FLO TV, the live mobile television provider, together with Audiovox is bringing the first-ever OE hardware interface that will deliver FLO TV “Auto Entertainment” to select 2010 Chrysler vehicles and future models. It marks the first original-equipment install by an auto manufacturer to bring true live mobile TV to its vehicles.
FLO TV has the capacity to bring up to 20 channels of live TV programming, including CBS Mobile, CNBC, Comedy Central, FOX News, MSNBC, MTV, NBC, NBC 2Go, NBC News, NBC Sports and Nickelodeon, but is still greatly limited. By the end of 2009, FLO TV Auto Entertainment should be available in more than 100 major markets and many interstate driving corridors, providing service coverage for more than 200 million potential customers.
Audiovox has a long history of bringing the latest electronics and mobile entertainment solutions to vehicles as dealer-installed items, and will be working with Mopar, Chrysler’s OEM/parts provider, to bring the FLO TV solution to Chrysler vehicles. The hardware solution will be universal and works with the Audiovox supplied OE headrest DVD and Seat Top solutions. In addition the hardware solution can integrate with factory rear seat entertainment systems. The process should start in December, and be available on early-2010 models and beyond.
My only question is why would consumers pay an arm and a leg for a dealer-added option to bring a very limited amount of mobile TV — that’s still only available in a very limited amount of cities — to their vehicles, when they could simply add a mobile satellite system that’s able to pick up any and all channels from a satellite that’s available anywhere in the world. People who truly want TV in their vehicles will want the fullest experience possible, not 20 mobile-centric channels.
While FLO TV is no doubt the first sign of mobile TV finally catching on, it’s still very limited in nature and availability. The whole concept won’t begin to gain traction until a full television-viewing experience is available via mobile devices, at least in my opinion.