TV and internet access on the road

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TV and internet access on the road

Posted: 14.01.2020  ·  #1

We are in the middle of our van conversion. Just looking for some advice on the best methods to watch TV (and internet access) on the road, both in Ireland and when you'll be heading into other countries. Whats your experience been with satellite dishes? What can we expect....a bit clueless here I'm afraid!

Also, any internet providers who specialize in international travel?

I guess my concern is similar to what I've experienced living in different areas....the providers promise the world, only to find the reception is not so great, breaks down (freezes) regularly or costs an arm and a leg.

Would be great to hear from those in the know.


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Re: TV and internet access on the road

Posted: 14.01.2020  ·  #2
We started out with a manual sat dish (as in mounted on a tripod like you see caravaners use) which was 60 cm diameter. With practice from regular use you can get this set up and tuned-in in 5 or 6 minutes. You get all the UK channels on Astra 28.2 (Freesat), so long as you are not under a tree. If you have a TV with inbuilt satellite tuner, you will get going for less than 100 euros. If you need to get a tuner box add another 50 - 100 euros but watch that you get a 12V one unless you always plan to stay at campsites with 240 V elec supply.

We have a 60 cm dish now on the roof and it will get all the UK Channels down through France to a line from Bordeaux to Lyon and you will get RTE radio and Newstalk radio all the way to the Med.

I have seen it reported widely that an 80cm dish will get UK TV Channels all the way to the French Med but you will lose TV in Spain although there are some sweet spots along the Spanish east coast where you can still get freesat TV reception. You can Google satellite signal coverage maps for Europe which will give you the general idea, also if you want to venture east to Holland & Germany.

It would seem the end of the satellite dish is coming as a way to watch TV. You can now get decent roaming data packages on your mobile (30 GB/month ) for 20 - 30 euros. If you tether your phone to the TV, you can get 30 hrs TV time out of 30 GB data, maybe a bit longer. You can get 50 GB data SIM card for 35 - 40 euros a month if you are a heavier user of TV. I know its not cheap but an automatic dish will set you back in the order of 2000 euros, so thats not cheap either.

So it depends on a lot of things. Where you intend to holiday. Whether you mind the hassle of setting up a manual dish, even in the rain. How much TV will you want to watch each night. How long your holiday will be, e.g. 2 or 3 weeks or longer, etc. Remember a small number of campsites abroad have free Wifi all over the site, but when everyone tries to watch TV in the evenings, forget it. Other sites/aires will have WiFi for costs from 1 euro to 3 euros per day approx. and these signals can be quite good.

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Re: TV and internet access on the road

Posted: 14.01.2020  ·  #3
If I was in the market for a Sat dish I wouldn't go past the 85cm version of THIS at present I have the 65cm version since 2006 and I can get a lock-on within a minute or maybe two.
The 65cm gives me the BBC's ITV's, 4's, 5's and lots more down nearly to the south of France.
With an Irish Sky card, the RTE channels containing some of BBC production content and Virgin 1, 2 & 3 which nearly replicate their ITV 'cousins', can be picked up nearly to the south of Spain. I expect the 85cm version would do better.
If you are a UK resident and haven't access to an Irish sky card there are still quite a few channels available further south.

Running a mains (230v a/c) tv and satellite box off an inverter LIKE THIS or similar is no problem, so you don't have to go searching for 12v equipment.

It is my opinion that for the present and probably for the foreseeable future tv over mobile date is not a runner due to data costs, data caps when roaming (some networks) and lack of 4G coverage.

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