Field Test: DISH Tailgater Pro
November 29, 2019
Take residential-quality television with you on the go — virtually anywhere in the field.
Escaping intothe great outdoors heals the soul and nourishes the pioneer spirit. For those who want to enjoy the great outdoors, but don’t want to miss the big game or the latest episode, DISH Outdoors offers the convenience of live TV that travels with you through its lineup of portable satellite antennas.
The Tailgater Pro, with its Wally HD receiver, provides residential-quality satellite TV in an ultra-compact, lightweight, portable unit without the need for Wi-Fi or cellular signal.
The Tailgater Pro is designed to withstand the most extreme of elements with its rugged build. The unit’s compact base (approximately 12 inches high by 16 inches wide) is molded from an impact-resistant acrylic styrene acrylonitrile (ASA), while its see-through smoke-colored dome is crafted from a tough, special proprietary material. Both of these provide a nearly indestructible housing, important when mounted on top of a vehicle or placed in the back of a pickup or trailer for transport.
Two electric servo motors drive the parabolic dish housed inside the proprietary-material dome, providing automatic azimuth and satellite acquisition. A mini-PC controller board directs the motors, adjusting the parabolic dish orientation for automated satellite aiming. Signal is available across the 48 contiguous United States. Power and signal are delivered to and from the portable satellite antenna via a single coaxial cable from the Wally HD receiver.
The Tailgater Pro is particularly light, weighing less than 10 pounds. A thoughtfully designed integrated carry handle provides ease of transport, no matter where you choose to place the product.
The Wally HD receiver is also compact (10.5x7.75x1.5 inches), designed to fit in tight spaces like RV galleys or TV nooks. The Tailgater Pro supports up to two receivers, allowing for multiple TV viewing.
Setting up the Tailgater Pro is a cinch, and it can be mounted or temporarily positioned almost anywhere. For permanent mounting, drill four pilot holes and screw the unit down (holes must be sealed to prevent water leaks) to the dwelling or vehicle.
Route the coaxial cable (after drilling a small access hole) to the Wally receiver located remotely (i.e., inside the RV or dwelling). Plug in the receiver (110 volts) and connect the TV, then follow the set-up instruction prompts. Automatic linking to a satellite usually takes about 15 minutes.
For portable setups, connect the provided 50-foot coaxial cable to the Tailgater Pro and the receiver to a 110-volt power supply. Set the dish on the ground, an optional tripod or any unobstructed, flat surface (up to 10 degrees off level), which may include benches, picnic tables, etc. Connect the TV and follow the set up instructions. As with the permanent installation, satellite linking usually takes about 15 minutes. It’s that simple.
An optional lockable, quick-disconnect mounting system is available, which allows you to remove the unit from its mounting location when not in use. This feature virtually eliminates theft when RVs or other mounting locations, such as remote hunting camps, are not attended.
Optional upgrades are available from DISH Outdoors, including a DVR, Wi-Fi adapter, Bluetooth adapter for connecting to Bluetooth-enabled devices, and an over-the-air digital TV tuner for accessing local channels. Each of these enhances the Tailgater Pro’s functionality.
To say the DISH Tailgater Pro is easy to install and use is an understatement. It’s clear that engineers focused on making this portable technology simple to operate for non-technical end-users. The plug-and-play design will be appreciated by those who choose the Tailgater Pro.
The compact dish unithas a clean and visually attractive profile. The one coaxial cable hookup is slick, eliminating ugly tangles of cables and wires. The automated satellite acquisition feature is great, reducing the level of frustration found when manually attempting to align a portable dish unit with satellites in the sky.
Attention to detail is seen throughout, from the simple installation to the smoked dome, which allows easy aiming of the Tailgater Pro. The ability to support multiple TVs and receivers is perfect for groups of users who want to keep more than one viewer happy-—think hunting camp or family vacation.
The RF remote shines, working up to an impressive 200 feet away. Users will appreciate the “remote finder feature” which means the absent-minded will never lose the remote again (think hunting camps and stadium parking lots).
The unit’s reception is high quality, as good as that found with residential satellite dishes. The “pay-as-you-go” plans are fantastic, offering even non-DISH subscribers the chance to take TV with them wherever they go. These include a Flex Pack with 50-plus channels, and an America’s Top 120+, Top 200+, and Top 250+ channel packs. Channel-bundle pricing ranges from $37.99 to $99.99 per month (depending on location and package).
There are no activation fees, disconnect fees or restart fees for the pay-as-you-go monthly services. DISH Outdoors (dishformyrv.com) bundles the Tailgater Pro and Wally HD receiver, offering them for $468. Current DISH subscribers can add the Wally receiver to their existing account for $7 per month, making the ability to go mobile very affordable.
The DISH Tailgater Pro and its companion Wally HD receiver offer a powerful portable entertainment option, providing high-quality, HD satellite TV for the most devout off-the-griders and avid outdoor enthusiasts. The DISH Tailgater Pro keeps tailgaters in the game so they never miss a moment, and helps active mobile lifestylers stay connected with their favorite television programming. Yes, you can now take it with you.