In-Car TV Going Nowhere

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Given the rush to load up cars with the latest technological gadgets, you’d think that in-car television would have taken off by now. But Chrysler, the pioneer of in-car live TV, has sold only 850 units of its FLO TV system since it began offering the $629 (plus installation) MOPAR accessory last year, according to the Detroit News. And now Qualcomm is winding down its FLO TV business (likely due to low sales, reports the LAT), leaving Chrysler with only the Sirius TV subscription service to offer consumers who want live TV in their Grand Caravan. Chrysler is

still developing a plan to take care of the customers with FLO TV as it learns more details of how the television service provider plans to stop offering its direct-to-consumer programming,but it seems that the technology simply isn’t striking a chord with consumers. Which leaves the question: why? High price? Poor marketing? Or do consumers really draw a line between in-car DVD players (must-have) and live in-car TV (no thanks)?
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  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Oct 07, 2010

    This is not surprising. The kind of people who would spring for TV in a car are also the kind of people who would prefer a DVD or portable gaming system anyway. It's an interesting idea, but a failure in the "didn't understand the market" sense. In-case internet access is a similar failure-in-progress. If you need it, you probably already have a cellular modem anyway.

    • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Oct 07, 2010

      Psar, If this came out a year ago during carmageddon, it's no wonder it failed. I bet they make a run at this again when the economy picks up. For most who truly needed a new steed in the last 18 months, I'm sure this type of option was far from their minds.

  • Tced2 Tced2 on Oct 07, 2010

    Cost was higher than the benefit. The hardware costs $629 plus installation. Then the monthly fee. I think the potential customers decided it was not worth the cost. A typical family can only afford so many monthly fees (cell phones, cable/satellite, Netflix, internet service, etc)

    • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Oct 10, 2010

      So somebody bought the hardware only to find a year later it was useless? I'd be pissed enough I'd switch vehicle brands next time I purchased a vehicle.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Oct 08, 2010

    I've told my kids they'll have in-car DVD over my dead body. So maybe they're plotting my demise. :) Look out the window, I say, and observe the beautiful countryside. So in-car TV is even less of a 'must-have' for me than a DVD.

  • MarcKyle64 MarcKyle64 on Oct 08, 2010

    "Gasp" the horror of a long trip without the electronic teat! As a former service brat with ADHD who endured many, many hours on the road moving from one base to the next, I looked out the window at the flora/fauna or read a book when the scenery was boring. It helped me learn to keep still and I saw some amazing sights. Dad wasn't much on playing the radio, either. We were limited by regulations on how many miles we could travel a day (can't have servicemen crashing due to lack of sleep) so we camped a lot and had plenty of rest stop sandwiches and Kool-Aid and chances for me to work off some energy.

    • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Oct 10, 2010

      As a kid of the 80s we got along with some portable tunes, headphones and the window. Until the batteries died. Then we'd open a book or magazine. Today my own kids are looking out the windows or reading or sleeping on trips. Their portable video game gadget doesn't work well in bright sunlight.