Best Camping TV in Comparison.
Camping TV Reviews & Buyer Guide.
Size and power connection are top priorities for the camping TV. With the 12-volt car adapter, it is quickly connected to the power supply in the motor home and can also be used at home via a power supply unit. Its size must also take into account the limited space available.
In various tests on the Internet, resolution or screen diagonal also play a role, but especially the built-in tuner and extras such as a DVD player count much more for entertainment while traveling. Buy a TV with a CD and DVD drive from our comparison table if you don’t just want to watch TV with it.
Camping TV Buying Guide:
How to choose the right product from the above camping TV test or comparison.
- A camping TV with 12 V directly uses the current from your car battery instead of converting the AC current from the socket first. With an external power supply, it can also be easily used on a 230V outlet.
- The screen diagonal is usually between 15 and 25 inches and the speakers turn out small. From a short distance, neither is a disadvantage and the low power consumption saves your batteries.
- With a DVB-T antenna, you can receive TV stations in most regions of Germany and many in Europe. With DVB-S2, you still need a satellite dish, but receive a large variety of programs in return.
If you don’t want to miss out on the usual TV entertainment or major sporting events when you’re on the road in your motorhome, it may be worthwhile to purchase a TV with a 12V car adapter. This you simply connect to the 12-volt socket of your vehicle and can receive the usual program either with an antenna and satellite dish.
Suitable for the limited space when camping, the TV sets are mostly relatively small. Which screen diagonal makes sense for which purposes and which functions you should not do without, you can find out in our camping TV comparison 2021.
How can you keep an eye on the power connection and consumption with the camping TV?
While it seems secondary at best how much power your LG TV or Samsung model for the living room consumes, this consideration plays an important role with the camping TV. Instead of up to 200 watts for a large LED TV, only 15 to 30 watts need to be available, depending on the model and diagonal. If you buy a camping TV that has about this power consumption, an average car battery would allow 40 hours of television.
Additionally, the power supply is designed to be much simpler than home televisions. Instead of first converting the AC power from the wall outlet into DC power in the unit, you directly use the DC power from the RV. With the separate power supply unit, you can still use a cheap camping TV quite normally at any suitable power outlet.
Only with automotive systems with 24 volts, you should make sure that the circuit of the TV also supports it. As a rule, however, this is clearly indicated by the TV manufacturer. With the camping TV the start-up succeeds particularly easily. The connection to the on-board power supply can be made directly via the enclosed car adapter. Once the power supply is established, all you need is sufficiently good reception, which is possible with all camping TV sets at least via satellite and antenna.
If you decide on a device with DVD player, several functions are available via a single power connection. DVDs and quite normal music CDs can be played on the small TV. Even if you rarely want to do this, you at least have the option of doing so, which would otherwise only be possible with another external player.
For your usual TV program, however, the camping TV system without DVD is sufficient. Since the TVs all have analog and digital video connections and a USB port, you can still connect other devices and, for example, view freshly taken vacation pictures via USB stick.
Buying criteria for camping TVs: Are you well advised to use a receiver for all types of reception?
Regardless of the results of various tests of camping TVs on the Internet, there are a number of basic functions that every flat screen TV can handle. This has to do with the digital tuners or receivers in the camping TVs, which can process and display digital radio signals out of the box.
Not only the best camping TV, but also the simplest model masters:
- Reception via DVB-T2 and DVB-S2 with satellite dish.
- Connection of an analog and a digital player
- Playback of MP3 music via USB
- Photos and a few video formats via USB
Robust, not too big and power-saving should be the outdoor TV.
There is a wide range of screen sizes in inches. Especially downwards, there are hardly any limits, although less than 10 inches is already very small, even for a single person.
Since power consumption grows faster than the size of the screen diagonal, it is hard to find a manufacturer that offers flat-screen TVs with a 12-volt connection that are significantly larger than 30 inches.
A typical size is between 20 and 25 inches, which corresponds to an average computer screen. This allows you to see enough even in a small group, and the space required in the caravan is kept within limits even when mounted on the wall.
The resolution is influenced by the diagonal and the area of use
Especially with some cheap brands, which you can sometimes find on sale at Aldi or Lidl, you can find the outdated resolution HD ready. This provides about half as many pixels as Full HD.
Even with a 20-inch screen, however, you will have trouble seeing the quality difference to Full HD with your own eyes. From 30 inches or more, on the other hand, it is advisable to reach for the better resolution Full-HD.
Tip: If you like to look at photos on the TV, we definitely recommend choosing a TV with Full HD resolution.
Tip: Public broadcasters can only be viewed in HD ready when using satellite systems, and free-to-air private broadcasters can only be viewed in even lower resolution. For the reception type, a correspondingly simple camping TV is sufficient, but this will result in quality losses for higher-quality videos or photos.
Pay attention to brightness during the day
The information on the luminosity of the backlight always refers to a complete square meter. Nevertheless, a small TV of about 20 inches does not need to have more than 200 candela, since you are sitting at such a device at a short distance. The further away you are watching TV, the higher the value needs to be.
The fact that some manufacturers and even well-known brands like Philips sometimes do without this specification is first of all due to the difficulty of an accurate and above all comparable measurement. Here, you should especially rely on your own eyes whether brightness and contrast are appropriate for you.
As with the brightness, the distance to the TV also plays a role in the speaker performance. With the usually short distance and small room size in the caravan, low values between 5 and 10 watts are sufficient for both speakers together.
Note: In a sufficiently shady place and at night, the brightness only plays a subordinate role. Only in bright daylight is a high luminosity advantageous.
The Receiver determines program variety and expenditure
Even if recreation is in the foreground, you do not have to do without news and sports.
When camping of importance are mainly the receivers for DVB-T and DVB-S, which currently each have a “2” added for the second generation of the respective standard.
Terrestrial reception is easiest with a small antenna. You can use it to watch a selection of public broadcasters and, with a smart card, the encrypted private channels. These programs are broadcast in full HD, but there are reception problems, especially in rural areas and in unfavorable valley locations.
With a suitable satellite dish for the camper, you have the largest selection of programs available and the reception works with exact alignment throughout Europe.
You need the DVB-C receiver for the cable connection, but this will actually never be present in the outdoor area. However, if you want to use the camping TV at home, it can be quite useful.
Actually, all TVs nowadays have a so-called triple tuner, which combines all receivers in one. However, make sure that “DVB-T2” is explicitly stated, otherwise it could be an older stock item that you should steer clear of.
Use extras sensibly
A smart TV is now a standard feature. However, camping generally lacks a sufficiently powerful Internet connection. Even a single streamed movie easily exceeds 1 gigabyte and thus not infrequently the monthly volume of a mobile phone contract. Only if you can surf with unlimited volume is such an integrated smart TV worthwhile.
The presence of the USB port is almost irrelevant for the purchase advice. You will hardly find a flat-screen TV without USB. However, if a recording function is integrated, you can use a mobile hard drive or USB stick to pause and rewind live TV or program recordings of individual programs and watch them later.
Tip: Recording function, video recorder function, PVR (private video recorder) and DVR (digital video recorder) as well as TimeShift are all terms for one and the same function.
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