Television

Americans to watch satellite TV in cars courtesy TracVision

NEW YORK: While new satellite radio services launched over the past year claim to be the most advanced automobile entertainment available, KVH Industries has taken automotive multimedia to new heights with the invention of the TracVision A5. The ultra-low profile antenna will bring live satellite television to in-vehicle video screens across the US. Americans watch over four hours of the idiot box everyday.

The new phased-array antenna is being introduced just as mobile video systems have become the hottest selling automotive electronic accessory on the market today.

For the first time premium, static- free, digital satellite TV programming will be available in automobiles. KVH believes that just as television became America's primary form of entertainment and news delivery in the home, it has the potential to do the same in passenger vehicles thanks to TracVision A5 and the power of satellite TV to reach cars traveling throughout the US.

KVH's VP marketing Jim Dodez said: "People love to watch TV and not just at home. The exploding popularity of rear-seat video entertainment systems confirms that. Satellite radio, for all its variety, is still just audio entertainment. While roughly 600,000 people have subscribed to the various satellite radio services, published industry data estimates that one million in-car video systems were sold in 2002 alone. That number is expected to be even larger this year. Passengers in these vehicles are going to want something to watch."

" Satellite TV, with more than 300 channels of video, 35 to 50 channels of commercial-free music, and nationwide coverage is the perfect solution. KVH's ultra-low profile TracVision A5 satellite TV antenna makes it possible," Dodez added.

Vehicles equipped with TracVision A5 will be able to receive the same premium satellite TV service that is already enjoyed by more than 18 million households throughout the US. The fully automatic antenna mounts to the roof rack of a passenger car, mini-van, or SUV, tracking the TV satellites and relaying the latest movies, breaking news, sports, business report, or children's entertainment directly to the passenger video screens.

Designed to be a component within the vehicle's entertainment system, a single TracVision A5 antenna can support multiple video screens and receivers, allowing each passenger to watch their favorite programming whether it's from the satellite, an onboard DVD player, Digital Video Recorder (DVR), or console game.

The result of more than two years of research and development, the five-inch high TracVision A5 uses KVH's new phased-array technology to create an antenna with a rugged, flat design suitable for the family SUV, mini-van, or car at an affordable price. TracVision A5 is being introduced just as the backseat video entertainment market is taking off.

Dodez said: "We're seeing a tremendous amount of interest in TracVision A5 and live satellite TV in the car. Families with small children, emergency and law enforcement agencies, and business travellers all recognize that live TV broadcasts can offer a level of versatility, information, and entertainment that radio just can't match."

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