Upgrade your tailgate setup with some high-quality entertainment!

Football season is just around the corner and that means tailgate parties. It’s an American tradition, getting together just before the game for some snacks and libations. It’s just not complete, though, without being able to watch the pre-game show. If you’re a satellite TV subscriber, you’ll want to get a portable dish, but which one?

Dishes on tripods
You’ll get the best HD quality by putting up the very same sort of dish you have at home. This satellite TV kit includes the dish, tripod, and everything you’ll need except the satellite receiver and TV. You can probably bring those from home — DIRECTV rules do say that you can bring a receiver with you as long as no one is watching from home at the same time.

The tripod route is best for people on tight budgets, but it also is best for people looking for the best quality. DIRECTV’s HD signals work with tripod dishes and not with most other sorts of tailgating setups. The downside, though, is that you’ll have to get good at aiming them, and that’s why you need to place your order now and practice in the driveway a few times before setting out on your tailgating adventure.

Automatic dishes
Automatic dishes like this one from King set themselves up once placed on a flat surface, giving you an easy experience so you can set up other parts of your tailgating rig without worrying about satellite TV. There are a few things you’ll need to know, though… the most important being that you won’t get HD using these automatic dishes. They’re also more expensive and require an older DIRECTV receiver that can work without the SWM system used in today’s dishes. Those receivers are getting harder to get. If you already have a model H24, D12, or one with an even lower number, you’re fine but with today’s hardware, this dish won’t work.

The other thing, sad to say, is that this portable dish won’t give you HD service. Blame DIRECTV’s multi-satellite system and the fact that their JD channels are encoded differently from their SD ones. That will change in time, but if you’re looking for something for this season, you have some decisions to make.

The decision you didn’t consider
It may sound a little weird, but the best choice for DIRECTV subscribers might be … DISH. The portable dishes from DISH will do HD, and they have month-to-month subscriptions for RVers. You won’t get NFL Sunday Ticket of course, since that’s a DIRECTV property, but if you’re looking for your local game you’ll probably get it on local TV. Or, put up an antenna instead if the stadium gets good reception. It’s a very cost-effective way to get football games in your area.

The best part of all of this is that you’ll get everything you need in one place: SolidSignal.com. Here you’ll find antennas, satellite gear, accessories, and best of all, a technical staff who will help you choose just what you need and answer all your questions. Give us a call at 888-233-7563 now and get started with the best tailgate setup you’ve ever had!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.