Mother Nature is No Match for KVH’s Durable Satellite TV Antennas
MIDDLETOWN, RI – December 16, 2004 – Mother Nature can be devastating, as this year’s collection of hurricanes and tornadoes has proven. When the storm comes and power goes, people like Florida resident Skip Holmes and tornado-chaser Tim Samaras turn to their TracVision satellite TV antennas by KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI) to keep them constantly connected to live television updates. The rugged, durable antennas provide hundreds of channels of DIRECTV® satellite TV, ensuring that travelers have access to live news and real-time weather, keeping passengers informed on open roads across the U.S., regardless of the weather.
Skip, an independent sales rep and an expert in mobile electronics, was one of millions of Florida residents pummeled by four hurricanes right in a row this past August and September. Residents of St. Petersburg, Skip and his family were among some of the hardest hit, enduring intense winds, violent rains, flooding, and general meteorological chaos. With no power inside his home, Skip says he and his family could often be found in their driveway. That’s right - as the rain pelted down and the wind howled, Skip and his family were huddled together in their Chevrolet Tahoe, watching live satellite TV using their TracVision A5, the only means they had of staying in touch with the latest updates and news.
“We would actually run out the front door to the car in the middle of the storm!” Skip recalls. “There were periods of rain that were so bad, you couldn’t even see across the street. Quite frequently, I’d be sitting in my SUV watching The Weather Channel. Even though I know KVH and the TracVision A5, I was amazed. Throughout it all, we never lost the reception.”
That live TV access, Skip says, helped his family keep up with the hurricanes, especially after original forecasts began to change. It also came in handy for the two long weeks that they were without power following the storms.
Now that the weather appears to have calmed down in Florida, at least for the time being, Skip and his family are enjoying their TracVision A5 during more conventional, less-chaotic situations, like watching sports events on long road trips. But Tim Samaras’ TracVision tales are anything but conventional.
When the sirens wail signaling the impending threat of a tornado, most people tend to run away, towards shelter and safety. But Tim Samaras is not most people. When the winds kick up, Tim, a tornado chaser based in Littleton, Colorado, is on the move, seeking out the twister and thrusting himself into the midst of it all, hoping to learn more about how they work and how to anticipate them.
Tim has been chasing tornadoes for more than 15 years. For the past five, his research has been bolstered by his TracVision LM in-motion satellite TV antenna. In Tim’s world, that adds up to over 120 tornadoes, about 140,000 miles on the road, countless hailstorms and regular exposure to winds exceeding 100 mph. Through it all, the TracVision never failed.
“That antenna has literally been in some of the most violent weather on earth,” Samaras said of his TracVision LM. “There was one storm where the hail was the size of baseballs! It broke the windshield on my van, but didn’t hurt the TracVision dome!”
In order to study tornadoes, Tim and his team have developed a successful process of deploying sensor probes that are designed to study a tornado as it passes overhead. The probes, which are about 20 inches in diameter and 6 inches high, conical in shape and weigh approximately 40 pounds, record changes in barometric pressure, wind speed and temperature. They are designed so that as the wind speed increases, the probes exert greater pressure on the ground and remain firmly anchored. To successfully place the probes, however, it is necessary for Tim and his team to monitor the storms, predicting how they will travel and where they will touch down. For this, the TracVision antenna is vital, keeping Tim connected to The Weather Channel’s radar and updates. In fact, Tim and his TracVision have been featured in the National Geographic Explorer television special, “Into the Tornado”, and on numerous TV programs about tornadoes.
The durability and reliability that Tim experienced with his TracVision LM, purchased in 2000, are what encouraged him to recently upgrade to the enhanced, low-profile TracVision A5. Tim expects to have his new vehicle, complete with the TracVision A5 and equipment completed by March 2005, just in time for tornado season.
“I am looking forward to using the TracVision A5, certainly because of the lower profile and the new technology,” Tim said. “I had such a good experience with my first TracVision product, which I bought just shortly after it was released. I definitely want to try the A5.”
TracVision A5 uses KVH’s hybrid phased-array technology to create an antenna with a rugged, 5-inch high design and the ability to receive more than 125 channels of satellite TV and commercial-free music while the vehicle is in motion. TracVision A5 is also available with a roof rack mounting design to address the growing demand for passenger entertainment in SUVs, minivans, and other passenger vehicles. The TracVision A5 is a winner of the GM 2004 Innovative Product Award and a finalist for the prestigious 2005 PACE Award. KVH also manufactures a complete line of award-winning domed antennas for RVs and boats.
Details on the TracVision A5 and KVH's complete line of mobile satellite TV systems can be found at http://www.tracvision.com.
Note to editors – High-resolution images of KVH's satellite products are available at http://www.kvh.com/mediasupport.
KVH Industries, Inc., is the leader in designing and manufacturing satellite television antennas for mobile applications on land or sea. More customers use mobile TracVision antennas on their boats, RVs, trucks, buses, and automobiles than any other competing product. An ISO 9001-certified company, KVH has headquarters in Middletown, Rhode Island, with a fiber optic and military navigation product manufacturing facility in Tinley Park, Illinois, and a European sales, marketing, and support office in Kokkedal, Denmark.
This release may contain certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include, for example, the functionality, characteristics, quality and performance of KVH’s products and technology; and customer preferences, requirements and expectations. The actual results could differ. Factors that may cause such differences include, among others, those discussed in KVH’s most recent Form 10-Q filed with the SEC. KVH assumes no obligation to update its forward-looking statements to reflect new information or developments.