Free-to-air satellite TV in the USA + Kodi
#1
Hi all,

I recently had some success with the HDHR Extend over the air box and a roof antenna and the Kodi frontend.

I have an old (but recently installed) AT&T DirectTV dish in my front yard and the cables still attached obviously. Will this work if I can adjust the angle? And is there an equivalent network box like the HDHR that broadcasts free to air satellite feeds over your network? If so, does it work with any Kodi PVR frontend? (I've heard NextPVR?) Will it add the channels within the current ones I have in my PVR screen?

Any tips would be greatly appreciated
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#2
(2019-04-12, 04:01)leopheard Wrote: Hi all,

I recently had some success with the HDHR Extend over the air box and a roof antenna and the Kodi frontend.

I have an old (but recently installed) AT&T DirectTV dish in my front yard and the cables still attached obviously. Will this work if I can adjust the angle? And is there an equivalent network box like the HDHR that broadcasts free to air satellite feeds over your network? If so, does it work with any Kodi PVR frontend? (I've heard NextPVR?) Will it add the channels within the current ones I have in my PVR screen?

Any tips would be greatly appreciated
A DirectTV dish is pretty useless because it is designed for a high power direct-to-home signal.  Free-to-air signals are much weaker and also are on a different frequency (Ku band rather than Ka band, or C band if you have a really large dish).  The cables would be fine, but you'd need a different LNB (the thing the cable connects to on the end of the dish arm) and probably a larger dish.

As for the tuners there is nothing exactly like a HDHR, but there are satellite tuners.  You can get a PCIe card that goes into a computer, or an external tuner that connects via a USB port, and these would be in or connected to the computer running NextPVR or whatever backend software you use.  I personally don't know anything about NextPVR; I have used Tvheadend but that runs under Linux.  My guess is that NextPVR would work but can't be sure.  An article that explains how to do it using Tvheadend can be found at https://freetoairamerica.wordpress.com/2...tvheadend/ but be aware that this article is about two and a half years old, so some things may have changed.  Even if you have no interest in running Linux or Tvheadend, I suspect you would learn a few things by reading that article.

With Tvheadend at least, the channels do appear along with the current ones in your PVR.

Depending on what you want to watch, you may find that there's not that much of interest on the Ku band.  At this point in time there is arguably far much more of interest on C band, but to receive that reliably you need a large dish (minimum six feet but if you want to get the weaker signals you need at least a 7.5 or 10 foot dish).  But everyone is different so if you are looking for certain types of free-to-air channels, Ku band may indeed have enough of those to keep you happy.  And note that the big communications companies are trying their hardest to get the FCC to relinquish part of C-band for terrestrial data transmissions, so the future of C-band is a bit murky these days.
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#3
@birdwatcher covered it pretty well.  If you don't won't to figure out which PC card to buy, there are some satellite receivers that do provide http access that can be recorded by NextPVR and some other PVR backends, much like the HDHR. 

Your best bet is to try and find out what broadcasts are visible in your area from a dealer.  FTA satellite broadcasts in English are rare so you might not want to spend the money.  If they offer IPTV as another solution, check the legality first.

Martin
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