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Ford Is Bringing Cable TV Into Its Newest SUV

Interior of the 2018 Ford Expedition.Interior of the 2018 Ford Expedition.
Interior of the 2018 Ford Expedition.Courtesy of Ford

Ford’s newest sport-utility vehicle brings the cornerstone of the American living room into the backseat.

The U.S. automaker says its 2018 Ford Expedition can stream live cable or satellite TV to a rear seat entertainment system, an industry first.

The system, called EVO, includes two 8-inch screens integrated into the back of the front-seat headrests. The vehicles have wireless Internet that lets passengers connect using a mobile device to a variety of streaming services, including to a home cable or satellite system to watch live TV on the road.

The live TV is streamed via SlingPlayer, software that is embedded into the vehicle’s entertainment system. For the feature to work, owners must have a Slingbox system and an Internet connection in their home. The SlingPlayer software essentially taps into owner’s home-based system and delivers live TV into the vehicle.

Ford says this is the first time SlingPlayer has been offered in a vehicle.

SlingPlayer is software embedded into the entertainment system that lets passengers connect to a home-based Slingbox system to watch and control the TV signal.

For those who have cut the cable TV cord, Ford has other ways to watch or listen to content. The SUVs have a DVD player as well as HDMI, USB, and SD card portals. Passengers can also stream video from their smartphones to the integrated rear-seat screens using the entertainment system’s app function on compatible iOS or Android devices.

Ford Motor unveiled in early February its 2018 Expedition, a full-size sport utility vehicle that’s bigger, lighter, and loaded with 40 new features. At the time of the reveal, company executives said the vehicle is aimed at Generation X. This customer base, which is between millennials and baby boomers, tends to have more children and higher incomes.

The automaker is banking on the Expedition to help it continue its SUV sales streak. The company’s strategy was to make the new Expedition bigger and load it up with tech.

The new Expedition is part of Ford’s plan to introduce five new SUV vehicles to the North American market by 2020. The automaker has already announced plans to produce the Ford Bronco, the smaller millennial-targeted EcoSport, and all-electric SUV.