FAQ: Watching or Listening by Satellite

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Beginner Questions About 3ABN on Satellite

I want to watch 3ABN by satellite. How can I do that?

There are several ways to watch 3ABN by satellite. The options depend on where you live.
  • Buy an SDAdish package (North America and Central America only). There is a one-time payment of $189.00 and up for the hardware. There is no monthly fee. The system comes preprogrammed with 3ABN channels and other Christian channels.
  • Buy a satellite system from DISH Network (United States only). The monthly cost is currently $19.99 and up. The hardware is usually free. 3ABN is available on all new DISH Network installations with any package that carries the “public interest” channels, including the following packages: DishFAMILY, America’s Top 120/200/250, America’s Everything Pak, DISH America, and Welcome Pack. To receive 3ABN, one dish must be oriented to pick up the signal from either the satellite at 61.5° (for the eastern U.S.) or at 129° (for the western U.S.). All DISH Network subscribers with the HD channels already have the correct setup to get 3ABN. If you have a 2-dish system from DISH Network, it should be ready to receive 3ABN as is. Then simply select channel 9393, and start enjoying 3ABN! If you have an older DISH Network system with only one satellite dish (such as DISH 300 or DISH 500), you will need an additional or upgraded dish to watch 3ABN.
  • Watch from a free-to-air satellite (worldwide). 3ABN is available worldwide on various free-to-air satellites, including G-19, IS-20, IS-21, and Optus D2. To receive 3ABN from any of these satellites requires an FTA (Free-to-Air) MPEG-II (MPEG-2) DVB-compliant receiver, along with the dish hardware, etc., that has a clear line of sight to one of the satellites carrying 3ABN. Although there may be a higher up-front cost for hardware with this option, there is no monthly fee. In North America, we recommend a 75 cm or larger satellite dish; a smaller dish may work, but the signal will die more easily due to rain fade. Check out the satellite coverage map to see which satellites cover your area. Also see our satellite parameters page for basic receiver settings and a list of the 3ABN channels available from each satellite. Please note that technical support for people who build their own system is very limited; most likely we will not be able to give you detailed, step-by-step instructions for how to program or reprogram your receiver.
If a dish system is not possible for you, you may wish to explore local broadcasts (UHF, VHF, radio, or cable) or watching online.

I want to listen to 3ABN Radio. Is that included?

3ABN Radio is included in the SDAdish package. It is also available on the G-19 satellite and may be available on some other FTA satellites; see our parameters page for details.

Technical Specs and Troubleshooting

Can I buy a satellite system from 3ABN?

3ABN no longer sells satellite systems. We recommend the SDAdish package (North America and Central America only) or DISH Network (United States only).

What do I need if I want to build my own satellite system to watch 3ABN?

Please note that we cannot provide detailed technical support for systems you build. Building your own system requires technical skills, and you are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of it. In summary, you will need:
  • FTA (Free-to-Air) MPEG-II (MPEG-2) DVB-compliant receiver
  • Dish hardware, LNB, cable, etc. (in North America, we recommend a 75 cm or larger satellite dish; a smaller dish may work, but the signal will die more easily due to rain fade)
  • Clear line of sight to one of the satellites carrying 3ABN
Please see our satellite parameters page for basic receiver settings and a list of the 3ABN channels available from each satellite. Please note that technical support for people who build their own system is very limited; most likely we will not be able to give you detailed, step-by-step instructions for how to program or reprogram your receiver. Go here for the satellite Dish Pointer / Alignment Calculator.

Can I install a dish in my condo or apartment?

In 1996, the FCC mandated that anyone who lives in a condo or apartment complex with certain specifications, has the right to install satellite dishes. Click here to download a PDF file on this ruling.

I previously watched 3ABN on my satellite receiver, but it no longer works; can you help me fix it?

There are several possible causes:
  • In April/May 2010, 3ABN switched from the AMC-4 satellite to the G-19 satellite. To continue receiving 3ABN, you must reprogram your receiver. See question below.
  • If your dish system is already programmed for G-19, but no longer works, we can help you verify the settings. Call us at 618-627-4651.
  • It's possible your dish may have need knocked out of alignment (such as by wind, etc.). The GeoSatFinder website will help you aim for satellite dish. Just type in your zip code. Or try this satellite Dish Pointer / Alignment Calculator. You may need to hire a local satellite technician to help you re-aim it.
  • For hardware malfunctions, broken hardware, and similar problems, you will need to call the store where you purchased the equipment, the manufacturer, or a dish systems specialist in your area.

I need to reprogram my receiver from AMC-4 to G-19.

Click here for a PDF document of steps for various receiver models. For in-depth information about the reasons for the switch and the benefits of moving to G-19, please see the April 2010 issue of 3ABN World magazine.

Lighting the world with the glory of God’s truth