Which is better for your boat… satellite TV or satellite internet?

Ready to live the good life? Of course you are. You’ve done pretty well for yourself and you’re outfitting your yacht. But, you have a big decision to make. Should you get satellite TV or satellite internet? Of course you could always get both, but for now let’s say that’s just a smidge out of your budget. A few more smart deals and you’ll get there, but for now let’s say you have to pick one. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.

Satellite Television

Ladies and gentlemen, in this corner, we have satellite television. It’s been available since the mid-2000s and it’s a stable and reliable way to get entertainment. Satellite TV has a lot of strengths, and it’s worth knowing about all of them.

Boundless entertainment

Satellite TV has no data caps, no overage charges, no throttling. Other than some minor charges, you pay the same if there’s one TV or 100. You can design the system of your dreams and it will work, 24/7, without you worrying about it.

Live excitement

Satellite TV also brings immediacy. With DVRs on board you can record things, but of course without satellite internet you’ll miss out on “on-demand” features. You can watch a practically infinite selection of live and recorded TV, though, and that means you’ll have the entertainment experience you want at the end of the day.

Reasonable prices

Surprisingly, satellite TV is also generally less expensive than satellite-delivered internet. It’s scalable too, meaning you can build it out to have as many TVs as you want. Most marine satellite plans are about the same price as land-based plans for the same experience. That’s worth thinking about.

Satellite Internet

And in this corner we have the underdog, satellite internet. Satellite internet started as an overpriced alternative to dial-up, and it’s come a long way since then. Satellite-based internet is a real crowd pleaser, and it’s easy to say why.

Dude, it’s the whole internet

You can get email, messaging, social, shopping, pretty much everything you want. You can even use streaming apps, up to a point. (More on that in a minute.) But if you can’t find some way to entertain yourself with the whole internet at your disposal, I’m not sure there’s much more I can say.

Guests stay connected

This is the 2020s. Part of being hospitable means making sure that your guests don’t lose touch with what’s important to them. A satellite internet solution will help them feel more relaxed, because it eliminates the fear of missing out. Cell phone reception falls off after a mile or three; satellite internet covers a lot more area.

In fact, satellite internet covers a lot more of the open ocean that satellite TV. Satellite TV is designed to hug the coastline. Satellite internet can go out 100 miles or more. That’s a big difference, and it’s one you’ll appreciate on longer voyages.

Choose your level of commitment

The latest satellite internet plans really are flexible. You can choose a package that gives you a little connectivity for emergency emails or texts, or choose one that gives you the full experience. It’s up to you. Prices are higher than internet packages on land, which is why it’s worth having options.

A little bit of warning

Both these options are great. But there are some things you need to know.

Satellite TV is really designed for being on land

Both US satellite providers use multiple satellites and multiple technologies. You’ll experience some lag sometimes as the system accommodates. You’ll also want to have an expert on your side, someone who can help you get activated. The folks who you meet in the mall aren’t going to be able to get your boat’s account up and running.

Satellite is a lot faster now, but it’s still not as fast as land-based internet

Satellite-based internet is fast enough that you can stream in high definition under some circumstances. But it’s not as boundless as land-based internet. It’s really much more suited to browsing, shopping, and messaging than it is for video.

Ready to go? Here’s how you proceed

Are you ready to get the satellite service of your dreams? Call the experts at Signal Connect. No one does more satellite activations for marine than Signal Connect. We speak your language, and we’re ready to give you the service you deserve. It starts with a call to 888-233-7563 or by filling out the form below. The ball’s in your court, and the way I see it, there’s no wrong answer here. You’ll love what you get either way.


About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.