AT&T CruiseCast Ceases Activations - Twice

AT&T CruiseCast Ceases Activations

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Vienna, Va. - The beleaguered AT&T CruiseCast live video-for-the car satellite service stopped taking new orders and is refunding consumers who purchased equipment.

The service, first launched in June will refund consumers for the cost of installation, de-installation, equipment and service, said Mike Grannan, COO of RaySat Broadcasting, which partnered with AT&T to create the AT&T CruiseCast system.

The market for live video in the car has been off to a rocky start as the iPhone and other portables are already competing with in-car video systems that often require large up-front infrastructure costs.

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Start up ICO Global Communications that planned to launch a satellite car video service early next year, filed a Chapter 11 petition in May. The company hopes a reorganization plan will be approved shortly, said a spokesman.

Audiovox plans to enter the fray at the end of this year with a car video FLO TV tuner at $699 (including installation).  And a second live service, streaming simulcast broadcast TV to portable and car devices, called Mobile DTV, is expected to result in new car tuners late in 2010 or 2011.

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