Yesterday, I got my long-awaited Hauppauge Nexus-S satellite receiver card for my PC. It decodes the DVB satellite format and allows me to view free to air satellite channels from my computer. It even outputs to a television as well.
The DVB format is the one most widely used in the world. Its based on open standards, like MPEG2. Only in America is a format bigger, the proprietary one of DirecTV. Their competitor The Dish Network, however, uses DVB like practically everyone else.
Free to Air channels are ones freely available for viewing. There are several listed on sites like Lyngsat, for instance. Most of them are government-sponsored channels which would find little audience on a cable system, which is precisely why I want to watch them. Who knows what kind of stuff is out there?