquired the equipments described above, we need to install the satellite dish, to install the TV cable and configure the receiver depending on the satellite we want to receive signal from. In order to install the satellite dish and cable we can ask a DTH technician in case we don’t know how to do it.

We recommend the satellite Hotbird Eutelsat, in general SES Astra satellites but it depends on the country we want to receive the free channels. If you want us to recommend a satellite, please leave a comment mentioning the country where you want to install the satellite dish.

Important! Before proceeding to install a satellite dish, make sure your country does not have any law against installing satellite dishes. 

If you have questions regarding the installation, configuration, the devices used or any other question, please leave a comment.


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  1. Hi I am in Guam (Pacific Islands, Marianas Islands) and would like to find out information about getting and setting up a satellite dish system. I’m paying for cable subscription service for tv channels, internet, and phone and that the services is getting expensive. Would like to know if converting to satellite dish for tv channels is the way to go? How much would it cost for a complete system, etc…

  2. Hi Alex I am in Central italy and already have a satelite dish and was curoius what I would require to get FTA. I currently recieve only 6 chanels and do not have a subscription.

  3. Hi, I am Abdulahinan from Uganda.I bought a yoohon satellite dish with TV having in built Dvb. Can it work in Uganda?.it still failed to show signal.

  4. Hi Alex I live in Puerto Rico. I have direct tv hooked up but I discontinued the service. How i set it up again to see FTA.
    Thank you

  5. Hi Alex, I live in southern Ontario, Canada and have a Bell Satellite dish hooked up but we discontinued service. How do I set it up again to view Free USA TV & Radio please.
    Kindest regards,
    Mrs. Smith

    • Hi Mrs. Smith,
      First of all, you would need a decoded receiver to use it, not sure if you still have the one from Bell and if it can be used (I’m not familiar with this telecom provider).
      Then, you will have to search for a satellite which has free to air channels.

    • It depends what satellites you are receiving in your area, I suggest using a satfinder or contacting a technician to assist setup the configuration.

    • Hi Amado,
      Unfortunately, for Philippines I can’t find any info regarding available satellites, I suggest you do a scan and see what satellites you can receive.

  6. In Lagos state – Nigeria presizely,please I want to use 4 dish with 1 DVB-S2 receiver,one dish for HD action movie channels,one dish for christian (church) channels,one dish for cartoons/animation,one dish for news channels like cnn,bbc,cgtn,fox news,france24 e.t.c. Please tell me the satellite to set each of the 4 dish/channels I intend to hook unto. Thank you.

  7. United States specifically Louisvile Ky. Do you have a more detailed/specific equipment list. Ranging from best to cheapest including antennas receivers etc. I want to receive as many free broadcast stations as I can for my personal use. Thank you

    • Hi David,
      Price would depend on the stores available in your area or the online shops which ship to your state, unfortunately I don’t have info on this and you would need to search for yourself online. The technical specifications can be seen on the article above.

    • Hi Michael,
      In Ghana you can try one of the following satellites:
      -Astra 4A;
      -Badr 7;
      -Astra 2F;
      -Yamal 402;
      -Intelsat 37E;
      -SES 4;

  8. Satellite Eutalsat W3A, It entered operational service on 15 May 2004. I read some where that the lifespan is always 15 years is it possible that it’s still accessible.

    Thank you

    • Hi Joseph,
      I couldn’t tell you for sure if it will still work as I can test it.
      I recommend checking yourself if it works.

  9. Alex, thank you for the information.
    I have seen the posts of my fellows in Uganda, I will try it. Is it ok we give you feedback on how far we have gone.

    • Hello,
      You can try the following:
      -Apstar 6C 134.0°E;
      -Measat 3 91.5°E;
      -Thaicom 8 78.5°E;
      -Hotbird 13B 13.0°E;
      -Galaxy 19 97.0°W;

    • Hi Torniex,
      For Nigeria you should be able to find free TV channels on the following satellites:
      -Astra 2G 28.2° East;
      -Hispasat 30W-5 30° West;
      -Hotbird 13B;
      -Eutelsat 9B;

    • Hi Rob,
      Merry Christmas!
      Unfortunately, I can’t find the satellites you could use in Australia, however I recommend using Freeview, a digital platform in Australia meant to gather all the free-to-air TV content under one platform.

  10. Hi , i live in the Netherlands now , i have a sattelite dish and receiver from another coutry where i pay an abbonament ! Can i use another hdmi receiver to receive the same programs from the same sattelite ? For Romanoan tv , is not Astra or Eutelsat ! Thanks , Dan

    • Hi Dan,
      It depends on what satellite you are refering to. With another received you cand receive the free to air channels from that satellite or from another satellite.

  11. I am living in belize central America we speak English but I live in the rural area of the country where there no cable so would like to purchase my own satellite dish. What would be the total cost in purchasing?

    • Hi Derrick,
      Total cost should be somewhere between 100-300$ depending where we are located, which online stores deliver in our area, or even shops where you can purchase what you require.
      Please read the article published above as I mentioned what is needed and how much these usually cost.
      Do let me know if you need additional info.

  12. Please is it possible to decrypt encrypted channels with a free air satellite receiver?
    On a Parabolic Antenna n precisely a Eutesat satellite.

    • Encrypted channels can be decrypted only using a receiver and subscription from a telecom TV provider, it can’t be done for free from what I know. You can only view FTA channels.

    • In Cameroon you should be able to receive signal from Astra 2G with an antenna of minimum 65cm diameter.
      What type of antenna ar you using?
      What configuration did you try until now?

    • These should be some satellites available in the US but I’m not sure exactly which states does each satellite cover:

      Galaxy 19 Satellite at 97.0°W
      Galaxy 3C Satellite at 95.0°W
      SES 2 Satellite at 87.0° West
      Eutelsat 113 West A (Satmex 6) – 113.0°W

      Perhaps you can let me know which is the State you are interested in?

    • What codes do you refer to? Do you have a satellite dish and receiver and you want to configure the receiver? What is the country in which you want to use this?

    • Hi Pete,
      The equipment and prices can be seen in the article I published above.
      In case you need additional info, please let me know.

    • Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any information regarding satellited for TV in Maldives and I can’t test this myself as I’m not from the Maldives.

      • I live in South Sudan, and I know how to install any satellite dish. Please advise which satelite brings free on air english channels, most people here like nilesat 7 which is full of middle east TVs in Arabic language and I don’t like them.