Friday, November 11, 2011

KVH M1 101

Marinas and yacht clubs are slowly learning that providing some sort of dockside cable television service to their customers is getting increasingly more difficult, and complex. The switch to digital cable systems more than ever before, now requires a digital receiver box to be installed in a home, or boat for each television. But short of tornadoes, landslides, or sink holes in Florida, your house doesn't typically travel, your boat does. The equipment cable providers give you is based on a home installation scenario. You know the type, you can get behind your TV and plug and play all of the cables, in air conditioning, without sweating or bleeding. On a boat this is much different.

A local yacht club is discovering how painful this is becoming. Their Comcast system now requires digital tuner boxes for each television to receive the channels. That's not quite the truth, the first 24 channels of very basic cable is still available for now, but for most cable TV suppliers a box of some sort is required. So here is the catch, if you install your local vendors box in your boat, and you travel to another marina with another cable TV vendor, your box won't work with their system. This problem is going to get worse, and never better. I do have a suggestion for marinas. With a good quality digital on air antenna, and an amplifier system you could provide in most urban areas 20, to 30 or more digital high quality free local channels to your boaters. The capital cost is low, and you can get rid of those costly cable TV bills.

A good option for boaters that cruise, and who want broad channel options is a satellite marine TV system such as the KVH M1 seen below.