Over-the-air antenna TV on the water? It can be done!

Itching for some free TV while out on the high seas? You don’t need to do without. A lot of people don’t think that it’s possible to get live, over-the-air TV while out on the ocean but it’s just not true.

There’s always distance to think about… but unless you operate a large cruise ship you’re probably staying within 20 miles of shore. Antennas work quite well up to a range of 60-70 miles, depending on the antenna you use, and while you’re in that range you should be fine. Of course if you sail too far away from a major city all bets are off, right?

The good thing is you don’t have to worry about obstructions. While on land, your signal is in danger of being interrupted by hills and other buildings. Many major cities are actually right on the water and have broadcast towers on the tallest building in town. If you can see that building, you can get great TV reception. It’s as simple as that once you’re on the water.

The motion of the ocean… could be a concern depending on when you choose to use your antenna. Digital signals are designed to be used from a stationary point. If you’re parked for the night in calm seas, you should have no problem at all, but as you go faster you could run into issues. It’s going to vary from situation to situation, but let’s be honest, if you’re underway why would you want to watch TV? Shouldn’t you be watching the open ocean?

You don’t need a “marine rated” antenna. If you’re the sort of person who really wants to pay more, we actually have some marine-rated TV antennas from Shakespeare, one of the big names in that industry. However, any antenna that has a plastic outer shell like the Antop line will work well as long as you make sure that connections are covered by weather boots. The Televes Diginova also works well in a marine environment and is of superior quality for the price.

When you’re ready to add an antenna to your craft, you don’t need to go any further than Solid Signal. We have a wide variety to choose from and our experts can give you the best advice on which antenna to pick for land or sea, and how best to integrate it with your existing system!

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.