New York - In separate satellite radio related announcements today, Sirius Satellite Radio said that Panasonic will begin shipping Sirius tuners this September, while XM Satellite Radio reported several changes to its channel lineup including the addition of its first premium channel called Playboy Radio.
In a long awaited move, Panasonic added its name to the list of vendors now shipping Sirius tuners. The company expects to deliver a standalone CR-SRF100 with an FM modulator and a controller which can interface with any radio with an FM tuner. The unit is expected to carry a list price of $229.
Panasonic will also offer a Sirius receiver which will work with any of the approximately one dozen new Sirius ready head units to be offered by Panasonic this January. Sirius ready head units will start at approximately $200, according to national marketing manager, Rob Lopez. The Sirius products will be designed and manufactured at the Panasonic plant in Peachtree, Ga.
For its part XM said it is making changes to its channel lineup based on subscriber feedback. New formats being added include the first dedicated Neo-Soul channel. Playboy Radio, channel 205, will debut on September 3 for an extra $2.99 per month. For a limited time, a one time transaction fee of $4.99 will be waived for current subscribers who subscribe to the Playboy channel.
Other new XM channels include The City-- a hip hop and R&B hit station and Sonic Theater, which features audio books and radio dramas.