This site is dedicated to new ideas and concepts with regard to Sirius XM Satellite Radio. New technology, marketing ideas, and strategic partnerships are fair game. This site is for brainstorming and I welcome all new ideas.
DISCLOSURE: I own shares of Sirius XM Satellite Radio.


Interoperability near term

SDARS spectrum (2320MHz - 2345MHz) is striving to be more efficient in its usage. Since Sirius (2320MHz - 2332.5MHz) and XM (2332.5MHz - 2345MHz) never received each other's signals and only worked on prototypes to do so, there are many legacy receivers on the market which will only receive half of the SDARS spectrum. In order to use their resources more efficiently, there are only a few options which may or may not be feasible:

  1. Minimize redundant programming - Eliminate duplicate channels offered on both services by retransmitting the combined channel on both services. This is the approach that is being taken with Mad Dog radio. This reduces operating costs by only producing one set of programming, but uses an equal amount of spectrum.
  2. Compression technologies - If newer compression technologies allow the company to further reduce the spectrum needed to broadcast radio, the same channels could be broadcast on both frequency ranges. This would still not be as efficient, but would allow a wider range of programming for customers and all legacy radios would be able to work in the same manner.
  3. Firmware upgrades - Some have theorized that by using firmware upgrades, you could potentially expand the range of spectrum that a radio could receive. If this is feasible, it would most likely affect receivers designed after an interoperable prototype was developed by a joint venture between the two companies. In designing software, it always best to allow configuration of your product using the easiest possible means. This would be done using a variable which defines the lower range and another to define the upper range. Whether this is modifiable via firmware has yet to be seen.

Any combination of the above would allow interoperability to begin to occur. The ideal scenario would be to have a firmware upgrade which expands the current frequency range. The companies would then gradually eliminate excessive duplicate programming. Further compression of the signal or compacting of the radio channels post-cleanup would be icing on the cake.

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