Digital technology is expected propel in-car TV systems into the mass market, according to Automotive News Europe.

High-end carmakers already offer analogue in-car TV in some models but the price is high and reception is spotty and, in most cases no signal can be received above 60km/h (40mph).

Digital signals are sharper and can be received clearly at speeds above 180km/h (110mph).

For the 2005 model year, BMW has updated its optional TV system, available on most models from the 3-series saloon up, with a tuner that can receive both analogue and digital signals.

“We do not only appeal to chauffeur-driven limousines anymore,” says Britta Lange, a spokewoman at Visteon, one of the suppliers hoping to benefit from digital in-car TV systems.

Carsten Titt, a spokesman with Delphi subsidiary Delphi Grundig, says: “Car TV will vastly grow in the mid-range segment as soon as the systems become available in these cars, and the prices for a complete system drop to somewhere around €1,500 to €2,000.”