Need local channels on your boat? We can help!

Summer is boating season. It’s the time of year when folks want to enjoy life outdoors. But, life outdoors doesn’t mean giving up all the little pleasures. Daytime may be spent out in the sun, partying and living the good life. But, nighttime can be spent anyway you want. For a lot of people that means cozying up in the cabin with a little bit of television.

How you get TV in your boat

There are three ways that you can get video in your boat. The first is a TV antenna. TV antennas do work well up to about 50 miles offshore. Because there’s nothing between you and the land, the signal comes in nice and strong. And, local TV is free. But, there are limitations. Local TV doesn’t work if the boat is moving more than about 15 miles per hour. And, of course, while there are dozens of locals to choose from, there’s also a lot of other TV entertainment out there.

Another way you can get video into the boat is the use of a VSAT system. VSAT is satellite-based internet. It’s a good choice if you need internet service, but until recently this technology was very high priced and didn’t compare to the land-based internet experience. If you have an older boat, the cost to add VSAT may have you thinking twice. Without VSAT, you’re reliant on your cell phone. The wiring in most boats makes it hard to get cell service in the cabin without additional cell boosters. You also need to be aware that cell service usually doesn’t go more than a few miles offshore. If you really want to get away from it all, it’s not going to be there for you.

That leaves satellite TV. The first satellite systems for boats came out over 15 years ago and that means that you (or the boat’s last owner) might have already made this investment. So, all you have to do is pay the monthly fee and you’re in business. Satellite TV offers a whole universe of entertainment. It works well while you’re moving and even during moderate storms. That’s why it’s been the entertainment system of choice for years.

Marine satellite in the ’20s

Most of these early satellite systems were designed to offer standard definition service. DIRECTV and DISH are aggressively moving away from SD. High definition and 4K are the order of the day today. However, if your marine satellite antenna is older, you’ll need to replace it to get high-definition programming. You may be staying with satellite because it’s the low-cost option, and upgrades may be off the table. That makes perfect sense.

The good news

The good news is that standard definition service is still available. The folks at DIRECTV and DISH’s corporate offices won’t offer it to you, because “officially” it’s been retired. But the magicians at Signal Connect have their ways. Using the same computer systems that the satellite companies use, we can help you keep that standard definition system working. We know how to configure today’s receivers to work with yesterday’s antennas.

Our team can tell you up front if standard-definition local channels are still available in the area where your boat is moored. We can even tell you the secrets you’ll need to know to keep that satellite system working perfectly for years to come. We can help you upgrade any non-working or obsolete equipment, and recommend moves that will keep TV coming to your boat without a massive investment.

It all starts with a call to Signal Connect. Start by calling 888-233-7563 and we’ll connect you with a marine specialist who will take the journey with you. You’ll get a professional consultant, not just a cell center operator. When you have questions, you can call them directly. It’s the kind of service you deserve, and it’s the kind of service Signal Connect specializes in.

If it’s after East Coast business hours and you want to get started, fill out the form below! A specialist will get back to you, usually within 24 hours.

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 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.