We returned from our second long summer trip, having spent all of Chrissie's six week school holiday travelling through the Jura and Vosges regions of eastern France.
Irritatingly we'd been unable to receive any TV programmes. Our telly would pick up stations but then we'd get a "CI module". Research at home proved that, since France went digital, there are no free programmes available. So you'd need to buy a CI module for a provider and then pay a monthly fee to receive their programmes. Add to this the fact that digital TV coverage in the UK really isn't all it's cracked up to be once you start travelling to remoter locations, as we do with our lovely van.
And so it was, having fought long and hard against the idea, that we decided to deal with this issue once and for all. A couple of weeks back I drove to RoadPro's base at Daventry and came back with a flippin great dome on the roof.
I have to confess, when I first saw the thing I thought it might need warning lights for low-flying aircraft, so big did it seem.
We chose this dome system cos the actual satellite dish is hidden inside it meaning it's unaffected by wind, which can be a problem with fold away dishes. Also, it's a fully automated system so no faffing with compasses and satellite finder gadgets and the like.
Here's the control box fitted neatly on my shelf in our locker. That's my flat cap folded above it to give you an idea of scale.
Prior to the installation it became apparent that our existing 10" Avtek TV wasn't HD compatible, so I decided to go the whole hog and upgrade to a 16" Avtek with a built in satellite receiver, thereby negating the need for another separate box. Incidentally, this is now the smallest telly Avtek make; the 10" version being no longer available. As you can see the 16" version fits fine having made a small alteration to the bracket mounting to move it further out from the van's sidewall.
Not only is this telly bigger, making it easier for us to read subtitles on our favourite Scandinavian dramas, but also the sound is louder and of better quality. Who said I'm goin deaf?
So, now we can get a wide variety of telly programmes on our travels right across Europe albeit not always Brit ones. In any event, our desire on long trips is to be able to keep up with world news and, most importantly, weather forecasts ... in any language!
Never say never eh?