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Free-to-air (FTA) services are
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Media (communication), medium used for transmitting moving images in grayscale, black-and-white or in color, and in two or 3D television, three dimensions and sound. The ...

television
(TV) and
radio Radio is the technology of signaling and communicating Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Organization, groups through the use ...

radio
services broadcast in clear (unencrypted) form, allowing any person with the appropriate receiving equipment to receive the signal and view or listen to the content without requiring a
subscription The subscription business model is a business model in which a customer must pay a recurring price at regular intervals for access to a product. The model was pioneered by publishers of books and periodicals in the 17th century, and is now used ...
, other ongoing cost, or one-off fee (e.g.,
pay-per-view Pay-per-view (PPV) is a type of or service that enables a viewer to pay to watch individual events via private telecast. Events can be purchased through a platform using their , an automated telephone system, or through a live . There has been ...
). In the traditional sense, this is carried on
terrestrial radio , Sweden , Norway Radio broadcasting is transmission of audio signal, audio (sound), sometimes with related metadata, by radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. In terrestrial radio broadcasting the radio waves are broadcast by a land-bas ...

terrestrial radio
signals and received with an antenna. FTA also refers to channels and broadcasters providing content for which no subscription is expected, even though they may be delivered to the viewer/listener by another carrier for which a subscription is required, e.g.,
cable television Cable television is a system of delivering television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two o ...
, the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected s that uses the (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ' that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to ...

Internet
, or
satellite File:ERS 2.jpg, alt=, A full-size model of the Earth observation satellite ERS 2 In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object that has been intentionally placed into orbit. These objects are called artificial satellites to distingui ...
. These carriers may be mandated (or OPT) in some geographies to deliver FTA channels even if a premium subscription is not present (providing the necessary equipment is still available), especially where FTA channels are expected to be used for emergency broadcasts, similar to the
1-1-2 112 is a common emergency telephone number Most public switched telephone networks have a single emergency telephone number (sometimes known as the universal emergency telephone number or the emergency services number) that allows a caller to ...
(112) emergency service provided by mobile phone operators and manufacturers. On the other side,
free-to-view Free-to-view (FTV) is a term used for audiovisual transmissions that are provided free-of-charge without any form of continual subscription but are nevertheless encrypted. It differs from free-to-air Free-to-air (FTA) services are television ...
(FTV) is generally available without
subscription The subscription business model is a business model in which a customer must pay a recurring price at regular intervals for access to a product. The model was pioneered by publishers of books and periodicals in the 17th century, and is now used ...
, but it is digitally encoded and may be restricted geographically. Free-to-air is often used for
international broadcastingInternational broadcasting, in a limited extent, began during World War I World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. ...
, making it something of a video equivalent to
shortwave radio Shortwave radio is radio transmission using shortwave (SW) radio frequencies. There is no official definition of the band, but the range always includes all of the High frequency, high frequency band (HF), which extends from 3 to 30 MHz (100 ...
. Most FTA retailers list free-to-air channel guides and content available in North America for free-to-air use.


Funding

Although commonly described as free, the cost of free-to-air services is met through various means: * Tax payer funding * with an enforced levy of a
licence fee A television licence or broadcast receiving licence is a payment required in many countries for the reception of television broadcasts, or the possession of a television set where some broadcasts are funded in full or in part by the licence fee ...
for transmission and production costs (e.g., the
BBC The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of ...

BBC
) * with a voluntary donation for local transmission and production costs (e.g.,
PBS The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is an American public broadcaster Public broadcasting involves radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic w ...
) * with commercial advertising for transmission and production costs and surplus revenues returned to the government (e.g.,
CBC Television CBC Television (also known as CBC TV) is a Canadian English-language broadcast Broadcasting is the distribution (business), distribution of sound, audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic medium (communication), mass ...
/ Télévision de Radio-Canada in
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and western , stretching , is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital ...

Canada
,
SBS SBS may refer to: Banking *SBS Bank, New Zealand Broadcasting *SBS Broadcasting Group, Belgium, formerly many countries *Talpa TV, formerly SBS Broadcasting B.V., Netherlands **SBS6, Dutch television channel **SBS9, Dutch television channel *Spe ...
in Australia and
TVNZ Television New Zealand ( mi, Te Reo Tātaki o Aotearoa), more commonly referred to as TVNZ, is a television network that is broadcast throughout New Zealand and parts of the Pacific region. All of its currently-operating channels are free-to-air ...

TVNZ
in New Zealand) * Commercial sponsorship * Consumer products and services where part of the cost goes toward television
advertising Advertising is a marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasize ...

advertising
and
sponsorship Sponsoring something (or someone) is the act of supporting an event, activity, person, or organization financially or through the provision of products or services. The individual or group that provides the support, similar to a Benefactor (law), ...
(in the case of Japanese television broadcasters like
TV Asahi JOEX-DTV (virtual channel In most telecommunications organizations, a virtual channel is a method of remapping the ''program number'' as used in H.222 Program Association Tables and Program Mapping Tables to a channel number that can be entere ...

TV Asahi
and
TV Tokyo JOTX-DTV, virtual channel 7 (UHF digital channel 23), branded as and often abbreviated as , a blend of "television, terebi" and "Tokyo", is the flagship (broadcasting), flagship station of the TX Network, TXN Network headquartered in the Su ...
which rely heavily on sponsorship, similar to Philippine broadcasters like
ABS-CBN ABS-CBN (an initialism of its two predecessors' names, Alto Broadcasting System and Chronicle Broadcasting Network) is a and network, as well as that serves as the flagship property of , a company under the . The network is headquartered ...
, TV5 and
GMAGMA may refer to: Broadcasting * GMA Network, a Philippine television channel * GMA Network (company), GMA Network Inc., a Philippine broadcasting company * GMA TV, a fake news website which imitated the legitimate GMA News website * ''Good Morni ...
)


Middle East


Israel

Up until 2012, Israel had several free-to-air channels. The major ones rating-wise: Channel 2, Channel 10, and Channel 1. The other ones were:
Educational Education is the process of facilitating learning Learning is the process of acquiring new understanding, knowledge, behaviors, skills, value (personal and cultural), values, attitudes, and preferences. The ability to learn is possessed ...
, Channel 33, and Knesset 99. Since 2018, Israel has several new free-to-air channels that replace their older counterparts. The major ones rating-wise: Channel 12, Channel 13,
Kan 11
Kan 11
, and Channel 20. The other ones are:
Kan Educational Kan Educational ( he, כאן חינוכית, Kan Hinuchit) is a public television channel in Israel designated for children, on behalf of the Israel Broadcasting Corporation. The channel launched on August 15, 2018 and replaced Israeli Educationa ...
,
Makan 33 Makan 33 ( ar, مكان 33 ) is an Israeli free-to-air television channel aimed at the country's Arab community, on behalf of the Israel Broadcasting Corporation. The channel was launched in May 2017 and replaced Channel 33 (Israel), Channel 33, ...
, and
Knesset Channel The Knesset Channel ( he, ערוץ כנסת; ''Arutz Knesset'', "Knesset Channel") is a public Israeli terrestrial channel that broadcasts the sessions of the Knesset as well as some other programs concerning the Israeli parliament. Prior to the es ...
.


Africa


South Africa

In 1971, the SABC was finally allowed to introduce a television service. Initially, the proposal was for two television channels, one in English and Afrikaans, aimed at white audiences, and another, known as TV Bantu, aimed at black viewers. However, when television was finally introduced, there was only one channel with airtime divided evenly between English and Afrikaans, alternating between the two languages. Test transmissions in Johannesburg began on 5 May 1975, followed in July by ones in Cape Town and Durban. Nationwide services finally commenced on 5 January 1976. In common with most of Western Europe, South Africa used the PAL system for colour television, being only the second terrestrial television service in sub-Saharan Africa to launch with a colour-only service, Zanzibar in Tanzania having introduced the first such service in 1973. (Tanzania itself did not establish a television service until the early 1990s, similarly concerned about the expense and perceived threat to cultural norms.) The Government, advised by SABC technicians, took the view that colour television would have to be available so as to avoid a costly migration from black-and-white broadcasting technology. Initially, the TV service was funded entirely through a licence fee as in the UK, charged at R36. However, advertising began on 1 January 1978. On 1 January 1982, two services were introduced, TV2 broadcasting in Zulu and Xhosa and TV3 broadcasting in Sotho and Tswana, aimed at a black urban audience. In 1985, a new service called TV4 was introduced, carrying sports and entertainment programming, using the channel shared by TV2 and TV3, which ended transmissions at 9:30 pm. In 1992, TV2, TV3 and TV4 were combined into a new service called CCV (Contemporary Community Values). A third channel was introduced known as TSS, or Topsport Surplus, Topsport being the brand name for the SABC's sport coverage, but this was replaced by NNTV (National Network TV), an educational, non-commercial channel, in 1994. The main channel, now called TV1, was divided evenly between English and Afrikaans, as before. It also became available in Walvis Bay, an enclave of South Africa in Namibia, which was itself then under South African administration, with a live feed of the channel broadcast via Intelsat being retransmitted on a local low-power repeater. In 1986, the SABC's monopoly was challenged by the launch of a subscription-based service known as M-Net, backed by a consortium of newspaper publishers on 1 October. However, as part of its licensing restrictions, it could not broadcast news programmes, which were still the preserve of the SABC, although M-Net started broadcasting a current affairs programme called Carte Blanche in 1988. As the state-controlled broadcaster, the SABC was accused of bias towards the apartheid regime, giving only limited coverage to opposition politicians.


Asia


Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the largest and most dominant television channel,
Television Broadcasts Limited Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) is a television broadcasting company based in Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR) (), is a metropolitan area an ...
, was the first free-to-air commercial television channel when it commenced broadcasting on 19 November 1967. It may also well be among the oldest and first station to broadcast over-the-air in East and Southeast Asia.
ViuTV ViuTV is a Cantonese language Cantonese ( zh, t=廣東話, s=广东话, first=t; Yale: ''Gwóngdūng wá'') is a language within the Chinese (Sinitic) branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages Sino-Tibetan, also known as Trans-Himalayan in a f ...
and
RTHK Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) is the public broadcasting Public broadcasting involves radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequ ...

RTHK
TV started broadcasting in 2016.


India and South Asia

Around 600 FTA television channels and 180 Radio Channel are broadcast from ku-band and c-band transponders on the INSAT-4B and
GSAT-15 GSAT-15 is an Indian communication satellite similar to GSAT-10 to augment the capacity of transponders to provide more bandwidth for Direct-to-Home television and VSAT services. It was successfully launched on 10 November 2015 at 21:34:07 U ...
satellite covering India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and parts of Afghanistan, and Myanmar. In India, the channels are marketed as
DD Direct Plus DD Free Dish (previously known as DD Direct Plus) is an India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous countr ...
/
DD Free Dish DD Free Dish (previously known as DD Direct Plus) is an Indian free-to-air satellite television provider. It is owned by state broadcaster Doordarshan. It has over 40 million households which is more than 25% of the total TV households in the co ...
by
Doordarshan Doordarshan (abbreviated as DD; Hindi: , ) is an autonomous Public broadcasting, public service broadcaster founded by the Government of India, owned by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (India), Ministry of Information and Broadcasti ...
, India's national broadcaster and other Indian private broadcaster
ABS Free Dish {{Infobox company , name = ABS Free Dish , logo = Logo of ABS Free Dish.jpg , type = Private , foundation = 14 May 2012 , industry = Satellite television service , location_city = Hamilton, Bermuda, Hamilton, Bermuda , area_served = India and SAAR ...
from the ABS2 satellite, one can receive free-to-air regional TV channels using small DTH antenna and freetoair set-top box.


South Korea

In Korea,
KBS KBS may refer to: Places *KBS Tuff, Kenyan archaeological site *Kellogg Biological Station *Kent Business School, University of Kent, UK Radio and television *Kansas Broadcasting System, network of KWCH, Wichita, Kansas, US *Korean Broadcasting Sy ...
, MBC (the 2 main public broadcasters),
SBS SBS may refer to: Banking *SBS Bank, New Zealand Broadcasting *SBS Broadcasting Group, Belgium, formerly many countries *Talpa TV, formerly SBS Broadcasting B.V., Netherlands **SBS6, Dutch television channel **SBS9, Dutch television channel *Spe ...
(privately owned, but available for free to viewers), and EBS (including both
TV
TV
and
radio Radio is the technology of signaling and communicating Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Organization, groups through the use ...

radio
) are the free-to-air broadcasting stations. They dominate more than 80% of advertisement profits, according to the recent survey from the agency . Due to the recent government's decision,
digital television Digital television (DTV) is the transmission of television audiovisual Audiovisual (AV) is electronic media 200px, Graphical representations of electrical audio data. Electronic media uses either analog (red) or digital (blue) signal pr ...
service for all free-to-air networks would be scheduled before the year 2012, followed by the end of analog television broadcasting.


Europe


Satellite

European countries have a tradition of most television services being free to air. Germany, in particular, receives in excess of 100 digital satellite TV channels free to air. Approximately half of the television channels on
SES Astra SES Astra SA was a corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity In law, a legal person is any person A person (plural people or persons) i ...

SES Astra
's 19.2° east and 28.2° east satellite positions, and
Eutelsat Eutelsat S.A. is a European telecommunications satellite, satellite operator. Providing coverage over the entire European continent, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas, it is the world's third-largest satellite operator in terms of ...
's
Hot Bird Hot Bird is a group of satellite In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object that has been intentionally placed into orbit. These objects are called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as Earth's ...
(13° east) are free-to-air. A number of European channels which one might expect to be broadcast free-to-air - including many countries' national terrestrial broadcasters - do not do so ''via satellite'' for
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. ...

copyright
reasons. (Rights to purchase programs for free-to-air broadcast, especially via satellite, are often higher in price than for encrypted broadcast.) The lack of FTA among public broadcasters are prevalent in countries whose broadcasters tend to use subtitles for foreign language programmes; although Spain's two public domestic channels, La Una and La Dos, are also encrypted despite dubbed foreign programmes being the norm in Spain. However, these channels usually provide a scheme to offer free, but encrypted, viewing with
free-to-view Free-to-view (FTV) is a term used for audiovisual transmissions that are provided free-of-charge without any form of continual subscription but are nevertheless encrypted. It differs from free-to-air Free-to-air (FTA) services are television ...
broadcasts. Certain programming on Italy's
RAI Rai or RAI may refer to: Title of royalty and nobility * Rai (title) ''Rai'' ( ur, , ; bn, রায়) is a historical title of royalty and nobility in the Indian subcontinent used by rulers and chieftains of many princely states. It is deri ...
, and the majority of Dutch channels are covered by such schemes (although in the case of RAI some programming is transmitted without encryption where there are no copyright issues). In
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
, the main national networks broadcast free-to-view via satellite; however, all regional and some smaller channels are transmitted free-to-air, and the national public broadcaster, ORF, offers a special free-to-air channel which airs selected programming without (i.e. those without copyright issues) via satellite all over Europe. As Germany and Austria speak the same language and use the same satellite, Austrian viewers are able to receive about 120 free German-speaking channels from both countries. In general, all
satellite radio Satellite radio is defined by the International Telecommunication Union 260px, ITU Monument, Bern The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autono ...
in Europe is free to air, but the more conventional broadcast systems in use mean that
SiriusXM Sirius XM Holdings Inc. is an American broadcasting Broadcasting is the distribution of sound, audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic medium (communication), mass communications medium, but typically one using the ...
style in-car reception is not possible. Cable and satellite distribution allow many more channels to carry sports, movies and specialist channels which are not broadcast as FTA. The viewing figures for these channels are generally much lower than the FTA channels.


Terrestrial

Various European countries broadcast a large number of channels via free-to-air
terrestrial Terrestrial refers to things related to land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture A ...
, generally as an analog
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/
SECAM SECAM, also written SÉCAM (, ''séquentiel couleur à mémoire'', French for ''color sequential with memory''), is an analog color television system first used in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no ...

SECAM
transmission, digital
DVB-T DVB-T, short for Digital Video Broadcasting — Terrestrial, is the European-based consortium standard for the broadcast transmission of that was first published in 1997 and first broadcast in in February, 1998. This system transmits , and ...
/
T2
T2
or a combination of the two.


Croatia

In Croatia eleven national channels are free-to-air:
HRT 1 HRT 1 (HTV 1, ''"Prvi program"'') is the Croatian public television channel, operated by Hrvatska Radiotelevizija. It is a generalist channel, whose diverse programming lineup includes documentaries, history, school, mosaics, news, sitcoms, movies, ...
,
HRT 2 HRT 2 (HTV 2, ''"Drugi program"'') is a Croatian free-to-air television channel, operated by Hrvatska Radiotelevizija (HRT). Its line-up focuses mainly on entertainment, although it also broadcasts news and documentaries. Current line-up News sho ...
, HRT 3, HRT 4 ( HRT being national broadcaster), Nova TV,
Doma TV Doma TV is a Croatian specialized television channel. Programming aired by Doma TV Telenovelas Ended * Acorralada * Alborada (telenovela), Alborada * Amar sin limites * Amor real * Amores Verdaderos * Anna und die Liebe ''(canceled after 254 epi ...
, RTL, RTL2, RTL Kockica, CMC and Sptv. There are around 21 local or regional channels. Until June 2020 all are transmitted via three OiV (state-owned public broadcasting company)
DVB-T DVB-T, short for Digital Video Broadcasting — Terrestrial, is the European-based consortium standard for the broadcast transmission of that was first published in 1997 and first broadcast in in February, 1998. This system transmits , and ...
and one
DVB-T2 DVB-T2 is an abbreviation for "Digital Video Broadcasting — Second Generation Terrestrial"; it is the extension of the television standard DVB-T DVB-T, short for Digital Video Broadcasting — Terrestrial, is the European-based consortium ...

DVB-T2
( HEVC/H.265) MUXes. As of June 2020 three DVB-T MUXes will be switched off and all eleven national channels will be distributed via two OiV DVB-T2 (HEVC/H.265) MUXes.


Denmark

In Denmark, six channels are as of 2020 free-to-air, distributed via 18 main transmitter sites and 30 smaller, auxiliary transmitters. The six channels (
DR1 DR1 (DR Et) is the flagship television channel A television channel is a terrestrial frequency or virtual number over which a television station or television network is distributed. For example, in North America North America is ...

DR1
,
DR2
DR2
,
DR Ramasjang DR Ramasjang is a Danish television channel owned by DR targeting children aged 7–10. The channel is named after the Danish word , which refers to a loud or festive uproar, similar to the English word '' hullabaloo''. History DR presented thei ...
,
Folketinget The Folketing ( da, Folketinget, ; lit. ''the people's thing'', ''people's assembly''), also known as the Parliament of Denmark or the Danish Parliament in English, is the unicameral national legislature (parliament In modern polit ...
, TV2 Regionerne, and sign language/local programme) come in one
DVB-T2 DVB-T2 is an abbreviation for "Digital Video Broadcasting — Second Generation Terrestrial"; it is the extension of the television standard DVB-T DVB-T, short for Digital Video Broadcasting — Terrestrial, is the European-based consortium ...

DVB-T2
multiplex Multiplex may refer to: * Multiplex (automobile), a former American car make * Multiplex (comics), a DC comic book supervillain * Multiplex communication or multiplexing, combining many signals into a single transmission circuit or channel ** Multi ...
.


France

In France, there are twenty six national television channels (MPEG-4 HD video) and 41 local television channels broadcast free-to-air via the TNT DVB-T2 service.


Germany

In Germany there are various free-to-air DVB-T services available, the number of which varies by region.
Das Erste Das Erste (; ''The First'') is the flagship national television channel of the ARD (broadcaster), ARD association of public broadcasting corporations in Germany. ARD and ZDF – "the Second" German Television Channel – together comprise the publ ...
,
ZDF ZDF (, stylized as ''2DF'', short for Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen; ; ''Second German Television'') is a German public-service television broadcaster based in Mainz Mainz (; ; la, Mogontiacum) is the capital and largest city of Rhineland-Pal ...

ZDF
,
ZDFneo ZDFneo is a German free-to-air Free-to-air (FTA) services are television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in ...

ZDFneo
,
ZDFinfo ZDFinfo is a Germany, German free-to-air documentary television channel owned by ZDF. It was launched on 27 August 1997 as ZDFinfokanal, and later rebranded as ZDFinfo on 5 September 2011. On 1 May 2012, a HDTV, high-definition simulcast the cha ...
, 3sat,
Arte Arte (; , sometimes stylized in lowercase or uppercase in its logo) is a European public service channel Channel, channels, channeling, etc., may refer to: Geography * Channel (geography), in physical geography, a landform consisting of ...

Arte
,
KiKA KiKA (contraction of ''Der KinderKAnal von ARD und ZDF'' ARD ARD or Ard may refer to: People * Ard (surname), a surname of Scottish origin * Ard (biblical figure), a son of Benjamin in the Bible * Ard., abbreviation in scientific liter ...
and Phoenix are available throughout the country, in addition to at least one region-dependent channel which is provided by the regional
ARD ARD or Ard may refer to: People * Ard (surname), a surname of Scottish origin * Ard (biblical figure), a son of Benjamin in the Bible * Ard., abbreviation in scientific literature for botanist Pietro Arduino Places * Ard, Arkansas, U.S. * Ard, ...
member. Additionally, ARD's EinsFestival, EinsPlus and
tagesschau24 Tagesschau24 (stylized as tagesschau24) is a Germany, German free-to-air television channel owned by ARD (broadcaster), ARD and managed by Norddeutscher Rundfunk. It was launched on 30 August 1997 as "EinsExtra" before the introduction of its curr ...
are variously available in some parts of the country, and various commercial channels are available in metropolitan areas.


Ireland

In the Republic of Ireland, there are nine television channels and 11 radio channels broadcast free-to-air via the DVB-T Saorview service. Analog PAL versions of some of the channels were also broadcast until October 24, 2012, when all analogue television broadcasting was shut down.


Malta

All of Malta's National and Political Party Channels are available free-to-air. The National Channels, TVM and
TVM2 TVM2 (sometimes written as TVM 2) is a terrestrial television network A television network or broadcaster is a telecommunications network for distribution of television program content, where a central operation provides programming to many t ...

TVM2
, Parliament TV and the political party channels NET (Maltese TV channel), NET and ONE, all are broadcast via the Free-to-air DVB-T service. Even HD versions of these channels are available free-to-air. The only scrambled channel in Malta is ITV Teleshopping.


Netherlands

In the Netherlands, 3 national public television channels NPO 1, NPO 2 and NPO 3, and 7 national public radio channels broadcast free-to-air via the DVB-T Digitenne service. The television and radio channels of the regional public broadcasters are also free-to-air via the DVB-T service.


United Kingdom

In the UK, around 108 free-to-air television channels and 30 free-to-air radio channels are available terrestrially via the Freeview DVB-T service. Seven HD channels are also broadcast via a public service broadcast multiplex and a commercial multiplex, both DVB-T2. The informal term "council telly" is sometimes used for free-to-air television in the UK, evoking a basic service accessible to all.


North America

There are a number of competing systems in use. Early adopters used C-band satellite dish, dishes several feet in diameter to receive analog microwave broadcasts, and later digital microwave broadcasts using the 3.7-4.2 Hertz, GHz band. Today, although large C-band dishes can still receive some content, the 11.7-12.2 GHz is also used. Ku-band signals can be received using smaller dishes, often as small as under a meter (3 feet, 3 inches) in diameter, allowing FTA satellite to be picked up from smaller spaces such as apartment balconies (note, however, that these dishes are not quite as small as those commonly used for commercial services such as Dish Network, DirecTV, Bell Satellite TV, Bell ExpressVu, Shaw Direct, etc. Dishes intended for those services may not deliver an adequate signal on Ku-band). The European-developed DVB-S and DVB-S2 standards are the most commonly used broadcast methods, with analog transmissions almost completely discontinued as of mid-2014. The most common North American sources for free-to-air DVB satellite television are: * NHK World-Japan, NHK World HD on Intelsat 9 (58°W) * Retro TV, Heartland (TV network), Heartland on AMC-9, AMC 9 (83°W) * Louisiana Public Broadcasting, LPB Louisiana
PBS The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is an American public broadcaster Public broadcasting involves radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic w ...
channels LPBHD, LPB2, and LPB3 (Create) on SES-2, SES 2 (89°W) * NASA TV Multi-channel (NASA TV Public-Education, NASA Media, NASA TV UHD) on Horizons-1 (aka Galaxy 13) (127°W) * EWTN, Eternal Word Television Network on Galaxy 17 (91°W) * The Family Channel (American TV network, founded 2008), My Family TV, CGTN (TV channel), CGTN on Galaxy 3C (95°W). * AMGTV and BYU TV, BYU Television (BYUtv) on Galaxy 19 (97°W) * English and foreign language broadcasters RT (TV network), Samanyolu TV, Ebru TV, Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, IRINN, Al Jazeera English and more up-linked by GlobeCast World TV on Galaxy 19 (97°W) * Christian broadcasters such as The Word Network, Emmanuel TV, Daystar (TV network), Daystar Television Network, JUCE TV, JCTV, Trinity Broadcasting Network, Hillsong Channel, The Church Channel, Three Angels Broadcasting Network, 3ABN, Hope Channel, The Hope Channel, Amazing Facts Television, God's Learning Channel are broadcast from the Galaxy 19 (97°W) satellite for Glorystar and Spiritcast Satellite Systems TV. * Peace TV English and Peace TV Urdu language which are global Islamic channels, available on Galaxy 19 (97°W) * DoD News Channel, DoD News on AMC-1, AMC 1 (103°W) * Jewish Life Television on Galaxy 18 (123°W) * Montana PBS, Montana Public Broadcasting Service and other PBS Satellite Services on AMC-21, AMC 21 (125°W) * Classic Arts Showcase on Galaxy 17 (91°W) and EWTN, Eternal Word Television Network HD on Galaxy 15 (133°W) * American football, Football, basketball, baseball, association football, soccer, and ice hockey wildfeeds on various satellites * InfoWars and Alex Jones Show broadcasts from Austin, Texas, and creates free-to-air 24/7 content on Galaxy 16 99°W Most of these signals are carried by US satellites. There is little or no free Canadian DVB-S content available to users of medium-size dishes as much of the available Ku-band satellite bandwidth is occupied by Pay television, pay-TV operators Shaw Direct and Bell Satellite TV, although larger C-band dishes can pick up some content. FTA signals may be scattered across multiple satellites, requiring a motor or multiple Low-noise block downconverter, LNBs to receive everything. This differs from Europe, where FTA signals are commonly concentrated on a few specific satellites. Another difference between North American FTA and FTA in most of the rest of the world is that in North America, very few of the available signals are actually intended for home viewers or other end-users. Instead, they are generally intended for reception by local television stations, cable system headends, or other commercial users. While it is generally thought to be legal for home viewers to view such transmissions as long as they are not encrypted, this means that there are several unique challenges to viewing FTA signals, challenges not present in other areas of the world. Among these are: * No schedule information is provided with most of the signals; therefore, satellite receivers cannot show a proper electronic program guide (EPG). * Because many of these broadcasts are essentially point-to-point transmissions, the originators often do not follow any international standards when setting various identification fields in the data stream. This causes issues with receivers and software designed for use in other parts of the world, as they may assume that if a channel contains the same ID information as another channel, those are duplicate channels. This may be a valid assumption in other parts of the world, but is almost never valid for North American FTA signals. When such an assumption is made, during a "blind scan" the receiver or software will often fail to correctly insert one or more channels into its database, or it may overwrite previously scanned valid channels (including other channels on the same satellite) with invalid information picked up from another, more recently scanned channel. If the end user does not understand what is happening, they may assume that the receiver cannot receive certain channels or that it is defective, yet if the correct data for those channels can be manually entered, those channels may become receivable. This problem can be mitigated if receivers can be set to ignore channels that appear to be duplicates during a "blind scan", except when such channels are on exactly the same satellite and same transponder frequency (as might occur if the user rescans a previously-scanned satellite). * Channels tend to come and go, or change transmission formats, often without any prior notice other than to their intended recipients. This means that a working channel could suddenly disappear without warning, and may need to be rescanned to become receivable again, or it may be gone permanently. * Channels that are currently FTA can become scrambled (Encryption, encrypted) with no advance warning. A few channels tend to go back and forth between being "in the clear" (unscrambled) to scrambled at various times, but in most cases, once a channel is scrambled it stays scrambled. * Historically, it has appeared that broadcasters are more likely to scramble their signals when they become aware that home viewers and other "unauthorized" viewers are watching their signals. Therefore, those who know what signals are available may sometimes be reluctant to share that information in open forums. While sites exist that attempt to list currently viewable FTA signals, most of them are incomplete or do not contain current information. Such sites typically rely on reports of changes by viewers, and if viewers are reluctant to report new FTA signals for fear they might disappear, it becomes more of a challenge for such sites to maintain up-to-date listings. * What some would consider the most desirable signals, e.g. feeds from broadcast networks, are primarily only available on C-band, which requires a large dish (usually at least 6 feet/1.8 meters in diameter or more, although a few hobbyists have found it possible to receive some C-band signals using smaller dishes and high quality LNBs). Also some of those signals utilize high-bitrate formats that cannot be received by many older receivers, even if those receivers are capable of receiving digital signals, and such signals may require a larger than usual dish for adequate reception. In many areas, local zoning laws and/or homeowner associations forbid the placement of a large dish, therefore such dishes have fallen out of favor since commercial satellite services became widely available. Therefore, very few people have the capability to receive the C-band broadcasts. Another issue is that properly aiming a C-band dish is not something that a typical end-user would know how to do, since it tends to be a somewhat complex procedure (especially when a moveable dish is used with the intention of tracking the visible satellite arc in order to receive multiple satellites), and many of the installers that knew how to set up and correctly aim a C-band dish have exited the business. * While equipment and software is becoming available that allows home users to set up a backend system that can deliver received over-the-air ATSC standards, ATSC signals to several frontend systems (for example, a HDHomeRun, VBox Home TV Gateway or similar TV tuner, used with MythTV or Tvheadend, TVHeadEnd), a similar system for receiving FTA signals is considerably more difficult to set up. While PCI/PCIe tuner cards and USB tuners for DVB-S and DVB-S2 are available, there are often issues with drivers, or the cards may simply not be compatible with the backend software in use. Therefore, setting up such a system for FTA satellite reception tends to require considerably more technical knowledge, and a willingness to work through issues, than setting up such a system for receiving terrestrial signals. * Some syndicated programming is being sent as data, similar to the way a Video file format, video file might be sent over the
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. This means that the programming is not sent in a format that can be viewed in real time, as it is being received. Instead, the data must be captured to a Computer data storage, storage device and decoded for later use. Traditional satellite receivers and even many PC TV tuner card, tuner cards are not capable of receiving these signals, and even if you have a card capable of receiving such signals, you also need special software to find such data streams and when one is found, to extract the data stream and save it. The largest groups of end-users for Ku-band free-to-air signals were initially the ethnic-language communities, as often free ethnic-language programming would be sponsored by Multilingual American Communities and their broadcasters. Depending on language and origin of the individual signals, North America, North American ethnic-language TV is a mix of Pay television, pay-TV, free-to-air and DBS operations. Today, many American broadcasters send a multitude of programming channels in many languages, spanning many new channels, so they can get National support, which ultimately leads to carriage by Cable television, cable systems, to additionally support the high costs of broadcasting signals in this way. Nevertheless, free-to-air satellite TV is a viable addition to home video systems, not only for the reception of specialized content but also for use in locations where terrestrial ATSC standards, ATSC over-the-air reception is incomplete and additional channels are desired.


Oceania


Australia

Australia has five major free-to-air networks: the two public broadcasting networks - ABC Television (Australian TV network), ABC and
SBS SBS may refer to: Banking *SBS Bank, New Zealand Broadcasting *SBS Broadcasting Group, Belgium, formerly many countries *Talpa TV, formerly SBS Broadcasting B.V., Netherlands **SBS6, Dutch television channel **SBS9, Dutch television channel *Spe ...
, and three commercial networks - Seven Network, Nine Network, and Network 10. Traditionally each network had only a single channel in a geographic area, but with the advent of digital television each network started broadcasting several SD video, SD multichannels, such as 7two, 9Gem, 10 Bold, and SBS Food, as well as at least one High-definition television, HD channel. There are also free-to-air Community television in Australia, community television channels in some major cities. Viewers in remote parts of Australia are able to access many Australian free-to-air channels using the DVB-S2 Optus Viewer Access Satellite Television, VAST service.


New Zealand

New Zealand has a number of FTA broadcasters such as Television New Zealand's TVNZ 1 and TV2 (New Zealand), TV2, as well as MediaWorks New Zealand's TV3 (New Zealand), TV3 and C4 (TV channel), FOUR, Sky Network Television's Prime Television New Zealand, Prime and the government subsidised the Māori Television and Te Reo (TV channel), Te Reo channels. Four channels, TV One, TV2, TV3, FOUR are also broadcast timeshifted by +1 hour on Freeview and Sky platforms. A broadcast of parliament and a number of local channels, such as Cue TV are also available. Local stations such as Canterbury Television, CTV and Face TV (previously Triangle TV) were free-to-air analogue PAL transmissions prior to CTV migrating to the free-to-air digital DVB-T service and Face TV's terrestrial free-to-air service shutoff from December 2013. A digital terrestrial version of Freeview was launched in 2008, which, unlike the analogue and free-to-air satellite options, supports high-definition television, high-definition broadcasts for TV One, 2 and 3.


South America


Brazil

In Brazil the main FTA satellite is the Star One C2, it holds approximately 22 C-band analog channels, including all major networks like Rede Globo, Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão, SBT, Rede Record, Record, RedeTV!, Rede Bandeirantes, Band and others, and 5 digital HDTV channels.


See also

*FTA receiver, equipment for receiving free-to-air broadcasts *Free-to-view *Pay television *Satellite dish *Satellite television *Set-top box


References


External links


Free to air TV channelsOfficial Guide to FTA TV channels on Astra satellites
Free-to-air, Satellite television Television terminology