Here’s a DISH Playmaker vs. Playmaker Dual (Tailgating TV Comparison)

No tailgating TV comparison is complete without mentioning both the DISH Playmaker and DISH Playmaker Dual. But which one is the better choice? 

The DISH Playmaker and Playmaker Dual are two popular choices to use for tailgating TV needs. The key difference between the two is that the Playmaker Dual comes with two coax cable inputs and two receivers, so it’s possible to run two TVs simultaneously with one device. 

We have tested and gathered research on both the DISH Playmaker and DISH Playmaker Dual to decide which is the best tailgating TV option. This comparison below includes our analysis in all key categories like durability, weather resistance, mobility, installation, etc. 

DISH Playmaker vs. Playmaker Dual (Tailgating TV Comparison) 

All die-hard football fans know what a great tailgate party looks like. And it’s hard for that to exist without television, so we don’t miss any of the action during the party.

The advances in technology have made tailgates more enjoyable too. We can use various satellite options like the DISH Playmaker and DISH Playmaker Dual. 

dish playmaker vs playmaker dual (Tailgating tv comparison)

Both are great options for tailgaters, but we should take a closer look at the key differences between each to understand their features better. 

These two satellite options provide similar capabilities, but the Playmaker Dual offers a little more. We will explain the key features and benefits of each and which is best suited for tailgating needs below. 

DISH Playmaker Key Features

The DISH Playmaker is an affordable option for tailgating satellites, as it offers all of the basic features we need to watch games without stopping the party. But what exactly does the Playmaker offer? 

It’s a compact portable satellite dish that can fit into tight spaces, so we don’t have to worry about lugging around a large dish or antenna. It also has automatic installation, various mounting options, a high-strength aluminum reflector, and high-performance stepper motors. 

Automatic Installation

One of the great features the DISH Playmaker can offer is fully automatic installation. Once it gets hooked up and plugged in, it can pick up and find available DISH satellite locations. 

There is no need for channel setups or network connections. Instead, it will handle this automatically so we can watch TV within minutes. This is especially important at a tailgate when we have less time to spare. 

Multiple Mounting Options

When purchasing the DISH Playmaker, it’s critical to remember that no mounting equipment is included. There are available accessories and mounting kits that can be used compatible with this portable satellite. 

This allows for better tailgating flexibility. This is the ideal portable satellite antenna, for this reason, making it easy to integrate this equipment in various situations without a complicated setup process. 

For example, there is the Winegard RK-4000 Roof Mount Kit. It’s commonly used on RVs to mount the antenna on the roof for a better signal, but it can also be used on trucks and canopies at tailgates. 

High-Strength Aluminum Reflector

The DISH Playmaker is easy to install with a high-strength aluminum reflector to improve signal strength. It can be mounted on a roof or placed on a window sill for better reception of the desired channel. 

This reflector also helps with durability, especially for those using the Playmaker outdoors in difficult conditions. It will easily withstand rain and extreme temperatures without sacrificing connection quality. 

High-Performance Stepper Motors 

The robust design of the DISH Playmaker is not complete without high-performance stepper motors. This feature is responsible for the high-speed connection and consistent signal strength while watching TV. 

This allows all tailgaters using the DISH Playmaker to expect and rely on excellent satellite speeds while the low-profile design optimizes performance no matter where we are. 

Numerous Packages With Over 240+ Channels Available

The other great thing about the DISH Playmaker is its compatibility with various DISH packages for excellent programming options. This includes four different pay-as-you-go plans to get more than just the basic channels. 

These planes start as low as $52.99 per month with the option to upgrade to over 290 channels for $124.99 per month. This includes extra movie channels, sports channels, free HD for life, and On Demand access. 

DISH Playmaker Specs & Dimensions

As we can see, the DISH Playmaker has plenty of features to offer. But now let’s take a look at the specs and dimensions to help decide whether this is the right option or if the Playmaker Dual would be the better choice. 

The basic dimensions of this satellite antenna include the following: 

  • Weight: 12.40 LBS
  • Height: 18.13 Inches
  • Width: 17.25 Inches


This antenna is compact and lightweight. It only weighs 12.4 pounds, so it’s simple to carry around and transport to tailgates. This also makes it much easier to set up on the fly at a party outdoors. 

It also has an easy grip handle, which helps transport it despite its low weight. However, there is no mounting included. 


The dimensions of this compact satellite are 18.13 inches in height, 17.25 inches in width, and 13.75 inches in width. It’s effortless to use the Playmaker because it’s portable and built for long-term use on the go. 


The DISH Playmaker uses an automatic acquisition type, and no aiming is required to connect to a satellite network. It has a one-receiver maximum capacity. 

This satellite antenna has only viewing capability for one device with a stationary tracking type. This includes both SD and HD reception types with various satellite compatibilities, including the following: 

  • 61.50(SD/HD)
  • 1100 (SD/HD)
  • 1190 (SD/HD)
  • 1290 (SD/HD)
How do people watch TV at tailgates?

DISH Playmaker Dual Key Features

The Playmaker Dual is the perfect portable satellite for larger tailgating parties. While it does cost more, it also includes various features that make it a worthwhile investment compared to the original Playmaker. 

Multi-TV Viewing

The primary reason anybody opts to use the Playmaker Dual over the Playmaker is its multi-TV viewing capabilities. It provides excellent speeds despite using multiple satellite networks at once too.

There are two receivers, one dish, and two coax cable ports. This allows users to run two TVs simultaneously without worrying about overloading the dish because the multiple receivers optimize speeds. 

HD Programming Compatibility

Not only does the DISH Playmaker Dual provide excellent multi-TV support, but it also has a wider range of HD programming. It works with a DISH HD Solo receiver, so the picture is clearer for nearly all channels. 

The added networks make it much easier to find available HD programming too. This includes added networks for better programming support, so it’s easy to find nearly all the big games in HD. 

Western Arc & Hybrid Mode

One of the best things this upgraded tailgating TV and satellite antenna offers is the western arc and hybrid mode capabilities. This includes stronger signals with more reliable networks to provide nationwide coverage. 

This runs on the updated OS 2.1, which allows users to find many more reliable satellite options. They can save money, too, because there is no reason to upgrade to the most advanced channel packages due to the improved settings. 

More Versatile With Improved Accessories

Lastly, the Playmaker Dual has a more versatile design and better accessories. It has excellent mounting options to use for the long term, and the increased length coax cable helps with the installation. 

We also recommend considering an antenna extension or tripod mounting. Both will improve the TV-watching experience, creating a stronger and more consistent network connection. 

dish playmaker vs playmaker dual (Tailgating tv comparison)

DISH Playmaker Dual Specs & Dimensions

This Playmaker Dual is slightly larger, with some key improvements that make it a worthwhile investment. We have analyzed the key specs and dimensions below for prospective buyers so they can better understand the differences. 

  • Weight: 13 LBS
  • Height: 13 inches
  • Width: 16 inches


There is a minimal difference in weight, with the Playmaker Dual weighing in at 13 pounds compared to a weight of 12.4 pounds on the original Playmaker. It is similar to the design of these two products. 

This is done purposefully because they are built for mobility and work best as portable satellite antennas. The low weight allows tailgaters to get the TV set up fast without taking up much space in their vehicle. 


The other great thing about the Playmaker Dual is that despite the added features, it remains compact in design. This includes a width of 16 inches and a height of 13 inches, which is plenty small enough to use on the go. 

It’s also available in multiple color schemes, but the sizing remains consistent with each model. This also provides better installation flexibility too. 


Lastly, we can take a look at the compatibility differences between these two tailgating TV options. The Playmaker Dual has more HD networks and provides access to high-performance channels. 

This includes HD Solo receiver networks and other options that make this antenna nationwide. 

  • DISH 211k
  • DISH 211
  • DISH 411
  • DISH 211z

DISH Playmaker vs. Playmaker Dual: Cost

Both the Playmaker and Playmaker Dual offer similar coverage, features, and overall capabilities. However, the costs are different because the Dual offers extra inputs and allows for multiple receivers and TV setups at once. 

Do you pay for food at a tailgate party

DISH Playmaker

The DISH Playmaker pricing will vary slightly depending on the retailer, but on average, it will cost around $299.99 to purchase the equipment. 

This includes all equipment required for setups, like a receiver, coaxial cable, portable antenna, and all related setup instructions. The antenna will look for local channels based on the satellite networks. 

It’s also possible to upgrade the Playmaker with a full TV package. This costs as low as $57.99 per month for over 240 channels, and it’s possible to add multiple receivers for only $5 per month. 

DISH Playmaker Dual

The DISH Playmaker Dual will cost more than the original Playmaker, but it has a few added features that make it worth the price. The most notable difference is that it can support two receivers and two TVs with two coax inputs. 

It’s also available in black and white. The pricing for this equipment starts at $359.00, and various channel upgrades are available, similar to the standard DISH Playmaker. 

DISH Playmaker vs. Playmaker Dual: Installation

The setup and installation steps for the Playmaker and Playmaker Dual are similar. They both use a coax cable and port to connect, but the Dual comes with more equipment. 

DISH Playmaker

We love everything the Playmaker can offer because it’s simple and extremely easy to use. The same is true when looking at installation, and there are only a few quick steps needed to get this tailgating TV working. 

This is because there is only one input, one receiver, and only enough compatibility to handle one TV. This allows for a faster installation and has an automatic satellite network finder. 

DISH Playmaker Dual

The Playmaker Dual is more challenging to install, but it still ranks ahead of the competition in this category. It’s a four step installation process where we place the antenna in the right area, connect the receiver, scan for a signal, and start watching. 

However, it’s a bit more time-consuming for users with two TVs. But we love how any beginner can figure out the installation for these satellite antennas, which is why they are so perfect for tailgating. 

DISH Playmaker vs. Playmaker Dual: Durability

The durability of these two satellites is similar, and they are both extremely reliable to use while tailgating or in RVs while on the go. 

They both use a military-grade aluminum alloy reflector, which helps with the signal and the durability of the satellite. Let’s take a look at both and see which ranks higher when discussing durability. 

DISH Playmaker

Overall, there is little the Playmaker Dual has that the original Playmaker doesn’t have while discussing durability and longevity. It uses the same reflector style and exterior design to handle difficult weather. 

It’s also easier to transport and use on the go. The sizing is similar, but this model has fewer cables and inputs and a handle for carrying, so the setup is fast and simple. 

DISH Playmaker Dual

The Playmaker Dual is a more expensive and advanced model, but it wasn’t built to be more durable. Despite the pricing difference, we expect the same lifespan from both of these satellite antennas. 

However, there is one major difference that does help. There is no need for a power cable, and this Playmaker Dual uses coax power cables instead, so there is no need to worry about damaging any extra power cables. 

DISH Playmaker vs. Playmaker Dual: Weather Resistance

The DISH Playmaker and DISH Playmaker Dual are not waterproof but provide solid weather resistance. Submerging these antennas underwater is never recommended, but rain or snow should be fine. 

The exterior is made from a UV-protected plastic dome, so it doesn’t break down over time. This is especially true in direct sunlight. 

DISH Playmaker

The DISH Playmaker is the likely option to struggle more with bad weather because there is only one receiver and cable. This means when the satellite goes down, nothing can be done. 

It also is a little lighter and less durable. We would expect more consistent weather resistance from the Playmaker Dual. 

DISH Playmaker Dual

The Dual is more reliable during storms and inclement weather. It has a more weather-proof design because it uses a higher-quality and UV-resistant plastic dome for better longevity. 

This helps the satellite stay dry and less likely to break or lose connection during rain storms. But neither will last forever in this type of weather and should be protected when possible. 

DISH Playmaker vs. Playmaker Dual: Mobility

Both the DISH Playmaker and Playmaker Dual have a portable design, aiming to increase mobility for users. They are lightweight with handles for transport, which is a huge aspect of tailgating in general. 

The Playmaker is slightly smaller, with handles to easily carry the equipment around. The Playmaker Dual also has the same feature, but it’s a bit clunkier because there are multiple receivers. 

However, these products’ mobility and versatility are two selling points DISH pushes. Finding another tailgating option that is as easy to use in different places while on the go would take a lot of work. 

DISH Playmaker vs. Playmaker Dual: What’s Better? 

After considering all of the key categories like durability, mobility, weather resistance, etc., it is hard to say what’s the better overall option. They both serve a purpose with unique pros and cons, so deciding on the best tailgating TV depends on a person’s preference. 

DISH Playmaker

First, we have the DISH Playmaker, arguably the best budget tailgating TV satellite antenna. It works with excellent efficiency, solid signal strength, and durable equipment that gets set up in a matter of minutes. 

We prefer using the DISH Playmaker if we have a tight budget and only need to run one TV at a time. It’s less durable in bad weather, so anybody who wants a long-term outdoor option should upgrade to the Dual. 

DISH Playmaker Dual

The Playmaker Dual is the superior choice for running multiple TVs together. This works well at tailgates, but it also comes in handy at home or for RV owners. 

Consider whether this added feature is worth the significant increase in pricing. But it also runs with more satellite networks, so better speeds and channel support are worth the pricing for many tailgaters. 

Alternatives Vs. The DISH Playmaker & Playmaker Dual

The DISH Playmaker and Playmaker Dual are not the only products available for tailgaters looking for a reliable TV option. We also love the DISH Tailgater 4 and the DISH Tailgater Pro Premium as alternatives. 

DISH Tailgater 4

The DISH Tailgater 4 is one of the best Playmaker alternatives for anybody searching for a top tailgating TV option. It comes with a portable and compact build and a built-in security bracket. 

The weather-resistant coverage is designed for difficult rain or snow in extreme temperatures. It also has full SD and HD programming support with an automatic satellite signal finder. 

This antenna also provides 100% nationwide coverage with a longer coax cable to make setup easier. Pricing for this portable satellite antenna is around $350.00. 

DISH Tailgater Pro Premium 

The DISH Tailgater Pro Premium is a popular choice for tailgaters who want to enjoy satellite TV while hosting parties. It has higher pricing but can support multiple TVs and connect to higher-quality satellite networks. 

This means users can expect better TV picture quality and faster speeds. It also has a compact yet durable design that works great when on the go, so it’s a top choice for RV owners. 

It also includes 100% nationwide coverage and has Wally receiver compatibility for more channels and a better connection. 

Key Takeaways

  • The DISH Playmaker is the best overall tailgating TV satellite antenna for budget-minded individuals who need a single receiver option. It works best for those with one compact TV. 
  • The DISH Playmaker Dual has many of the same features as the original Playmaker but has an additional receiver and two coax inputs. It can support multi-TV viewing, and it has some faster available satellite networks. 
  • Other tailgating TV options include the DISH Tailgater 4 and the DISH Tailgater Pro Premium. 
  • Overall, both of these products are quite similar, but the Playmaker Dual is the better option for people who need to run multiple TVs together.