Yes, we have a television on the boat. In fact, we have four--one in each bedroom and one in the salon. We are surrounded by televisions. Back when we were landlubbers, we never even had a TV in our bedroom, so being able to watch TV in every room really feels decadent.
As far as content, we have all the same options as land-based tv-watchers. We have a cable outlet at the dock that we can pay the cable company to activate. Or, we can hook up a antenna to pick up the broadcast channels. Or, we can go the satellite route. Our liveaboard neighbors, for example, have a DirecTV satellite dish installed at their dock that they can plug into when they are at the marina.
We also have DirectTV (honestly, that is how they capitalize it--ridiculous!), but we are not limited to watching it only when we are at the dock. We are the fortunate recipients of a very elaborate (and expensive to install) omnidirectional, mobile satellite antenna that is installed over the cockpit:
The antenna is that UFO-looking thing in the middle. It is surrounded by solar panels (more on those in a future post). A regular DirecTV antenna needs to be positioned to point in a very precise direction. That works great for a house, but will not work if the boat moves, either from point A to point B, or even rocking back and forth. Our super antenna, however, can pick up DirecTV anywhere (in most of North America) regardless of what direction we are pointing. So, our full lineup of TV channels comes with us wherever we go, even to a windy anchorage in the Bahamas. It is great.
Better yet, our boat is wired so that all four TVs are wired into the DirectTV receiver. And there is a remote-control extension that allows the remote to work anywhere in the boat--it does not need to be pointing at or in the same room as the receiver. So, we can watch and switch between all gazillion of our channels in any room in our boat.
The position and direction of our salon TV can be easily adjusted so that we can watch it from the table, kitchen, recliners, etc. And, for when we are out sailing, it locks in place so that the mount does not get damaged if the boat gets tossed around. Here it is locked in place:
Our bedroom TV is even better. It is perfectly positioned for watching from the bed, and since we've never had a bedroom TV before, it feels like we are staying in a hotel every night.
Both TVs are definitely smaller than the average house TV (and our other two TVs are even smaller), but because each room in the boat is small, the screens are appropriately proportioned and are easy to see. So, please, don't worry that we are roughing it out here. We can rot our brains in front of the TV just as easily as any of you.