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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Sirius/XM Future System Convergence


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#1 OFFLINE   1948GG

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 08:00 PM

This last week with the 'new' channel assignments, I found I had to reboot/reset my Sirius Stiletto 2 (yes, lucky me), and in looking things up on TSS Radio found that all the Sirius 'portable' radio's have been discontinued in favor of the XM types.

Now, when I went with Sirius in 2002 (soon after launch), I had already rented several cars with XM, and found that the dropouts were extremely excessive, due to the fact the system was built around geosynchronous satellites, that at the northern latitudes are simply way to close to the southern horizon. I did basic research and figured out that the 'upcoming' Sirius system was built around modified Polar orbit sats, that transmitted essentially right overhead, +_10degs or thereabouts.

Since I've had the system in my car, driving through mountain passes (the same ones and worse than the ones I had driven with XM) and city streets with high buildings (and few if any 'terrestrial repeaters') dropouts have been rare to almost non-existent.

Now, with Sirius orbiting their last satellite in geo orbit, it appears that this with the emphasis on XM receiver equipment, seems that they are heading toward a XM-based transmission system.

If so, I think this will kill Sirius/XM, certainly for those in the Northern U.S. or Canada, as the signal reception will be seriously affected. If my Stiletto 2 fails now (as a 'portable', it transfers from my home to my car) I'm thinking I'll have to drop my subscription as the drop-outs while driving will be unacceptable.

Has Sirius/XM come forward with anything 'on the record' as to what their future plans are? Certainly right now they're using twice the bandwidth to support two un-compatible systems, and need to eventually combine the two; but it appears at present that Sirius receivers have gone to the chopping block, bad news for those wishing decent reception.

Just wondering, and hoping my Stiletto 2 doesn't give out anytime soon.

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#2 OFFLINE   Jeremy W

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 11:36 PM

There are new cars rolling out of the factory today with radios that can only receive Sirius programming. It's going to be a very long time before either service is shut down. It's more likely that SiriusXM is getting ready to introduce a new portable radio that either works with only Sirius or receives both services.

#3 OFFLINE   chewey

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 11:35 AM

From what I have seen it looks like they are trying to phase out Sirius radios. All of the new technology seems to be only XM compatable and if you want Sirius stations you need to pay the extra monthly charge. I think it is a ploy to get as much money out of subscribers as they can. Personally I think the exclusive Sirius content has more value to customers as the exclusive XM content.

#4 OFFLINE   WestDC

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:18 PM

From what I have seen it looks like they are trying to phase out Sirius radios. All of the new technology seems to be only XM compatable and if you want Sirius stations you need to pay the extra monthly charge. I think it is a ploy to get as much money out of subscribers as they can. Personally I think the exclusive Sirius content has more value to customers as the exclusive XM content.


Just passing the saving on to you!

They are currently re-activating old xm raido's may 24-june-6 for a promotion-that may also have sometihing to do with the op's problem.
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#5 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:54 PM

I have always found Sirius's coverage to be better than XM's for the reason noted by the OP. There are several miles of I-77 south of Charleston, WV where there is no XM in the SB lanes, and spotty in the NB lanes. Yet my wife's Sirius equip vehicle never misses a beat.

I just wish they could find a way to add an XM radio to a Sirius account. :(

#6 OFFLINE   jappleboy

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 03:31 PM

If you look at the new alpine 124sxm Radio it picks up XM. And what i have heard SONY, Jensen, Will be rolling out the same type of Radio .

#7 OFFLINE   1948GG

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 08:24 PM

In the last couple of weeks since my original posting, I've been talking to my 'old buddies' in the satellite business, and the upshot is...

The original Sirius transmission system, with the polar/'Tundra' orbit sats, is soon to be D.E.A.D.

The Fifth satellite (the first three plus a ground spare being the polar orbit types), orbited in 2009 in geosynchronous orbit (96deg W.), 'alongside' the XM Geosats.

The sixth sat is due to be launched later this year (2011), also in geo orbit, giving 'SiriusXM' a total of 4 geo sats. Once the system is up and operating, the 'Tundra' system will be slated for shutdown.

As others have noted, virtually all the original (and additional generations) of Sirius receivers are almost all history. Yes, there are a few 'in car' factory installed types that still exist, but the handwriting is on the wall for them.

Folks (like me) who have portable/interchangable Sirius systems (mine is the Stiletto2 swappable between home and car) will have to eventually change out their car head units for something which does the XM portable types (XMP3i or whatever it gets replaced by).

In the end, the usability of the system in a moving vehicle (gee, the original intent of the system..?) is going to be 'interesting'. Perhaps unlike the 'early' days of XM, where only one geosat existed, having 4 spread across the sky may (or may not) alleviate signal dropouts and such.

Circa 2012 I guess we'll all find out.

Oh, just for grins: The 'constellation' will be 85degW (existing XM), 96degW (existing Sirius), 115degW (existing XM), and the new Sirius (#6) maybe in the 125-130degW, although 'just a guess').

Edited by 1948GG, 06 June 2011 - 08:42 PM.


#8 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 08:36 PM

Chose wrong in VHS vs Beta, sat out BluRay vs HDDVD, finally got one right in chosing XM :) FWIW, I drive in mountains, flats, around 1000-1500 miles per week, and I have no drop outs on XM using my XMP3i with rooftop mag mount antenna. I actually think there could be a market for a high gain rooftop antenna (tried to find one, but couldnt), for those further north with a lower look angle, but here where the sats are at 50 degrees, no troubles.

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#9 OFFLINE   Jeremy W

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 08:42 PM

As others have noted, virtually all the original (and additional generations) of Sirius receivers are almost all history. Yes, there are a few 'in car' factory installed types that still exist, but the handwriting is on the wall for them.

A few? More like almost all Ford and Chrysler vehicles that have rolled off the assembly line in the past few years, and continue to be produced today. And that's just the domestic manufacturers. SiriusXM isn't going to be making those radios obsolete any time soon.

#10 OFFLINE   1948GG

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 09:06 PM

Way, Way, back in the very early SatTV days, Tulsa was 'ground zero' or 'boresight central' for the low-power sats of the day (circa 1975-1980). Arkansas is the same with the satradio birds, you are right in the center of the continental US, even with some of the variable terrain in certain parts of the state.

You need to get up north, like in upper Wisconsin or Minnesota. If you're a trucker, you know that Schneider National (based out of Green Bay), was one of the first major users of OmniTRACS satellite fleet tracking systems, which worked off geosats.

Of course, it isn't a 'full time' system, it can wait a few seconds (or minutes) to 'chirp' it's info one way or the other. In the early days (I did contract engineering for Qualcomm 'back in the day' when it was first being set up), there were problems with trucks in the northern part of the US and Canada, but as the system matured and more sats were 'brought to bear' it became more and more solid.

We'll have to wait and see with SiriusXM.

#11 OFFLINE   1948GG

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 01:18 AM

. SiriusXM isn't going to be making those radios obsolete any time soon.


Well, I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but Sirius-specific models for both domestic and foreign installation are kaput, dried up, no longer in production. If someones unit goes bad, there is no replacement, they'll have to be replaced with XM units only.

In my situation, although the 'newest' XM portable unit (the XMP3i), while nice (and supposedly a couple generations 'advanced' from the Sirius units like the Stilleto2) , has nowhere near the integration with car head units as does the S2. In fact, how about none, zero, nada.

The XMP3i is a completely 'stand-alone' unit, that one has to control completely separate from your car audio system. In the age of virtually every head unit having ipod/iphone controls (the newest with Android controls), and virtually ubiquitous usb connectors for 'mass storage' playback (I use 64GB flash drives which my Kenwood controls completely),

Pretty sad. They do have a 'system' whereby 'mini-tuners' can be un-docked from one vehicle and moved to another, but nothing really for the XMP3i to be truly docked and controlled. So in truth, it's a couple generations behind in doing that right.

But I guess I may not have a choice fairly soon, so I'm putting together a package to swap things out.

#12 OFFLINE   cnmurray8

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 05:58 AM

I am in central new Hampshire and have XM in one car and Sirius in the other. XM goes out all the time. It is terrible. Sirius never goes out.

#13 OFFLINE   Jeremy W

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 10:42 AM

Well, I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but Sirius-specific models for both domestic and foreign installation are kaput, dried up, no longer in production.

So what are they putting in cars right now?

#14 OFFLINE   1948GG

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 12:35 AM

The 'latest' that's been out there for awhile (but no discussion about it here, why?) is the SiriusXM2.0 initiative.

New 'streaming' radio's are supposed to be released in a couple of months (in time for the Christmas trade). There are lots of discussion all over the place, the best I've found is:

http://www.fool.com/...-sirius-xm.aspx

The idea being to integrate the existing SiriusXM into a kind of Pandora-like offering where it would be able to 'grab' anything in the stream (on whatever 'channel') that 'fits' your 'profile', and store it on a chip (memory is getting so cheap these days that they could put a 250GB flash storage in the device for about $20, and multiples from there), that would be xxx hours (thousands? crunch the numbers), and it could have wifi connections as well to suck more from your home network.

But of course it would not only do music, but news, sports, and anything else that, again, 'fit' your profile. A 'super-sync' device, with of course still capable of 'real-time' news, traffic, etc. off the satellite stream.

How well it will all work, of course, will depend upon how flexible the programming of the device is, and how flexible that 'profile' engine.

Personally, I already have a very large flash storage device (usb) in my car, containing all my cd's (at 320Kb/s), some 8000+. So it'll have to be really whiz-bang for me, but it just might be.

We shall see.

#15 OFFLINE   Kevin F

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 06:55 PM

I have Sirius in all three of our car and it rarely drops out. Ive used XM in a few rental cars, and in and around Albany, NY, XM dropped out frequently compared to Sirius.
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#16 OFFLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 05:21 AM

I have Sirius in all three of our car and it rarely drops out. Ive used XM in a few rental cars, and in and around Albany, NY, XM dropped out frequently compared to Sirius.

The Tundra Orbit of the Sirius satellites does have it's advantages for mobile receivers. However, Radiosat 5 is slated to be geostationary (93°) because home users have to periodically repositition their antennas. This gives them a stationary target instead of a moving one.

The XM satellites are all geostationary so mobile users can have cutouts from trees, hills or buildings as they're driving. I use my XM mostly at work and home...and the short drive to work, so I don usually have problems.

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#17 OFFLINE   webhype

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 08:51 AM

I have the opposite issue, had Sirius in the van after having XM in several vehicles and ALWAYS had dropouts with Sirius. As a matter of fact it became a running joke between me and my wife, traveling under ay overpass would produce a dropout, maybe it was a buffer issue with the radio. Traded the van in, back to GM and the performance of the XM is much better, perhaps the terrestrial repeater network is better on the XM side, but even in areas that wouldn't be covered by repeaters we rarely have dropouts with XM. Always thought the geostationary orbit of the XM birds produced a higher level of signal reception.

#18 OFFLINE   david_jr

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 01:02 AM

I have Sirius in all three of our car and it rarely drops out. Ive used XM in a few rental cars, and in and around Albany, NY, XM dropped out frequently compared to Sirius.


A bit west of you in the Berkshires and was a XM customer from 2008 to 2011. Started with a Honda Accord and added a XPress RC portable. Found the reception ok, but dropouts in certain areas driving through our mostly mountainous, wooded terrain especially. Never a trip to anywhere without dropouts as we live at the foot of a 2500 ft peak and either way we go it drops out soon. After a while we got to know most of the dropout areas so it was expected but frustrating. When we traded in the Accord for a RAV4 we found the reception on the RAV to far worse than either the Accord or the XPress (using roof top mounted magnetic antenna). Actually it was quite a bit worse, so a trip to the dealer to check and nothing wrong, advising many customers with similar complaints, but no fix from Toyota. "Look for an aftermarket antenna" was the suggestion, but I never found one. So we cancelled our subscriptions when they came up. After that I was given a 2011 Ford Fusion as a company car and it had a free preview of Sirius for 6 months. My experience with that car was that driving through the same areas where the XM gave us fits with bad reception dropouts, the Sirius radio was rock solid and the few dropouts were extremely rare. A bit off topic, but the Sirius radio in the Ford was lightyears ahead of the Toyota in terms of display: offering 2 - 20 character lines of display in addition to the channel number. While on the Toyota you get one line of 10 whole characters and had to toggle between 4 modes of display, one of which is the channel number and another the channel name! Hard to believe Toyota rules the world when they put out a radio like this. If OP is suggesting that Sirius radios are going the way of the dodo, XM really needs to look at getting their equipment to interface like Sirius equipment and kill the dropouts. I loved the baseball package, but will not come back till this is solved.

#19 OFFLINE   1948GG

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 08:55 PM

Well, by now (2012) it's obvious that SiriusXM didn't make their new radio's in time for the year end trade.

Okay, so that made it with two days to spare, if this is correct:

http://satelliteradi...ild/#more-15637

It isn't quite the total idea when it surfaced last year (like custom channel programming through both satellite and internet/wifi 'co-habitation'), but comes close, with all three wifi bands (b/g/n) and total integration of the 'internet radio' subscription service. Probably the next series will come closer to something more like they were speculating about last year, i.e., a 'pandora' type device that would allow one to custom program music types the device would gather pieces of multiple streams from any channel track that 'fit' your specifications.

One neat feature is the ability to go back up to 5 hours on the internet stream to any program. Another feature is that it is recording all the time on all your preset channels, enabling you to 'rewind' at any time to the start of a song on any of those channels, kind of a 'XM3ti on steroids' (it does 5 channels at once), and saves up to '200 hours', although how that exactly relates to space used (my Stiletto2 does 1GB off the radio streams) is unknown.

Again, looks good but is not what they were talking about in early 2011. I'll wait, as long as my current h/w keeps running.

#20 OFFLINE   djlong

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 07:38 AM

Well, with the Lynx being Android-based, it seems to me upgrades for internet radio would be a software issue. That seems to be somewhat future-proof.

#21 OFFLINE   farmerdave4

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 06:47 PM

The way I read it you cannot combine the new 2.0 account with sirius or xm accounts. Wow another reason to keep folks from upgrading. Not a good move in book.

#22 OFFLINE   1948GG

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 10:15 AM

The way I read it you cannot combine the new 2.0 account with sirius or xm accounts. Wow another reason to keep folks from upgrading. Not a good move in book.


With the (now) rapid deployment of fairly high-speed terrestrial wireless networks (somewhat all under the '4G' banner) that a non-satellite competition (i.e., 'pandora' type) service is already there, just hasn't been 'properly' packaged by any of the electronics manufacturers yet.

That, combined with the high availability of low-cost silicon storage, would almost be a death knell to satellite transmission, except for the WAY out of the way places without terrestrial coverage, which even 'out west' is becoming a pretty disappointingly reality.

And yes, they are 'hinting' that the platform has a long way to go s/w upgrade wise. But I think the 'window' of opportunity to make a grab in the marketplace is closing fast.

#23 ONLINE   I WANT MORE

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 10:43 AM

Were it not for sports I would have bailed a long time ago. I have multiple options for music. Unfortunately SiriusXm is the only option for out of market live sports broadcasts.
Perhaps I Misremembered.




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