Car Satellite TV Providers and General Information
Car Satellite TV
Road trips with the children can be frustrating, tedious and tiring. Now imagine a 10 hour drive while your kids can be entertained with satellite television in the back of the car. Through companies such as Tracvision (part of KVH), you can receive over 300 channels of live satellite television and 50+ music channels from DirecTV.
KVH supply satellite antennas to tens of thousands of boats, RV's and coaches around the world and has won several consumer and industry awards. For the past six years in a row, KVH has received the "Best Product" award for both satellite TV and satellite communication by the National Marine Electronics Association. Now the company has developed technology that allows satellite television to be viewed in a standard family saloon.
You can now watch the big match from the back seat of your car instead of listening to the commentary on the radio or make sure that the kids don't disrupt you're driving by letting them watch a movie premiere, music videos or cartoons. For safety reasons, it should be made clear that the driver of the vehicle is unable to directly or indirectly view any screen within the car.
The system operates in the same manner as conventional satellite television. You need the equivalent of a dish, which is mounted on the roof of your car, and a receiver, which can fit easily under a seat or in the trunk. Using a special tilting device, the equipment makes sure that the flat dish on the roof is always directed at the southern sky in order to receive a signal. The flat antenna is fitted with tamper-resistant mounting brackets in order to deter theft and there are versions available for cars with and without roof racks.
The antenna (which stands less than 5" tall) will draw power from the vehicles' 12-volt electrical system, just like the onboard video screens do. Many family minivans, SUV's and cars are equipped with onboard video screens nowadays, but it is possible to install these independently if necessary. Tracvision's equipment will connect to any standard screens that you use for watching DVD's and playing console games. Also, a single antenna is able to support multiple screens which allows maximum variety for all passengers. Like standard satellite dishes, the flat antenna is extremely durable and is designed to cope with extreme weather conditions and demanding roads.
This technology is relatively new, and therefore the costs are considerable. Current MSRP prices are around $3500-$3600. In-car satellite television is available from over 800 retailers nationwide. To find your nearest dealer, you should search through Tracvision's website. There are plans afoot for introduction of high speed satellite internet. This is currently available on boats and RV's, so it will not be too long before the standard family car or minivan is added to this list.