Without a doubt, television is arguably one of the most popular electronic devices in today’s world. Practically every single household owns at least one television and it’s not uncommon for TVs to outnumber the people in the household. According to a recent Nielsen survey, in 2009 the average U.S. home had only 2.5 people vs 2.86 television sets. While most of us can’t imagine life without TV, many don’t realize the vital role Winegard Company has played throughout the years in bringing television to both the home and the RV.
Fun Fact –
1950 – Less than 4 million TV households in U.S. (9%)
1953 -- 20 million TV households in U.S. (45%)
1954 – Winegard Company was Incorporated
1973 -- Winegard becomes a vendor for Camping World
1978 – 73 million TV households in U.S. (98%)
2009 – 115 million TV households in the U.S.(3)
1954 – The Year it All Began…
Winegard Company was founded back in 1954, at the dawn of the television era, by John Winegard after designing the world’s all-channel Yagi antenna. This antenna alone catapulted Winegard into the TV reception industry and resulted in the development of more than 1,000 various antennas and accessories being manufactured to date. Winegard has held an impressive 60+ patents over the years, including 26 currently in the U.S. and two overseas. Headquartered in the heart of the Midwest, in Burlington, Iowa, Winegard has grown substantially over the years under the direction of Randy Winegard, son of the company’s founder and the current president and CEO.
More than Just RV Antennas
Whether you pronounce it WINE-gard or WIN-gard, everyone in the RV industry knows Winegard as a proven leader for manufacturing RV television antennas. What most people don’t realize is Winegard makes more than just antennas for RVs. In fact RV antennas are just one of four distinct product lines.
Over-the-Air (OTA) VHF/UHF Television Antennas
This is the product line that started Winegard over 55 years ago. Products manufactured in this product line include VHF/UHF/FM/AM antennas along with Distribution amplifiers, Pre-amplifiers, Power Supplies and Accessories.
Back when television began, before satellite and cable, these antennas were the primary method used to receive local broadcast programming. Analog signals were broadcast from a local network tower. Programming with this style of antenna has always been free and still is today.
There were two antennas designed by Winegard within this group that played a key role in the development of television reception:
· In 1955, when the government opened up the UHF spectrum to TV broadcasters, Winegard introduced the first 82-channel antenna.
· In the 60’s, Winegard launched the world’s first electronic antenna with a built-in preamplifier that for the first time allowed the antenna to handle multiple television sets.
It was during this period that Winegard Company received a “Recognition of Service” Award -- From Manned Spacecraft Center and Philco Houston Operations, “For notable contributions to the success of the Apollo II space mission, first lunar landing”, 1969.
In 2005, the Consumers Electronics Association (CES) honored John Winegard’s dedication to the over-the-air television antenna industry by inducting him into their Hall of Fame.
While the popularity of these antennas dropped with the introduction of cable and satellite in the 80’s, there has been a recent rebirth in popularity over the last few years. The 2009 digital transition created a large demand for digital and HD ready antennas. The HD boom has also contributed to substantial growth in this division since OTA antennas receive the highest quality HD signal. Today, Winegard manufactures an extensive line of over-the-air Digital and HD indoor/outdoor antennas for the home that work from 0 – 60 miles from the broadcast tower depending on antenna model.
Home Satellite TV Antennas and Mounts:
In the mid 80’s when satellite television started to hit the home market, Winegard used its antenna expertise to develop C-band satellite antennas in the 6’ and 10’ size range and soon became a leading home satellite TV antenna manufacturer. Over the years, Winegard has manufactured and distributed satellite antennas worldwide to countries such as the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Australia, and New Zealand. Today, Winegard’s 800 ton press can stamp out up to 500,000 reflectors per month that range in size from 46 cm to 1 meter.
Mobile Television Reception Products:
As the Yagi antenna started Winegard Company, the Sensar also known as the ‘Batwing’ antenna has been the mainstay product in the RV market for nearly thirty years. Originally invented in the 1950s for the home market, the patent was nearing expiration in the early 1980s when someone in the company suggested putting it on a mechanical lift and attaching it to an RV, launching Winegard into the ever-growing RV industry.
As the preferred antenna for the majority of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), it is by far the most popular RV TV antenna in America. Capable of receiving free local channels in digital and HD throughout the U.S., the Sensar has maintained its dominance in the market due to its powerful performance.
Notable achievements within this product line are:
· The first RV television antenna, Sensar®
· Automatic satellite switching technology to allow antennas to receive programs from multiple satellites without manually tuning in the antenna.
Products within this division include both OTA and Satellite television antennas, mounts and accessories for RVs, truck, marine, and automotive applications. Winegard prides itself in having the most diverse satellite TV antenna offering in the RV market. They have satellite TV antennas for all budgets and viewing needs. Whether it is a manual or automatic antenna, portable or permanent antenna, single satellite viewing or multi-satellite viewing antenna, stationary or in-motion antenna, Winegard has the antenna for everyone, everywhere. OTA antennas include bi-directional and omni-directional VHF/UHF/FM/AM antennas that are digital and HD ready.
The product line that provides Medical and Data Antenna Systems, Distribution Amplifiers, Power Supplies and Accessories to medical hospitals and offices nationwide.
Commitment to Quality
While Winegard makes a very diverse line of products, what is even more impressive is their commitment to quality. The company believes that quality begins at the design phase and continues through each and every step along the way. Each product is put through rigorous environmental testing to ensure it can withstand adverse weather conditions over time. In addition, live tests are done on all automatic antennas before leaving the facility.
Winegard believes that quality extends far beyond the manufacturing process and focuses strongly in providing top notch customer service. Dedicated personnel are available to ensure on-time and accurate deliveries to assisting consumers with product information. In addition, the Technical Services staff is available to assist with installation, operation and repair questions. Every employee at Winegard takes great pride in doing their part to make the customer’s experience with Winegard a pleasure.
A Proven Leader
Winegard has proven itself as a leader in television reception products and has withstood the test of time by continually introducing cutting-edge products as technological advances continue to be made. What sets Winegard apart from the competition is that they are more than just an ‘assembler’. Winegard designs and manufactures its products in-house and can proudly state they are ‘Made in the USA’. More importantly, Winegard has remained a loyal vendor to Camping World and their customers for over 35 years and looks forward to developing an even stronger partnership in years to come.