Consumer Electronics Show 2004

TracVision A5 automotive satellite TV receiver
TracVision A5 automotive satellite TV receiver

Also outside was a demo SUV from TracVision. The goal of TracVision is to let you access the 300+ channels of satellite TV available from DirectTV while the car is moving. On the roof goes not a dish, but a motorized, phased-array satellite antenna that looks like this:

The phased-array design lets TracVision reformat a dish antenna into a pancake-shaped package. The motors let the antenna rotate as the car turns. A computer in the controller keeps track of the signal strength and rotates the antenna to keep it pointed right at the satellite.

It's not cheap -- $3,500 -- but if you want TV in your car while you are in motion, and local channels don't do it for you, then this is an option.

For more information, visit the TracVision Web site.