Unveiled at last year's SEMA event, AT&T is trialling the service now before it offers it to customers across the nation. The CruiseCast service will allow users to watch a lineup of 22 satellite video channels anywhere in the U.S., and unlike current systems in place it uses some new technology that overcomes line-of-sight obstacles such as overpasses and buildings.
According to AT&T's partner, RaySat Broadcasting, "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."
Currently, Sirius offers a television service but it does not feature this technology nor has as many channels. The channels themselves will encompass a number of different genres, including children's programming, documentaries, music, comedy, news and sports. Some of the channels tipped to be appearing include the Disney Channel, Toon Disney, Discovery Kids, Animal Planet, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network Mobile, USA, Comedy Central, MSNBC, CNN Mobile Live and CNBC, with more to be offered later.
It’s expected that the service will be sold through auto dealerships beginning in the next month or two, rather than appear as an OEM feature in cars. While it may be offering a number of channels for on-demand viewing, the service isn't going to come cheap with a hefty, compulsory installation fee of $1,299 expected to be imposed. On top of this, motorists will have to pay $28 per month to access the service, or around $336 every year.