- Sirius XM introduced a fall product lineup Wednesday with a new car dock that
converts an iPhone/iPod Touch to a true satellite receiver capable of playing
all Sirius XM channels, including Howard Stern and NFL.
The $119 XM SkyDock also plays music stored on an iPhone
The new XM SkyDock converts an iPhone to a satellite-radio receiver that plays through the car radio.
The dock joins several new products shown at the Sirius XM
headquarters for fall shipping, including the first dedicated Sirius XM tabletop
Internet radio, new plug-and-play car radios with an a la carte model, and a
home audio tuner.
The XM SkyDock car dock differs from the current Sirius XM app
for the iPhone because it has an embedded satellite-radio chip and it works
with a plug-in car antenna, so users receive true satellite reception vs.
Internet streaming. It includes an XM chip, but users can subscribe to Best of
Sirius to get full XM and Sirius programming.
The iPhone/iPod Touch then becomes an advanced Sirius/XM
controller that lets you flick through programming via touchscreen so users can
see what is playing as they search. Users can also use iTunes tagging to
purchase a song heard on Sirius XM directly from iTunes.
The SkyDock also connects the iPhone/iPod Touch to the car radio
through a new technology that Sirius XM is also bringing to its plug-and-play
receivers. The units now include FM
modulators built into the power plug so there is no need for a separate FM antenna,
as required previously. The FM signal is sent directly over the powerline. A
second way to connect the SkyDock to the car radio is through an aux-in cable
as the dock has an aux-in jack.
The SkyDock is expected to be sold online and through retailers, including
Best Buy and Radio Shack, this fall.
Sirius XM's new tabletop Internet radio (TTR1) is the first such
device that is dedicated to Sirius XM streamed content, so it does not receive
general Internet radio programming. The $149 radio has 10 presets for favorite
Sirius XM stations and includes a Sirius chip, although users can get Best of
XM service. It works wirelessly with 802.11b/g wireless broadband networks or
via Ethernet. It also has aux-in capability for connecting a digital music player
and a line-out connection to connect to a home stereo system. The unit requires
that subscribers pay an extra $2.99 monthly Internet service fee.
In car plug-and-play models, a new Stratus 6 can receive the
cheaper, a la carte Sirius XM programming, as well as all Sirius program
packages and Best of XM. It has the new simplified FM modulator system for
connecting to a car's radio, which does not require a separate FM antenna. The
device also allows for a direct aux-in connection to the radio. It is due this
fall at $69.99.
A similar model, called XM Onyx, has a full-color high-resolution
screen and supports all XM programming minus a la carte accessing and also
receives Best of Sirius. It is due this fall at $79.99.
Both models are awaiting approval by the Federal Communications
Commission. A third model, due in the first quarter, is the XM Xpress RCi,
which updates current Xpress models by adding the new FM modulator system.
Also due this fall is a Sirius SR-H2000 tuner for adding Sirius
and Best of XM to a home stereo system. Compared with previous tuners it adds
advanced onscreen display when connected to a TV, and it has improved RS-232
controls for home installers. It ships this fall at a suggested retail of $349.