Sunday, April 09, 2006

New Sirius Hardware

April 9, 2006

Satellite Standard Group (SSG), and other informative sites such as Get Sirius Info, Orbitcast and Sirius Backstage, have been trying to find out as much information as we can about the new Sirius hardware, and when it will be released. Speculation is high, and rumors are beginning to fly.

Here is what we hear at SSG understand at this point:

1. The Sirius Boomcube for the Starmate Replay will be widely available in short order. The Sirius Store is taking preorders for this item now.

2. The wearable kit from XACT, called the PowerPod II, is supposed to be released quite soon. It is the understanding of SSG that this wearable kit will work with the Starmate Replay and its sister units.

3. The Executive Docking Station for the S50 will be available in short order. The Sirius Store is now taking pre-orders for this item as well.

4. The new Sportster, rumored to be released sometime in May, is supposed to be a very impressive unit. It is our understanding that this unit is a horizontal plug n play unit that seems like a cross between an S50 and a Sportster Replay. Picture a unit that has the same look as an S50, slightly wider, and slightly taller. Control buttons will go across the bottom, and a small knob (about ½ inch) is off to the right. The screen is 1" longer than the S50 Screen. Basically, this new unit will be somewhere between the S50 and the Sportster replay in size, will have the polished “glass front” look of the s50, and will function along the lines of the current plug-n-play devices. SSG has heard rumor that this unit may have a live wearable function, but we have been unable to confirm if this is the case, or if this function is brought about by an accessory that can be purchased separately.

5. SSG has also heard rumor about a new “mid-level” Sportster product. We can only assume that it is very similar, but does not have all of the features of the piece of hardware listed in item #4.

6. SSG and others have also heard speculation about a live wearable device (we call it the Bellagio) capable of MP3 storage, etc. Sirius has spoken of this unit, and the fact that it will have a buy button, although a partner for the buy button has not yet been announced. Rumors about a deal with Yahoo! made the rounds last week. This new unit is a “vertical” unit, and is rumored to be trimmed in silver. It is slightly wider than the S50, and supposedly has a bigger screen. The hardware partner for this unit has not been revealed, but speculation has arisen that Toshiba may be a hardware partner for the unit. SSG has also heard that Directed electronics may well be a distributor of this unit.

7. The XACT Navi has had some initial paperwork already filed with the FCC. Release dates for this unit are unknown, but one would imagine that the unit will be out this summer. The Navi is a navigation unit that is Sirius Ready through an accessory adapter.

As reported here and at Get Sirius Info, the secrecy surrounding the new hardware line-up is higher than ever before. Sirius seems to have made a concerted effort to announce hardware much closer to actual release. SSG will be working with some others to try to develop a conceptual image of the new hardware, and will keep you up to speed with what is happening.

The link to this write up is: http://tinyurl.com/pxchm

4/09/2006 01:24:00 PM

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