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Football season is approaching and it’s time to get prepared. Part of getting ready for the big game is getting ready for tailgate season. This year I’m thinking of kicking it up a notch and including TV and the game as part of my tailgating festivities. But I wasn’t sure which HD antenna would be best, so I did some research and this is what I found.


So after a good bit of research on how to watch football while tailgating and get everything set up appropriately, I was able to figure out the best HD antenna for tailgating is Winegard FlatWave Amped FL5500A Digital HD Indoor Amplified TV Antenna. 

What makes this antenna the obvious choice is its range. It has a 50-mile range in any direction. This gives you nearly twice the coverage of most HDTV antennas and allows for 4K Ultra HD as well.

How do I get TV at my tailgate?

In all of my research, I found the easiest and most cost-effective way to get the game on tv at your next tailgating event is to bring a television and essentially “bunny ears” with you. But nowadays it’s called an HD antenna.

Understand your surroundings

Choosing the right HD antenna for your location is critical. Before you make your purchase, consider exactly where you’ll be setting up your tailgate. If you find it’ll always be in the same location, you’ll be able to consider your surrounds. You can identify if there are large buildings, bridges, or other obstacles in the area. These things can affect your signal.

If you’re looking for a recommendation on exactly the type of outdoor TV antenna to use for camping or for your RV, I would go with a more powerful satellite antenna. But for weekend tailgates, this one should do that trick.

What are my options?

Your basic options are either an over-the-air HD antenna. This can be an indoor or outdoor option. For our purposes here, an indoor one is fine because you’re going to take it, and stick it ( using suction cups) to the side of your vehicle and will be fine. So there is no need for an outdoor one.

Or another option is a portable satellite antenna. There are some basic drawbacks, which include they are larger, much more expensive, they require to be set up and pointed towards the satellite, and often this can be cumbersome.

So for our purposes using a simple indoor HD antenna is fine.

What kind of range to expect (Amplified vs non amplified)

HD antennas are able to get a signal simply by plugging in the coaxial cable into your TV. In a case like this the television Powers the HD antenna. This is called non amplify the signal.

However, to get a greater range, you can choose to have an amplified signal. In cases like this, you actually supply power to the HD antenna itself and this allows for a greater range of the signal.

In a case like this, the HD antenna I’m recommending gets a 35-mile range with a non-amplified signal. However, when you connect the power and make it an amplified signal, you’ll get a 50-mile multi-directional range. This gives you twice the coverage of most HD antennas. You’ll also find this device is 4K Ultra HD and ATSC 3.0.

What channels will I get?

So this is a great question. Likely you’ll receive many different channels including the four basic Networks. This will be especially true if you are doing a tailgate at a larger event, like just outside the stadium!

The reason for this is you are viewing the local game on the local channels in the local area. The logic would suggest that you will get your game on TV. But for sure, results vary.

Check out Antenna Web for a prediction of precisely which channels you receive in your area.

One fun fact is that any and all programming you receive on your antenna will be free.

Note: Run a channel scan after you connect your antenna, and it’ll give you a line up of the channels available.

How will weather impact the signal?

Weather and clouds can affect the signal. How much will depend on many factors including your location, how severe the weather is, and how strong the original signal was, to begin with. Other factors like power lines tall buildings and wooded areas are trees of bridges and large structures like this can also affect you’re Over The Air HD antenna.

How do I power the TV and antenna?

You have a few choices for power sometimes you can connect to the power of your vehicle. But most times folks will power their TV and antenna via a portable generator for tailgating. Here’s a link to the one that we have.

Take a look at the technical specification in the user manual.

What about surround sound?

Generators, TVs, HD antennas, portable cell phone backups, Bluetooth speakers, sound systems, food, chairs, and more. All of this can add up over time so make sure you craft a budget and enjoy the game.


In the end, it is vital you select the most appropriate HD antenna you can. We recommend Winegard FlatWave Amped FL5500A Digital HD Indoor Amplified TV Antenna and hope you do as well.  Don’t forget to check out our blog. 

So what do you think? Will you be having a tailgate this year? If so, drop us a line in the comment section.

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