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Old 11-13-2006, 07:47 PM   #1
pluche
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Default The Shape of Things to Come

I was just reading the headlines about WCS and Wimax versus XM/Sirius repeaters and it brings me to engage in this little discussions about what may very well spark the beginning of the end for such things as satellite radio as we know it.

Case in point: Last week I acquired a Palm Treo 700WX Windows mobile smartphone with all the trimmings. As part of my plan, I get the first three months of unlimited internet access. What this means is that it gives me ample time to play with the capacity of the EVDO network (the newer CDMA network in use by Verizon in the USA, Bell and Telus in Canada) Now my friends, I was told that the EVDO network compares with a 600kbps broadband which in principle is not bad at all!

In practice it holds just as true. During today's morning and evening commute which lingers for a good hour in my case, I was able to stream Sirius broadband, XM broadband, and the full array of shoutcast services at 128kbps with very few hickups (maybe one buffering silence every 10-15 minutes).

But think of this as the infancy of broadband wireless and you too will be amazed and poised at the opportunities that lie ahead. As it stands:

- the repeater infrastructure is pretty much in place with the continent pretty much blanketed
- the streaming options abound
- the devices (smartphones) exist to make use of it

In short, the whole scam works!

So I guess it won't be long before we see a major restructuring of the satellite radio industry to compete with such galore. I hope it happens and sound quality gets greatly enhanced in the process because as it stands, let me tell you that the Shoutcast selections sound damned good over my bluetooth headphones.

Oh and don't you know, I renewed my Sirius yearly subscription early last week!!!
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Old 11-13-2006, 08:54 PM   #2
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I don't think so, at least not any time (10 years) real soon. Here are my top reasons why:

1. My Treo data plan is something like $50 or $60 (my boss pays for it so I don't know for sure). My Sirius (soon to be XM as well) is $12.95.
2. That Treo data plan does not include any type of content. Just Internet access. Content like Sirius costs more.
3. My Treo was $399. My Sirius radio was $79.
4. My Starmate Replay has a boombox. My Treo, no.
5. My Starmate picks up EVERYWHERE that I go. My Treo, not so much.
6. My Treo battery has a hard enough time lasting the day as a phone, email machine. Streaming media would kill it in half the time. More money for batteries, chargers and more things to put in my pocket.
7. My iPod is LOADED for those times that I am in the mood for my own music that sounds great and doesn't cost me $60 a month to use.

Verizon, Cingular, Sprint and all the other carriers will maintain their sky high prices and will have no premium content (MLB, NFL, NBA and the like) that they can upsell you on. And don't think that the carriers will continue to let you stream content that you didn't buy from them.

Eventually, it just might happen. I think it is a long, long way off if it is coming.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pluche

So I guess it won't be long before we see a major restructuring of the satellite radio industry to compete with such galore. I hope it happens and sound quality gets greatly enhanced in the process because as it stands, let me tell you that the Shoutcast selections sound damned good over my bluetooth headphones.

Oh and don't you know, I renewed my Sirius yearly subscription early last week!!!
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Last edited by octane20; 11-13-2006 at 08:57 PM..
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octane20
I don't think so, at least not any time (10 years) real soon. Here are my top reasons why:

1. My Treo data plan is something like $50 or $60 (my boss pays for it so I don't know for sure). My Sirius (soon to be XM as well) is $12.95.
2. That Treo data plan does not include any type of content. Just Internet access. Content like Sirius costs more.
3. My Treo was $399. My Sirius radio was $79.
4. My Starmate Replay has a boombox. My Treo, no.
5. My Starmate picks up EVERYWHERE that I go. My Treo, not so much.
6. My Treo battery has a hard enough time lasting the day as a phone, email machine. Streaming media would kill it in half the time. More money for batteries, chargers and more things to put in my pocket.
7. My iPod is LOADED for those times that I am in the mood for my own music that sounds great and doesn't cost me $60 a month to use.

Verizon, Cingular, Sprint and all the other carriers will maintain their sky high prices and will have no premium content (MLB, NFL, NBA and the like) that they can upsell you on. And don't think that the carriers will continue to let you stream content that you didn't buy from them.

Eventually, it just might happen. I think it is a long, long way off if it is coming.
I agree!
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Old 11-15-2006, 07:49 PM   #4
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equally importantly. The more users listening to Sirius on SatRad the better... The more listeners streaming over the EVDO connection the more buffering you'll get.
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Old 11-15-2006, 09:17 PM   #5
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I have to agree with all those arguments. My point only being that the technology is there, in your city, your town and is bound to grow. It is kind of fun to experiment with though.

And yes, the phone battery does wear out pretty darn fast!
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Old 11-15-2006, 10:21 PM   #6
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I've been beating this dead horse for a while now. Once the technology becomes feasible to get Internet access in your car, its going to make things very interesting. Not to mention any future iPods that have Wifi capabilities so you can listen to your favorite Internet radio station while mobile. I've said it before, satellite needs to look at different ways to deliver content that will help them compete with newer/dare I say better technologies. Also, there needs to be better emphasis on their online services that provide just music for someone who may or may not be interested in news channels. Sirius is making a nice start in that regard, although charging 12.95 might be a little steep, I expect that to come down soon enough.

I personally have been looking at purchasing something along the lines of a Treo or Blackberry (maybe if his Steveness comes out with an iPod PDA) to stream just such a thing, since I am a student and my campus is one big Wifi Hotspot itself.
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon
Once the technology becomes feasible to get Internet access in your car, its going to make things very interesting.
At what cost? I remember just a few short years ago people were saying that we would soon have Internet access in our PDA. True that. We do now have Internet access, even high speed access in a PDA. My Treo flies. For $50 a month. $50.......If my boss weren't paying for it I simply wouldn't have it. I don't see $50 worth of value there and I can't see Internet in my car being worth that or more either.

I am currently looking at the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited or whatever it is called. 20GB MP3 player, GPS navigation with driving directions built in. Sirius as well. I would much rather have that than limited use Internet access.
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Old 11-16-2006, 01:18 AM   #8
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The big problem with mobile phone solutions is the number of towers they require. Each cell has a pretty small number of calls it can support simultaneously (max of 150 with EDVO or CDMA, I think). In most big cities, voice usage is already stretching that capacity to the point where wireless companies are fighting property owners for each new tower.

About 1/3rd of the time my smart phone gets "insufficient network coverage" and shuts off its data services to make room for voice traffic. Without a major technological innovation, long duration streaming data services just aren't practical.
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Old 11-16-2006, 12:23 PM   #9
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I never say never but streaming radio over a phone just doesn't appeal to me. While on vacation at the shore I used my Treo to get sirius content. I liked it but as I said I was on Vacation so the number of times that my phone rang was next to nothing. While working I want my phone to work as a phone. Having a Stilleto has made it easier for me since I can pause the radio.

I do like to eliminate multiple devices but at the expense of having my sirius work well I wouldn't like.
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