When you compare a portable TV to today’s modern devices like smartphones or tablets, you might think they’re a little outdated or obsolete, but you’d be wrong. If you want to go somewhere remote or out of the way, there’s a good chance your phone won’t get any signal, and you might not have Wi-Fi. This is where the portable TV comes in. With a decent aerial, you should be able to get a TV signal just about anywhere, although the picture quality will degrade the farther you get from civilisation. The standard aerials that come with most portable TVs tend to be of a poor quality, so you might want to consider picking up a better one from your local hardware store.
The first thing you have to know about buying a portable TV is that if you’re going to purchase one at all, you have to make sure to get one that has a built in DIGITAL tuner. This is because in most countries, analogue TV signals have been completely replaced by digital signals, and if you don’t have a digital tuner, you can only search for channels that are no longer broadcasting. If you’re unsure, take a second to check if your country is still using analogue TV signals or not, here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_digital_television_deployments_by_country
Some models will allow you to connect via coaxial cable anyway, but if that’s what you were looking for, you’d be fine with a standard TV. We’ve taken great care to make sure that every portable TV in this list has a digital tuner built in.
The second most important aspect to look out for is battery life. It’s all very well having a good TV signal, but if your battery only lasts an hour, it can be difficult or expensive to recharge. Most portable TVs have a battery life of around 2 hours or so, and some come with 12V chargers so you can run them off of a vehicle battery. There are also some which run on conventional batteries, like the RCA DHT235A, so it pays to really take a minute to assess your needs and how you plan to use it before you make your purchase. Many portable TVs allow you to purchase additional batteries for them, however these are likely to be expensive.
The size of screen you need is likely to depend on whether you plan to watch TV with someone else, or on your own, as well as whether you prefer a big screen or a personal sized one. This will likely also influence how important speaker sound quality is to you, since most of the time, using headphones will get you a better sound quality than using the built in speakers. If your built in speakers aren’t up to the task, you can obtain external speakers that plug in to the headphones jack for very little cost online.
With more and more people embracing retro technology, the time seems right for a resurgence in portable TVs for camping, fishing trips or otherwise messing around in nature. The ability of a portable TV to function well outside the range of a city is an advantage that smartphones and tablets can only dream of, not to mention their usefulness during extreme weather, such as hurricanes or storms, when the internet goes down and communication methods are limited. In these situations, a local news report viewed on a portable TV could save your life.