AT&T Cruisecast brings live satellite TV to your family truckster

Last week, Annie wrote about AT&T’s new mobile TV service. While that is a fantastic service for people who don’t mind watching their favorite shows on a small screen, it isn’t really suitable if you need to keep your kids entertained on a cross country trip.

If you want real TV in the back of your car, then AT&T has something else cool for you – the service is called Cruisecast, and offers nationwide live satellite TV.

Unlike other mobile satellite TV services, Cruisecast only needs a small antenna to pick up the signal. The channel lineup offers 22 TV and 20 radio channels.

Included in the lineup is of course everything you need to keep kids happy – including 2 Disney channels, Nickelodeon (and their toddler version, Noggin), Discovery Kids and Cartoon Network. Adults will appreciate access to ESPN Mobile, NFL Mobile, USA Network, SCIFI and more.

There is good news and bad news about the service – the good news is that all these channels only cost $28 per month, the bad news is that the equipment will cost you $1299 plus installation costs. That said – a comparable satellite based system retails for about $2400. Of course, you’ll need to add the cost of TV screens if your vehicle is not yet equipped with them.

Alternatively, you could always tell the kids to “shut up and play I Spy”, just like my parents made me do when I sat in the back of the car.

Summer road trip must-have: Mobile TV from AT&T

There are more and more things you can do on your phone.

My purse keeps getting lighter — I can access my Google Calendar from my mobile phone, with the use of a memory card I can record audio interviews or even make videos, and some cell phone cameras are already as good as the best cameras we could get just a couple years ago (like the Samsung Memoir). I am always a fan of technology being used to lighten our loads.

Well here’s a new addition to the world of the all-in-one device: Mobile TV from AT&T. This is a must-have for summer road trips, as now you can watch TV wherever there’s reception across the country. Yep, from the car.

Now, some of you have been using the internet or portable DVD players from the car already, but with this service, you don’t have to plan your entertainment ahead, and you don’t have to get out another device — the TV is your phone, and anywhere you could be making a phone call, you can also be tuning in.

What kind of TV can you get? Full length programs from CBS, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC, MTV, Nickelodeon, and live games on ESPN, to name a few. The channel browser looks just like the one you probably have at home; the grid where you scroll and select programs.

The service is available on AT&T’s LG Vu, Samsung Eternity, Samsung Access, and LG Invision, and you can get it either for $15 per month (unlimited), or along with unlimited data access (e-mail and web browsing) for $30 per month.

We certainly don’t recommend watching the morning news in traffic on your daily commute (though surely some fool will), but for the passenger on a long drive? This is an awesome service. Also, we hardly need to mention that this is airport and any-kind-of-waiting-room gold. Even in a bar where they’re not showing the game you want to see, AT&T’s Mobile TV service is gonna rock.

For more info, check out the FAQ here.

Daily deal – Dell Inspiron Mini 9 for $99 with 2 year AT&T data plan

Well, that was fast. Remember when I posted my predictions in tech for 2009? One of my entries was “subsidized notebooks with combined data plans”.

We are just 11 days into the new year, and Dell has already made me look good by making one of my predictions come true. As of today, you can order a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 for just $99 if you purchase it along with a 2 year AT&T mobile broadband subscription.

Your $99 will get you a very small computer, just over 2lbs, with built in wireless Internet access on the AT&T3G network (where available).

The Inspiron Mini 9 is a 1.6GHz Intel Atom powered Netbook with 512MB of memory and an 8GB SSD drive. The base version offered in this deal does not come with a webcam, and once you configure the machine with more memory, a larger SSD drive and Bluetooth, the final price comes to about $185. Still, a hot deal, as it includes an integrated AT&T 3G modem card tucked away inside the machine.

The easiest way to describe the deal is that you can order the Mini 9 from the Dell website, and as long as you activate the AT&T 3G modem, you are eligible for a $350 mail in rebate.

The AT&T 3G service costs $59.99 a month, and you have to activate it within 4 weeks of receiving the laptop. The mail in rebate period expires on February 12th.

If you’d prefer a similar deal, but with a slighly different computer, check out the Acer Aspire One at your local Radio Shack. The Aspire One has 1GB of memory and a 160GB hard drive. The base price of this machine is $449, but just like with this Dell deal, you can purchase it in store for $99 when you commit to a 2 year AT&T data plan.

Early Christmas gift for iPhone and Blackberry users – free AT&T Wi-Fi access

If you are an iPhone or Blackberry Bold customer with AT&T, then as of today you’ll finally be able to access any AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot for free.

The 17,000 AT&T Hotspot locations are primairily found at Starbucks and Barnes & Noble.

There are no additional steps required to access the hotspots, you can simply select the hotspot name like any other wireless access point and login using your mobile phone number.

Being able to access Wi-Fi only really makes sense if you don’t have the 3G iPhone or if you desperately need access to something faster than the existing 3G signal.

Of course, it could also help a lot if you find yourself outside the 3G coverage area, or if you need to access something not possible over 3G (like accessing the iTunes music store).

Wi-Fi access to the AT&T network normally runs $19.95 a month, so this freebie certainly adds some more value to the monthly plan. Of course, AT&T is not the first to offer free hotspot access with their phones, T-Mobile offers a similar perk for Blackberry and G1 users with select data plans.

Via: Engadget.