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Ultimate Guide to

Satellite TV for Boats

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april 4 2023 · 7 minutes to read

Key Takeaways
  • Choose between DISH and DIRECTV based on your preferences for channels, budget, and contract requirements.

  • Select a marine satellite dish compatible with your chosen provider, taking into consideration satellite tracking, dish size, HD channels, and international travel.

  • Be prepared to invest in a more expensive dish with continuous tracking capabilities if you want to watch TV while sailing.

  • Larger dishes offer better signal strength and sensitivity, especially when far from the shore.

  • Verify that your chosen marine satellite dish supports HD channels, especially for DIRECTV subscribers.

  • If you plan to sail internationally, consider a dish with a multi-region LNB to access regional networks.

Setting sail on your boat or yacht can be a truly memorable experience. However, you don't have to miss out on your favorite TV shows, sports, and movies while at sea. With marine satellite TV systems, you can stay connected to the world even when you're far from the shore. In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about satellite TV for boats, including choosing a provider, selecting the right marine satellite dish, and understanding the installation process.

Table of Contents

Pros and Cons of Satellite TV Providers

When it comes to satellite TV providers in the US, you have two main options: DISH and DIRECTV. Each provider has its strengths and weaknesses, so it's essential to consider your preferences before making a decision. Here's a brief comparison of the two providers:

Provider Pros Cons
DIRECTV Better budget packages, larger channel selection Genie DVR offers fewer features than Hopper 3, top-tier packages more expensive than DISH
DISH Hopper 3 DVR, great customer satisfaction ratings, 2-year price lock Fewer overall channels, extra cost for Hopper 3

Choosing a Marine Satellite Dish

When choosing a satellite dish for your boat, it's crucial to consider factors such as compatibility with your preferred satellite TV provider, dish size, and tracking capabilities. Marine satellite dishes differ from those designed for homes or businesses, as they utilize a combination of computers, gyroscopes, and other technologies to ensure accurate aiming.

Dishes come in various sizes, with larger ones capable of receiving signals from multiple satellites simultaneously. The general recommendation is to opt for the largest dish your boat can accommodate, while also considering the boat's weight. Compatibility with your desired satellite TV provider, such as DISH or DIRECTV, is another vital factor.

Moreover, it is possible to have multiple TVs on a boat with a single satellite antenna, provided that each screen has its own satellite set-top box. In summary, selecting the right satellite dish for your boat involves carefully evaluating compatibility, size, and tracking capabilities to ensure the best possible entertainment experience on the water.

Dish Size

The dish size plays a significant role in the signal strength and sensitivity of your satellite TV system. Larger dishes are more sensitive, allowing you to capture stronger signals when you're far from land masses. As you sail farther away from shore, the signal strength weakens, so investing in a larger dish can provide better reception.

Dish Features Compatibility Coverage
18" Diameter Dish Supports DIRECTV, DISH, and several global providers Works worldwide
14" Diameter Dish Supports DIRECTV Works in North America
24" Diameter Dish Supports DISH and DIRECTV Works in North America

What to Look for in a Marine Satellite Dish

When choosing a marine satellite dish, consider the following factors:

Satellite Tracking
Dish Size
High Definition (HD) Channels
International Travel Considerations

Marine Satellite TV Plans and Packages for Global Coverage

In Canada, Bell TV is a popular option, and their satellite services are compatible with the satellite TV antenna controllers from KVH, Intellian, and Raymarine.

Here is a list of some available plans and packages for your marine satellite TV, along with their respective features:

Plan Name Monthly Price Features
Limited $50.00 HDPVR and HD Receiver for $0, Free basic installation on first two receivers, Shaw BlueCurve TV app access
Extra Small $74.00 First month free, Free hardware & installation, HDPVR and HD Receiver for $0, Shaw BlueCurve TV app access
Small $90.00 First month free, Free hardware & installation, HDPVR and HD Receiver for $0, Shaw BlueCurve TV app access
Medium (Best) $105.00 First month free, Free hardware & installation, HDPVR and HD Receiver for $0,

Shaw BlueCurve TV app access

Check Shaw Direct Basic Package

Plan Name Monthly Price Features
Large $120.00 First month free, Free hardware & installation, HDPVR and HD Receiver for $0, Shaw BlueCurve TV app access
Total TV $130.00 First month free, Free hardware & installation, HDPVR and HD Receiver for $0, Shaw BlueCurve TV app access

Choose the right marine satellite TV plan or package to keep your guests and crew entertained while on the water. Here are some of the most popular plans and packages available for boaters around the world:

Provider Plan Options Coverage Key Features
Sky UK Small vessels, yachts, supply vessels, and cruise liners European Various plans tailored to suit your needs, including Cinema and Boxing options.
NC+ Various packages Europe Large English channel list, similar coverage to Sky Italia.
DirecTV US DirecTV and Caribbean DirecTV via satellite US and Caribbean Choose from a wide range of channels based on your entertainment preferences.

Satellite Tracking

Satellite tracking is an essential feature for marine satellite dishes since boats are constantly moving. Dishes with automatic satellite tracking can lock onto a satellite and follow its movements, ensuring a stable connection even when you're sailing.

High Definition (HD) Channels

HD channels offer superior picture quality compared to standard definition (SD) channels. Before purchasing a marine satellite dish, verify that it supports HD channels for your chosen satellite TV provider, especially if you're a DIRECTV subscriber. Many dishes that support both DISH and DIRECTV may only offer DIRECTV in SD.

International Travel Considerations

If you plan to sail to other continents or regions, ensure that your marine satellite dish is equipped with a multi-region LNB. This component allows the dish to decode satellite signals from different areas, enabling you to access regional international networks. Keep in mind that while sailing abroad, you may not have access to your US-based satellite TV plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

By following the guidelines in this ultimate guide to satellite TV for boats, you can enjoy your favorite shows, sports, and movies even when you're out at sea.

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