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Question about Satellite Radio and its future applications

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Tom Foley, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. Tom Foley

    Tom Foley Well-Known Member

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    Hi, this is my first post in Satellite Radio, and I'm still trying to gather some info, so I hope I'm not rehashing something you've already talked about.

    The recent growth of Sirius and XM shows that there is definitely a market for mobile satellite radio, just as there was for DirecTV and Dish. But, of course, they're both going to reach a ceiling, where, after a while, they're just not going to get more people interested in the idea of paying a monthly fee for radio. That is, unless they can offer more than radio.

    Think about the technology of satellite radio. It's essentially just bits and bytes. What if either competitor decided to dedicate some of that bandwidth to television? What if they partnered with CE companies to develop receivers with LCD screens, or at the very least, AV outputs? What if they crossed over into being mobile satellite TV?

    That would really boost the number of subscribers. Suddenly, all of those LCD screens being installed in the backs of minivans and SUVs would become live TVs. Boaters would be able to have continous, uninterrupted TV (with a range that can go into deep waters). Commuters (hopefully not the ones driving) would be able to pass the time of a long commute. Sirius or XM could use their current relationships with the content providers with whom they have licenses, and renegotiate to get the TV networks as well.

    Has this been discussed before? Is it technologically not feasible? Would the bandwidth from one TV signal gobble the bandwidth of five, six, seven audio streams? If they could do this, would they essentially have to make a decision as to whether their ENTIRE service would have to change over to TV, or keep it the way it is?

    I'm asking because I might have a financial (and other)interest in one of the satellite radio providers soon, and I want to be sure I'm on the right track here. When I visited their offices recently, I was told that television was potentially a way to go. Just want to be sure they weren't blowing smoke. The way I see it, their future is iffy if things remain status quo, but things could dramatically improve if they go with TV.

    Am I thinking too far ahead in the future? I mean, with the technology we currently have, we could feasibly turn laptops into mobile satellite TVs with mobile satellite internet. But of course, that would take years to get into production, let alone market penetration. Could mobile satellite TV take so long to develop that the current mobile satellite radio providers can't financially hang on long enough to exploit it?
     
  2. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Well-Known Member

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  3. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Well-Known Member

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    Joshua Clinard
    Sirius is in the planning stages of offering video on their service. It's in their long-term future. Each year they improve their codec enough to get 3 more streams. Eventually, they may also be able to get additional bandwidth from the FCC for video in the backseat. They are talking Nick/Disney for the kids. They will also have higer powered satellites by that time, and they may have a partner for the video. Think 7 to 10 years.
     
  4. Joshua_JO

    Joshua_JO Active Member

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    If your really interested in receiving video in the car, I just saw the other day in Crutchfield, a satellite antenna that is basically flat and it goes on the roof of the car. Its big enough you would probably need an SUV though. It allows for Direct TV reception while the car is moving. It was over a grand though, so its kind of expensive.
     
  5. Tom Foley

    Tom Foley Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the responses. It's good to know that this is something at least technically feasible, and in the planning stages at Sirius, but of course is totally contingent on the bandwidth and the satellites. And of course, it ain't cheap to get one of those puppies up and running.

    As to whether it's good or not to allow people to view TVs while driving, I noticed at least in Cadillacs that the DVD navigation feature allows you to watch DVD movies on the screen - while the car is in PARK. Important safety feature there. Perhaps by the time that digital satellite TV can be effectively integrated in cars, they will have those "automatic" driving lanes on the highway, so people could watch while the car does the driving.
     

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