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which TV aerial?

I use a 240v tv/dvd player combo on my narrowboat, only having played dvd's so far. I want to watch TV now: what sort of aerial should I buy? I'd like it to be a low-lying type.

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | 1.30pm, Thursday 19 March


WW says:

You have a number of options but first you need to decide which type of aerial you want. Some are permanently mounted while some are intended to be removed after use.
Permanent aerials need careful positioning to avoid spoiling the lines of the boat. Some can be raised and lowered which reduces their impact when not in use, Temporary aerials can be packed away but you then have the task of getting them out and deploying them every time you want to watch something and this can be a drag - especially if it is raining.
Then there is the question of directional and omni directional aerials. The latter receive their signal from which ever direction it comes regardless of the positioning of the aerial. This may seem an advantage but the strength of the signal will not be as great as one which needs to be pointed at the transmitter sending the signal. In weak signal areas, this can be the difference between getting a picture and not getting one. You can buy signal finders which will tell you where the nearest transmitter is or you can look at the direction of aerials on nearby houses - assuming that there are any.
I use a directional aerial with a built-in signal finder. It can be raised and lowered, and rotated in all directions, from inside the boat. An account of my experiences with this was published in the January 2015 issue of WW. This is available online or as a back number.

Graham Booth  | 2.12PM, Thursday 19 March


Readers say:

Some narrowboaters seem to go to an awful lot of trouble to find a TV signal, fiddling with signal finders, repositioning their satellite dishes, etc.We find, since transmitter signals have been boosted following the full digital rollout, our omnidirectional aerial is perfectly fine. When cruising we find we get no TV on 2 or 3 evenings in a three month period - not a great hardship.

Clive Dutson  | 12.13PM, Tuesday 7 April

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