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Satellite vs Digital television: Which is better for your caravan?

Going camping in your caravan is a good way to get away from the endless hustle and bustle of city life and experience something different – usually a much quieter life. While camping, many of us like to enjoy the cool weather with lots of interesting out-door activities but some may still prefer the entertainment that comes from gadgets and television shows. So let’s compare Satellite vs Digital television and see what is better.

And if you fall into the latter group, you definitely need your gadgets with you and a good TV connection isn’t optional but absolutely necessary for you to have a good time and I’m with you on that front. Taking time off from regular city life in no way means that you should abandon all traces of modern civilization. And if you’re someone like me who couldn’t do without TV, radio or the internet, then you really need to take these with you.

Despite the fact that many caravan campsites do not allow for the best signal reception most of the time, it’s still possible to tap into clear signals and boost your reception. And there are options like digital TV or a satellite dish for connecting to the real world and maintaining a semblance of normal life. But how do you know which one to go with, how do you decide which is best for your camping style?

Just as you may have thought, both TV options come with pros and cons and each option is best suited for a different type of camping, but of course, there are other options like using a DVD player to watch your favourite movies or recording your favourite TV shows in your PC before you set out for camping in your caravan.

But what if you delight in watching live TV, will it be possible to get high quality and crisp clear pictures of your favourite television shows when you’re a thousand miles from the city in your caravan. Sure you can and all you need is simply the right equipment and a little knowledge on how to make them work. Okay, let’s get down to it; which should you go with, a satellite dish or a digital TV?

Digital TV

Open spaces are much more likely to provide a better TV reception

The digital TV has completely changed how we watch television in this time and age. In the UK, digital TV is something virtually everyone uses because it’s the cheapest and easiest way for a lot of people to watch television and it delivers both very clear pictures and high-quality sound.

And the Freeview service is amazing, it offers dozens of radio and over 60 TV channels, including high definition (HD) channels.

While camping, the best way to receive a clear signal from your digital TV is to use a great aerial, just like the one you use at home but this should be mounted as high as possible on your caravan, this will tremendously improve your TV reception and you’ll be able to get high-quality pictures.

A good way to mount it very high is by using a 25 ft pole that can be adjusted to an endurable 5 ft. And the perfect cable for connection is a coaxial cable of about 25 metres long and at least 7 mm in diameter, and a standard male coaxial plug at each end. For an excellent reception via an aerial, you will need a DVB-T receiver.

One uncool thing about the digital receiver is that you will have to always to re-tune whenever you change the location of your caravan, but this isn’t really difficult and provided your aerial is still getting signal it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

Another major disadvantage of digital TV is that it may not work well in very remote places. If you’re within the cities or just a few miles off you’ll get an excellent signal, but once you get very far from the major cities and find yourself in a remote place you may struggle for good reception.


  • You can view life high-definition (HD) and crisp clear pictures and amazing sound quality.
  • It’s the cheapest way to watch live TV, since it has no monthly subscription
  • Almost all modern HD televisions come with a Freeview tuner, alternatively, you can get a Freeview set-up box for less than £30


  • It’s very difficult to get a good signal in some parts of the country
  • It offers only about 60 TV channels which is less than what you get from some other TV services

Satellite TV

How to get wifi in a motorhome

While you’re close enough to the cities, digital TV can be absolutely amazing but if you wander far into the wilds then it wouldn’t be so great anymore and that’s where satellite dishes come in. 

With a satellite dish, you can enjoy your digital TV from anywhere as long as you can see the sky, this is the major benefit of satellite over Freeview. And even if you cross the border to another country and still want to enjoy your favourite British television shows, with satellite, that is absolutely possible but completely impossible with Freeview. 

Satellite gives you completely free access to over a hundred TV channels and radio stations. There are different types of satellite dishes to choose from, there is a portable satellite dish which you mount on a tripod stand and place it anywhere you like, on a table, on the ground, anywhere provided there is a clear view of the sky. 

The satellite dish come in different sizes (usually between 30 cm to 100 cm in diameter) some can very small and they can be cheap too, their portability makes them appealing because you can carry one in addition to your Freeview digital TV as an extra source of signal and good reception in case you spontaneously decide to vanish into the wilds of Great Britain. 

There is also a satellite dish you can mount on the roof of your caravan but you control its position from inside your caravan, this will prevent you from having to come out after dark or in the rain to reset your dish. 

And an even better deal is a fully automated satellite dish which only requires you to press a few buttons and it will automatically search and accurately align itself with the satellite, some of these dishes even come with a GPS which tells them exactly where they and which way to turn for the best satellite connection.


  • It’s easy to set up
  • It gets great signal throughout the UK and beyond.
  • You don’t have to be a Sky subscriber to receive satellite TV
  • It offers free-to-air digital TV with more channels than Freeview


  • It can be a little expensive to set up
  • You may need the help of a professional while installing it

Satellite vs Digital television, which option should you go with?

Both options are excellent choices but the best TV viewing system for your caravan will depend of course on your personal preference your camping style. If you intend to camp with the big cities or not very far off, then you should go with the Freeview digital TV option. But if you’d rather explore the country and travel far into the wild, even reaching the border of Great Britain, then you definitely need a satellite dish because the Freeview will not get any signal when you go that far.