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DIRECTV Delivers Live Local Channels to Motorists on the Open Road


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#1 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 05:39 AM

DIRECTV Delivers Live Local Channels to Motorists on the Open Road for the First Time; KVH TracVision A7 Enables Mobile DIRECTV Customers to Receive Live Local News, Traffic, Weather and Sports

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Aug 23, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Recognizing the growing interest among American motorists who want the same DIRECTV entertainment experience in their cars that they have in their homes, DIRECTV is now delivering to car video screens live local news, weather, traffic, sports and other local entertainment programming.

Local broadcast channels via DIRECTV are now available to mobile customers on the open road within the continental United States to vehicles that have been equipped with a TracVision A7 mobile satellite TV system, launched today by KVH Industries, Inc. DIRECTV will provide mobile customers their local broadcast channels within the designated market areas where it already offers them to home viewers. Local channels availability may vary by market. DIRECTV delivers local programming in 142 markets, representing 94 percent of U.S. television households.

DIRECTV's TOTAL CHOICE® Mobile with local channels package, created exclusively for mobile customers with a low-profile automotive TracVision system, is available for $44.99, and offers more than 185 channels. To receive local channels in their car, DIRECTV customers must purchase a new TracVision A7 satellite TV system, which includes an integrated GPS unit and new 12-volt receiver jointly developed by DIRECTV and KVH.

The mobile local channels offering is part of a larger strategy by DIRECTV to target the more than 20 million U.S. vehicles expected to have in-vehicle passenger video systems by 2011, according to the leading analyst firm Frost & Sullivan.

"We are delighted to be able to offer local broadcast programming on a DMA basis and to extend the connection that viewers have to their local broadcaster, to the mobile consumer. With consumers' growing demand to watch news and entertainment services whenever and wherever they want, the in-vehicle market has come to represent the next frontier in live digital multichannel entertainment," said Daren Benzi, vice president, Sales Development and Strategy, DIRECTV, Inc. "This new development symbolizes DIRECTV and KVH's continuing efforts to innovate and provide the best of the DIRECTV television experience to mobile consumers. With our new receiver technology and KVH's new TracVision A7 with GPS, DIRECTV is now able to offer its mobile customers the benefits of live local news, traffic, weather, sports and other important information."

In addition to giving its customers access to local news and information on the road, DIRECTV's new service offering gives local programmers greater participation in the expanding live mobile media market.

KVH's TracVision A7 is a low-profile in-motion satellite TV system designed for passenger vehicles and brings more than 185 channels of live, all-digital DIRECTV programming and commercial-free XM Radio music into automobiles. Using patented hybrid phased-array technology, KVH's TracVision systems, available to car owners since September 2003, are now offered by hundreds of retailers nationwide, as well as participating Cadillac dealerships.

DIRECTV TOTAL CHOICE® Mobile, the world's first dedicated in-car programming package, was launched in August 2004 in collaboration with KVH and is still the only satellite TV package created for use in automobiles. KVH has been supplying mobile antennas to bring DIRECTV service to boat and RV owners since 1995.

"More and more U.S. motorists now consider their vehicle as an extension of their living room, and, like at home, are demanding live entertainment and information over DVDs and prerecorded content," explained Ian Palmer, KVH's executive vice president for satellite sales. "That trend, combined with the phenomenal growth of in-vehicle entertainment systems -- more than 52 percent of full-size SUVs and 40 percent of luxury SUVs and minivans among 2005 and early-release 2006 models have in-vehicle video screens according to J.D. Power & Associates -- suggest that live, in-car satellite TV is the next must-have vehicle technology."

The November 2005 report by J.D. Power & Associates also concluded that more than 60 percent of SUV owners and 50 percent of minivans owners want passenger entertainment in their next vehicles.

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#2 OFFLINE   somewhereinOH

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 10:51 AM

I noticed the launch of new A7 "with locals" on the KVH website also. It's funny, though, because I bought the A5 system nearly a year ago and have had my locals the entire time. Possibly since I installed it myself, I simply called up D* and activated it as a 5th receiver for $4.99/mo, and never was there any mention about the "DirecTV Mobile" package that these units are supposed to have. And without the 'new' GPS capability, D* has no idea if I'm within my viewing area or not!!! I'm only at the mercy of the spot beam, which I presume the Columbus locals are on.

For those who are interested in the system, I love it! It's a relatively simply install, no more difficult than a car stereo/amplifier, and mounts on most standard luggage racks (I have an '01 Jeep Grd Cherokee). The tracking/reception is great if you've got a clear view of the sky (highways/parking lots waiting for spouse to shop/etc). The A5 will hold a signal on a 270-degree cloverleaf exit at 55 mph. Around town, you will get drop outs when the trees are green and you have a lot of light poles, bridges, etc. The dish itself is low profile, especially on a black vehicle. I've actually demo'd the system to friends, but then had to point out where the dish was on top when they got out of the car.

I currently have the video running into a portable DVD player with Aux IN, mounted on a RAM mount so that the passenger can view it. My wife & I commute 1-hr together, so we swap driving to & from work. I get Sportscenter on the way in, she gets Ellen/Opran on the way home. I've just purchased a visor-mounted 8" LCD monitor, and headrest monitors for the rear seat for a more finished look.

Now... if only they had a 3- or 5-satellite version...

#3 OFFLINE   bobnielsen

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 11:31 AM

The way I read it, I think the difference between the A5 and A7 is that with the GPS receiver the A7 can determine your current location and the locals for that area (on the appropriate spot beam) are automatically authorized.




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