Ford’s putting traditional TV service into its vehicles, starting with the Expedition, which gets streaming cable capabilities thanks to a partnership with Slingbox. This will pipe that hot cable into the Expedition’s headrests, letting passengers in the back get all their entertainment without interruption while on the road.
Ford’s live TV streaming is just one part of its connectivity additions to the 2018 Expedition, which also offers a Wi-Fi hotspot option with support for connections of up to 10 devices simultaneously, with a range of 50 feet around the car, so that you can park and play if you’re camping or tailgating for instance.
The streaming system is the more interesting and unique component, however, and works with two 8-inch screens embedded in the back of the front seat headrests. These work with SlingPlayer on a mobile app to control streaming from a home Slingbox system, which essentially passes on a live satellite or cable feed, complete with remote control. The displays also include remote controls, and wireless headsets (one per screen), with an additional wired headphone connector for multiple viewers per display.
For all the merits of on-demand streaming media, live TV still has a ton of appeal and a special place in the hearts of sports fans, so this could be an interesting and appealing extra for a decent group of buyers. Just remember you can’t drive and watch at the same time.