It is often nice to watch a DVD in your vehicle. If you have a television you can simply add a DVD player to your setup. If you are staying in campsites and are using a 240 volt power hook-up then you will not have any power problems. If you have a 12 volt system then you will have to use a power inverter. Running a television and a DVD player from your leisure batteries will use your power quickly. A better solution is to use a laptop to watch DVDs. See above.
If you want to have a television in your van you have a few options.
Terrestrial television channels are the free channels, such as channels 1 to 5 in the UK. All European countries have some terrestrial channels. Most European countries have 4 to 6 terrestrial channels (which can be viewed on a regular television and aerial). Of course these channels will be broadcast in the local language.
240 volt: A regular household television and aerial (and signal booster) can be used. If using a colour television a good quality aerial is recommended. A black and white television requires a lower quality of signal.
12 volt: You can buy a 12 volt colour television and a regular aerial. These will consume much less power and are perfect if your van does not have mains. Watch your leisure battery levels though.
Freeview digital television in Europe
Freeview (or digital) television is available in most western European countries. Most channels are broadcast in the countries native languages, but some have English speaking channels. Some channels show programs and films in English with subtitles. Freeview television normally offers many more channels than terrestrial television, including radio. Some channels require a subscription though. Coverage is generally less widespread than Terrestrial television.
To watch Freeview television you will need a regular television, a Freeview receiver and a Freeview compatible aerial (of which most are).
Note: different countries use different frequencies, so a receiver for one country may not necessarily work in a different country.
240 volt: A regular household television, Freeview receiver and aerial will work. Although a smaller aerial one is probably a good idea.
12 volt: It is possible to buy a 12 volt television, although I am not aware of any 12 volt Freeview receivers. Most household receivers will use an external adapter running at around 9 – 12 volts, so it may be possible to use a different adapter to make it work with 12 volts. Small camping Freeview aerials are available.
Watching television on a laptop computer
There are several devices available that allow terrestrial and Freeview television to be watched using a computer. Freeview devices cost around £40 and allow all channels to be watched. They are generally very good. They include a small aerial, which you may want to upgrade.