Thursday, May 29, 2008

XM Patent Application for Sending and Receiving Images

Today, XM had a patent application published for a "System and method for sending and receiving images via wireless audio channels". The application applies not only to satellite radio but to all digital radio including HD Radio and Digital AM. It is not related to real time video. It appears that still images are captured from digital cameras or video recorders or other sources and encoded into the audio stream as 120 X 120 to 176 X 220 pixel images. The images are synchronized to the relevant audio to create a picture show.

The only question is, "What took you so long?" It seems like an obvious application and we thought it would have been done on the latest generation of the Stilleto.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

US Electronics Makes Commonsense Proposal

Last week, US Electronics make a commonsense proposal on the open sourcing of satellite radio receivers. It is difficult to argue with this proposal or its benefits to consumers. Left to the merged entity, satellite radio will do what benefits satellite radio. With open sourcing, the consumer wins. Actually, it is not a bad deal for satellite radio either. It gets them out of the design of the satellite radio receivers and lets them focus on what they do best, producing great entertainment.

First, US Electronics proposes the following restrictions:

1. Sirius shall not directly or indirectly engage in the design, manufacture or distribution of satellite radio receivers.

2. Sirius shall not enter into exclusive agreements with any manufacturer, distributor, retailer, partner or auto manufacturer that limits the availability of hardware capable of receiving SDARS signal by consumers.

3. Sirius shall not participate in setting, influence or seek to influence, directly or indirectly, the retail price paid by consumers to acquire any satellite radio receiver or ancillary hardware used to support the operation of a satellite radio receiver except through mechanisms allowed pursuant to D.2., below.

All of these conditions are necessary for open sourcing to work. Next, US Electronics would require that satellite radio publish the technical requirements to use the satellite radio chipsets. Basic stuff. Manufacturers have got to know how to use the chipsets.

US Electronics also proposes to make any subsidies available on a non-discriminatory basis. Satellite radio would not be allowed to favor any manufacturer in any way. No manufacturer is at a disadvantage. Sales and marketing would also be made on a non-discriminatory basis.

Finally, although not specific on this point, they propose a means of monitoring and enforcing open sourcing. Without enforcement, the requirement has no bite. Whatever the means of enforcement, it must be better that the enforcement of the interoperable receivers, which never happened in any practical way.

We find little fault with this proposal and urge the Commission to accept it.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wistron-Neweb Unveils New Stratus 5 Radio

Wistron-Neweb received certification for its new Stratus 5 Sirius Satellite Radio today (FCC ID NKRUPASV5). It has been a long while since we have seen a new receiver. We didn't expect to see any new radios until the merger decision was made. The receiver is strictly for the Sirius Satellite Radio signals and has NO provisions for receiving the XM signals.

User Manual
External Photos 1
External Photos 2
Internal Photos 1
Internal Photos 2

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Sirius' Application to Launch New Non-Geostationary Satellite Dismissed

Yesterday, CD Radio's (aka Sirius Satellite Radio) application to launch a new non-geostationary satellite was dismissed. The reason for dismissal was because Sirius failed to provide adequate information for the end of life disposal of the satellite. Sirius can reapply. The Commission advised Sirius to provide the following information when it resubmits its application:

First, we ask that Satellite CD Radio provide additional information concerning its post-mission disposal plans for the FM-6 satellite as part of any future filing. As part of its current application, Satellite CD Radio proposes to dispose of the FM-6 satellite at end of life by circularizing the orbital altitude of the satellite to an operational perigee of approximately 46,325 kilometers.’ In any future filing, Satellite CD Radio should confirm the inclination of the disposal orbit, as well as provide any information it has supporting the long-term stability of the disposal orbit.

Second, space station antennas in the fixed-satellite service must be designed to provide a crosspolarization isolation such that the ratio of the on axis co-polar gain to the cross-polar gain of the antenna in the assigned frequency band shall be at least 30 dB within its primary coverage area.’ Although Satellite CD Radio states in its Attachment A to its application that the cross polarization isolation of the satellite feeder link receiver antenna will exceed 30 decibels (dB) within the -3 dB gain contour of the receive frequency, this value stated as 25 dB in its schedule S filling. We request that Satellite CD Radio confirm the actual cross-polar isolation of its antenna as part of any future filing.

Update: Sirius has since refiled: Narrative, Tech Description, Technical Supplement

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