What’s the best TV option for your boat?

More people are taking to the open water than ever before. Boat sales, both new and used, are up this year. Marine accessories is one of the breakout sectors of 2020. It’s easy to see why, when people spent the spring locked up. Anyone who’s able is now aching to get some sunshine and some fun. And after a day of fun in the sun, it’s time to settle into the cabin and relax. 

There are four really good options for marine television, and it all depends on your budget. It also depends a little bit on how far away from shore you’re willing to go. 

Option 1 (least expensive): Antenna TV

Free broadcast television works great on boats. You can generally be about 50 miles offshore and get good reception. An antenna like this one, although it’s designed for RVs, works very well. It will let you get free broadcast TV no matter which direction your boat’s pointing. TV signals tend to travel quite well over water because there are no trees or buildings to block the signal. 


The best part is that there’s a lot of content out there. In most major cities you’ll get about 80 different channels when you scan, and that should be enough to satisfy your TV needs at a very modest price point. 

Option 2: gotW3

You might not have heard of this new product, but it’s going to rock your world. gotW3 is a “hotspot on steroids” that will let you use streaming devices, tablets, and computers on your boat. You can run an external antenna up a mast and get great internet from about five miles offshore. The gotW3 device is inexpensive and the monthly 300GB/month data plan is about the same as you’d pay for a cell phone. It’s a much better solution than trying to use your phone down in the cabin. It will give Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet to all the devices down there. 


Option 3: Marine satellite television

Why leave anything at home? With a marine satellite dish you can get the same channels of DIRECTV or DISH programming you enjoy at home. You can even get DVRs on your pleasure craft. Marine satellite isn’t affected at all by the motion of your boat, which is really amazing. Complicated electronics make the marine experience just as good as the at-home experience. 

A marine satellite system isn’t cheap, but it can let you get service from 50 miles offshore or even more. The right system can even let you add receivers from other countries so that you can watch TV wherever you are. 


Option 4: Satellite Internet (most expensive)

Satellite internet service is very similar to marine satellite TV. The technology is almost identical, but it’s designed to point at different satellites. With marine satellite internet, you get a high-speed internet connection that can reach hundreds of miles offshore. If you can stream it, you can get it with marine satellite internet. 

It’s true, this isn’t a system for the faint of pocketbook. This is a premium product for a premium customer. If life has been good to you so far, contact our marine satellite specialist, David Ross. He’ll walk you through the process and build a custom quote that includes everything you need even installation!


Want to learn more?

If you want more information, call the experts at Signal Connect, the corporate and marine arm of Solid Signal. Call 888-233-7563, or fill out the form below. 

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.