we shall see: TV or no TV?

tvjourney came equipped with a TV antenna mounted on top of her mast so that she can receive lots of local channels. it’s a pretty cool perk and i actually really love the antenna itself ’cause it looks like a halo, especially when the anchor light is illuminated.

jr and i have been on the fence about whether or not to put a TV on journey. there is something really peaceful in the idea of being TV-less and there’s plenty to do on a boat other than watch TV. we’re planning on having a laptop, an iphone, a kindle, and, if I have my way, an iPad, so we’ll be plenty “connected.” we’ve never had cable for as long as we’ve lived together so we won’t miss that either. if we did get a TV, it would be a little guy anyway, like 15″ or so, but we’ve got lots of other stuff to buy that are seemingly more important to us.

do any of you watch TV on an ipad or laptop? is it fine? can you download shows or do you have to stream them? we may just head south without one and decide on our way down. we shall see!


  1. Remember, Journey will be home for a while. We installed a tv with a built in dvd player, it was important to us. Once in a while we got a little bored with perpetual sunshine, warm crystal clear water, beach parties, etc. . Wanted a larger screen for movies than a laptop. Trade movies with other cruisers.We use a Verizon MiFi unit (portable hot spot) to get internet in the states when no wireless signal available.

    1. Thanks David! JR is working on a WiFi Booster right now and we were looking into a MiFi. What happened once you left the country? Did you still get charged for it? Did they charge you for breaking a contract? We NEVER watch movies and haven’t had cable since we were teenagers! The TV/DVD combos were like $150 + shipping and there is so much other stuff to buy! I just got a used Kindle last night and am addicted! Hope all is well. We need another date!

  2. I still have the tiny TV. I think a 10″. You can put it in a drawer and pull it out just incase. Maybe you can just try it. Let me know. Love you

  3. We don’t have TV on our boat. Do have iPad and can stream movies and TV shows from Apps if we have a good enough Internet signal. We have the Bad Boy WiFi antenna booster, which has helped us to get signals that our iPads can’t pick up, and it also makes us a wifi hotspot, so I can use my laptop. I would caution you about the Verizon MiFi hotspot, in that it maxes at 10gb of data a month (not enough for streaming video), they do required a 2 year agreement, and you can suspend it for only 3 months, which extends your contract for 3 months, or the amount of time it was suspended. This has been our experience when cruising the first time to the Bahamas in 2010-2011. We have seen people with TV on their boats. Now that TV is digital, if you really wants to et come in the US, many at digital TV receiver would work. BTW, don’t miss the TV when cruising. I also have DVD player with my laptop, so if I really want to watch a movie, I can use that.
    S/V Changes

  4. We are going through the same decisions you are. If you think you would use mifi take at look at the carriers web sites. A lot has changed in the last year. If you buy the hotspot paid in full, most will offer you a month to month contract that you cancel at any time. Be aware that most are “locked” to a particular service like Tmobile or Verizon.
    We head out in a week or two from Montreal to points south.
    Felicity from sv Voila!

  5. I know it’s probably a little late in the game for this but I figured I would go ahead an throw this out there for anyone else looking for TV options. I’m not a full time cruiser, just a weekender on the lower bay, but what I found works for me is a usb hdtv adapter. You plug one end into your laptops usb port and the other into what should be a coaxial type antenna connection and voila your laptop is now a tv. Windows media center even will find and tune in the local channels and all for you. Here’s a link for the adapter I bought. I mostly use it for checking out the local news while on the hook.
    Really enjoying the blog btw…would love to do something similar one day…

    1. This is really helpful info! Thanks for sharing! We haven’t even touched the TV since Florida! So much other stuff to do here in the Bahamas! Thanks for reading.

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