Gadgets & Gear

Published in the July 2014 Issue July 2014 News Brady L. Kay

Houseboating is all about getting away from our every day concerns as we attempt to leave our work problems and other worries at the dock for the weekend. While we might have a “man versus nature” mindset, we’re not exactly roughing it when we’re on a houseboat and that’s not a bad thing. So even though we love the thought of watching sunsets and listening to the sound the waves make, it’s only natural that we also love our television.

For the casual television fan, even when we’re on the water we still like to stay caught up on the news or just be able to tune into the Saturday afternoon game. When it comes to TV options, some boaters prefer the permanent satellite dish that comes standard with a hefty programming bill. If you have the money and you spend a lot of time on your boat watching television, this might not be a bad way to go. But what are you options if you’re not interested in paying a monthly programming bill? Well, that’s where the Winegard RAYZAR comes in.

Winegard has created a solid reputation for itself with its mobile TV reception products and now offers the RAYZAR Amplified Portable Indoor HD antenna. This innovative, new amplified version of the RAYZAR over-the-air antenna is ideal for houseboaters because you can receive local broadcast channels from up to 50 miles away and it requires no assembly or permanent installation.

With the RAYZAR Amped, houseboaters can get all the top-rated broadcast TV shows for free anywhere in the US. We were able to get our hands on this razor-thin, multi-directional amplified antenna and were impressed by just how small the advanced dual band (VHF/UHF) antenna really is. It weighs in at just over 2 ounces, is .002 inches thick, measures just 12 by 13 inches and receives all local HD broadcast signals.

“We’ve designed the RAYZAR Amped as a flexible and feather light broadcast antenna that is a powerhouse at delivering free TV for those who enjoy the mobile lifestyle," said Winegard National Sales Manager Aaron Engberg. “The Amped is one of very few indoor dual band antennas on the market, which means consumers don’t have to worry about missing out on a major network that other UHF indoor antennas may experience.”

The RAYZAR Amped picks up free TV from all the major local broadcast networks such as ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and PBS, plus additional networks like Qubo, ION, The CW, Universal Sports and more, including local and regional weather and sports that paid programming may not provide.

The antenna is black on one side and white on the other to match any décor, and is easy to set up. We placed ours on the back window of our master stateroom to try out and then connected the coaxial cable to our digital HDTV. Then we just plugged in the USB power cable with the provided 110V adapter and ran a channel scan. It really is that simple.

The RAYZAR retails for $49.99, which is less expensive than a lot of monthly cable or satellite dish packages. Plus the nice thing about being on a houseboat is that it’s extremely easy to locate the best spot onboard so you can receive the clearest reception. For the price and for the added convenience, this RAYZAR from Winegard is hard to beat.




Winegard Company is a respected world leader in the design and manufacture of innovative antenna products for satellite and terrestrial communications.  The company was founded in 1954 and is based in Burlington, Iowa. For more information or to discover the wide range of options available, visit or call 800-288-8094.

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