Is there one satellite TV system that works everywhere in the world?

Well, let me first answer your obvious question. Obviously you would not want one satellite system to work in multiple countries, unless you’re going to more than one country. While there’s a little bit of RV’ing that goes on across the borders into Canada and Mexico, for the most part we’re talking about yachts here.

And before most of you check out, thinking you’ll never have that kind of money, hang on… it’s still a good article. I’m in a mood as I’m writing it so it’s going to be a little prickly. Everyone likes it when I get a little prickly.

So, let’s say you’re superwealthy and you have a big yacht. I mean, big. Like, big enough that you won’t even notice a two-and-a-half-foot wide white gumdrop somewhere up on your antenna stack. I think we would all like to be this wealthy. Some people are, and good for them.

Now, no matter if you’re wealthy or just average, no one wants to be away from their entertainment for too long. That’s why you want to have satellite TV while you’re on the water. Relying on your mobile device, even with a big, mast-mounted booster, is going to get you at most 25-30 mile coverage, often less. If you’re further away from that from the shore, you want satellite TV. Satellite TV doesn’t cover everywhere, but it will take you 50-100 miles from shore in most cases. This is enough to be in the middle of Lake Michigan, throughout much of the Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico, and a decent distance away from the California coastline. So far that you’re not seeing land. That’s what I’m talking about.

When you’re out there you are going to want to watch a little TV at night, anf chances are the cell coverage is zero. Solid Signal has lots of options for marine satellite TV… but what if you want to go further?

What if you want to get satellite TV, literally anywhere. Like, you’re sailing to South America, or to Europe? The larger marine craft can do this, you know. Unfortunately, there’s not one satellite TV system that will cover you. The closest is something like the Tri-Americas LNB on the KVH HD7, which can receive signals from most satellite carriers throughout North and South America. You will still need different satellite TV receivers in the staterooms (of which, I’m assuming, there are several) but at least you’ll have one dome that gets all the signals.

Once you get to the middle of the ocean, satellite TV coverage starts to fade. You would need a really gigantic dish and you would have to make contracts with content providers directly. If you’re 500 miles from land, I hate to tell you but there’s not a lot of TV out there. No one is there to pay for it. Once you get to Europe, you’ll need completely different equipment in many cases, although some of the stuff designed for the US and Latin America will work depending on where you are going.

But let’s be honest, at that point you’re too busy controlling multinational corporations and planning to save the world, because you’re really rich. I’m pretty sure that’s what really rich people do… at some point I hope to have the chance to find out.

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.