Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-23-2014, 01:53 PM   #1
Veteran Member
 
City: forked river nj
Country: usa
Vessel Name: Godspeed
Vessel Model: 36" Marine Trader Sundeck
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 40
TV Antenna reception

I'm interested in the groups experience in using a TV antenna on the ICW. We do not have a satellite system in the budget (yet).

What type of reception should I expect?
What antennas would you recommend?
Is there a lot of areas without any reception?

Thanks for your feedback!
__________________
Advertisement

mike_nickens1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 02:50 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Capecodder's Avatar
 
City: Cape Cod, MA or Fort Myers, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Osprey
Vessel Model: Her Shine. Newburyport
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 266
I have had pretty good use with a $35.00 RCA flat antenna from Radio shack or Wallyworld. In some of the more remote sections of the ICW no TV or cell. Time to talk, read, watch the stars. This trip I do have a Dish "tailgater" Satellite antenna under $400.00 purchase and $30.00 basic to hundreds per month. Works in slips and very calm anchorages.
__________________

Capecodder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 03:25 PM   #3
Guru
 
City: Tuckerton, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: WIRELESS ONE
Vessel Model: 36 Gulstar MarkII
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 937
I'm a Glomex fan however I have been testing a small Majestic 10" amplified UFO marine style antenna. I'm impressed so far it's not as good as the larger Glomex but pretty good compared to the 10" amplified Glomex. I also have a KVH TracVision M3 and wouldn't leave home without it.
Bill
Billylll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 08:34 PM   #4
Guru
 
Mule's Avatar
 
City: Fort Pierce
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Florita Ann
Vessel Model: 1982 Present
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,789
i want the real deal, sat dome. I cannot afford it w/o added income. I am male 67 yrs old. Overweight, outta shape, white-grey haired. I was thinking paid sexual escort..... Whattayathink???
Mule is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 08:43 PM   #5
Guru
 
City: North Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,390
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_nickens1 View Post
I'm interested in the groups experience in using a TV antenna on the ICW. We do not have a satellite system in the budget (yet).

What type of reception should I expect?
What antennas would you recommend?
Is there a lot of areas without any reception?

Thanks for your feedback!
With a good, omnidirectional antenna (I have an amplified Glomex) you can expect reception within twenty to thirty miles of the station's transmitter. The conversion to digital TV in the USA was not good for those not near the transmitters.

In my travels, I find I get from zero to thirty or forty stations, depending on the location. Of course if you get forty stations, many are duplicates and many are in languages other than English or shopping channels. In most towns I get two to five stations.

Many marinas have cable at the slips. The amplifier of the Glomex antenna I installed has a separate jack for cable so all I have to do is connect it, turn the knob and run a scan on the TV.
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 09:25 PM   #6
Guru
 
High Wire's Avatar
 
City: Cape May, NJ and Englewood, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Irish Lady
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,602
I have a Majestic UFO and it picks up to about 20 miles max. If the boat is swinging around on the anchor, the picture gets pixelated and sometimes unwatchable. Sitting in a slip is ok.
__________________
Archie
1984 Monk 36 Hull #46
Englewood, FL and Cape May, NJ
High Wire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 10:10 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
seasalt007's Avatar
 
City: Punta Gorda, FL
Country: U.S.
Vessel Name: Aweigh
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 42
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 486
What causes this pixelation? I have a TERK omnidirectional internal antenna and sometimes it gets messed up just siting in the slip if I am not close to the tower. It goes from excellent to bad. Sometimes moving it will help temporarily then it gets bad again.
seasalt007 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 10:45 PM   #8
Guru
 
City: Satsuma FL
Country: United States
Vessel Name: No Mo Trawla
Vessel Model: Hurricane SS188
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,681
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mule View Post
i want the real deal, sat dome. I cannot afford it w/o added income. I am male 67 yrs old. Overweight, outta shape, white-grey haired. I was thinking paid sexual escort..... Whattayathink???
I say quit watching TV and can't in shape. Well, you asked!
Donsan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 06:23 AM   #9
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,534
An antenna is easily made from a discarded aluminum bike wheel , its in the archives.

The BEST !!! part of cruising the AICW in election times is the Local TV adds for all sorts of politicos.

No TV script writer could come up with the level of entertainment these low buck , amateur adds provide.

Here in CT the adds dont change ,> He has a Yacht , dont elect him!<

BOORING , but underway its great as it changes every night.

Underway Sat , to watch the show!!
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 06:47 AM   #10
Guru
 
timjet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,905
Having spent 5 months on the ICW and Chesapeake, I'm searching for a better solution than the amplified antenna we have. Used Track it TV are in the 200-500 dollar range.
__________________
Tim
Tampa Bay
Carver 355 ACMY Twin Cummins Diesels Sold
timjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 08:46 AM   #11
Guru
 
City: North Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,390
Quote:
Originally Posted by seasalt007 View Post
What causes this pixelation? ............
Loss of signal or weak signal. Back in the analog days, a weak signal was usually watchable, you just had "snow" or multiple pictures (the signal being reflected off buildings or hills). Digital is different. You either have a signal good enough to produce the entire picture and sound or you don't. Your picture and sound is either perfect or it's gone. Your TV will attempt to show the last frame that was good.
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 08:49 AM   #12
Guru
 
City: Tuckerton, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: WIRELESS ONE
Vessel Model: 36 Gulstar MarkII
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 937
Pixels or picture freezing up is caused by the lack of a stable quality signal. It's commonly known as signal to noise ratio or with digital modes CINR. Rain can cause this, not obviously having a NLOS (near line of site) to the TV transmitter and even the frequency the station is transmitting on can cause intermittent quality of service issues with Digital OTA TV. The distance to the transmitter is probably the number 1 issue when it comes to poor quality Digital OTA TV reception. You can only stretch the string so far!
From my testing lab I'm pulling TV stations at 25 miles with the small Majestic amplified marine rated TV antenna.
It's just my opinion but if you boat within 20 to 25 miles of major TV markets the smaller Majestic should work for you for anything further I'd recommend the larger amplified Glomex. There's really no point in using a highly directional Log Periodic TV antenna on a boat unless you are tied to the dock otherwise you'll need to constantly reorient the antenna at the station you are trying to receive as the boat swings.
Billylll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 09:00 AM   #13
Guru
 
City: North Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,390
Keep in mind that on a boat, our antennas are usually only a few feet above sea level. We have no chimney to mount them on (I used to do that sort of thing in the last century).
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 10:24 AM   #14
Guru
 
hmason's Avatar
 
City: Westport, CT
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Magic
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 46 Europa
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,906
If you really want to watch reliable TV at anchor, or underway you need to bite the bullet and go for a sat system. We have an amplified Shakespeare sea watch antenna and find it pretty useless unless at a dock or in short range of a broadcasting antenna.

Since we liveaboard, we installed a sat system. We chose an Intellian I4 satellite dome with a MIMM adapter to access the Dish Network. This gives us many, many HD stations. The I4 tracks 3 satellites at once, switching between them automatically when you change stations. The dome has its own GPS, which means that we never have to program the antenna when we move locations; it locates the satellites seamlessly. We have found the system to be rock solid underway, at anchor, or at a dock. The only times we lose the signal is during a very heavy rain or storm. After 2 years of use we couldn't be more pleased. Dish customer service has been good as well.

Howard
__________________
Howard
Magic, 1996 Grand Banks Europa
Westport, CT and Stuart, FL
hmason is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 12:26 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
seasalt007's Avatar
 
City: Punta Gorda, FL
Country: U.S.
Vessel Name: Aweigh
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 42
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 486
That's good information Howard. I am in a mental wrestling match between KVH and Intellian. I definitely want a new system (with warranty) but I have not found any real deals that my frugal self will go for. The most basic units will work for us.

We don't live aboard anymore but would like to take some long trips...maybe even do the loop. A sat dish will be a must for that.

Our previous boat had a KVH C3 with Direct TV. No problems for over 5 years.
seasalt007 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 02:41 PM   #16
Guru
 
City: Tuckerton, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: WIRELESS ONE
Vessel Model: 36 Gulstar MarkII
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 937
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Keep in mind that on a boat, our antennas are usually only a few feet above sea level. We have no chimney to mount them on (I used to do that sort of thing in the last century).
You are absolutely correct Ron, my test lab has the antennas being tested inside a 2nd story window so I have building attenuation that wouldn't be there when mounted in the clear on a boat and I always found that I had better reception when I was in a clear bay with nothing blocking my antenna for miles other than water. Now when gunk holed and surrounded with trees that's generally a problem depending on the distance of the OTA digital TV station I am trying to receive.
Bill
Billylll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2014, 10:05 AM   #17
Guru
 
sbu22's Avatar
 
City: New Orleans
Country: US
Vessel Name: Panache
Vessel Model: Viking 43 Double Cabin '76
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 680
I have the Glomex with amplifier. Antenna about 18' off water. On Lake P I've (on a good day - not sure what that means in terms of the actual propogation physics) 30+ usable channels from as far away as Biloxi (50-60 miles direct). I didn't believe it either, but others in marina with similar setups (some on tuna towers) report the same.
sbu22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2014, 10:36 AM   #18
Guru
 
City: North Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,390
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbu22 View Post
I have the Glomex with amplifier. Antenna about 18' off water. On Lake P I've (on a good day - not sure what that means in terms of the actual propogation physics) 30+ usable channels from as far away as Biloxi (50-60 miles direct). I didn't believe it either, but others in marina with similar setups (some on tuna towers) report the same.
Over flat terrain or especially over water, you will get a longer range.

We visit Savannah, GA once a year and stay at the docks right on the river. Savannah is built on a hill next to the river so there's a 40' or so hill within a hundred feet of the dock and buildings on top of the hill. We typically get no or very little TV reception.

Anchored near Beaufort, SC on the way to or from Savannah, we get all the Savannah TV stations even though we are 40 miles or so away.

In my home slip in Charleston we get the Charleston stations but the towers are about 25 miles from the marina on the other side of the city and we sometimes have trouble with the signal.
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2014, 12:07 PM   #19
Guru
 
City: Tuckerton, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: WIRELESS ONE
Vessel Model: 36 Gulstar MarkII
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 937
There are many variables when trying to get satisfactory OTA digital TV reception from a boat. Most if not all have been covered in this thread. I still think getting a high quality Omni (UFO) with an external amplifier will give you the best results with ever changing conditions that are out of our control.
Bill
Billylll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2014, 03:56 PM   #20
Guru
 
HiDHo's Avatar
 
City: Scottsboro, Al.
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hi-D-Ho
Vessel Model: 1987 Krogen Manatee
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 735
Boatswain mate, stick with a cheap HDTV antenna it will cost less and provide longer lasting entertainment.
Bill
MMCM USN Retired
__________________

HiDHo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:43 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012