Satellite antennas are generally pretty straightforward devices, but there are a few important features you should look out for.
One of the biggest headaches with satellite antennas is aiming the dish properly to maximize signal strength. Automatic satellite dishes are able to track orbiting satellites and aim themselves to receive the strongest possible signal. These antennas generally cost more than their manual counterparts, but their ease of use more than makes up for it if you’re often changing locations (like traveling with an RV or sailing on a boat).
If you want to watch TV in your RV while you’re moving, you’ll need a special type of antenna with what’s known as a dome cover. The dome serves two purposes: it protects the antenna and it prevents the wind from causing interference. Domed dishes also make handy portable antennas for tailgating or camping thanks to the dome’s protection.
Not every satellite antenna that supports DIRECTV can receive an HD signal—even if you have an HD receiver. Due to the type of signal DIRECTV uses for HD programming, an antenna needs a special receiver. For this reason, most universal dishes that support both DISH and DIRECTV support only standard definition DIRECTV programming.
If you want to watch DIRECTV in HD, you’ll need an antenna specifically designed for it’s signal, and these typically work with only DIRECTV. That’s the reason the Winegard TRAV’LER has two versions: one fully supports DISH, while the other fully supports DIRECTV.
If you’re a DIRECTV customer, make sure you double-check the specs for any antenna you’re considering to make sure you can get the most out of your service.