Update: This is a post from 2015. They’ve actually come out with (another) new Tailgater since I wrote this article. For more info and to shop for the new one, you can click THIS LINK. I don’t own the new version yet, but from what I can tell, all they’ve added is a “ultramodern (?) new clear cover” so you can see your satellite turning when it’s tuning in. Apparently they’ve improved some of the software as well to make it tune in faster.
When I have the need to purchase one of the new models, I’ll update this page.
I thought I’d give my quick thoughts on the new King Tailgater (DISH VQ4510) which is a popular option for portable satellite TV for tailgate setups. We own 4 of the older tailgater cubes (check it out by clicking HERE) and have loved them. We were delivering a tailgating trailer to a client who wanted one of these setups, so I decided to hook them up with the new model.
The bundle with a Tailgater, satellite receiver and coax cable can be purchased on Amazon for around $450.
King Tailgater Review: The good
First of all, I really like the new look they gave the Tailgater. It’s a little more sleek-looking and seems to be a little easier to handle.
Also, they have added screw holes on the base of the tailgater, in order for you to permanently mount it to wherever you want to tailgate. We haven’t decided if we are going to mount them on the roof of our tailgating trailer, but it’s a nice option if we do decide to secure them.
Lastly, the new Dish Tailgater supports two satellite receivers, meaning you can watch two different channels on the same time. They added a second coaxial jack on the dish, making it easy to hook up. This might save you from having to but an additional dish if you have a two-television setup. But…make sure you read below.
King Tailgater Review: The bad
The only issue I have with the Tailgater is what a beating the two television setup is. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great idea, but King (the maker of the Tailgater) was way ahead of Dish Network’s technology.
The first satellite receiver you hook up is your main receiver (connected to the coax jack labeled “Main” on the Tailgater). So when you do your initial satellite scan, the main receiver will find the location of all three of the satellites in the sky. When you change a channel, it will move the Tailgater’s dish to lock on to that satellite. Here’s where the problem comes in.
When you connect the second receiver, you have to do the scan as well. Everything is fine as long as you are on a channel that uses the same satellite in the sky. If you change the channel on the second receiver to one that’s not, it gives you a “complete signal loss” error.
If you have both satellite receivers on the same satellite, it’s all good. But once you change to a channel to another satellite on the main receiver, your second tv will show the signal loss error, because it’s still trying to find that station and the main receiver is moving to another satellite.
The only way to fix this issue is doing another initial scan on the secondary receiver, which will cost you another 10 minutes. You have to do this each time you change the channel on the main receiver to one that is on another satellite. Pretty much a complete beating.
This might be an old list, but here’s a run down of which satellites each channel can be found on: http://www.alanthompson.com/dish-network-satellite-tv-channel-listings.asp
You don’t have to deal with this on your home satellite system, since the dish on the outside of your house is always locked in to all three satellites.
This thing would jump to an A if Dish Network would catch up on the technology. They need to make the second satellite receiver automatically change to channels that the main receiver is pointed at. I learned something when tailgating (and especially with tailgate rentals). You have to make things idiot-proof (or drunk-tailgater proof?), and this system is definitely not.
King built a pretty sweet piece of tailgating equipment. I just wish Dish Network would wake up.
If you have your own experiences to share, comment below or shoot us an email at email@example.com.
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