Satellite television

In the mind of a television producer, satellite television in a portable box


“Right there, it hit me,” Mr. Rosner said during a lunch of shrimp cocktail and Caesar salad at a dockside restaurant near his condominium. “It’s a TV series. Two guys running on the LA freeway. Two good guys who do a job.

Credit…Monica Almeida / The New York Times

“He incorporates parts of his life into his business,” said Michael Gelman, executive producer of “Live With Regis and Kelly,” who befriended Mr. Rosner when he worked on “The New Hollywood Squares ”over 20 years ago.

A similar connection explains the genesis of Sat-Go. After getting inspired by Sat-Go on a morning stroll in Vancouver, he met David Kuether, an engineer friend at DirecTV, and the two set out to build a mobile satellite TV.

Mr. Rosner then asked a favor of another friend, his former art director on “The New Hollywood Squares” who now runs the prop store “The Tonight Show”. They built a prototype – “it looked like a big sewing machine,” he said – and then tried to persuade DirecTV to build it and sell it.

At first, they were greeted with a decided lack of interest. But the head of the set-top box division sent Mr. Rosner and his machine to see Eric Shanks, executive vice president of DirecTV Entertainment. Luckily for Mr. Rosner, Mr. Shanks was a fanatic of “CHiPs” and jumped at the chance to meet his creator. “This is my second favorite show,” he said. (“Team A” is n ° 1.)

DirecTV will sell Sat-Go in places it has never been before, like Cabela’s, the hunting, fishing and camping store, and advertise in unknown publications, like RV magazine. Although the modest first production run (around 10,000) makes Sat-Go an expensive toy, that price is expected to drop and the monthly subscription fee of $ 4.99 is equivalent to adding a box, according to Mr. Shanks.

Mr. Rosner continued to be involved in all aspects of the development of the Sat-Go, particularly its design. Both Mr Rosner and the executives at DirecTV knew they wanted this to look like high-end luggage, which could come from Louis Vuitton. But the color never satisfied. After the fifth or six tries with the maker, Mr. Rosner one day arrived with a box full of Hershey dark chocolate bars – the hue reminded him of an early Rolls-Royce Bentley – and announced that it was the color of the SAT-Go case should be.


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