Sirius and Audiovox (CES 2010) New Product Release Rumors

DAB

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Oct 9, 2008
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Seems there is a lot of speculation for some pending announcements at CES for some new Sirius XM hardware.

One item that will be highlighted of course is the new XM Skydock for the iPhone/iPod Touch, said to be a real CES winner. Some speculation in regards to announcements a new XM Home Skydock. Also the potential release of a Skydock for Android and Blackberry phones and wifi enabled radios.


According to the CES website, Sirius XM Radio and Audiovox will be sharing some very prime real estate at the show in the Central Hall (Booth: Central 10506,Central 11006). Under a veil of secrecy similar to pending announcements from Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), no details have been released about any new radio offerings that may be in the pipeline, with the exception of a rumored home docking device to complement the XM Skydock.

Speculation has now begun as to whether the company will offer other SkyDock-like devices for Android and Blackberry phones. Further evidence seems to support the introduction of new Wi-Fi enabled radios.

All this speculation can be found here: Sirius Rumors: New Product Releases at CES -- Seeking Alpha

By the way I hear our own Tom Taylor is going to be on the floor at CES bringing live reports for our DRC Members! :)
 

DAB

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Well it seems none of these speculations came to pass at CES! It is amazing that this company thinks it can continue to grow and move forward, yet bring nothing new to the market to create any excitement for the service.

Sirius is going to have to leverage their satellites as a service available everywhere, along with pushing forward with Internet streaming on a multitude of devices. They have got to look at their Internet streaming package and pricing. Right now they have themselves priced out of the Internet radio streaming market at $12.95 per month. They need to not only support iPod and iPhone, but Androids, Blackberries and Windows Mobile.

However with that said Sirius also needs to do much work on the Sirius XM iPhone/iPod Touch application. It buffers a great deal for no reason, it skips and stutters because it seems to have a hard time keeping up. No this isn't Internet issues, because no other Internet radio application has this problem. There is no means of dropping to a lower bitrate or even a longer buffering time. No way to keep the display on and what is with the tiny text that you can't see which doesn't scroll or even shows a limited amount of text. Also they have channel icons in the text box and a huge one on the display, why do you need it in both places. Why waste all that real estate and not even provide album art. But the biggest thing of course is no Howard Stern! I am not Howard fan, but I have enough sense to know he should be on this application.

You know in the past few months I've tried to stay excited about sat radio. But the light that is satellite radio is looking very dim in my opinion.

What do you guys think about the CES showing?
 

HecticArt

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Oct 19, 2008
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What showing?

It's a shame they can't get it together.
I still love Sirius, and would upgrade to a newer radio, but damn people, what are you thinking?
 

dualsub2006

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Nov 11, 2008
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I'll tell you what, the Sky Dock that I got for Christmas really recaptured the interest that I had in XM. I was very close to canceling the last of my radios, but being able to use my iPod as my XM radio and the ease with which I can move it from vehicle to vehicle at work was a game changer for me. I went so far as to even subscribe to XM Radio Online so that I could stream on my iPod at home.

All that said, XM has a long way to go to keep all of this new rediscovered interest that I have. As stated, the stream buffers and stutters way too much. If Slacker or Pandora were doing it you could excuse it with the "you get what you pay for" logic. For something that you are expecting people to pay for the quality needs to be spot on.

At a minimum the streaming app needs to be ported to BlackBerry, WinMo, Palm Web OS and (my phone choice) Android. I can see not doing Sky Dock for other devices because of the lack of uniformity in connectors among all the different phones, but there is no excuse for not having the app on all of the currently hip phones. And for the love of baby Jesus at least extend the "are you listening" nag to 4 hours instead of 2.

Howard Stern can suck it as far as I am concerned, but he needs to come down off of his demand for more money to be included in the streaming app. It is beyond belief that he makes the money that he makes, takes off the time that he takes and then expects even more money. Shame on Sirius for not wrapping up ALL distribution rights when they gave him this insane contract, but if Howard expects to be in radio after his current contract expires he needs to wake up and realize that Sirius is now in the drivers seat for contract terms. Terrestrial radio isn't an option IMHO due to the freedom that he has had for these last few years and his hardball tactics for more money should be remembered when the amount of his pay cut is being discussed.

If Slacker can do commercial free streaming for $4.99 a month why can't Sirius XM be closer to $7 than $13 for online only? There is a LOAD of additional content that make Sirius XM Online worth more than Slacker Premium, but nearly three times more? Puhleeze.

Cut a deal with HTC, RIM, Apple, Motorola and Palm to have your streaming app included on every new phone with a no credit card, no login required 2 week free trial. Convince people to sign up by improving the quality of the music, adding more depth to the playlists and feature the additional content that you can't get on Pandora and Slacker.

I know that I just rehashed a lot of what has already been written here but I just had to do it.
 

DAB

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I'll tell you what, the Sky Dock that I got for Christmas really recaptured the interest that I had in XM. I was very close to canceling the last of my radios, but being able to use my iPod as my XM radio and the ease with which I can move it from vehicle to vehicle at work was a game changer for me. I went so far as to even subscribe to XM Radio Online so that I could stream on my iPod at home.

Inititally I felt that way too about the Skydock, but unfortunately you still have to deal with Sirius XM's small stale playlist. Some channels are so bad they are actually predictable. Once you get exposed the Slacker and even Pandora, along with other apps it is so hard to be satisified long term with Sirius.

The Skydock is a great product and it will require some continue moving forward with this kind of thinking to get folks excited. Beyond that Sirius XM has to begin to work on their actual music offering because right now they are very much so behind the 8 ball as compared to most streaming services.

I think you and I agree on most of this stuff in regards to them expanding to more platforms and looking at their pricing for streaming on services.

Now with services like Slacker being available on almost all platforms and even able to cache to the devices so that you don't have to worry about Internet or Satellite to listen. This will be a huge selling point and the $4.99 per month sub or $3.99 per month with a year sub is incredible.
 

TSS Taylor

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Oct 9, 2008
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I really apologize for not giving a CES Update on DRC. I've been easily able to post and communicate the show on Twitter. It's just easy.

Overall the CES show was really cool this year. The 3D TVs and LED TVs stole the show. Lots of cutting edge devices are getting uber cool by controlling multiple devices. But it maybe years or more before these become anywhere close to mainstream.


Here is the worlds thinnest TV. An LG 6.9mm 55 inch TV.




Car Audio was dead! The North Hall which holds Car Audio was transformed dramatically from prior years. This year Pioneer and Kenwood were the only two BIG Headunit booths. Alpine had a small 2 person booth from what I saw and Clarion maybe was in a meeting room. Eclipse is no longer in the business. So that area was sad.

Directed had a decent size booth but notably smaller than prior years. They were highlighting their popular new Viper Smart Start system that can do remote start via iPhone and soon to be Blackberry


The Chevy Volt had a cool setup highlighting and app that can get car diagnostics, and stats directly from your car to your iPhone. It can also control some features of the car.


Myine was probably the coolest thing that relates to Audiophiles. It's something I ordered on Monday (still haven't gotten :( ) But TSS will certainly be caring this product. It's an FM Radio that when set to your favorite station it will record your programs and then filter out the commercials. It will then load them onto the small 2 gb MP3 player (looks like an S50 Car Cradle). So that's great for FM listeners but it will work by using an Aux in. So you can connect a Starmate or Xpress and it will record the channel your radio is tuned to and then filter out the ads or DJ talk. Giving you just the program. It's called the Myine Abbee.


This is Main SIRIUS XM Area

The SIRIUS XM Home Section


All the SIRIUS XM Plug and Play Radios. The big news here is that Sportster 5, and Starmate 5 are getting Power Connect.


This is the new XMP3i Travel Antenna handy for some that want to get a bit better reception without antenna headphones.


XM SkyDock in the CES Honorees


SIRIUS XM Accessories and Kits.


Some thoughts about SIRIUS XM at the show

Bright Points
-Probably 90% of the Companies at CES NEED to sell tons of hardware every year to stay in business, SIRIUS XM in is in a position where there business is a subscription based model and can be fine without selling hardware.

-Adding Power Connect to all the units. This is really helpful. All the new radios by about Spring will have Power Connect. Here is the lineup of products that will exist at that time. Stratus 6, XM Onyx, Starmate 5, Xpress RCi, Sportster 5, XM SkyDock, XMP3i.

-The company from all they say is really doing well financially and the take rate on new and used cars is going up quite a bit. The percentage of people subscribing to factory SIRIUS XM radios is way up.

-SIRIUS XM app coming to Blackberry

Bummer Points
-Stiletto 2 is discontinued
-Xpress EZ and Xpress R are discontinued
-Lack of new hardware makes people wonder if SIRIUS XM is totally getting out of the hardware business and nobody else is getting into it to make up.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

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All that said, XM has a long way to go to keep all of this new rediscovered interest that I have. As stated, the stream buffers and stutters way too much. If Slacker or Pandora were doing it you could excuse it with the "you get what you pay for" logic. For something that you are expecting people to pay for the quality needs to be spot on.

I am noticing the same stutters on Slacker. I assume it is just network bandwidth. This is not the Iphone app but just the web players. It sounds like the Iphone app has unique issues.
 

DAB

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-SIRIUS XM app coming to Blackberry

Bummer Points
-Stiletto 2 is discontinued
-Xpress EZ and Xpress R are discontinued
-Lack of new hardware makes people wonder if SIRIUS XM is totally getting out of the hardware business and nobody else is getting into it to make up.

Sirius App coming to Blackberry is certainly good news (but only a single step in where they really need to position themselves).

No surprise about the discontinued hardware, we could see the writing on the wall on those devices.

I am noticing the same stutters on Slacker. I assume it is just network bandwidth. This is not the Iphone app but just the web players. It sounds like the Iphone app has unique issues.

I've never had stutters via Slacker or Sirius on my computer. But I have had it via Sirius on my iPod Touch and iPhone via the Sirius XM Application. I've never experienced stuttering with Slacker with the Slacker Application.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

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I've never had stutters via Slacker or Sirius on my computer. But I have had it via Sirius on my iPod Touch and iPhone via the Sirius XM Application. I've never experienced stuttering with Slacker with the Slacker Application.

I believe it is something with the app too. The main streams are equivalent in terms of reliability as far as I can tell with a full 3 hours of comparison. :)
 

DAB

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I believe it is something with the app too. The main streams are equivalent in terms of reliability as far as I can tell with a full 3 hours of comparison. :)

Yeah it is a128kb stream which uses too much bandwidth vs services like Slacker and Pandora which drops the codec to a lower bitrate and in some cases even a different codec for better SQ like Slacker AAC+ V2 at 40kb. Makes much more sense for streaming via portable devices with limited bandwidth.

Sirius could screw up a soup sandwich!
 

Vols44

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Oct 18, 2008
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Thanks for sharing Tom. Great post, comments and pics. The CES must have been a great event to attend. Keep up the great work via Twitter and at work.