Audio's Future is in the Air
XM also revealed an aggressive offering for product manufacturers, the Connect and Play chipset, an extremely small and low cost—less than a dollar per chip, according to Panero—satellite radio chip enabling portable devices to receive XM's service. Antennas, if needed, for such devices will also be offered for about $49.99 SRP. Some partners have already announced products using the chip, including Eton (a table top radio) and Giant International under the Tao brand (portable devices). Other partners who are to make XM-related product announcements include Harman Kardon, Denon, Onkyo, LG, Polk and Crosley.
Sirius also made product announcements, including a new handheld device, Xact's RegGo, which in addition to receiving Sirius' service, contains an SD card slot that can be used to play back MP3 files stored. Additionally, Pioneer announced mobile head units supporting Sirius, and Kenwood has plans to release several fully integrated Sirius enabled head units this year. Rotel also joined as a partner, intended to release a Sirius unit for home use.
But perhaps one of the company's more curious announcements is its intention to add video channels to the Sirius service. Clayton says that by the end of August, up to four video channels will be offered, primarily children's programming. Sirius has not announced what products will support this new application nor what fees the channels will command.