DETROIT, Mich. – Soon your kids will be able to watch Nickelodeon while you drive.
DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group on Thursday announced limited satellite television service for its 2008 Dodge and Chrysler minivans and several other models, continuing its plan to turn the vans into family rooms on wheels.
The company, which invented the minivan, is teaming with Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. to bring three channels — Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network — to the next generation of minivans, as well as the 2008 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Magnum, Jeep Commander and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Chrysler said it has the channels exclusively through the 2008 model year, after which Sirius can offer it to other partners.
The feature comes with a price tag, though. It costs $470 and will be packaged with Chrysler's rear seat entertainment system and Sirius Satellite Radio. The cost includes the first year of service, after which the TV channels will cost $7 per month, plus the satellite radio fee of $12.95 per month.
It's possible that in the future, more channels and even full satellite service could become available, but for now, it's limited by bandwidth allocated to satellite radio, said Frank Klegon, executive vice president of product development for Chrysler.
Sirius, he said, has figured out how to send a limited TV signal within the airwaves allocated to satellite radio.
"I think there's certainly some potential in the future for expansion of additional channels," he said.
Klegon also said satellite TV is the latest step in a continuation of information technology moving from home to vehicle.
The system, being unveiled Thursday in New York, operates with an in-vehicle satellite video receiver and two small roof-mounted antennae. The satellite TV also will show up on a front-seat television screen, although for safety reasons, will air only while the vehicle is in park.