By on January 9, 2009

Kids rule, telecoms drool. In this case, AT&T figures pester power will entice car owners to stump-up $1299 and $28 a month for an in-car satellite TV system. That and installation charges for a roof-mounted antenna pod thingie that will do for automotive aerodynamics what the Olsen twins did for the food pyramid. AT&T calls the service “Cruisecast,” ignoring the obvious connection to the Al Pacino movie and lifestyle choice known as Cruising. And what’s with that satellite following the car? Anyway, “A final channel lineup is still being developed,” PC World reveals, quoting this morning’s press release. “But AT&T says it will include lots of family-friendly entertainment, including Disney Channel, Disney XD, Discovery Kids, Animal Planet, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network Mobile, USA, COMEDY CENTRAL, MSNBC, CNN Mobile Live and CNBC.” I know what you’re thinking: HOW much? And if you’re geeky, you’ll wonder how AT&T TV can keep on keeping on when it’s out of sight of the company’s birds. All hail its “breakthrough buffering technology keeps the show going even when you’re under a tunnel or other line-of-site obstacle.” Just in case that doesn’t fly with car buyers/owners, Avis and Budget car will offer Cruisecast in some of its rental cars for $9 a day or $63 a week. Or you could just toss a couple of iPhones in back.

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13 Comments on “AT&T To Launch In-Car Satellite TV...”

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    If I was to spend $1299 for my kiddies, I think I’d get two portable DVD players and use the remaining $1000 for a big home television for them. $28 bucks a month should get me some basic at-home cable service.
    Of course, I don’t have children, my largest tv is 27″ and 10 years old. I’m prideful of my mastery of finding free C-band (big satellite) programming. No, I don’t still own a cassette player, although my VCR still works great.

    The system requires installation of a 3-pound, 11.3-by-10.3-by-4.3-inch antenna on the roof of your vehicle. AT&T describes this as “not particularly noticeable,”

    I think I would have my children paint that thing as a turtle.

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    I won’t wonder aloud how much worse this is going to screw up kids who have already had their brains rewired by watching too much TV far too early in their development.

    I will be interested to see if daddy (and/or mommy) ever leave the garage depending on the selection of porn channels available.

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    Over the air TV reception is standard fare in higher end EUR VWs, Audis etc. Been so for years. Reception ceases when car is in drive, so not to distract the driver. If you know someone with a VAS 5051 – the same gizmo that gets rid of the voluntary 250 km/h limitation – the feature can be disabled and you can watch the news while doing 280 down the autobahn …

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    I might be looking at this wrong but there are a lot of long haul truckers that work in teams. This might be perfect for them and for single manned long haul truckers when they want to relax. I don’t have any kids but I will see to it that I would never spend that kind of money on a service like this.

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    I see the name “AT&T” up there.

    so I know two things.

    #1 It’s gonna suck

    #2 its gonna be very expensive.

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    The all in one cellphone will kill in vehicle NAV/ICE. So far, we have sidelined our CDs, portable DVD player (with DVDs), our Garmin, and our point and shoot digital camera in favor for our phones. Next step will be to defer purchase of a netbook in favor of a phone upgrade. Maybe then a car can be just a car.

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    You can buy a VuQube for half the price.

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    Since when does the iPhone receive satellite television? Anyway, judging by how I feel about cross-country flights these days (interminable without mah TV!), I think it’s a pretty smart piece of technology. And, AT&T won’t be the only game in town.

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    Well if they keep bumping up the power of those sattelites, we won’t need receivers to get the signal; our brains will absorb and reconstruct the images, but of course, they’ll be “scrambled”.

    And (of course) AT&T will offer brain implants at various levels of service.

    (Automagically disabled at land speeds over 3MPH)

    I think this fantasy was spurred by the strange “skullbone” antenna, there.

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    Whatever happened to reading a book or listening to your iPod during a road trip? Now you know why I prefer 90s cars, of if I have to have a new car, a stripper or econobox, because I think features like this are stupid.

    What is next, an arm that will jerk you off while you drive?

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    What is next, an arm that will jerk you off while you drive?

    BMW already hands you your seat belt from the back, so a reacharound doesn’t seem all that far-fetched.

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    Assuming that the combination of AT&T’s equipment and service provides a picture quality that’s roughly equivalent to the combination of DIRECTV and that firm’s preferred mobile receiver, this actually sounds like a pretty good deal for a vehicle-mounted satellite TV system. After all, the KVH car-mounted receiver has an MSRP of $2995, with a DIRECTV Mobile package price of $49.99 per month (note, though, that the DIRECTV package is likely [though not certain] to include more channels than AT&T will offer).

    Determining the actual cost-effectiveness and utility of en-route satellite TV is, of course, left as an exercise for the student….

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