How to Watch TV at a Tailgate
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With the advent of mobile technology, you can make tailgating the main event by using satellite or wireless connections to watch television via your smartphone, tablet, laptop or even giant-screen TV. Whether using your home-based cable or satellite subscription remotely, or tapping into wireless connections, you can turn any tailgate into a parking-lot paradise with live-streaming video.
Via Automobile Connection
Once a mere fantasy found in James Bond flicks, today cars come with built-in technology that allows you to watch streaming video of live television. According to a March 2014 article in USA Today, automakers are equipping new vehicles with high-speed broadband access. As is the case with other wireless Internet services, access requires a subscription. General Motors' Onstar system provides connectivity to up to five mobile devices. Charges are based on the amount of data used. With a pair of lawn chairs and a wireless connection, the back of a hatchback can become a television viewing station.
Even the best wireless connections experience lapses. A satellite television option might be a better choice, especially if you tailgate for long hours. This requires a recreational vehicle, van or SUV with a satellite connection. Portable mini-satellites, such as the Tailgater and Winegard Roadtrip MiniMax, seek out signals for you. These satellites work with companies such as DirecTV and Dish Network and require a subscription.
Smartphone, Tablet or Laptop
Using wireless or satellite technology, you can watch television on a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Most cable and satellite television providers allow subscribers the option of watching television on mobile devices via an app. These apps, such as ESPN's WatchESPN, provide a menu of live and video on-demand options. You can also use a broadband air card, connected to a tablet or laptop computer, to tap into streaming feeds from ESPN3, CBS, Fox and other stations that broadcast sports. Another option is sling box, a service that lets you view your home cable or satellite service from anywhere.
For the ultimate tailgating television viewing experience, rent or purchase a recreational vehicle with the latest technology. Some RVs come with flat-screen televisions and cable or satellite televisions complete with DVD players, surround sound and video-game hookups. A costly option, buying a luxury RV is an investment for the serious, dedicated tailgater. An alternative would be to split the cost of a rental with friends and fellow tailgaters. Make sure your RV has a reliable generator to supply enough power for all the devices in your parking-lot paradise.
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