With the economy still feeling the effects of the recession, more people are driving rather than flying for vacations. If you’re one of those families with kids and a mini-van, this could be worse than going into the office and listening to your boss yell at you. But we are saved for there is satellite television coming to automobiles. You’ve seen those minivans with the flip-down screens that usually have Dora the Explorer or Spongebob going.
This past summer AT&T and RaySat Broadcasting launched a new satellite television service for vehicles called CruiseCast that is capable of streaming content to television screens. Thank goodness because you can only watch the same DVDs over and over again before they get old. CruiseCast currently streams 22 television channels using an antenna mounted on the roof and a receiver installed in the car. For the kids, CruiseCast offers Animal Planet, Cartoon Network, and Disney. For the adults, there is CNN, ESPN, MSNBC, and SyFy. Currently there is only one tuner so you have to come to a consensus on what to watch. I’m sure in a couple years they will upgrade the software and perks to at least two tuners.
This isn’t the first venture in this particular satellite television market. KHV Industries’ TracVision uses DirecTV satellite service. The real big downfall for any of these things is the line of sight. You have to have clear reception in order to watch the program. If you’re driving from Jersey to Manhattan, you’re gonna lose connection when going through the tunnels. To think that we can get satellite while driving from space is amazing, so I think you have to tolerate the reception problems.
The basic CruiseCast equipment costs $1,299 and a $28 monthly subscription. Of course you have to provide your own television screens in your car or van. While the pricetag is uber-high, there are still people who will pay top dollar just to have the product. It is innovative and if you have thousands to blow, it could be a great road trip investment.
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