Satellite TV and radio are great on a boat, since they're able to deliver clear and familiar channels most everywhere you cruise. But what about unfamiliar content? Glomex's amplified and directional antenna might be just the ticket for tuning in interesting local TV and FM stations in, say, the Bahamas. Plus the Polaris GXV9130 offers a real alternative to satellite in terms of size, installation hassle, and economy. The light, 14-inch-diameter dome is wired with just a coax cable and can, in fact, simply replace an existing Glomex omnidirectional "saucer" antenna. The $659 price includes the remote and the amp/switch, which is designed to also work with a marina cable TV connector. I found all this to work well, though I wish there was a direction control on the box, lest you lose the little remote. And a direction indicator would help with tuning. Unfortunately, due to the lab's rural location, I couldn't really assess Glomex's claims that the antenna eliminates reflective interference from nearby buildings and masts and is designed to bring in digital over-the-air signals as well as traditional analog transmissions. But the claims make engineering sense, and I plan to cover further testing on my electronics blog Panbo.
Imtra (Glomex U.S. distributor)
This article originally appeared in the January 2008 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.