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Thread: Equipment Obsolescence

  1. #1
    deewcom is offline
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    Equipment Obsolescence

    From SatWaves.com : (The Radio Shack Salesman) then explained that the old radios would still work for the next 5 years as the company would have to provide service to the existing radios. Now I knew I had the right man! The 5 year time frame however is in fact new, as most published estimates put that number at 10 years out.

    All current radios will be obsolete in as soon as five years? Seems odd. When you think about a car from the 1950's with a crackly old AM radio - that you can turn it on today and still hear broadcasting. In five years all the cars made in 2008 will need new radios. There will be no sound - paid subscription or otherwise. The sound of silence.

    Is this really a part of the company business plan? How will this be managed? Dealers could retrofit new chips through a recall. Maybe people will complain -raise hell - SIRIXM will be forced to continue broadcasting the old signal in conjunction with the new signal.

    Knowing this, would anyone go out a buy a radio right now? Not me.

    Immediately he explained that the merger had just occurred and they in fact were told that they would be getting in a new line of radios that would allow the “best of” programming by the fourth quarter.

    By the fourth quarter? Are you kidding? Are they really going to let this Christmas blow by without the new product roll out? The fanfare and the hoopla that will pull the stock out of ECU and put it in a regular room? This is very discouraging.

    Am I wrong?

  2. #2
    zcurzan is offline
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    Original article @ Satwaves

    Quote Originally Posted by deewcom View Post
    All current radios will be obsolete in as soon as five years? Seems odd. When you think about a car from the 1950's with a crackly old AM radio - that you can turn it on today and still hear broadcasting.
    Assuming this Radio Shack employee is in fact correct. (Anyone want to comment on that? I thought the only reason to get a new radio was to access the alacarte features. And that if you wanted your basic Sirius or XM you could keep your old radio. Was he saying the plans to consolidate the spectrum and broadcast on a single signal have been moved up from 10 to 5 years?) I don't think you can draw the comparison. AM radio did not go through a industry changing consolidation. And if this change needs to be made, its a one time adjustment. This is not going to be a recurring hassle.

    Quote Originally Posted by deewcom View Post
    Is this really a part of the company business plan? How will this be managed? Dealers could retrofit new chips through a recall. Maybe people will complain -raise hell - SIRIXM will be forced to continue broadcasting the old signal in conjunction with the new signal.
    Retrofitting? Besides the obvious coordination complications, and the fact that many non-subscribers would not choose to get the new chip installed in a radio that they don't use, it would be a long drawn out and expensive process.

    Quote Originally Posted by deewcom View Post
    Knowing this, would anyone go out a buy a radio right now? Not me.
    I don't think anyone is. Everyone is waiting for the fourth quarter.

    Quote Originally Posted by deewcom View Post
    By the fourth quarter? Are you kidding? Are they really going to let this Christmas blow by without the new product roll out? The fanfare and the hoopla that will pull the stock out of ECU and put it in a regular room? This is very discouraging.
    Having it out for the fourth quarter sure sounds to me like it's in time for Holiday sales. October, November (when gift shopping really picks up), and December for last minute shoppers.

  3. #3
    Pinball Wizard is offline
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    1. I know the 4th. quarter seems to be a very optimistic goal but it is worth a great amount of effort to get the holiday sales.

    2. IMO it is very important to pick one or the other system as soon as possible and stop selling radios for the other system. That said, there is no real hurry in stopping support for whatever system is not chosen. Let the other system run for over 10 years if the satellites are still functioning. But the company must start making progress in moving to one system. Automobiles will take a while but retail should not be offering 2 different radio systems.


    Just my opinion. Your mileage many vary.

  4. #4
    deewcom is offline
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    Fourth Quarter

    We hope that 4th quarter means October. It could indicate December 29th. When it is said "by the 4th quarter" and not "in time for Christmas" by a Radio Shack salesman, it doesn't sound good.

  5. #5
    deewcom is offline
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    Observations

    Just spoke with a Hyudai/Chrysler service writer. He thinks that retrofitting would be plausible. When I filled him in on the dynamics of the SIRI/XM merger, he came up with the word "retrofit". I'm not saying that that is the way it will go down, but I think it's plausible. Otherwise, many millions of radios will become paper weights. Also, I am inclined to think that an integrated circuit board could be replaced in a radio to update it for new programming.

    I am reminded of a time long ago when I said that I thought that SIRI and XM were merger candidates and nearly everyone told me I was crazy.

    Pinball, I totally agree with both your points and observations. It will be bad news if SIRIXM does not get the ala carte radios to market by November at the latest. I mean big ad blitz and inventory and displays in stores. I'm hopin' and a wishin'.

  6. #6
    James is offline
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    The ultimate goal should be to have the programming broadcast across the full 25 mhz spectrum. The best way to accomplished this is to make all new radios capable of receiving the full spectrum and a updated compression format but set to receive both XM and Sirius playing only what was subscribed to. Ten years down the road, assuming a generation of cars, they could be switched to full spectrum mode and then Sirius XM could improve SQ (most important) and add channels.

    I think that within a few years the service on XM and Sirius will be identical. The only exception being maybe some premium programming that can be received (on the new radios) from the other spectrum for a fee.

    The ten years is required because it is important that as many of current radios are replaced as possible. The pledge that no radios will be obsolete could result in lawsuits if the current radios become obsolete in too short a period

  7. #7
    Pinball Wizard is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    The ultimate goal should be to have the programming broadcast across the full 25 mhz spectrum.
    Why?

    I can only think of 2 reasons.......SQ & number of channels.

    Do we really need to have 260 channels?

    OTOH It might be nice to think about increasing SQ by doubling the rate from what it now is but think about how much that 12 MHz of spectrum could be worth if the company sold it off say in 15 years after migrating everything to one service.

  8. #8
    Newman is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinball Wizard
    Why?

    I can only think of 2 reasons.......SQ & number of channels.

    Do we really need to have 260 channels?
    You hit two of the nails on the head.

    1) If you can get away with less compression, you have better music quality.
    2) If you have more spectrum to work with, you can have more channels. That would mean more channels to broadcast niche programming and special programming.

    It would also free up spectrum to use for Backseat TV. Perhaps more spectrum to dedicate to NavTraffic. Perhaps more location specific Traffic/Weather/Etc. like they do now for large areas like New York, Washington, Dallas, Chicago, etc.

    It could also free up spectrum for behind the scenes changes, like radio updates, or other hidden features that we may not know about yet.

    I dont ever see the other part of the spectrum being sold. As long as it legally belongs to Sirius XM and is not being taken away, I see them using it to develope alternative uses for it. Perhaps Wireless capabilities? Who knows.

  9. #9
    Pinball Wizard is offline
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    Sorry for the double post but after some thought I have changed my mind.

    260 channels might be a good idea.

    In 10 years terrestrial local radio may be just about dead. They already are not in good financial shape and if they are forced to pay steep music royalities it might just about ruin them.

    If that happens, the FCC might be delighted to have Sirius XM do local programming to about 130 markets.

  10. #10
    Newman is offline
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    For the rest of you: Have you seen what Sirius and XM are currently doing to make their ammends for the portables that have the powerful FM modulators? This is what the combined Sirius XM will be doing.

    They will give the public 5-10 years on the old frequencies, combining as much as possible as quickly as possible. Interop recievers will become standard, and everything else will become outdated. They give the public 5-10 years so that the PUBLIC can replace as many recievers as possible, and the combined company does not have to.

    Then, when they get to that point, they will come out and offer the public options.
    1) Bring your car in and we will retrofit or replace your current reciever for an interop reciever
    2) We will send you a coupon to replace your current reciever, or
    3) We will send you the radio and you can do it yourself if you prefer.

    Your request needs to be recieved by x/x/xx date. At this time, one of the current spectrums will be shut down and you will loose access to your radio. Please respond as rapidly as you can so that you dont miss out on the Best Radio On Radio.

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