Sirius XM Universal Car Tuner Hits The Road


Piscataway, N.J. -- Sirius XM has begun shipping its SXV100V1 universal satellite tuner for installed aftermarket autosound systems, and aftermarket supplier Alpine is gearing up to promote the tuner, compatible Alpine head units, and a mail-in rebate offered by Sirius XM.

The tuner, about the size of a cigarette pack, is designed to

cut the cost and simplify the connection

of installed hide-away satellite radio tuners. The tuner connects to new aftermarket head units that incorporate a new universal satellite-radio DIN connector and a new Sirius XM control and communications protocol.

Alpine has become the first company to ship compatible head units and expects to be alone in the market until the fall, assistant sales and marketing VP Michael Anderson told TWICE here during a dealer training meeting. Sony and Audivox's Jensen brand have said they plan compatible head units this year as well.

The universal tuner retails for $69, including antenna and DIN cable, but a $30 mail-in rebate program offered by Sirius XM will remain in effect until the end of the year, Anderson said. That brings the tuner's price, excluding installation, down  to $39 from the $100 to $120 that it previously cost to add hide-away satellite tuners to aftermarket head units, said product marketing manager Steve Brown.

To promote the tuner, Alpine has developed a three-sided floor display touting the tuner, satellite-radio service, and the mail-in rebate. Alpine is also offering display-board head-unit wraps to go with its compatible head units to promote the tuner and rebate.

Starting in late spring, Alpine will launch web ads to promote the tuner and rebate, Anderson said. The first round of ads will focus on music. A second round will tie in with the launch of the NFL football season, whose start this year depends on the outcome of player-management negotiations. A fourth-quarter ad campaign will tie into Black Friday. Details of the ad campaign are still being worked out, Anderson said.

The compatible head units currently shipping from Alpine include the $199-MAP CDE-123 single-DIN CD-receiver with Pandora controls. A second compatible head unit that's also available is the CDE-124SXM single-DIN CD-receiver, which is bundled with universal tuner and also features Pandora control. The package retails for $229, but purchasers are eligible for the $30 mail-in rebate to reduce the effective price to $199.

A third compatible head unit ships in May. It's the INA-W910 A/V-navigation unit, which features HD Radio and Pandora control. Its price hasn't been announced.

The universal tuner delivers multiple features not previously available in dedicated hide-away aftermarket tuners, including song alerts, artist alerts, sports-game alerts, satellite-radio iTunes Tagging, and embedded memory to pause and rewind a program up to 30 minutes.

In separate developments, Alpine said it has just began shipping its first two Perfect Fit installation kits, which provide an in-dash OEM look for a pair of Alpine double-DIN A/V-navigation units with motorized face plates. Each kit is designed for a specific vehicle model to match the shape, color and texture of the vehicle's dash and plug into existing factory wiring.

The kits are promoted as a better looking alternative to third-party install kits because they're designed to fit only one brand of head unit, not multiple brands.

The first two Alpine kits are for the 2010-2011 Toyota Siena. One kit is $79, and the other $149 kit is for Siena models with steering-wheel-mounted radio controls. That kit includes a steering-wheel interface that needs no programming.

The next Perfect Fit kit, due in June, is a $299 kit for the 2010-2011 Camaro. It includes integrated touchscreen HVAC controls that mount below the Alpine navigation unit to replace the factory touchscreen controls.


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