DETROIT – Entertainment options in vehicles will grow in 2005 when Delphi Corp.’s streaming-video technology becomes available, the company’s top executive says.

The technology is a collaborative effort between Delphi and New York-based Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., which beams more than 100 stations of commercial-free radio into vehicles offered by Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group and other auto makers.

“The future of rear-seat entertainment is going to be streaming video,” J.T. Battenberg III, Delphi CEO and chairman, says here during a speech at the Society of Automotive Engineers Congress and Exhibition. “Staying ahead of consumers’ increasing sophistication with electronics, Delphi will have this next wave of entertainment available in 2005,” he says.

“It will allow each row of passengers in a minivan or SUV to independently select from DVD, from Sirius satellite radio or video, or an auxiliary game port. We will remain the leader in satellite-reception technology, and we believe that new functions like this will keep us in the forefront.”

Delphi demonstrated its streaming-video technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January. The display was shown in an SUV on 7-in. (18-cm) screens located in the second- and third-row seats.

Bandwidth not used to broadcast Sirius radio stations is used to transmit video channels. Because there is a limited amount of unused bandwidth, only three to five channels are available.

XM Radio Satellite Inc., Sirius’ only competitor, also reportedly showed a streaming-video concept at the CES show. But no timeline has been disclosed regarding the debut of XM’s streaming-video technology. XM is offered in vehicles from General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and other auto makers. Delphi has deals with XM and Sirius to provide satellite-radio receivers and other hardware.

“You’ll be able to pick it (video channels) up in your cars – multiple channels, multiple seats, particularly for families who have multiple children and two or three rows of seats in their minivans,” says Battenberg. “We think it’s going to be an important trend.”

bcorbett@primediabusiness.com