hmmm....I don't know what to make of it.
The following was sent to Ford dealers:
SIRIUS System Updates
Intermittent Muting of Some Channels Beginning July 22, 2008
SIRIUS will be changing the format of their broadcast on July 22, 2008 to allow for additional programming. Unfortunately, this change may cause some intermittent open sky muting on some channels. SIRIUS will begin broadcasting a corrective firmware patch in the middle of August to fix vehicles in the field with this symptom. When downloading is complete, this patch will resolve the muting issues. There is no serviceable defect with the SDARS receiver or antenna in these vehicles, and there should be no warranty repairs attempted to replace the receiver or antenna for this complaint.
All MY 2008 and 2009 Ford / Lincoln / Mercury with SDARS (Satellite Digital Audio Radio Services)
What customers may experience prior to receiving SIRIUS system updates
Customers receiving the download will be able to use their radio normally. However, while listening to some channels, the customer may experience intermittent open-sky muting
What customers may experience following SIRIUS system updates
It will take between one day to four weeks for a typical customer to receive and install the download, depending on customer drive times. The vehicle must be on and receiving the SDARS signal to receive the download. A vehicle that is on continuously for 2.5 hours with uninterrupted SDARS signal will likely receive half of the entire update. With an ignition cycle and the vehicle on continuously for another 2.5 hours with uninterrupted SDARS signal they will likely receive the second half of the download.
After a vehicle has received the entire download, the next time the ignition is turned on, the SDARS receiver will install the update and the open-sky muting issue will be resolved. Depending on the radio display type, the customer will see the following prompt for approximately 45 seconds when in SDARS: "SIRIUS", or "SIRIUS UPDATING, PLEASE WAIT".
Resolution to Customer Complaints
There is no serviceable defect with the SDARS receiver or antenna in these vehicles, and there should be no warranty repairs attempted to replace the receiver or antenna for this complaint. The intermittent open-sky muting is a SIRIUS broadcast issue, and therefore customers should be directed to call the SIRIUS Customer Call Center at 1-888-539-7474 for further information regarding this issue.
Can't be Construed As Bad News
For shareholders and pro-merger afficionados, this appears to be a very good sign. Excellent find, crfceo. Were you surfing the net for that bit or did you find it by other means?
Re: the memo itself, it is interesting that two 2.5 hour "on" periods are required to capture the completed download. Also interesting is that the download has multitudinous start and stop points that can be activated at any time the receiver is on. Ergo, the five hour download will likely occur for most customers in many segments over a period of time.
Techies may have some clues as to the type and size of the system change we are looking at.
From a non-technical point of view, it looks like a major deal due to the amount of time the download will require.