In-Car Video Entertainment: Snack or three-course dinner?

We already watch video on a multitude of devices, wherever we are, for business and pleasure. We enjoy TV to relax in the evening, news on the way to work, news clips at our desk and catching up with the latest action from your favourite sports.

So, when I’m asked: How will video consumption in the car differ from how we consumer video elsewhere? The answer is it won’t – we will do all of the above, but the mix will be different. And flexibility will be absolutely critical, because there’s a huge difference between a long drive with the family and your commute to work. In-car video consumption will largely be shaped by the type of journey and time of day.

Anyone that’s heard a child shout “Are we there yet….?” knows just how important it is for the back-seat royalty to have access to video and Internet. It’s equally important that the people in the front have access to great navigation and location-based apps and services. Imagine you’re a visitor to a strange city. Wouldn’t you just love to have voice directions to the nearest free parking spot and have the payment handled automatically?

I’m a big fan of Liverpool FC. If I’m in the car waiting for someone, or something, I often catch up with the highlights on my smartphone. This experience will be so much better through the larger screen of a connected car. When there’s a big match, such as a Champions League tie, I try and make sure I’m able to watch it on a big screen. There are times however when that’s not possible and I’m driving. So, I follow the action through the car radio, but in a next generation connected car I will have the option of pulling over and watching that critical penalty live through the IVI system! And of course, when autonomous driving hits its stride, I will be able to watch the whole game from the front seat in total comfort.

EV’s, with their requirement for charging stops, will drive video consumption from snack to substantial main-course. While you’re waiting for the charging dial to rise, you will have time to watch your favourite sit-com or the end of that movie you didn’t get around to finishing a few days ago.

The rise of the Connected Car, enabled by 4G and increasingly by 5G, means that the integration of the In-Vehicle Infotainment system with your work cloud and your home entertainment packages will enable you to watch video important for work or to relax with your favourite content. Drivers and passengers will do both.

But IVI is more than just a consumer benefit. With the combination of touchscreen and voice-based interface, on-board software and cellular communications; automotive brands will finally have a powerful touchpoint direct to the car owner. This two-way interaction goes beyond the dealer network relationship and allows brands to engage directly with end-customers to share information, collate data and provide additional value-added services.

At ACCESS we are working with OEMs and Tier-1’s to ensure that we build on our experience of powering over 1.5 billion consumer electronics devices so that our ACCESS Twine™ for Car solution, which combines video and audio playback and management software with an app store and global and local content, ensures that OEMs can provide video snacks for well as catering for car drivers and passengers with larger appetites.

If you’d like to know more: please get in touch, or have a look at our e-book, “The Definitive guide to In-Car Entertainment” available to download at

About the author:

Neale brings a wealth of broadcast, connected TV and consumer electronics industry experience to his role of spearheading ACCESS in Internet Connected Devices. ACCESS is one of the world’s leading software providers for connected mobile, Digital TV, set-top boxes and other electronic consumer devices. Neale ensures that ACCESS develops software solutions that enable broadcasters, operators and consumer electronics manufacturers to connect the broadcast world with the consumer electronic world to successfully launch new business models and consumer services.. Follow him on Twitter / Linkedin