Highlighting products from CES, PCWorld reports on AT&T’s launch of AT&T Cruisecast coming this spring. This “satellite-based in-car TV service” provides “22 channels of satellite TV at launch and 20 more of satellite radio-but will cost serious money: $1299 for the system, and $28 a month for the satellite TV service.” Is this really what we need? Maybe I’m jaded because I’ve yet to find the value in keeping my backseat passengers quietly hypnotized by SpongeBob Squarepants or HSM (thank you, thank you!). Although the value of having a TV in my car might be seen in the future, I just can’t see clearly how AT&T Cruisecast will be that successful for the common media consumer.
With all the advancements in DVR’s and online TV like Hulu or Fancast, do we really freak if we miss our show during it’s scheduled airtime because of a drive to Grandma’s house? Surely we could break away for a few short hours and watch it later; and do children even care about missing a show (since I assume they are the main consumers of this type of product). My other concern surrounds the quality of this service. I was astonished to learn that subscribers of satellite radio services like Sirus lost their signal when driving in long tunnels or parking garages…but according to the article AT&T assures this won’t happen (at least in tunnels), “its breakthrough buffering technology keeps the show going even when you’re under a tunnel or other line-of-site obstacle.” Even though AT&T calls this a “groundbreaking service,” Sirus has already offered a “back-seat tv” option on a more limited basis, and Audiovox is launching a similar service too.
Maybe I don’t see the value in this service because I’m not the target audience? Or maybe I think heaps and heaps of TV can rot your brain…bring a book if you’re going to be bored.