DIRECTV in your car?

This article has been replaced by this one which is more accurate for the 2020s.

There’s an interesting piece today in The Washington Post about the possibility of live DIRECTV programming in your car. Upon reading it, I immediately thought three things, and it might be fun, I figured, to share them with you my Solid Signal Blog faithful.

That has to be the oldest DIRECTV stock photo ever.

Seriously, if I had to guess that’s from about 2006. It’s been a long time since the boot screens actually looked like that. But I suppose that’s the least important piece of the puzzle here.

You can already get DIRECTV in your car.
I mean, you can get DIRECTV pretty much anywhere with a solid cell signal. The DIRECTV App for smartphones and tablets is free and lets you stream over 120 channels of live television to your device, even if you’re moving. I grant that there are tons more than 120 channels of DIRECTV, but start with that and add the channels that authenticate using their own apps (HBO, Showtime, Starz, ESPN, ABC, and the like) plus over 10,000 on demand programs and I have a feeling you’ll find something to watch on your device while someone else is driving.

In fact, you can already get DIRECTV IN YOUR CAR.
Yeah, you have to put up the KVH A9 mobile satellite dish, and cards on the table here it’s a bit large and a bit expensive, but you can do it. That’s the bottom line here. You can already do what this article is proposing. Now, can you do it at a low cost without using up your data plan? OK, I’ll admit that’s the next frontier. But at the moment the point is that you can already do this and what really surprises me is that “Chris Penrose, senior vice president of AT&T’s Internet of Things department” did not know this. Or maybe there’s more to the interview, maybe he was talking about a specific way of doing this, such as building this app capability into LTE-enabled vehicles so it shows up on the vehicle’s built-in screens. Some vehicles would already let you do this with a Lockpick device but I’ll admit we’re still a little away from a “turnkey” solution.

You know, the pace of technology is so fast that sometimes even I don’t realize how much stuff that used to be science fiction is now science fact. Every day, someone finds a way to combine existing technologies in a new way. So I don’t blame “Chris Penrose, senior vice president of AT&T’s Internet of Things department” who is after all fairly new to the DIRECTV product line. I doubt that I would be any more versed in AT&T’s internet of things lineup.

But folks, the point here — you can already watch DIRECTV in your car — is a good one, and it’s a shame the normally reliable Washington Post chose to write a story that would have been much more interesting in 2010. I suppose their next story will be about how someday we’ll all be able to make phone calls from our cars….

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.