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Satellite Radio Downplayed

This year, there’s no press conferences, they’re spending less money on signage here and not talking much about their proposed merger, except to say they hope the feds approve it.

In years past, XM and Sirius had several product announcements and exciting press conferences at this show. This year, there’s no press conferences, they’re spending less money on signage here and not talking much about their proposed merger, except to say they hope the feds approve it.

XM annually displays a concept car that is filled with ideas its R&D teams are exploring with the hope of bringing some of them to market. This year, the company is giving some reporters a sneak peak at such a car containing technology it’s planning to unveil at the North American Auto Show in Detroit next week.

Inside the SUV is XM NavWeather, its first weather service for consumers. XM plans to announce the first auto partners to offer the service early this year. The weather will be bundled with XM’s real-time traffic service.

XM will transmit data services as well as audio. The version I saw included the ability to download local gas prices to the navigation touch screen in the dash.

Audiovox, Directed Electronics, Audio Design Associates and Samsung have introduced XM products at CES.

Sirius has a booth this year, unlike last year; and it also again shares space with Directed Electronics. Directed, as well as Audio Design Associates and Sunfire have introduced Sirius products at this show.

The satcaster is not announcing any of its own branded products here; it again displays Sirius Backseat TV in an SUV. The service is available for $6.99 a month in addition to a Sirius subscription of $12.95 per month. Users will also need a video monitor or entertainment system sold separately. A spokeswoman pegged availability in Q1.

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