By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Satellite video is no longer just for couch potatoes.
XM, Sirius, Delphi and KVH (TracVision) are among the companies pioneering the delivery of satellite video to moving vehicles. All showed proof-of-concept or actual products at CES this month.
Both XM and Sirius demonstrated streaming satellite video delivered over their satellite radio systems. Both said the technology is ready but the business model is still fuzzy, since acquiring video content for the systems could be expensive.
"We're saying we can do this, it's a question of the business model. What are the right programs to broadcast? Do you target nine-year olds, six-year olds or three-year olds? And when is the right to time to launch it? If it makes sense, we can do it," said XM's retail marketing and distribution senior VP, Dan Murphy.
Sirius is considering offering three to four video channels on its satellite radio service in the next 18 months. The company says interest from the OE car makers is very high and "all the content partners are waiting to get into the vehicle," according to a spokesman. "We've been absolutely amazed at the response from the OEs. We think it's going to be huge," he added. The Sirius system would not require a new antenna, he said.
At present, KVH said it has shipped 1,700 TracVision satellite video systems for the car since it launched in September. The company now counts 800 retail locations in its distribution network for the TracVision A5, which includes a low-profile (5 inches high by 30 inches wide) antenna, a receiver and cable at $3,495. The antenna uses robotics and sensors to adjust for the movement of the vehicle, said the company. It currently delivers DirectTV service and may be compabile with the Dish Network in the future.
Regional chains carrying TracVision include The Good Guys, Tweeter and Al & Ed's Autosound.
Delphi also told TWICE it hopes to offer mobile satellite video in three years to the aftermarket, and in five years to OE car makers.
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.