Tailgating TV issue..

Submitted by Michigan fanatic on September 24th, 2010 at 2:51 PM

A couple friends and I are planning on going down and tailgating for the Michigan - State game. We want to do it up big, Couch, some good BBQ, big screen TV. I have a generator to power everything and was just planning on using digital rabbit ears but I just heard that the game is supposed to be on ESPN2 so there lies the problem. We have tried Direct TV before and it never works. Has anyone heard if its supposed to be on ESPN2 or not? and if so any ideas on how to get the game in ???? Thanks. I just always figured it would be on ABC. Oh yeah and if we get it all hooked up your all invited over!!!!!

Edit: Well my friend just informed me that the Bowling Green game was on ESPN2  and thought that was the one I was asking about, either way, I still would like to know what to do for any tailgating I do where the game isn't on basic cable.



September 24th, 2010 at 3:04 PM ^

You're going to need a dish, something to hold up the dish, and pray that Satellite-Dish-Reception-Hating-God doesn't decide to cloud up.

If it were on ABC, sure... you could get it to work with the antenna.  But ESPN2, you're SOL without a dish.


September 24th, 2010 at 3:31 PM ^

We set up a TV every home game in the Crisler Lot and never have a problem getting the satellite to work even on bad rainy days. 

I would suggest a couple things.  If you are going to tailgate on the golf course I would suggest making sure you get a spot where the south west is clear of trees.  (I would suggest the Main St. entrance to the UofM golf course.  The satellite needs to be at a certain angle which you can find on the internet and has to be pointed the proper direction.  I would suggest getting a satellite finder to hook up between the satellite and box to help you accomplish this.  You can find them on Ebay.  the link below gives you one that is available for 20+ dollars. 

Once you have a strong signal if your tv still doesn't have a picture I would suggest restarting your box by pushing the red button.  (I am assuming this is Direct TV).  If the satellite is lined up right it should work. 

Good luck!


Edit:  I just looked at that weeks Big 10 schedule and the only 2 games that have yet to be announced are Michigan vs. MSU & OSU vs. Indiana.  The other games are either at noon or 7:30p so looking at that and assuming a win this weekend the likely hood of the Michigan vs. MSU on ABC @ 3:30p is pretty good but again that is still a guess. 


September 24th, 2010 at 5:42 PM ^

(I never have logged into this site before, but I had to to post in this thread)

I have set up TVs on multiple occasions for the Michigan game, at multiple locations. 

The first thing is that the game will probably be on ABC, but of course we don't know that for sure. I think your best bet is to plan for both situations just in case. If I were you I would use DirecTV, but make sure that you have a good plan in place before you go and waste time trying to get a signal. 

What type of TV are you going to be using? HD? LCD? CRT? It all matters for your plan. If you want to get an HD signal, then that complicates things somewhat. If you are using a DirecTV dish, then in order to get the HD channels, the dish has to be more precisely aligned. If the game is on ABC, of course in theory you could pick up the HD signal over the air, but at the UConn game I tried using a powered UHF (the HD channels in the area are sent over the UHF band, so I am not sure how well rabbit ears would work for you) antenna that I brought with me, and although it worked great at first, as it got closer to game time the signal was lost and I was never able to reestablish it (I have never determined why). I had the Standard Definition DirecTV dish as a backup, but I was disappointed at the HD failure. Based on the experience I would be a little nervous relying on catching the game from over the air signals.

Another negative to not using DirecTV is that you likely will be around people that also are playing the game on their TVs. If everyone else is using DirecTV, then the enjoyment of the game is usually diminished by whoever happens to be watching the feed with the most lag. Even if it is a half of a second, it is frustrating to hear the cheers and groans of others just before you see whether the winning touchdown catch is made or dropped (that is also a reason to make sure your sound system is the loudest).

Now back to your TV choice. A big reason that this matters is glare. The best TVs that I have found for outside viewing during the day are LCD tvs that have a matte screen (the glass of the screen is not glossy). CRT tvs are terrible for glare. I have tried anti-glare sprays, and putting the TV inside the back of the SUV with a tent over it. Even though those methods helped, the glare was still worse than the LCD screen that we mount to the top of my car with no tent or anything over it. If you are bringing an SUV, the best way I have found to mount the TV in order for a large number of people to view it (assuming you have an LCD TV which are light weight) is to mount it to the top of the vehicle. If you do that you will make an impression on everyone around you, and they will probably leave their tailgate viewing areas to watch your TV since they can't see their's with all of the people standing in the way. (But if rain is called for that day you have to make sure to plan for covering the TV properly.)

As for setting up the DirecTV dish if you go that route. First, you must have a stable mount that is high enough to ensure people can't get in the way. This must be able to withstand high winds without the dish moving in case it is a windy fall day. Also, you must be able to perfectly level the mast after you arrive at the tailgate spot, before you put the dish on the mast. Sometimes people level the mast at home (or don't do it at) and then wonder why it doesn't work when the arrive at the golf course with their car sitting at a 45 degree angle.

When I find a parking spot, the three things I look for are a good view of the Southern sky for the dish, a good place so that a large number of people can watch the TV, and parking at an angle that will diminish the tv glare at game time.

Good luck