Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sirius to Launch New NGSO Satellite

Sirius recently filed an application for authority to launch and operate a new non-geostationary orbit satellite (NGSO, FM-6). The satellite will replace TWO existing NGSO satellites (FM-1 and FM-2) that are currently in operation. FM-6 would be placed half way between the where FM-1 and FM-2 operate today. The launch is expected to take place in 2010. Sirius has already been granted authority to launch a geostationary satellite (FM-5). This will significantly alter its existing satellite constellation. It will eventually operate with two non geostationary satellites (FM-3, FM-6) and one geostationary satellite (FM-5). Sirius explains it as follows:

The enhanced geographic coverage anticipated from the successful launch of FM-5, coupled with satellite technology advancements included on FM-5 and FM-6, will allow Sirius to reduce its GSO constellation from three to two satellites.

FM-6 will have twice the transmit power of FM-1 and FM-2.

In the appplication, there is this little nugget of information concerning its overlay modulation currently used for backseat video:

The digital stream throughput is 1.35 Mb/s. The additional transmission capacity will be used for providing subscribers with more audio channel programming and data and is currently providing three compressed video channels primarily for vehicle back seat viewing. Each video is compressed to approximately 255kb/s.

This gives us some ideas on what we might see for the number of audio channels. Presently, music is compressed to 44 kbps; voice, 20 kbps; and 16 kbps for low quality audio such as traffic and weather. The above implies spare capacity of 585 kbps, enough for 13 more music channels.


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Thursday, March 13, 2008

IBM Patent Application for Satellite Radio Receiver

We came across this interesting IBM patent application this morning:

United States Patent Application 20080064325
Kind Code A1
Bates; Cary Lee ; et al. March 13, 2008

SATELLITE RADIO RECEIVER THAT DISPLAYS INFORMATION REGARDING ONE OR MORE CHANNELS THAT ARE NOT CURRENTLY BEING LISTENED TO

Abstract

A satellite radio receiver includes a display that displays information regarding one or more channels that are not currently being listened to. For a music channel, this information may include the name of the artist, the song title, time left in the song, etc. For a news channel, this information may include the news currently being discussed, the name of the news program, the time remaining, etc. For a sports channel, this information may include the name of the channel, a description of the sporting event, the time remaining, etc. The preferred embodiments include different ways to select which channels are "favorites" and therefore displayed on the display. One way is to keep track of which channels are most frequently listened to, and to display information regarding those channels.


Inventors: Bates; Cary Lee; (Rochester, MN) ; Nelson; Eric John; (Rochester, MN) ; Santosuosso; John Matthew; (Rochester, MN)
Correspondence Name and Address:
    MARTIN & ASSOCIATES, LLC
P.O. BOX 548
CARTHAGE
MO
64836-0548
US
Assignee Name and Adress: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION
New Orchard Road
Armonk
NY
10504

Serial No.: 941477
Series Code: 11
Filed: November 16, 2007
U.S. Current Class: 455/3.02
U.S. Class at Publication: 455/003.02
Intern'l Class: H04H 20/00 20080101 H04H020/00


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