Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Sirius satellite radios, and car TV

Sirius yesterday announced new products including its long awaited Sirius Backseat TV for the car, and a new version of the "wearable" portable Stiletto.

Sirius became the first satellite radio company to announce delivery of rear seat TV for the car with the unveiling of a $299 system slated for October shipping. The service will cost $6.99 per month and requires the user also subscribe to Sirius audio at $12.95 per month.

Three channels of family programming from Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network will be available. Rear-seat passengers will be able to watch shows such as Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants and Jimmy Neutron, Disney Channel’s Cory in the House and Hannah Montana, and Cartoon Network’s Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and Dexter’s Laboratory. The service will also be available with receivers built-into some 2008 Chrysler corp vehicles.

Sirius’ new Stiletto 2 receives live Sirius programming on the go. New features from the original Stiletto are a microSD card slot for importing MP3 files into the unit, improved WiFi and a 25 percent smaller form factor so that the unit more closely resembles a typical MP3 player. The Stiletto 2 can also now access Sirius’ premium audio quality Internet Radio service for an additional fee.

The unit stores up to 100 hours of Sirius programming, which users can playback at a later time, in case they are out of range of a satellite signal and WiFi reception). It has a built in antenna and also ships with Altec Lansing headphones that include a second antenna built into the head band. The Stiletto 2 ships this fall at a suggested retail price of $349.99

Sirius is offering new tuners that can convert cars offering XM service to Sirius service. A GM version, model SIR-GM3A can swap with an XM tuner to deliver Sirius to GM cars and control and display Sirius programming on the GM radio at a suggested $149. New tuners will also ship for Honda and Toyota models and these also work with certain Sirius Dock & Play tuners.

Also new is a Sportster 5 Dock & Play receiver with a color display and 60-minute DVR-type recorder to ship this fall at $169.99.

Sirius also unveiled several new products for home use, including some targeted to the custom-installation industry.

One of the custom-friendly products is Polk’s first component Sirius tuner, the $299-suggested SRH-1000 due in November. It provides two-zone capability when an optional palm-size $49-suggested SiriusConnect home tuner is plugged in. The tuner also features RS-232 port and 5-12-volt remote-trigger inputs.

Sirius plans September shipments of its first SiriusConnect tuner designed for the custom market. The one-rack-high, half-rack-wide SCH2P plugs into Sirius-ready AV receivers, and two can be mounted side-by-side in an AV rack for connection to a two-zone Sirius-ready AV receiver. Compared to the existing SiriusConnect tuner, the SCH2P adds RS-232 port, wired-IR input, signal-status display, and channel-changing know. It ships in October at a suggested $99, including indoor/outdoor antenna.

In another change, Sirius unveiled a step-up SiriusConnect Home Dock, the $59-suggested SCHDOC1, which joins an existing $49 dock. The new model enables Sirius-ready home-audio products such as AV receivers to take control of docked transportable tuners and docked Stiletto-series wearable tuners. As a result, the remote supplied with a Sirius-ready AV receiver will control all Sirius-tuner features and channel selection, and the Sirius menu and channel metadata will appear on the receiver’s display or on the screen of a connected TV.

Like existing home docks, the SCHDOC1 also connects to non-Sirius-ready audio products via the product’s audio inputs, but the Sirius tuner can be controlled only by the tuner’s supplied remote, and the Sirius menu and metadata won’t appear on the larger displays of an AV receiver or TV. (info from TWICE and Sirius)
This is a preview, not a review.

No comments: