More Video Coming From Satellite Radio?
February 26, 2007 at 5:34 AM (PT)
THE NEW YORK TIMES reports today that if the plan to merge XM SATELLITE RADIO and SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO is approved, one result may be less music and less talk radio beamed into cars around the country.
The reasons for that, however, will have nothing to do with regulators.
The first phase of the business, beaming dedicated music, sports and talk-radio stars directly to consumers, has not proved to have a clear advantage over free radio and iPODS. So now satellite companies are looking into what other services they can offer to make them appealing to motorists.
Although XM and SIRIUS offer radio, in theory, the systems could be adapted to distribute any kind of data. And, indeed, both companies have made limited steps in that direction. Subscribers can already choose to have selected stock quotes, as well as news and sports headlines, beamed to the tiny screens on their receivers.
Both companies beam weather data to aviators and boaters through services that cost upwards of $50 a month. Later this year, XM will extend that by beaming weather information to a hand-held unit for hikers and hunters.
But SIRIUS has also made tentative steps toward offering video. At trade shows, SIRIUS has displayed prototype systems for sending video to back-seat displays like those now used by in-car DVD players. And the company recently, if vaguely, outlined plans to deliver some form of video programming aimed at children later this year.
Read the full article here.