Chrysler, Sirius Putting TV In Minivans



Chrysler says that its new 2008 Town & Country and Dodge Caravan minivans will be the first vehicles to carry the new digital-television programming from satellite radio provider Sirius.


Chrysler will be the only provider to carry the service for the 2008 model year, the companies emphasized in a release. Later, the service will be introduced to the Chrysler 300/Dodge Charger and Magnum, the Jeep Commander and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.


Three channels will be offered initially—Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and the Cartoon Network. And the hardware for the system will combined the state of the art pieces already announced for the minivans, including Chrysler’s MyGIG media storage system and a dual-DVD entertainment system that lets backseat passengers view two different programs. When the vehicle is in Park, Sirius TV programming will also be available on the front-seat vehicle screen.


The hardware described by Chrysler includes an in-vehicle satellite receiver and two small roof-mounted antennas. Current satellite-TV installations, like those from KVH, incorporate a large single assembly on the vehicle’s roof. More importantly, the service will be significantly cheaper than existing satellite-TV installations, which can run $2000 or more. The Sirius system will cost $470, presumably not including the cost of the entertainment system, with a $7 charge for programming on top of the Sirius radio monthly charge of $12.95.


No mention of the pending Sirius/XM satellite radio merger was made in the release.


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