What would you say if I told you you could get satellite TV in your house without having to pay a monthly subscription fee? You’d say “That’s great, but I don’t want to go to jail.” And I’d tell you not to worry, because there’s a way to do it LEGALLY!
Granted, the channel selection is not so great and the equipment start-up costs are pretty high, but it’s a good alternative to over-the-air antennas.
This type of television is called Free-To-Air and all it takes to receive it is a mini-dish and a receiver, just like a typical DirecTV or Dish Network installation.
I found this company selling a starter kit for $199. That includes a 30 inch dish, a single-output LNB, and a reciever.
Here’s a list of the Free-to-Air channels currently available in North America.
Programming is spread across multiple satellites, so you need to also buy a $99 rotor to rotate the dish to tune in to some stations. And I don’t think that tuning is entirely automatic, so I think you may also have to buy a mini-positioner to get the dish pointing where you need it to, if not forever than at least initially. I’m not sure though.
Google hasn’t really been much help in locating more detailed information about Free-To-Air TV in North America, so I’m really not sure of the particulars.
Anyway. Seems like a cool technology if you’ve got the bucks to mess around with it!