KVH Hits the Road with Low-Cost TV System For RVs,SUVs and Other Vehicles on the Move|
January 21, 1999 12:07 PM
MIDDLETOWN, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 21, 1999--KVH Industries, Inc. KVHI has entered the land mobile television market with a newly designed, low-cost system that delivers direct broadcast satellite (DBS) programming to a range of recreational and other vehicles travelling the roads of North America. TracVision(R) LM, which is being introduced this month at a number of U.S. trade shows, provides drivers and passengers with continuous satellite television reception whether a vehicle is on the road or at rest.
TracVision LM is an effective, reliable and affordable system that maintains satellite contact in mobile environments by sensing vehicle motion and automatically adjusting the antenna position. Prior to the development of TracVision LM, the most affordable and commonly used options for recreational vehicles and motor coaches in the United States were self-acquiring or crank-up units that could receive satellite television only while the vehicles were at rest.
"KVH was able to meet the challenge of delivering cost-effective, stable, in-motion satellite reception for land vehicles by building upon our experience in designing stabilized television and telephone systems for the marine industry, where we are a world leader for such products," said Martin Kits van Heyningen, president and CEO. "We believe there is significant revenue potential for KVH in expanding into the land mobile market, where the demand for on-the-road entertainment is growing rapidly."
In the U.S. alone, an estimated 250,000 RVs are equipped to receive satellite TV, predominantly for non-mobile use. Van and minivan manufacturers now offer a variety of video entertainment systems for watching movies and playing video games. Mobile "offices" are featuring fax, TV, VCR, cell phone and laptop capabilities. TracVision LM interfaces with these systems through receivers that provide access to satellite TV and music from DIRECTV(R) and the DISH(TM) Network. KVH expects to add broadcast Internet access in the near future for real-time news, stock market data and weather information.
The proprietary sensor and software technologies KVH has incorporated into TracVision LM function automatically to acquire satellite contact, maintain pointing with 1(Degree) accuracy and actively track satellite signals at rates exceeding 30(Degree) per second. This level of performance is more than adequate for uninterrupted in-motion DBS reception.
"TracVision LM raises the bar for flexibility and features in the land mobile market, which includes RVs, SUVs, vans, minivans, motor coaches, buses, trains, and long-haul trucks," said Jim Dodez, vice president of marketing and sales support. "KVH is ideally positioned to enter this huge, relatively untapped market with a product that is priced 40 percent lower and is more reliable and adaptable than its nearest competitor."
TracVision LM is the smallest in-motion land system available and retails for $2,995 (not including TVs, receivers or installation). The system weighs about 33 pounds with all components inside a flush-mount antenna dome that can be easily installed in approximately two hours on vehicles pre-wired with power and RF cables. Nationwide service is available through an established support network. Beginning this month, KVH is demonstrating TracVision LM at RV shows throughout the U.S., including the Houston Motor Coach Expo in Texas from January 24-26 and the Quartzsite RV Expo in Arizona from January 30 to February 8. The company expects to begin shipping product by late February.
KVH Industries, Inc. manufactures and markets digital navigation systems and mobile satellite communication products for use in commercial, military, and marine applications. The company's headquarters are in Middletown, RI, and additional offices are located in Hoersholm, Denmark, Tinley Park, Illinois, and St. Petersburg, Florida.