Over the years, outdoorsmen have benefitted from a slew of technological achievements designed to make their time in the field and on the water more enjoyable and productive. These days many rifles come straight from the factory able to shoot tight groups that once could be achieved only by an expensive custom product; hunters have access to GPS waypoint guidance on their cell phones that can easily and safely guide them to and from their deer stands; and bass fisherman can take advantage of 3D HD fish finders that help them quickly locate productive areas to fish. Technology has also enhanced another important area of the outdoor experience—relaxing at the end of day with friends and family. Thanks to DISH Outdoors, you can now catch that big game live and entertain your kids with their favorite movies, no matter where you make camp.
What It Is
The DISH Outdoors system consists of a DISH portable satellite antenna (I tested the DISH Playmaker from Winegard, but multiple models at different price points are available) and a Wally portable HD receiver that connects to your TV. The system is lightweight, rugged, and easy-to-pack equipment, ideal for use with RVs, cabins, and campers. Set up is simple, and no Wi-Fi or cell signal is needed. If you’ll be roughing it without access to power outlets, just bring along a portable power pack.
Place the antenna so it faces south in an open area where it can receive unobstructed signals, then link the antenna to the receiver with the supplied 25-foot-long coaxial cable. Connect the receiver to the TV. When powered up, the antenna will automatically find DISH satellite orbital satellite locations. Once the signal finder acquires the satellite signal, a pop-up menu appears on your TV. Use the remote to navigate through a series of set-up steps that sync the antenna to the receiver and the receiver to the monitor. Any connectivity issues are quickly resolved via an easy-to-use diagnostics panel.First time set-up may take a while as you acquaint yourself with the system’s operating and programming capabilities. Remember to place the antenna as high as you can, free of obstructions. Also keep in mind that if you move the antenna while it’s on, you’ll disconnect the signal.When I first set up the antenna, I couldn’t get a signal. I soon realized the problem: a broad-leafed tree was blocking reception. So, I moved the antenna a few feet to the side. Problem solved (the long cable is a real asset here). Because the reflector can grab only one satellite at a time, depending on the channel you want you may have to wait while it acquires another signal.
Fun, Fun, Fun
In no time at all, you’ll be enjoying the latest movies, live sports, and OnDemand programming. Or, if you prefer to listen to music, just tune in SiriusXM Radio, the experience of which can be enhanced by using the Bluetooth adaptor to add speakers, if you so desire.I spent an enjoyable afternoon listening to music while I re-arranged my tackle box and respooled a reel. And in the evening, when it came time to enjoy a movie I was able to watch it all on an HD TV, not a palm-sized cell phone screen.
Pay As You Go
The system is surprisingly affordable. DISH offers flexible pay-as-you-go packages, which start at just $42.99 per month.And you only pay for the months you use, which means you can activate service as needed and can deactivate it at any time. There’s no hassle with long-term commitments or contracts. Another big plus: you don’t need DISH at home to get DISH Outdoors, but if you do, adding DISH Outdoors is only $7 more per month once you have the equipment.Without doubt, this is great TV for the Great Outdoors.
Learn more about DISH Outdoors here.