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AT&T is starting to work with pockets of customers to test its CruiseCast satellite-based entertainment service before officially putting the TV/radio service on wide offer. When the whole clan is on the go, it may work to keep everyone calm and quiet, and when your Prevost motor coach is loaded up with everything else, you might as well go for the TV service, too. Truckers sticking DBS dishes on their rigs would likely be pleased with the CruiseCast system, especially since AT&T is using some new technology developments by RaySat that defeats the typical issues with line of sight obstacles and underpasses.

For comparison's sake, Sirius is cheaper and offers much more variety than AT&T's 20 music/talk radio stations, but their optional Backseat TV service only offers three television channels, and they are all geared for the kiddies. Conversely, AT&T's CruiseCast hardware must be professionally installed and will set you back $1,299, and the monthly payment is $28. Once the service is available for all customers in early June, they'll have 22 television channels to choose from. All that for the price of a used car and more than $300 bucks a year in subscription costs. Official press release posted after the jump.

[Source: Engadget]

PRESS RELEASE:

AT&T CruiseCastSM Will Deliver 22 Satellite TV and 20 Satellite Radio Channels into the Car for First Time with Breakthrough Antenna and Receiver Technologies

Product to be Available in Spring 2009 Through Auto Dealerships and Automotive After-Market Channels

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 3, 2008 - AT&T Inc. (NYSE:AT&T) and RaySat Broadcasting Corp today debuted to the auto industry AT&T CruiseCastSM, the Total In-Car Entertainment service that will enable families, commuters, and mobile professionals to watch a lineup of 22 satellite video channels anywhere in the country. Unveiled at SEMA, the world's premier automotive specialty products tradeshow, AT&T CruiseCast utilizes a compact, low-profile antenna for use on cars, trucks and SUVs, and a breakthrough technology that overcomes line-of-sight obstacles such as overpasses, buildings, trees or tunnels.

AT&T CruiseCast will have a robust 22 channel line-up that will include a variety of kids and family, documentary, music, comedy, news, and sports programming. AT&T CruiseCast will deliver TV programming that family members of all ages enjoy at home, which will include Disney Channel, Toon Disney, Discovery Kids, Animal Planet, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network Mobile, USA, COMEDY CENTRAL, MSNBC, CNN Mobile Live and CNBC. Twenty satellite radio music channels will also be available at the launch. The service has the ability to add channels to meet market demands.

The groundbreaking service was developed in collaboration between RaySat™, Inc. a leading manufacturer and supplier for the mass market for cost-effective, low-profile satellite antennas that enable communication on the move, and AT&T, the world's premier telecommunications company. RaySat Broadcasting Corporation, a privately held U.S. company, will be working with AT&T to introduce the new product to the marketplace.

The service will be sold though auto dealerships and other automotive aftermarket channels when it debuts in Spring 2009. AT&T CruiseCast is building its industry distributor network today and enabling resellers to submit advance orders.

At the AT&T CruiseCast booth, SEMA attendees will have the opportunity to schedule demonstration rides around the convention center. Anyone interested in the service can visit www.cruisecast.com for further information.

"AT&T CruiseCast is a significant advancement from what is in the market today-both in terms of technology and channel offerings," said Winston Guillory, President of RaySat Broadcasting Corp.. "We see this as opening up an exciting new source of accessory revenue for the automotive manufacturer, accessory distributors, and the local auto dealerships...one that will make quality total in-car entertainment a reality for the end consumer."

AT&T CruiseCast is made consumer-friendly by the unique scaling down of satellite technology into the small pod-like antenna that affixes to the roof of vehicles. The antenna is paired with a receiver that is mounted in the vehicle and provides all video and audio connections to the appropriate vehicle systems, such as Rear Seat Entertainment, Vehicle Audio System etc.

"AT&T is a leader with innovations that enable people to do more and get more from technology," said Sean O'Leary, vice president of Business Development for AT&T. "We will deliver an unprecedented capability for people to enjoy live television in their vehicles. AT&T CruiseCast furthers AT&T's mission to enable people to access the content and applications they want and need, whenever and wherever they may be."

Yoel Gat will serve as Chairman and CEO of RaySat Broadcasting Corp. "Due to our smaller antenna and expansive programming we believe consumers will flock to bringing living room entertainment into the back seat of their car," said Gat. "AT&T CruiseCast is the first service that uses video-buffering technology to minimize loss of programming when a vehicle loses line of sight with the satellite while driving alongside a tall building or under a tunnel."

AT&T CruiseCast Service will be sold through auto dealerships and other automotive product vendors where buyers can have the compact antennas and receivers installed to link into rear-seat entertainment systems. Initially, the installation will be on sedans, SUVs and mini-vans properly outfitted with roof-racks, with additional mounts introduced in the coming months.

For more information, go to www.cruisecast.com

About RaySat Broadcasting Corporation

RaySat Broadcasting Corporation is a privately held U.S. company that has been chartered to introduce Total In-Car Entertainment to the marketplace with the revolutionary AT&T CruiseCast service. Headquartered in Dallas, TX, RaySat Broadcasting Corporation capitalizes on pioneering technology that has enabled the creation of a small compact antenna for use on cars, trucks and SUV's that also provides continual coverage on-the-go thanks to an advancement that overcomes line-of-sight obstacles such as overpasses, buildings, trees or tunnels. RaySat Broadcasting Corp. is an affiliate of Vienna, VA-based global satellite-antenna innovator RaySat™, Inc., a leading manufacturer and supplier for the mass market of cost-effective, low-profile satellite antennas that enable communication on the move.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      You spend a lot of time on the road because of your job, like sleeping in your car? Sitting on the side of the road doing nothing? Hanging out at truck stops? I hope your not suggesting that you spend a lot of time *driving* your car for work and feel this would be a good way to break up the monotony of controlling a two ton projectile careening through public areas with other people at 55+ miles per hour.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The guy driving the RV did it when the mom heated up some Orville Reddenbacher (sp?) popcorn
        • 5 Years Ago
        First off, my post was at danotoriousb, who said he/she spends a lot of time in his/her car for work. He/She seems to imply that the TV would be nice while tooling down the road.

        Second, if you think only passengers are going to watch it, you're fooling yourself. Kind of like the head units that play DVDs on the in-dash screens. Sure, you're supposed to ground the green wire to the parking brake to make it only work when the car is stationary. It didn't take folks long to figure out that they can just ground the wire to the car, so they can watch a movie any time, any place. How long do you think it will take for someone to split and re-route the signal to the front?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I thought about phrasing this in several different sarcastic, snark-filled ways, but I'll just go for a more direct approach this time. This is for PASSENGERS, idiot, not drivers. Just because a the family minivan's rear seat DVD player can pick up Nickelodeon doesn't mean Dad's going to jump in back in the middle of the freeway to watch Spongebob with the kids.
      • 5 Years Ago
      egiscoder
      • 5 Years Ago
      Paying $1299 to get a few TV channels in your car?? Are you crazy? In a recession? It has to be the TV, because the 20 radio channels is a joke. SiriusXM offers 200 radio channels for $13/mo. Not even 50 cents a day.

      SiriusXM has Howard Stern, Oprah, O&A, NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, College Football, Soccer, UFC, Martha Stewart, CNN, Cosmo, Playboy, various talk genres, various music genres, public radio, etc etc.....

      AT&T is trying to sell you a small selection for $1600 in the first year. Absolutely nuts.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why are we even discussing about this? This is so simple, $1299 to get connected then $28 a month to stay connected. And with 20 channels? These channels the really good ones? Or whatever is showing live? I agree to one blogger, BUY A PORTABLE DVD PLAYER, BUY YOUR FAVORITE MOVIES. How long is the average one way daily commute? An hour or two? Wont that be perfect for one movie? $1299 is really steep and stupid.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Brad,

      I manage a medium sized used car dealership and Im a buyer for several area car dealerships. I travel around the region buying for my dealership, and several others (for commission of course).

      Now when I go to these auctions I almost always have friends and associates with me to help me find the cars Im looking for pre-auction, and then to help me bid on the cars themselves during the auction. At an auction like Manheim in PA which has like over 30 lanes I cant morph from one side to the other and I need others to

      So, to answer your snide and stupid remarks, no, I dont intend on driving while watching tv, however I do intend on watching tv when Its not my turn to drive, and my passengers are likely to enjoy it as well.

      Sometimes it pays to think before you open your mouth and make yourself out to look like a complete fool.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How about just buying a portable dvd player for 100 bucks?
      • 5 Years Ago
      28 bucks isnt all that bad if its an unlimited service. I spend a lot of time in my car and on the road because of my job. The channel lineup isnt too bad and it also has a few radio channels.

      If it works, and it works well, I might be interested. The high initial cost is the only hurdle.
      • 5 Years Ago
      No wonder everyone these days has ADD.