|Another milestone has been reached in the implementation of in-vehicle TV. Last week ICO Global Communications successfully launched its North American geosynchronous satellite, named ICO G1.|
This is the first deployment of the DVB-SH mobile video standard in the U.S. “It is interesting because DVB-SH is expected to be one of the dominate mobile TV standards, and the one showing the most rapid growth, over the next few years”, says Helena Perslow of IMS Research, author of a new study, “The World Market for In-Vehicle TV, Video and Display Technologies”. In a large and spread-out country such as the U.S., satellite broadcasting may be the key to such mobile video applications as in-car TV.
ICO expects to start its alpha trials later this year and to launch commercially in 2009. Such a service may be an excellent fit for the U.S., where driving and TV-watching both occupy a substantial part of the day for many people (though not at the same time, one hopes). According to Perslow’s report, although in-car broadcast TV til now has not been a significant market in the U.S., such new mobile digital video applications as ICO’s will stimulate tremendous growth in the coming years. “Beginning in 2009, sales of in-car satellite TV receivers will almost double in one year and treble over two years“.
ICO plans to serve not only passengers but also drivers, such as with emergency assistance services. But most in-vehicle TV in the U.S. is expected to be delivered to the rear seat. This is a result both of market demand and legislation in many states restricting front-seat video. Interest in rear-seat video to keep the kids (or adults) occupied is still growing, and with new technologies making in-car TV a more viable option, demand is expected to get an extra kick.