Is DIRECTV for Boats Different from DIRECTV at Home?

Yes, DIRECTV for boats is different than the DIRECTV you have at home… in some ways. In other ways, it’s the same.

First of all, YES, you can get DIRECTV on your boat. It’s a lot like the DIRECTV you have at home – if you have it – but it’s different in some ways. It’s good to know about these differences if you’re considering getting DIRECTV for your yacht, superyacht, or working boat. Our Signal Connect division has the answers because they are a DIRECTV dealer. More importantly, Signal Connect has a team that specializes in DIRECTV for boats.


In many ways, DIRECTV for boats is like DIRECTV in your home. Here are just a few of the ways these two versions of satellite TV are alike:

  • Programming Packages: Marine and residential viewers choose from the same programming packages and specialty channels.
  • DIRECTV Receivers: It’s the box that operates your DIRECTV, choose what you’re watching and more. Whether it’s on your boat or your home, you choose from the same devices.
  • Remote Controls: A DIRECTV remote in your home is the same as the one used in a boat.
  • Installation: Both systems need to be installed carefully. We recommend working with an experienced, professional installer.

These are some of the things DIRECTV for boats and homes have in common. Now let’s take a look at the two major differences between these two options.

1. Satellite Dish for Boats

This is probably the biggest difference between your DIRECTV account at home and the one on your vessel. Residential satellite TV uses the traditional satellite dish, usually grey. This device is typically mounted on your roof, eaves, or beside your home. A marine satellite dish, which is typically used on most boats, is much different.

In the boating world, these devices are called marine satellite domes. That’s what they are basically, even though there’s nothing basic about them. Inside the plastic dome cover is a satellite antenna with built-in gyroscope that locks onto satellite signal in the sky. This technology delivers steady satellite signal despite the rocking of the waves. You won’t find this technology in your satellite dish at home because you only need it on the water.

2. DIRECTV Commercial Accounts

Commercial accounts? Yes, that’s right. In most cases, DIRECTV on boats requires a commercial DIRECTV account as opposed to the residential account you have at home. The only you’ll find a residential account on a boat is when it’s a private boat that doesn’t do ANY charters, not even one. Specifically, your boat must ONLY be used for personal leisure and NOT owned as an LLC or corporation. Only then can you get a residential satellite TV account.

DIRECTV commercial accounts are used for ALL types of commercial boats. We’re talking yachts and superyachts (that offer charters), trawlers, tugboats, fishing boats, and cruise ships. It’s very important that boat owners and companies get this right because you could be fined if you don’t. AT&T, which owners DIRECTV, is cracking down on anyone taking advantage of its commercial DIRECTV accounts. This often happens when commercial boating companies let workers bring their home receivers onto the boat with them.

Get DIRECTV Marine Satellite

When getting DIRECTV for your boat, you need to work with an expert. By now, you probably see that. By now, you know that we know a little something about DIRECTV for boats. That’s because our Signal Connect division is a DIRECTV dealer that specializes in marine satellite TV. We’ve brought this amazing TV service to everything from cruise ships to trawler fleets, as well as plenty of yachts and superyachts. We can help you, too. Just give us a call at 888-233-7563. You can also fill out the form below and send it to us. A Signal Connect rep will be in touch!

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.