Data Sheet

#53 TV and radio reception when touring

#53 #53 TV and radio reception when touring

TV and radio reception when touring

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Wherever you are it has never been easier to pick up TV and radio channels from your caravan, motorhome or camping unit. In addition to the terrestrial broadcasts we have enjoyed for more than half a century, we also have the options of satellite broadcasts and tuning in via the internet. Typically a signal antenna and a receiver will be required whether this is via terrestrial aerial or satellite dish and some means of displaying the signal such as a TV, some TV's may have the receiver built-in or a set top box will be required.

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The key advantage of satellite broadcasts over other means is their coverage in any given country or countries and the sheer number of broadcasts carried. In the UK and Europe these run into the thousands, if you are prepared to point your dish at more than one satellite.
Broadcasts over the internet can be truly global, although geographic restrictions are often applied to comply with broadcasting rights. This means it can be difficult to receive programs in countries other than those for which they were intended. Another consideration is internet speeds and data usage. Streaming video can be extremely data hungry and therefore can be costly.

Terrestrial broadcasts

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Traditionally TV and radio signals have been broadcast from networks of ground-based transmitters covering whole countries.

In this Data Sheet there are tips on how best to receive your favourite TV and radio programmes when touring in the UK and abroad. Picking up a good signal depends on having a suitable aerial as well as being within range of the transmitter.

Generally speaking the higher the frequency of a terrestrial signal the more it is likely to be absorbed by obstructions such as buildings and trees. Also the higher the frequency the more information the signal can carry. TV signals in the UK are broadcast at ultra-high frequencies, often requiring a directional aerial to be pointed at the transmitter.

Radio broadcasts on the other hand can be transmitted at much lower frequencies, such as those found in the medium waveband. Here an aerial usually takes the form of a coil wound on a ferrite rod hidden inside the radio. You may need to rotate the radio for best reception but that is all.
Somewhere in the middle lies the VHF (very high frequency) band. This is used for FM and digital radio broadcasts (DAB) and normally requires at least a telescopic aerial for good reception.