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Tech Industry

Partnership puts AT&T CruiseCast in rental cars

A partnership with Avis Budget Group gives renters a chance to try AT&T CruiseCast before they buy.

at&t cruisecast logo

AT&T stopped by the Car Tech booth at CES 2009 to give us a look at its CruiseCast mobile satellite TV service. The details of the service haven't changed much since the unveiling just a few months ago at the 2008 SEMA Show, but today we received a bit of news that means you may be able to experience CruiseCast for yourself sooner than you think.

RaySat Broadcasting Corp. (co-creator of CruiseCast along with AT&T) and Avis Budget Group are teaming up to offer Avis and Budget Rent A Car customers the use of AT&T CruiseCast's news, family, sports, comedy, and music channels while traveling.

AT&T's CruiseCast satellite antenna mounted in the Car Tech CES 2009 booth.
AT&T's CruiseCast satellite antenna mounted in the Car Tech CES 2009 booth. CBS Interactive

Starting in the second quarter of 2009, Avis and Budget customers can rent AT&T CruiseCast at select locations for $8.95 per day or $62.65 per week. The unit uses the same hide-away receiver and compact, low-profile external antenna offered on the consumer unit to provide 22 satellite television channels and 20 satellite radio channels to a rear-seat entertainment unit.

AT&T CruiseCast utilizes about 1GB of video-buffering technology to automatically store up to 3 minutes of content so that viewers can continually watch programs even if there are obstructions such as an overpass, a cluster of tall buildings, or when passing through a tunnel. The channel line-up includes the Disney Channel, Disney XD, Discovery Kids, Animal Planet, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network Mobile, USA, Comedy Central, MSNBC, CNN Mobile Live, and CNBC.

The CruiseCast service will be sold though auto dealerships and 12-volt retailers when it debuts in Spring 2009 at an estimated MSRP or $1,299 with a $28 monthly subscription.