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Television reception


Neil2
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OK, this may be the long slippery slope but spending more and more time on the boat I am having to consider getting a proper TV set up. So far we haven't been bothered. A couple of days without TV is nice, a week is tolerable, any longer and it's what are we going to do this evening...

 

We've watched TV on the laptop with an indoor ariel occasionally when we've been in a good area for reception, but normally there's no signal. I have observed the wierd and wonderful ways boaters rig up aerials presumably to recreate a domestic situation, so my questions are, what is the minimum you need to virtually guarantee TV reception, and, this may be a silly question, how do you know which way to point the aerial?

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With digital TV taking over you do need a stronger signal to your TV than previously. This usually means higher gain antenna, and/or amplifier.

 

Check for your nearest TV transmitter then its just case of hand bearing compass & map to point antenna in right direction. If you are close to populated area, just point in same direction as others. There are also signal level sensors available similar in use to setting up satellite dish.

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To get a TV reception everywhere you'll need a very high mast and high gain antenna. However, a moderate mast (5 foot) and something like this:

 

http://www.tvaerials.com/product.aspx?productid=3607

 

tends to get pictures most places - even more once everywhere changes over to just digital. The only problem is that it's large and ungainly.

 

I've been using log periodic a bit like this one:

 

http://www.tvaerials.com/product.aspx?productid=597

 

with a small stand to get it off the cabin top which has been OK, but if you really want to watch tele you have to plan a little where you moor. I have a historic boat where I don't want an aerial showing when not in use, so have to pack it away each day, hence the small stowable aerial.

 

My Dad has one of these:

 

http://www.tvaerials.com/product.aspx?productid=599

 

set on a small 2 foot mast which works in a good few places also, the mast will extend to about 4 foot which occasionally helps in poor reception areas. The usual problem is ground clutter on canals.

 

Mike

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Or get a small satellite dish and use Freesat

 

 

 

 

Best thing we ever did with TV

 

 

 

 

(Although we've done some wonderful things without TV!)

 

Ahhh, ok...in a similar vein. I was given a Sky set-top box (looks like it's getting on a bit but the chap assured me it works on board). What would I need to get this working? Not so much worried about Sky, but I'd like the 'usual' terrestrial channels.

 

I don't have a sat dish for the boat so I assume I'd need one of those. Would I need a viewing card? I have one in my SKy+ HD box at home if that would work. Can you even get FreeSat on a Sky Box, or should I throw it out?

 

Thanks, sorry about all the questions but the whole area is a bit of a black spot for me...

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We've got an old Sky box at home with no viewing card, (the subscription lapsed years ago) it receives the free channels fine.

What ever you do, avoid the temptation to go for one of those Omnimax, omni-directional 'egg beater' look-alike systems. The one on the boat is next to useless and was bought with more enthusiasm than forethought. Whilst others nearby are snugly watching the whole spread of channels on their cheapo uni-directional 'bent coat hanger' aerials, we've got a passable imitation of a polar bear in a snowstorm. It works fine in a very clear area, but the slightest bit of 'clutter' and it's had it.

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You will need a dish but you wont need a viewing card to get all the BBC stuff and ITV 1, ITV 2, ITV 3, ITV 4, Channel four, Channel five and things like Film 4 and loads of "shopping" channels.

 

It might be worth you getting a compass to know which direction to point the dish (roughly south-east) and you will need a SCART lead from sat box to TV.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Dave

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You will need a dish but you wont need a viewing card to get all the BBC stuff and ITV 1, ITV 2, ITV 3, ITV 4, Channel four, Channel five and things like Film 4 and loads of "shopping" channels.

 

It might be worth you getting a compass to know which direction to point the dish (roughly south-east) and you will need a SCART lead from sat box to TV.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Dave

 

That's fantastic help, thanks everyone! I've got a compass in the iPhone so hopefully that'll work :)

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Thanks all. The boat we have now came with a plethora of different indoor/rooftop aerials and leads, clearly the previous owners had tried everything except a "proper" aerial and a mast. It also has one of those omni directional things which as has been mentioned doesn't work either. It's funny though, whenever we have been away for a while it's quite exciting to see a TV but the novelty wears off pretty quick these days. The motivation to muck about in the pouring rain with a mast/aerial will have to be pretty strong. I will not be one of those who cruises with the thing still sticking up out of the boat.

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Feeling dogmatic this evening,

 

After years of faffing about with terrestrial tv for years - What and where is the nearest TV transmitter, is it fringe or main??

I've given up.

Satellite is always in the same position. My canal maps give me an approximate North, so I can work out BEFORE I STOP whet 28.2 degrees South of North is.

Avoiding trees near the from of the boat when stopping means that when we do the Tele is Perfic'

 

Simples.

 

(Difficult in cuttings....)

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For terrestrial TV you need to get the aerial high above the boat as this ground plane reduces the signal significantly. We have a Harris extendable brush pole which I can easily fit to the front of the cratch. When fully extended it is about 12 ft above the boat roof. Normally get all the channels no matter where we are.

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i use both options of freeview,first choice free sat but if the line of sight to sats is blocked then the yagi tv ant goes up.not sure how well we will fair when analoge is swithed off though.

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TV is not everybodies thing aboard ! However it keeps the other half sane & thus helps with the winding of locks !

 

On the Cruiser , we use a cheap digi hi gain tv aerial on a extending fishing bankstick stuck in the ground - easy positionable.

 

On Dads Tube we use the same aerial but mounted on a 3ft pole on the bow roof

 

80-90% of the time we can get all dtv channels , all of the time we can get chan 1-5 which manages the soaps :banghead:

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Well, I spent yesterday evening (at home) listening to R4 having found nothing worth watching on the telly. I do wonder about this..

 

That's all good until the wife asks 'What's on TV?' - we do have the option (if we're in a 3G area) of checking online and texting the Sky+ box at home to record anything she'd like to see, but to be honest for the outlay of a dish I'd prefer to just turn the telly on ;)

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You will need a dish but you wont need a viewing card to get all the BBC stuff and ITV 1, ITV 2, ITV 3, ITV 4, Channel four, Channel five and things like Film 4 and loads of "shopping" channels.

 

It might be worth you getting a compass to know which direction to point the dish (roughly south-east) and you will need a SCART lead from sat box to TV.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Dave

 

Alan Jones has a really good printable template thing on his website, adjusted for different months of the year - take a look at Link to Keeping Up's web site for more detail

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OK, this may be the long slippery slope but spending more and more time on the boat I am having to consider getting a proper TV set up. So far we haven't been bothered. A couple of days without TV is nice, a week is tolerable, any longer and it's what are we going to do this evening...

 

We've watched TV on the laptop with an indoor ariel occasionally when we've been in a good area for reception, but normally there's no signal. I have observed the wierd and wonderful ways boaters rig up aerials presumably to recreate a domestic situation, so my questions are, what is the minimum you need to virtually guarantee TV reception, and, this may be a silly question, how do you know which way to point the aerial?

 

 

Hi

 

 

Even though I have a standard Digi TV ariel and I am quite happy with the reception I'm thinking about one of these Maplins

 

You always need to check a nearby house for the direction of their ariel, also notice whether the 'prongs' are horizontal or vertical.

 

You need to be able to turn your ariel through 90 degrees when necessary.

 

I have made a quick attachment for my ariel and I can make it fold flat, but its still a pain to store on my boat during the day

 

We have just come over the L&L and there are no digital signals between Barnoldswick and Leeds until this September.

 

Alex

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Well, I've put a plug on the old Sky box (first time I'd wired a 12v plug too, yay!) and it appears to work.

 

I ordered one of these,

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000OWK10I/ref=ox_ya_os_product

 

which arrives tomorrow. Looks like I'll be busy this weekend (I've also got to fit new navigation lights as I butterfingered one into the cut last week :blush: )

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After nearly two years of smashing aerials off on bridges we decided not to bother buying a new one. Have not been bothered about watching TV since. We have a selection of DVD's aboard if we get really bored but cant remember the last time we sat down to watch one of those aboard either.

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After nearly two years of smashing aerials off on bridges we decided not to bother buying a new one. Have not been bothered about watching TV since. We have a selection of DVD's aboard if we get really bored but cant remember the last time we sat down to watch one of those aboard either.

 

My most misguided action was to get myself a games console on board when I first bought the boat - it was used once before I sold it off :)

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My most misguided action was to get myself a games console on board when I first bought the boat - it was used once before I sold it off :)

 

We bought the playstation 3 when it first came out. Had to have it. Played it at home once then it sat gathering dust, so we took it to the boat thinking it may get used more. It hasnt been used at all and is now not only gathering dust but taking up valuable storage space :rolleyes:

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Well reading through these posts has me thinking I wonder how much TV I would watch at home if I had to rig up an aerial, get it pointing in the right direction, search for channels, then take it all down and start again the following day...

Especially if it's raining.

Despite the fact that a sat dish needs an extra box I'm beginning to think this is the best way to get TV without cluttering up the boat or risking getting the aerial/mast broken/nicked.

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