Winegard® Announces Expanded HD Offerings for DISH® Playmaker™ with Free Software Update for Existing Customers
To be released this month without current customers having to purchase new hardware to get expanded HDTV coverage across the U.S. – a first in the industry
BURLINGTON, IA (Sept. 11, 2018) — Winegard® Company, the leading U.S. residential, mobile and commercial antenna developer, and DISH® today announced they will soon release software that gives select PlaymakerTM models expanded access to DISH's HDTV programming. In the coming weeks, any Gen 2 Playmaker, first introduced in Sept. 2017, will offer HDTV coverage across the country with a simple software update.
This new software allows the Playmaker family of satellite antennas to receive HDTV signals from DISH's western arc and eastern arc satellites. For instance, the Playmaker will now be able to receive programming from DISH's Eastern Arc satellite 61.5, which gives customers in the eastern United States access to more local HD channels.
Unlike other HDTV satellites, current Winegard customers can upgrade Playmakers through a simple software update without any need to purchase new hardware. The software update can be downloaded and installed onto a compatible USB device at no charge. Or, any customer can purchase a factory pre-loaded USB drive from Winegard for $9.99 with free shipping. The update process takes about five minutes. The new expanded coverage is also factory installed on models shipping now, giving new customers the same capability.
"We are excited, not only for this new great feature, but also to offer it at no additional cost to our loyal customers who have purchased these models over the past year," said Grant Whipple, Winegard president. "We are committed to continuing to deliver the best products at the best value, and updating and upgrading customers' antennas is just another way for us to do that – an industry first."
The Playmaker antennas will now have two satellite configuration options in the DISH Wally receiver. Other receivers such as the 211k and 211z will continue to operate in the standard western arc mode, located at 110, 119 and 129, will continue to be available. However, now with the latest software, customers on the east coast will be able to choose an option for satellites 110, 119 and eastern arc satellite 61.5.
"The ability to access 61.5 on the east coast will mean more HD local channel options, which is ideal for tailgating this football season," said J.D. Hoffman, Winegard satellite product manager. "Many of the major games are broadcast on CBS, ABC, FOX and NBC, and this update will allow for more customers to watch those games in HD."
It also offers a better look angle than the 129 satellite offers in some areas of the country for greater coverage in the Northeast," said J.D. Hoffman, Winegard satellite product manager. "Even though the Playmaker is the lowest-priced automatic antenna on the market, it's important for us to offer the best features as well."
"We designed the latest Playmaker more than a year ago with this feature in mind," said Brent Venghaus, Winegard director of engineering. "It was critical for our engineering team to ship our Gen 2 Playmaker from day one with the hardware needed to support this feature, and now all customers can access the 61.5 satellite with just a simple update."
The compatible Generation 2 Playmaker Models include:
PL-7000, PL7000R, PL-8000, and PL-8035
Winegard Company designs and manufactures the greatest spectrum of world-class terrestrial and satellite video and data antenna products and accessories for residential and mobile applications. Founder, John Winegard, invented the multi-channel antenna and since its incorporation in 1953, Winegard has designed more than 1,000 antenna models and been granted more than 80 U.S. patents. The company's heritage includes recognition by NASA for contributions to the Apollo 11 mission, and the induction of founder John Winegard into the Consumer Electronics Association Hall of Fame. Winegard's high performance antenna designs for TV, wireless and cellular technologies are manufactured in Burlington, Iowa. The facility totals 410,000 sq. ft. and includes a state-of-the-art testing, validation and measurement center. The company's unmatched in-house and vertically integrated capabilities support its accelerated product design and development cycle.