By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The XM Mini-Tuner, a postage stamp-sized XM tuner that was first announced last year, is winning support from eight car stereo suppliers here at International CES.
The XM Mini-Tuner acts as a "portable XM subscription" that will be able to insert into various home, car and portable products. XM said that brands supporting this new format include Panasonic, Sony, Alpine, Eclipse, Jensen, JVC, Kenwood and Clarion.
Many of the initial Mini-Tuner products shown at CES require a dongle adapter that will be available this spring, although future products are expected to have a built-in Mini-Tuner slot much like an SD car slot.
Panasonic is offering Mini-Tuner capability with an adapter in its new Strada in-dash navigation unit and throughout its 2007 head unit lineup.
Kenwood said it will offer XM Mini-Tuner ready head units early this year.
Alpine said all Ai-Net head units this year will work with the Mini-Tuner via an adapter.
XM will ship in April a new XM Commander, the CommanderMT, that works with a Mini-Tuner instead of the old XM tuner box. The CommanderMT is a universal display/controller for XM, which can connect to most car radios via a direct connection or FM modulator. It is expected to carry a suggested price of $169.
The Mini-Tuner will also be available in two portable GPS units from Audiovox. Shipping in March/April, the NVXM1000 portable GPS with a 4-inch screen and real-time traffic will include a Mini-Tuner slot and the NVX406 portable GPS with 3.5-inch screen. A built-in portable media player will support the Mini-Tuner with an adapter. Suggested retails are $799 and $499, respectively.
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