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Although satellite TV for the car is just getting off the ground, it continues to attract new suppliers who hope the segment will grow in coming years.
Frost & Sullivan recently predicted that 3 million vehicles will be equipped with satellite TV by 2011 in North America, as consumers continue to watch more TV and as the technology for mobile delivery advances.
At International CES, Kenwood showed a prototype of a system that receives the new Modeo satellite TV service. Modeo, based in Houston, is owned by cellular tower operator Crown Castle International Corp., and it plans to launch a satellite TV service for mobile devices this year beginning in Pittsburgh and New York, increasing to 30 markets by the close of 2007. (See TWICE, Jan. 19, p. 6.)
Kenwood said Modeo would require only a miniature antenna about the size of a satellite radio antenna. Mike Bergman, Kenwood's digital technology VP noted, “It's a capability that we are considering building in to a couple of mobile product lines, including rear-seat video. It's also a candidate for transportable devices — it could be in navigation or a media player. I think it is an important trend.”
Kenwood said it also continues to look into Sirius' expected satellite video system for the car but notes that Modeo would offer more channels than Sirius' expected three-channel service.
Alpine also entered the satellite TV market at CES with the first Sirius satellite-video-ready rear-seat entertainment system, although Sirius does not plan to launch its service until 2007. The Alpine PKG-RSE2 is a 10.2-inch overhead that is expected to ship in April at a suggested retail price of $799. Alpine will also offer a module for the overhead that will allow it to work with a video-capable iPod.
XM and Audiovox also demonstrated prototype DVD/monitors capable of touch-screen control of XM video and audio but no live service was shown. XM has not announced an XM video launch date.
Clarion also said it expects to add both Sirius satellite video and Sirius real-time traffic capability to its new portable navigation/media player, the N.I.C.E P200, later this year.
Other satellite TV products were shown by RaySat and Audiovox (see TWICE, Jan. 5, p. 162).
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.