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Satellite Customers Get Their Letters

Satcasters notify customers about possible interference to terrestrial radio from wireless FM-modulated devices.

In accordance with their agreement with the FCC, Sirius and XM have sent letters letting subscribers know they may have satellite radio tuners that contain wireless FM transmitters that may overmodulate and interfere with terrestrial stations.

The XM letter states the notice does not apply if the subscriber’s new car came with an XM Satellite Radio; it’s generally referring to receivers purchased before August 2006.

The affected tuners include the Roady2, SKYFi2, MyFi, Airware, Tao, RoadyXT, Xpress, Sportscaster, XR9-XCX9, Jensen JXR9, Inno, Helix and Nexus.

XM is asking subscribers to visit a Web site or call an 800 number to discuss no-cost options to “alleviate this possible interference.” Those include XM sending the subscriber ferrite beads to attach to the FM antenna and power adaptor cables or a replacement cassette adaptor to use with the XM radio.

The company reminds subscribers their XM radio with an FM modulator will work best “if you use an unused frequency.”

Sirius has sent similar letters, and assured subscribers that there is no health or safety issue involved. The company is offering a free “Optimizer Kit” with several options that subscribers can take to prevent interfering with other devices.

It also apologized for the inconvenience.