The Ultrathin, Portable, HDTV Antenna
By: Mike (DriVer) Pelchat
The Rayzar arrived in a retail box well executed in its presentation featuring vehicle applications and a quick setup on the back of the package.
The Rayzar is comprised a lightweight thin membrane in which antenna conduits are imbedded in the material. The Rayzar is designed to hide in plain sight being white on one side and black on the other.
The Rayzarís included Instruction Manual is short but contains all the information one would need to connect the antenna and beginning watching free HDTV. The manual that I received came in English and French. There are 2 types of Rayzar, non-amplified and amplified. In this report I will be covering the Rayzar Amplified Antenna
The amplified Rayzar packaging has a lead cable attached to the base of the Rayzar. The approximately 18 feet of coax cable contains a USB connector amplifier box where a 12 volt or 120 volt power source may be applied. On the output side of the amplifier, the mini coax cable is terminated to a coax connector which is then connected to the HDTV setís coax connector. For the purposes of this test wire concealment was not key however the wire can be managed better by leaving most of it coiled behind the TV set if thatís applicable for your installation.
Using a preferred power source, a mini USB connector from either a 120 volt plug or 12 volt plug power is connected to the amplifier via a 36Ē cable. Additional length power cable is available by contacting Winegard at 800-788-4417
The antenna is mounted on a flat non-porous surface, in my case the windshield, and it is held by 2 clipped suction cups. Using dty.gov/maps, this site shows you the identity, direction and strength of all HDTV signals in your area. I tested the antenna from Myrtle Beach and I was able to pull in HD channels from both Wilmington, NC and Charleston, SC since the antenna was oriented to the north and east. In an A Ė B test I found that the Rayzar was able to pull in slightly more signal than a roof mounted HDTV antenna. In my test I was usually able to get 1 more bar on the TVís info screen.
All in all the Winegard Rayzar HDTV proved to be a good performer and I was able to watch my favorite HD CBS program without pixilation.
The antenna itself measures 12 x 13 inches and is only .02Ē inches thick. The signal from the Rayzar may be split through a T connector for 2 TVs when using the amplified version.
In order to get the antenna to operate properly on your HDTV set, you will need to scan for channels on your TV antenna setting. If you move the antenna Winegard recommends that you re-scan the channels. It is additionally recommended that a channel scan be run monthly in the event any changed are detected. The Rayzar antenna is not weatherproof and should not be installed outside in the rain, snow or excessive wind.
For more information: www.winegard.com/mobile