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Thread: What's up with satellite radio?

  1. #1
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    What's up with satellite radio?

    I started lurking here a while ago when it became apparent that satellite radio could be available by switching some wires on a COM port style cable and hooking into an xmd1000. Then I went off and built the car computer, time passed, yada, yada, yada. The next thing I know it sounds like XM and Sirius are merging, there are products in the mp3 store and now I'm wondering if anyone has the skinny on the situation.

    Specifically, if I'm interested in satellite radio (well, my wife actually) and I want to get it, would it be better to wait for the two companies to merge? If not does anyone here know if existing hardware will work when the merge happens? Has anyone here tried both services and have a preference (if I don't wait)?

    I'd like to hear opinions on all this stuff and any other commentary that might be helpful for me to decide on hardware, which service and when I will add satellite radio.

    The car will have NO head unit, just the carputer.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    All existing products should still work once the merger takes place.

    I wouldn't hold out for the merger....those things take time.
    Jan Bennett
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  3. #3
    FLAC john1701's Avatar
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    yes wait until the merger. as for all existing products workin? according to dltv the answer is no. you will have to buy new satellite radio equipment. dltv episode #185
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  4. #4
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    Then things have apparently changed drastically since the last I heard. Doesn't make much sense for them to require every existing customer to go out and purchase new equipment.
    Jan Bennett
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  5. #5
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    Yeah I like Satellite radio but if I have to buy a new unit I'll wont have it anymore. I also smell a law suit if they make it where they don't work.

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate FusionFanatic's Avatar
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    first off, there is no gaurantee that the merger will even happen. it is still pending FCC approval. the FCC started it's 6 month "merger review clock" on 6/8/07. they won't make a decision until early 2008. The FCC already set a precedent in 2002 by declining to approve the proposed merger of DirectTV and DishNetwork. they are still seperate companies to this day.

    as far as the sat receivers themselves go, if the merger goes thorugh, then all existing units will still work (at least in the beginning ). the channel lineup will certainly change (basically they will remove what they consider to be "duplicate channels"). old units may lose certain channels which may require the purchase of a new receiver to receive the full channel lineup. nobody really knows yet how all that will all work out.

    one thing is for sure though, even if the FCC does approve the merger (which we won't know until 2008) then the shareholders of both companies must approve the merger (I don't think they'll have any issues there). if that all happens it will likely take months after all that before any technical changes take place. so there is no reason to wait, if you want sat radio now, then just get it. you don't have to sign a contract and you can buy the [older model] receivers for really cheap on eBay.


  7. #7
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Pretty much exactly.

    I am pretty sure that the merger wont go through and for the same reason as the sat companies back then. They can only merge if there will be another competitor, and doubt anyone will step up with a new sat. radio company in the next year.

    And part of the contract they sent out to existing customers is that all equiptment will still work, but the new features they plan such as video will not work. My guess is that the merger would be so that 1 old company's satellites will stream audio, and the other old ompany's would stream video as they have allready announced their backseat video program. But if they dont merge, then they will both need to buy new sats in space, and that would be costly, so it wont happen for longer or until compression algorithms are improved.
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  8. #8
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    Thank you, for all the posts.

    I'm not convinced myself that the merger WON'T happen. From what I heard (second hand information) congress approved the merger, which I think is really silly. The two companies argued that the merger would increase competition because they are really competing with podcasts, HD radio and a host of other sources. My opinion is that that is a bunch of BS. I don't believe that having fewer companies, especially when it creates a monopoly in even a narrow market, ever increased competition. But sometimes big companies have a way of making these things happen. I hope the information I heard is wrong and it gets denied, but like someone said, it's still up in the air.

    I think you have all pretty much convinced me to go ahead and do it now. But I think I will go month to month until it all gets settled, instead of doing something really long term.

  9. #9
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    Hey guys, i sell XM and sirius, and both my XM and SIRIUS reps are 100% sure the merger will happen. The old units will work, and rumor has it that subscription will only move $1-2 a month.

    The new ideas and features they will be able to adapt them with are pretty promising. They have been talking about a consumer streaming video (this is what the Chrysler vans are coming with now that have appx 3 channels of kids shows) for mobile video, and for portable (mp3 player like) systems.

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate Zoltan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedGTiVR6 View Post
    Doesn't make much sense for them to require every existing customer to go out and purchase new equipment.
    It makes plenty of sense... Just not to us, the consumers.
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