If you are located anywhere near a city with TV stations, you can get FREE over-the-air broadcasts of HD programming from the likes of ABC, CBS, NBS, FOX, & PBS – plus scores of other channels. Adding a Winegard “Wingman” RV booster antenna (http://goo.gl/frPFsY) to our 2003 Airstream’s existing setup greatly improved the number of free stations we could receive. I love HD programming, and “free” is my favorite kind.
This is especially important for RV campers, since many campgrounds do not offer cable service. We don’t watch a lot of TV when we camp, but it sure is nice to have it when we want it. Just because we like to boondock and dry camp, that doesn’t mean I’ve given up my love of college football. When Alabama is playing, our antenna will be raised, and my eyes will be soaking up all the high-def goodness they can see.
There are no downsides to this freebie. The quality of free over-the-air HDTV signals is outstanding. The picture offers arguably better signal clarity than HD cable! One analyst called it “one of the greatest free things we have left in this country,” and I do not disagree.
So what does the Winegard “Wingman” booster antenna bring to the table?
Our Airstream is a 2003 unit. It included a basic Winegard “Sensar” TV antenna on the roof. The Sensar is pretty much standard equipment in the RV industry. If you own an RV with a TV antenna, this is probably what you’ve got.
Our antenna was produced prior to the big rollout of high-definition programming. It did a decent job with TV, but often we would lose a digital signal. Signals were often weak, resulting in a shoppy unwatchable broadcast.
Then we heard about the Winegard Wingman. This is a UHF booster antenna that simply clips on to the existing Sensar antenna. It installs in a couple of minutes. The company claims it optimizes the existing Sensar for digital TV channels. They say it increases UHF performance “up to 100%.”
We tried it – and it works! Our experience is that the Wingman booster antenna does indeed boost digital TV reception. After installing the Wingman device, we found ourselves getting a few new channels that previously we had missed. Even with existing channels we began to get a much better signal, with fewer dropouts. There really aren’t any downsides.
Frankly, my wife and I no longer subscribe to cable or satellite TV. We prefer to receive our television programming via over-the-air antenna and our Internet services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.).