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Mar 14,2006


Satellite TV's New Era: In the Air and on the Road

by NewsUSA

(NewsUSA) - Satellite dishes used to be massive metal eyesores that took up yard space, were a hassle to install and were too expensive for most consumers.

The technology has entered a new era, however, and satellite TV systems are now affordable and easy to install - not to mention that the dishes take up a mere fraction of the space they once required.

Today, more than 20 million U.S. households - or one in five - receive their television programming through satellite providers like DirecTV, according to the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association. Between 2002 and 2003, satellite gained 3.2 million subscribers, while the top 10 cable operators lost about 80,000, according to a study from the Leichtman Research Group.

In recent years, satellite programming has moved beyond the living room and into airplanes, hotels, gyms, restaurants, sports stadiums and many other places.

Airlines such as JetBlue and Frontier provide satellite programming at every seat. DirecTV programming also is available in more than 2 million hotel rooms and on the TV screens at more than 35 airports, entertaining passengers waiting to board their flights.

Want to watch a sports game? Head to your choice of more than 35,000 restaurants and bars that have DirecTV programming. DirecTV also is available at several stadiums, where fans can watch the game live and up close on the screen or catch up-to-the-minute sports and news.

And if you think there's a long road ahead before satellite TV starts beaming channels directly into your family car, think again.

KVH Industries, a company that manufactures mobile, high-bandwidth satellite communications systems, has made it possible to receive a static-free, uninterrupted satellite signal in your car, SUV or minivan while it's on the road.

KVH's TracVision A5 system includes an automotive satellite receiver and a low profile antenna, which mounts directly onto your car's roof. Coupled with a special DirecTV mobile package, it gives you more than 125 channels of programming and music in your car.

The TracVision A5 system, including the antenna, receiver and remote control, is priced around $2,295. DirecTV mobile programming is $4.99 a month for DirecTV home subscribers or $39.99 for mobile-only subscribers.

For more information on KVH systems, including units for RVs and boats, go to www.kvh.com.

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