Dish Tailgater Makes Satellite TV Portable

Dish Tailgater

Photo Credit: Jenn Gehr

The Tailgater Portable Satellite Antenna with DISH Network's HD Receiver offers its users endless possibilities for their TV adventures.

Bill and Jenn Gehr
February 16, 2012
Filed under Gear Reviews, RV Reviews

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In this day and age, we are bombarded with myriad impressive technological advances that make our lives more comfortable on the road. Entertainment is high on most of our lists, with a strong desire to have a decent channel lineup available to watch the TV of our choice, regardless of where we are. Satellite TV is common in motorhomes today, and the entry cost can be expensive, but it’s the answer to watching what we want, when we want.

DISH Network, teaming up with King Controls, offers its subscribers a unique, portable HDTV experience, called the Tailgater. The Tailgater is a must-have accessory for anyone looking for the ultimate in TV entertainment versatility. Good-looking and weighing in at only 10 pounds, the Tailgater is thoughtfully designed with an ergonomic carrying handle as well as a location to affix a security cable and padlock.

Complete set up for use takes only five to 10 minutes, making it perfect for easy campsite positioning, especially in areas where trees block the use of dishes fixed to the roof. But the Tailgater can also be used for tailgate parties at your favorite game, and even at a backyard barbecue.

The Tailgater system contains a freestanding, portable automatic cube, an HD Solo receiver with remote control (batteries included), 50 feet of RG6 coax cable, an HDMI cable, RCA audio/video cable, a Quick Reference Guide and User Guide. The instructions also provide additional FAQs and troubleshooting information.

All you need to supply in order to enjoy the outdoor HD TV experience are a TV and 120-volt AC power from the campground hookup, an inverter or a small portable generator — no other tools are needed. Of course, you may want to bring along a few extra lawn chairs for outside viewing.

Following seven simple steps in the very intuitive and clearly illustrated reference guide will get you set up and watching TV in a matter of minutes. The first step is to find a good spot to place the Tailgater cube. While it has an automatic search-and-lock feature, it’s best to find a location that has a clear view to the southern sky. You can zero in on spots that may have restricted views of the sky by using a locator guide found in certain apps that can be used on a smartphone. The Tailgater case is designed to allow positioning on the ground, even if it’s raining.

Once the cube is securely in place, the single coax cable is attached to the antenna port located on the side of the Tailgater. The other end is connected to the satellite-input coaxial port on the back of the DISH Network HD Solo Receiver. Then plug in the receiver to a 120-volt AC power source, which illuminates the green power light located on the front panel. The Tailgater, which gets its power through the single cable, will then automatically search and detect the DISH Network Satellite. When you’re ready to head home or to the next venue, simply disconnect the cable and pack it away in a storage compartment.

The Tailgater portable HDTV satellite system will operate in 48 states and will support HD as well as SD programming. If you’re a current DISH Network subscriber and you have a VIP 211K receiver (the only one that works with the system at this time) you can buy just the Tailgater cube. The Tailgater and receiver combo system retails for $499. The cube alone sells for $350.

If you decide that you want to record your favorite programs, for a one-time activation fee of $40, you can add a hard drive to the receiver using the USB port in the back of the unit. For information and activation of the recording capability, log on to www.dishnetwork.com/supportsection/dvrconversion.

After setting up the system for the first time, you’ll need to sign up for a programming package. DISH allows users to activate the service as needed, so there’s no cost during periods of time when the receiver is not being used.

For More Information

DISH Network: 800-333-3474, www.dishnetwork.com/tailgater

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