Can I get Internet and TV on board via the same satellite antenna?

This is technically possible, but in practice it is rarely a cost-effective solution.

There are basically 2 ways to receive television on board:

Option 1: classic via geostationary television satellites broadcasting live TV programmes. All you need is an antenna that can receive the signal (TVRO or TV Receive-only). Reception is free.


Option 2: via the Internet, where live streams from many channels as well as media services such as Netflix are available. For a satellite Internet connection, you need an antenna that can both receive and transmit signals. (These antennas are referred to as VSAT.) There are various types of contracts (flatrate or PAYG) for the Internet connection, but these always incur fees that are calculated either according to data volume consumption or throughput rate, ie available speed.


1st Approach: By making some small adjustments one could take a VSAT antenna that transmits and receives in Ku band and use it for the reception of television signals. However, commercial TV satellites don’t usually provide internet capacity, and the antenna can only be locked to one satellite at a time. Hence between the activities of watching television and using Internet there would have to be a switchover to another satellite. Since this approach makes no sense from our point of view, EPAK antennas are not optimized for this. Conclusion: For the TV reception according to option 1 you must install a TV antenna.

2nd Approach: Television over the Internet -while this is increasingly becoming the standard on the mainland, it has a catch at sea. Bandwidth, or the data transmission rate required for streaming, still costs significantly more in the maritime market than on land. Anyone who does not already have a flatrate contract with high speeds for their ship, would have to pay a heavy price for television. For a standard Web TV resolution you need about 500 Kbps. This capacity must be calculated on top if you do not want the other Internet applications to slow down or stop when the TV is switched on. A contract that guarantees at least 1 Mbps can cost around 3,000-5,000 EUR per month, depending on the provider. Netflix even requires 4-5 Mbps. Conclusion: If you want to have Internet and TV on the same antenna to save money for a second installation, you should calculate carefully. In view of the high monthly charges, the purchase of a TVRO antenna can be considerably cheaper.


Further reading: "How much bandwidth do I need for my ship?"

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