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The Benefits of the DISH Tailgater Antenna

Published on November 29th, 2012 by George Levint

For years, one of the biggest downsides associated with traveling, camping or just being on the road a lot was not having access to your favorite satellite TV channels. Your options were limited to either the paltry options found at most hotels or heading to the local sports bar. Well, for the majority of us, neither’s really enticing!

Thankfully, over the past few years, both DIRECTV and DISH have made major strides in the portable satellite TV game. In our experience (and from the feedback you sent us), DISH’s Tailgater antenna currently comes in at the head of the pack. Here’s why:

1) Extreme accuracy

When we first tried the Tailgater, we were extremely skeptical that it could automatically find and resolve the signal from the satellite. According to DISH, the ONLY thing it needs is a clear line of sight to the southern sky and the Tailgater takes it from there. If the signal is partially blocked (due to trees, roofs, etc), the on-screen guide lets you know how strong the reception is and you can adjust its position as needed. Well, it worked as good as advertised (and then some). The very first time we tried it, it took about 2 minutes for the Tailgater to properly gauge and read the signal (it was plenty strong). From there, I connected it to my receiver (VIP 211k) and that was it. No manual signal checks. No modulating. Nothing. True automation.

2) Excellent engineering

At only 10 pounds and with an attractive case, the Tailgater showcases a variety of impressive features. For starters, the case is COMPLETELY weather-resistant. Previous models (from various providers) have leaked or otherwise been compromised by the elements — the Tailgater’s cover repels rain, wind, salt, sleet, bright sunlight, etc. I’ve accidentally dropped it from the roof of an RV and it survived the fall like a champ. We haven’t found a vulnerable point yet – major kudos to DISH’s engineers.

In the outdoors, security and privacy is of utmost importance. You never quite know who’s lurking around so you want to make sure valuable pieces of equipment are locked down. Tailgater comes with a built-in security bracket that you can tether to your RV or vehicle. After a few stress tests :), I can definitely attest to the fact that it’s extremely well-built.

3) Price

About 6 years ago, we bought a “cutting-edge” portable satellite for over $600. It claimed to deliver a “living room experience at anytime, anywhere”. Well, not only did it not deliver but it failed to work about half the time. After that experience I was a bit gun shy but after a buddy recommended the Tailgater and seeing its price tag ($350), I took the plunge. Best entertainment money I’ve spent in a while. If you need the receiver the Tailgater system (antenna plus receiver) will run you $499. Still a steal compared to what else is out there.

Everything considered, if you’re in the market for a portable way to access your DISH programming, you won’t find anything better than the Tailgater. It’s light, efficient and in our opinion, the best mobile TV equipment you can buy. Bottom line, when we’re planning our next trip, it’s always one of the first things we pack (and we’re not alone!)

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