AT&T's CruiseCast mobile satellite TV service was soft-launched late last month. The company is targeting a hard launch in June. The article Soft Launch for New Car Satellite TV by Amy Gilroy in TWICE (This Week in Consumer Electronics) said the 22-channel satellite-TV service is working with small groups of car stereo specialists, expediters and distributors to sign up a "few dozen" customers for the test.
CruiseCast uses the Intelsat Galaxy 25 satellite at 93 degrees west longitude to deliver programming to a small car roof-top antenna developed by RaySat.
Satellite digital audio radio services use terrestrial repeaters to fill in coverage when the satellite is blocked by urban buildings and other obstructions. AT&T's CruiseCast takes a different approach, using a very large buffer and interleaving to allow uninterrupted viewing even if reception of the Galaxy 25 satellite signal is lost for short periods of time.
It will be interesting to see how well this technology works. A high level of consumer interest in the product would bode well for broadcasters' Mobile DTV plans.
Get the TV Tech Newsletter
The professional video industry's #1 source for news, trends and product and tech information. Sign up below.
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.