Thursday , August 17 2017
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Winegard Rayzar antenna

Winegard Rayzar automatic HDTV antenna

Automatic signal locator
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 5 stars
$343 to $407
  • 100%


Summary:

Okay, I'll admit, I'm not a big television person. But, after a few encounters with some bad weather, I decided I needed to be able to pick up local TV stations just from a safety perspective. The Internet apps are fine in being able to show information and project forecasts, but nothing beats having a local weatherman explaining what's going on in the immediate area and whether its something to worry about or not.

The original antenna on my 2003 Winnebago was made obsolete in 2009 when TV stations were required to broadcast high-definition signals. The original owners of the motorhome were big cable fans, so they received high-definition TV through the cable connection and never bothered to upgrade the old crank-up antenna. I needed something that I could turn on without having to wade through 160 channels to find immediate weather information.

The Winegard Rayzar appeared to be the ideal solution. The low-profile device mounts directly on the roof. I paid an RV technician to pull the old antenna down and simply connect the Rayzar to the existing cables. Installation took less than an hour.

When arriving at a campsite, I simply turn on the antenna and press a button. Within 80 seconds, it conducts a 360-degree scan of the area to identify the locations of broadcast towers. Then it conducts an incremental scan to determine the best location to point the antenna to get the highest number of channels possible. It takes longer for the TV to complete its scan of available channels than it takes the Rayzar to find the signals. Although it finds the ideal location for the antenna, the control panel also displays the location of other possible programming, allowing users to manually shift the antenna to pick up the other signals, if desired.

Thanks to its high-tech design, it amplifies the signals it receives as well. That means there is no pixelation of the images being received. The antenna captures and delivers crystal clear images and sound.. In fact, I was absolutely stunned at the image quality I received. In the past, on those rare occasions that I desire to watch something on television, I would connect the cable to the campground connection only to find I had dozens of channels, all of which were fuzzy. That's not the case with the Winegard Rayzar.

Pros

  • Permanently installs on the RV roof in less than an hour.
  • Scans the airwaves to detect all possible channels, then rescans the area to determine the best position for the antenna to pick up as many channels as possible.
  • Takes just 80 seconds to complete the signal acquisition process — NO manual cranking and aiming.
  • Displays alternate locations where additional programming could be found — pressing a button moves the antenna incrementally.
  • Delivers crystal clear high-definition images and sound.
  • Low profile device is 7 inches tall and weighs just 4.5 pounds.
  • Connects to existing coax wiring used by old crank-up over-the-air antennas.
  • No subscription fees — all TV channels are free.
  • Receives VHF, UHF and high-definition TV signals.
  • Comes in white or black
  • Package includes a base plate to cover old crank-up handle
  • Control panel installs in a cabinet next to TV.
  • Made in America

Cons

  • Does require the device to be screwed into the roof, which may subject RV to water penetration if not properly sealed.
  • Signal acquisition must be completed every time the RV is moved.

About Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is the editor of Let's RV and the editor of RV Daily Report. A Wisconsin native and father of three grown daughters, he is now based out of Arizona and travels the country in his Winnebago Adventurer motorhome interviewing industry professionals and interesting RVers alike. He can be reached at editor@letsrv.com

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