How To Get TV Reception on a Boat

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Most modern smart TVs use WIFI or cellular signals to transmit data. But this becomes an iffy prospect out on the water, where the signals are questionable, particularly if you’re not using satellite internet.

So it’s time to go old school and get over the air TV reception on your boat.

In this article, we’ll go over how to get TV reception on a boat and break it all down for you.


How To Get TV Reception on a Boat

You have two basic options for getting TV on a boat: a data signal or from an antenna. In this article, we’ll primarily focus on the antenna option, but will also touch on using data as well.

The pitfalls of watching TV on an electronic gadget

If you’ve got access to a wifi signal, or cellular data, then you can connect most modern TVs up to your data network. You’ll be able to stream most any content that you usually get without difficulty.

But there are a few things to think about, which we will discuss here. After that, we’ll move onto what to do when you don’t have those signals.

Cellular Data and WIFI

Okay, so if you’ve got a WIFI hotspot on your phone then you can watch many programs through this little gadget.

Even better, if you’ve got a reliable hotspot on your phone, you could use a portable Wifi Extender . This would extend your signal for your other devices, such as a tablet or computer.

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But using such to watch your favorite TV programs can incur expensive data charges. Streaming data can soon overtake your regular monthly allowance.

Another problem can be the size of the device. At the end of the day, with tired eyes, you want something that won’t give you a headache while straining to watch it.

It’s not a very reliable way to watch all your favorite programs. Plus, signals are not always easy to find on land, never mind out at sea.

you may need a backup. And that backup is a TV and an antenna on your boat. This is the best way to receive a transmitted signal. But there can be problems on a moving boat.

As mentioned above, it can be difficult to get digital signals out on the water, particularly if you’re away from the coast. But those over-the-air signals will travel a much longer range. Consequently, you can get TV reception more easily than Wifi or cellular data.


How do I choose the right marine antenna to get TV reception on a boat?

A marine antenna needs to have a built-in amplifier  as a signal booster. This will help to enhance any signals that the antenna picks up.

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When it comes to choosing the right type of equipment for your boat, avoid a directional antenna. These types of antennas need to be pointed in the direction of the incoming signal. The directional movement can be restricted to angles of around 45-90 degrees. Plus, they’re only capable of receiving a signal from a single base station.

That makes it useless in a craft that keeps changing direction in the water. To overcome this issue get an Omni directional antenna . This antenna can automatically pick up signals from a 360 degrees direction. It can also pick up to around 90 miles around you.

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It doesn’t need to be swiveled around to achieve this. This antenna locates the signals of many stations, including satellite signals too.

That greatly improves your chances of good reception.


How do you fit a TV on a boat?

So, now we’ve looked at how best to receive TV reception.

Let’s move on to fitting a TV in your boat. A boat moves around a lot so certain precautions are needed to ensure your TV is secure.

If you have a free-standing TV on a cabinet, there’s a high possibility of it falling off. By fully mounting your tv, you know it will stay put in one place. There are various styles and types available so your TV can fit in the most awkward of spaces.

Ceiling Mount

A ceiling mount  allows your TV screen to hang down safely. There are usually features to swivel or tilt the TV, so you can view it from different angles. You could fit a motorized mount  that uses a remote to swivel the mount around until the TV is in the right position.

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Wall Mount

Awall mount  can give you a fixed setting too, leaving your TV safe in one place. Some wall mounts are available with adjustable arms. This will allow you to pull the TV from the wall and swivel it for better viewing from anywhere in the room.

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Desk or Table Mount

If you have a lightweight LED TV you could fix it to a desk or similar surface, with a gas spring arm fitting 

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Should you be wanting to fix a TV in an outdoor area, you’ll need a weather proof TV cover . This will protect your TV in all weather. They come in all sizes to fit a wide range of TV’s.


How do I find programs on my TV on a boat?

What content is available to you, can be dependent on several factors. One is whether you are already subscribed to a streaming service. If you are, you should be able to watch the same channels that you use at home. Many of these subscription packages allow you to use the service on various devices.

When depending on which package you have, you can watch your programs on multiple devices. It also means that more than one device can access the service at the same time. Each one watching different content.

If you have a satellite at home, make sure your marine antenna is compatible with it. Then, you can tune into your subscribed account.