Comes with the full lineup of Dish standard and high definition channels and services. Compatibility with two receivers mean you can hook up multiple televisions in the same RV as well.
Direct line-of-sight is required for the best signal reception.
Easy to use and set up after initial installation. Uses an automatic satellite acquisition feature that will find and align to the necessary satellites on its own. Supports the use of multiple TVs.
DirecTV-only use limits TV service options for some people.
Comes with both standard and high definition Dish programming. The dual TV antenna and satellite receiver gives you more options in terms of television programming. Pay-as-you-go payment plan helps to save money off the road.
Exclusive satellite service is limited to Dish.
Setting up the TV antenna takes little time since a single coax connection using the included coax cable is required. The satellite feature is self-aligning and uses a pay-as-you-go plan that doesn't kick in when not in use.
Standard TV reception is spotty in areas.
Omni-directional design makes it easy to get a good TV signal virtually anywhere you drive your RV. The design is also extremely aerodynamic so it won't drastically impact the fuel efficiency on long trips.
Plastic outer shell is prone to denting and scratching at high speeds.
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There is nothing better than mapping out a route across the country, then packing your RV and leaving the world behind. Cutting ties with the daily routines and must-dos of life to experience a taste of complete freedom is exhilarating! However, it's not uncommon to experience creature comfort withdrawal. In the throes of those dire moments, nothing provides solace better than watching your favorite shows, local programing, or sporting events on TV. And to do that in an RV, you need an antenna.
But what kind of antenna? That’s where BestReviews can help.
The antenna that's right for you has a lot to do with personal preference. You might feel a little overwhelmed right now, but by the time you finish reading our shopping guide, you'll be able to purchase with confidence. Remember, you can have whatever you want, all you have to decide is what that is.
Have you ever watched football? When the quarterback throws the ball, another player (hopefully) catches it. That's how over-the-air (OTA) TV works. The television signal is thrown (transmitted) through the air just like a football, and all your TV has to do is catch (receive) it.
Think of the antenna as your television's wide receiver. The wide receiver must be looking at the ball (TV signal) in order to have the best chance of catching it. Also, the fewer obstacles that are in the way, the easier the ball will be to catch. That's really all a TV antenna does.
Although satellite TV sounds like some sort of futuristic technology, at its core, it’s very similar to OTA TV. A satellite dish is basically an antenna that is designed to receive a particular frequency of radio waves.
Watching TV in your RV can be accomplished in four ways, depending on what you want to see and where you’ve set up camp: cable, WiFi, satellite, or HDTV antenna. We'll briefly mention the cable and WiFi options, but since this guide is about TV antennas, the focus will be on satellite and HDTV antennas.
If you’re staying at a campground that includes cable service, you can simply connect your coaxial cable from the cable output at the hookup to your RV input.
The internet offers a wide variety of viewing options, from specialty streaming apps to network television stations. To view programing this way, you'll need access to a hotspot and an antenna designed to pick up WiFi signals, along with something to boost that signal and expand it to cover all areas in and around your RV. Remember, hotspots are public. They aren’t password protected like your home network. You should take extra security precautions whenever you’re using a hotspot.
Satellite works much like using a satellite dish at home. You can get HDTV, satellite radio, and you can even bring along an external hard drive to record programs to view later. You will probably want a "pay as you go" plan, which enables you to only pay for the months you use.
More channels than HDTV
Programming you can only get by subscribing
More expensive than HDTV antenna
Image quality inferior to HDTV antenna
Weather affects signal strength
Price: Satellite dishes range in price from $100 to $1,400. Most decent-quality satellite dishes range between $300 and $700.
When you use an HDTV antenna, you’re grabbing local broadcast channels from within roughly a 50-mile radius. OTA broadcasts are free because they’re paid for by advertisers instead of subscribers. Additionally, the picture quality is better because the signal isn’t being compressed.
Superior image quality
More affordable than satellite dish
Free to use
Easier installation, setup, and maintenance
Fewer channel options
No access to cable-only networks
Limited reception in certain areas
Price: HDTV antennas range from $40 to $110, which is much more affordable than a satellite dish.
There are some instances when raising an antenna actually degrades your reception. If you’re in an area with a dense tree canopy, you might get better reception by locating your antenna on the ground.
Another choice you have when it comes to your RV TV antenna is purchasing either an indoor unit or an outdoor unit.
An indoor antenna is mounted (or placed) somewhere out of the way in your RV.
Fast, effortless setup
Easy to position
No drilling into RV to mount
RV walls interfere with signal
Must be secured so it doesn’t fall when you’re driving
An outdoor antenna is mounted somewhere on the outside of your RV, typically the roof.
Greater range than indoor antenna (more channels)
More complicated installation
Requires drilling holes in RV to mount
Harder to position
More susceptible to damage
Needs to be raised while using and lowered afterward (many models)
A third, hybrid option is a portable antenna that can easily be placed and positioned outside.
Quicker setup than permanent outdoor antenna
Better reception than indoor antenna
Remember to bring it inside before you drive off!
OTA channels are broadcast on two bands: VHF (channels 2 through 13) and UHF (channels 14 through 83). To get the full range of channels, be sure the RV TV antenna you’re considering can receive both bands.
After deciding if you want satellite TV, HDTV, or both, and you decide where you want to place it (inside or outside), there are three other items that can help you get the most out of your RV antenna.
As noted earlier, an antenna can best receive a signal when it’s facing the direction of the transmitter. If you’re in an area that’s new to you, and the nearest transmitter is 40 miles away, it can be tough to know exactly which direction the signal is coming from. If we revisit the quarterback/wide receiver analogy, the signal meter tells you where the quarterback is standing so you know where the ball will be coming from. Note: some higher-end antennas do this automatically.
Continuing with the football theme, a signal booster is the hearty meal and a good night's sleep before a game. A signal booster takes what is already present and amplifies it. The signal picked up by the antenna is intensified before going into your TV. This can help with weak signals due to distance or natural obstructions such as hills. It can also help if you have a splitter that splits the signal, taking it to two or more televisions.
For the last football analogy (promise), a signal repeater is like a handoff. On the consumer level, it’s used to extend the range of the signal to a different room or even outside your RV without attenuation (signal loss). It’s different from a booster because it receives and rebroadcasts as a fresh, clean, strong signal rather than amplifying a weaker one.
Q. When did television switch from analog to digital?
A. The FCC mandated that all high-power analog television stations move to digital-only transmission back on June 12, 2009. If you were already a cable or satellite subscriber by then, you probably have never experienced HD OTA transmissions and, consequently, have never seen what a crisp picture you can now get with an antenna.
Q. How do I know if my signal is too weak?
A. In the old days of analog TV, the weaker the signal, the more static interfered with your picture. It was like trying to watch television through a blizzard. With digital TV, there's none of that. If your antenna can't pick up and deliver a strong enough signal, the picture and sound will simply shut off.
Q. How much signal loss will I experience when using a splitter?
A. In general, you lose about 3.5 dB for every output on the splitter, whether it's being used or not. If you’re running into signal strength issues and need to know an exact number, that number is listed on your splitter.
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