AT&T CruiseCast: Tech Industry
Tech Industry: AT&T CruiseCast3:40 /
Wayne Cunningham takes a look at AT&T's CruiseCast, a new device that allows TV into the car at CES 2009 in Las Vegas.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:07 >> Hello. I'm Wayne Cunningham, senior editor for CNET Car Tech, and we are here live at CES 2009 in the CNET Car Tech booth. We're testing out various products, and right now, we've got the AT&T Cruise Cast in-car television system hooked up in Scion test care here. Now, I got to point out, this is kind of a demo unit right now. Not everything is finalized as far as what we have installed here. So this remote I'm using is not what the final will look like. The final will actually look like this one, much smaller unit. The way this thing is hooked up is there is a receiver underneath the front seat. It's gonna look -- this is the kind of thing. It's kind of small. You can fit it in your car, hide it away somewhere. All the controls are done via remote. We just happened to have a little TV monitor hooked up in the back here so we can take a look at this unit. Normally you would have a rear seat LCD. If I just click this, we get our channel guide up here. Now, AT&T CruiseCast pointed out to me that this isn't the final look. They'll have a channel guide here, much like you get on your cable TV network, where you can actually see which programs are playing on which channel. But this gives us a -- kind of quick channel guide so we can kind of choose stations. There's a little bit of lag time in downloading this because this is coming from a satellite, which the advantage is it means you can get reception pretty much anywhere in the country. The quality looks really good on this monitor, and this is actually a bigger monitor than you would probably have in your car, but the quality -- it's not high def, but it's standard definition. And it looks good, and pretty decent to have for your kids in the car. 22 channels, and there's also radio channels, 20 radio channels, so if you just want to listen to music. All this data is actually fed to the car through this satellite antenna. As you can see right now, we're using a magnetic mount antenna. This fits on most flat roofs. They also have a antenna that will mount to a luggage rack. Now, this is a pretty small antenna. It's not one of these big, crazy flat things, so pretty good size. It's not gonna use up a lot of space up there. So now we go back into the car to take another look at the screen here. So that antenna is sending its signal to this box here. And this box actually has a little bit of buffer space. It's about one gigabyte of buffer space. That's about two minutes of video. You get a little bit of lag. We're hearing about two to three seconds. This system -- the overall system to get this installed in your car -- it's something you'd probably go to a an installer for. You can go to www.cruisecast.com to find -- to get a dealer locator to find who might have one of the units available in your area because you'll probably want to get it professionally installed. The whole unit here, by itself, is approximately $1,299.00 to get TV in your car. And then they're talking about maybe a $28.00 a month service charge, which is about equivalent to satellite radio. This, of course, video. Not too bad. And actually, if you want to try out this system now -- or well, actually not right now, but in May, they're looking -- Avis and Budget is actually looking at offering CruiseCast as an option in some of their rental cars. So you can rent a car from them, get the add-on -- get the CruiseCast add-on, get to try out a little bit of TV as you drive around and see how it looks. So I'm Wayne Cunningham. We've been looking at the AT&T CruiseCast in-car TV unit at CES 2009 in the CNET Car Tech Booth. ^M00:03:35 [ Music ]