Live TV for your yacht? But of course!

It’s true that most of us won’t own a megayacht. At least some of us can at least tour one… like our own Dave Ross who spent a day living the life of luxury at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show. We can dream, though. For those who do live a life filled with champagne, nothing is left on shore. There are sophisticated whole-vessel satellite dishes that supply live programming to every room on hidden TVs that slide up from their cubbies. It sounds like paradise.

A solution for everyone

You don’t have to be a bajillionaire to enjoy free TV on your boat, though. No matter if you have a rowboat or a large cruiser, there’s a solution out there for you. If you’re looking for some easy, free TV, mount a consumer-grade TV in a stateroom. No it won’t last long if it gets wet, so don’t spend a lot. Then connect up an antenna like our Dinova BOSS so that you’ll get the best possible reception. It’s an easy solution for smaller vessels and there’s no cost once it’s installed and running.

There’s only one issue of course, and it’s a matter of technology. Over-the-air antennas don’t work if the boat’s going more than about 15mph. They will usually work about 50-60 miles from shore, though. This means that they make great solutions when you bed down for the night. For small craft captains, that seems about perfect.

What about watching TV on your phone?

Hey. I get it. It’s not 1957 over here. You’ve got that cell phone and you want to use it. For larger vessels there’s a solution called VSAT.  This is basically internet over satellite. You put a domed antenna up on a mast, and you can get decent internet.

You need to know, though, that it’s not necessarily the same experience you get from home. Satellite internet can be slow, and there are data caps. It’s not a perfect solution especially if you’re using it for streaming.

The right solution for live TV on a yacht

Antennas tend to work well while docked but because of the nature of digital broadcasting, they don’t do well when you’re moving. It’s a good solution but if you’re in a superyacht you’re probably headed off at full steam to Monaco or Newport or somewhere glamorous. You’re going deep in international waters where you’ll meet up with spies or global financiers.

For the real TV experience you need a satellite dish. Regular dishes just don’t work on the water, because of all the movement. Still, you should consider a product like those from KVH or Intellian that is designed for marine vessels, with quick, accurate self-aiming capability. Satellite dishes can give you national HD channels no matter where you are out to about 100 miles off shore. With the right hardware you can get live TV virtually anywhere you travel on the water.

With winter coming, this is actually the best time to get a few upgrades done on that boat of yours before you wrap it up. You may never have a super-yacht, but you can enjoy all the comforts, no matter what size boat you have!

How to get the best TV experience

If you’re looking for the best experience, you’ll need to get connected to a professional. We make it easy! Our microsite for marine satellite TV will give you a quick overview, and you’ll be able to fill out a quick form if you don’t have time to talk on the phone immediately. Check it out now!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 5,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.