Television on a boat

FREE Television on a boat


This is not as complicated as one might think, however having the right kit will help you get good Television reception.

We first of all need to have a look at the Television it’s self. You can have 12v dc and 230v ac models. The 12v versions tend to be made for the mobile market like caravans, boats and campers. The down side to these are that the smart versions are very far and few between.

Some do come with DVD players integrated inside them. The main benefit is that the units run off your boats batteries with no need for an inverter or shoreline to make the television work.

Smart Televisions

The range of televisions in the 230v ac category do have an advantage over the 12v versions as these are mainly smart televisions that can connect to the internet and have lot more features, such as catch up TV and video streaming including DNLA.

DLNA allows you to wirelessly send content from devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones to a compatible TV, taking the hassle out of sharing media in the home.

DLNA stands for Digital Living Network Alliance,  it was set up by Sony in 2003. Now adopted by a wide range of modern home entertainment devices, it allows videos, music and photos to be streamed and enjoyed on the big screen or a home cinema system quickly and easily.

The main thing is to make sure your TV is enabled with FreeView. All new televisions will have this integrated inside. However there are now sets with FreeView Play too. For more details on this go here.


Once you have decided which way to go, then the next thing is signal to see programs over the air. The two main ways to get TV programs over the air is by a TV aerial or by a satellite dish. The Free Satlatter can be used with the FreeSat service. This is different from free view which can only be obtained via a TV aerial.

FreeSat is fast and has lots of on demand services as well a the standard channels, however some of the services you do have to pay for like Netflix. The down side is you have to accurately set up your dish to the satellite, so you need special meters to do this. This has to be done every time you move. However there are automatic searching dishes, but they are quite expensive, and not small.

Mercury OT2aThe FreeView option is less complicated but you do need a very good aerial, as you need to get the best reception for things like HD transmissions. I found this aerial model, which is a Mercury OT20a. The unit can be found for as little as £24.00. This when set up will get you over a hundred channels some with HD quality such as BBC1HD.

The aerial must use its own amplifier, which is provided, as it sends power along the coaxial cable, to an extra signal amplifier in the aerial head. If you use another brand of amp it will not work.

The unit is able to be powered by 230v ac or 12v and also has a signal strength turn knob to bring the reception strength up to 20db. For the price is a real gift. You do have to mount on a pole however, but the unit comes with an inbuilt pole clamp.