Audiovox to Bring FLO TV to Cars
Qualcomm's FLO TV has been looking for ways to make its programming available on a wider range of devices than carrier provided cell phones. Last week, Audiovox Corp. announced distribution plans for the launch of FLO TV Auto Entertainment, an in-vehicle entertainment system showing live TV from FLO.
"We believe our FLO TV offering is head and shoulders above any other mobile TV system, from the reception quality and breadth of FLO TV programming content to the unobtrusive antenna that literally fits in the palm of your hand," said Tom Malone, president of Audiovox Electronics Corp. "This car entertainment system from Audiovox and FLO TV, scheduled for initial introduction in the fourth quarter of 2009, will give consumers affordable live TV with the programming brands and TV shows that consumers know and love."
The first FLO TV Auto Entertainment systems will be marketed under Audiovox's Advent brand and sold exclusively through the new car dealer network. Audiovox said it is compatible with screen sizes up to 10.5 inches. Existing in-car entertainment systems can be retrofitted with the FLO TV Auto Entertainment system.
"Our collaboration with Audiovox demonstrates FLO TV's market expansion beyond mobile phones to deliver innovative live TV service to consumers," said Bill Stone, president of FLO TV. "The market for live mobile TV is growing, with tens of millions of U.S. vehicles already equipped with a variety of mobile video entertainment systems. FLO TV Auto Entertainment can provide consumers with the ideal combination of affordable and high-quality service to give them a home-like viewing experience in their automobiles."
Introductory pricing for FLO TV service starts at $119 per year or $299 for three years.
Audiovox competitor Kenwood previously showed in-car entertainment systems capable of receiving ATSC Mobile DTV. Although Audiovox will have make its system available to consumers in the fourth quarter of 2009, it is unlikely Kenwood will have ATSC Mobile DTV products available in that time frame, so Audiovox's early introduction of FLO TV may give them an early advantage. However, in the long run, will consumers want to pay for FLO TV after lower cost ATSC Mobile DTV options become available?
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Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.