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TV & Radio
 
 
 

Volunteers wanted - to add, edit and amend information on receiving radio and TV in a motorhome both here and abroad and hopefully covering satellite TV and digital radio too.

Many will wish to escape radio and TV altogether but others will want to watch every episode of their favourite soap, sport or comedy or perhaps just the news and weather in English.  If you wish to watch conventional TV when abroad, in any language, do be aware that you will need a multi-standard TV.  The little Panasonic at www.panasonic.co.uk/standard-tv/txg10/ is such a product complete with a semi-automatic tuning facility.  It's not cheap but we have found it very good and also compact enough to go in quite modest TV cupboards.  A roof aerial or one that clips to say a rear ladder will also be needed.  Omni-directional aerials need no setting up but are never as good as directional aerials.  The new Status directional is roof mounted but can be swivelled and tilted from inside the motorhome.

The more ambitious may well want to watch and listen to SKY in which case you'll need a satellite dish and digi-box decoder and viewing card.  Apart from your existing digi-box which has to be connected to a phone line at least for the first year, it is possible to buy non-contract boxes for 150 - 250.  Strictly speaking you are not allowed to take your Sky card out of the country but since this is mainly for copyright reasons and you are simply a temporarily displaced Brit there doesn't seem to be a big issue here and many motorcaravanners do it regularly. 

Compact dishes work in northern Europe, mid sized dishes in southern Europe and large dishes, say 85 cm, in fringe areas like southern Spain & Portugal.  Many have said that the large dishes are a pain and not worth the effort most of the time - so consider them only if you intend to spend long periods far south!  Dishes can be roof or portable tripod mounted the latter being handy when there are obstacles like those nice shady trees getting in the way.  Satellite finding is critical and some swear by cheap electronic satellite finders while others claim they are useless and prefer tables and compass.  Some roof mounted dish systems automatically find the best signal but these are of course expensive and still fail if there are obstacles.  There is after all a good reason why dishes are fitted high up on buildings; unfortunately we don't have two storey motorhomes!

Video DVD players and recorders are available in 12v form as are some TVs so a complete mobile entertainment system can be built up.  We've had an amplifier fitted that routes output from the vehicle radio-cd player and the tv-video combination to improve the sound quality of both.  By the way, although domestic mini-systems can be used where 230v electrics are available they are not designed to be bounced about in a vehicle and may not last very long there.

Volunteers wanted - to add, edit and amend information on receiving radio and TV in a motorhome both here and abroad and hopefully covering satellite TV and digital radio too.

 

 
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