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CruiseCast Gets Hard Launch

AT&T CruiseCast officially launched its car satellite service offering 22 channels of video and 20 channels of audio, revealing its final channel lineup for the first time. It also said Crutchfield will carry the product.

The $1,299 satellite-video system, first announced last November, will carry the USA Network, CNN Mobile, SciFi, Adult Swim, Discovery, Lifetime, Animal Planet, ESPN Mobile, Cartoon Network Mobile Disney, AccuWeather and other channels, plus five additional channels aimed at tweens and teenagers.

About 600 retailers have signed up to carry the product, and CruiseCast plans to offer its system through expeditors and new car dealers. It is also in talks with car makers to provide the system as a factory option in new cars.

On a conference call earlier this month, Guillory said Best Buy and Car Toys have expressed interest in the product.

AT&T CruiseCast is a collaboration between RaySat Broadcasting and AT&T. It uses a technology that helps overcome the line-of-sight obstacles in delivering TV programming to the car, such as interference from overpasses, building and trees, by buffering the video for several minutes. The system includes a black box the size of a book that hides under the seat of a car and connects to most rear-seat entertainment systems. It has an antenna the size and shape of a child’s bicycle helmet that attaches to the roof by a magnetic mount or a roof rack mount. The unit must be professionally installed and carries a $28/month service fee.

The product received a soft launch earlier this spring through a few retailers including Al & Ed’s Autosound.