Sirius XM has suffered through yet another losing quarter. Last week, the satellite radio company reported a net loss of $236.6 million for the first three months of the year.
Although it posted a tough first quarter, CEO Mel Karmazin expressed optimism. Sales grew to $587 million from $270.4 million a year prior, he noted. His company's operating costs dropped 23 percent year over year. And there is more evidence than ever that Sirius XM is slowly inching its way toward profitability, he said in a statement.
Not everyone is impressed. Fellow CNET Blog Network member Steve Guttenberg wrote that Sirius XM is "sticking it" to subscribers. He believes that customers aren't getting enough for what they're paying.
I understand his point. As a Sirius XM subscriber, I wasn't pleased to hear recently that it was raising prices. But that doesn't taint my evaluation of the service. For me, the "Sirius Everything plus the best of XM" package is worth $16.99 per month.… Read more
RaySat, a global developer and manufacturer of satellite communication systems, officially launched its antenna for consumer digital television at SEMA 2008. The CruiseCast system uses new satellite TV technology along with a content package provided by AT&T. Al & Ed's has had a test mule for over a year now, but we recently installed the final version.
Most mobile electronics aficionados are familiar with another satellite TV system from KVH, called TracVision. Tracvision brings a DirecTV Mobile package to road-going TV watchers, but the system antenna is very large and retails for about $3,000. Thus, it was limited to SUV installations for the most part, and definitely only for those with gobs of disposable income.
The new CruiseCast is about the size of a bicycle helmet, can be carried in one hand, and retails for $1,299. This makes the unit much more installable as well as affordable, so it will no doubt give the KVH Tracvision a run for its money. The AT&T content is being finalized at the time of this writing, but it is almost locked down. It can best be described as a "Cable TV-type" channel selection.
While it has the staples like Discovery, TLC, CNN, Adult Swim, and more, it does not have local programming or movie channels such as HBO or Cinemax available. The 22 stations should satisfy most viewers, though, and they also have 20 music channels. … Read more
Things were looking up for satellite TV provider Dish Networks in the first quarter of 2009, with sales and earnings on the rise, the company reported Monday.
Sales grew 2.1 percent to $2.91 billion for the quarter ended March 31 versus $2.84 billion for the same quarter in 2008. Earnings climbed to $313 million, or 70 cents a share, up from $259 million, or 58 cents a share a year ago.
Results were better than expected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, who predicted a profit of only 56 cents a share. Dish said the gains came … Read more
How's the Sirius XM satellite radio monopoly working out for subscribers? Not so well. Now that Sirius XM is the only game in town, it's nudging up fees for subscribers. Nice!
The one and only satellite radio company's boasts of its ever-increasing subscriber base are gone now, and the decline is significant. The number floating around the Internet is a loss of 400,000 subscribers. That still leaves 18.6 million, but there's no way of knowing how many of that number are full-price-paying subscribers.
Could the subscriber losses be attributed to recent price hikes? The … Read more
Select processors from Advanced Micro Devices do not support Windows 7 "XP mode" though, like Intel, the vast majority of shipping processors do support XP mode.
Microsoft describes XP mode on its Web site as follows: "As part of the upcoming Windows 7 Release Candidate milestone, Microsoft will release a beta version of Windows XP Mode, which allows users of Windows 7 Professional and above to launch many older Windows XP productivity applications directly from their Windows 7 desktop. The Windows XP Mode stand-alone feature is specifically designed to help small businesses that are using Windows XP … Read more
Updated on May 6 at 6:35 p.m. PDT with additional comments from Intel.
A small brouhaha is erupting over Windows 7 and Intel processors. The hubbub is centered on which Intel processors will not support "XP mode" in Windows 7 and, by extension, which PCs will not support XP mode. Retail laptops may be one of the most prominent segments affected.
NICE, Calif.--As a San Francisco-based Internet junkie, I can't count the number of times I've been in groups with almost as many wirelessly connected Mac laptops as people.
So the scene in front of me shouldn't be new: four people, three connected Mac laptops.
But there's something completely novel going on: I'm visiting my in-laws at their off-the-grid, mountaintop house in Northern California, about four hours northeast of San Francisco. And I can say with absolute certainty that this is the first time such a scene has played out here.
How do I know? Because it's been less than two weeks since my in-laws, Tyler and Donna, had Internet installed on their property for the first time--in their case, the only available option was satellite--and it's been just hours since I personally set up their wireless network. In other words, Wi-Fi is a newly arrived house guest, and judging by the concentration on their faces, the occasional smiles, and the superlatives coming from their lips, it's a very welcome one.
For years, my wife and I had been trying to get her parents to cotton to the idea that their lives, at 4,000 feet, surrounded by national forest and steeped in the necessities of growing most of their own food, could be improved by getting online. But they'd gotten by just fine, thank you, for more than 30 years, without even a television.
Now, suddenly, there is a Wi-Fi network set up in their house, and I could see my in-laws' lives changing before my eyes.
For example, Tyler said excitedly to me one morning during my visit that he'd figured out how to use e-mail and the Web to do many of the things that used to require him to stop at the post office and get stamps.
"That's the end of snail mail for me," Tyler told me. And, he added, no more catalogs would be cramming their P.O. box.
Working so much better now My wife and I had conveniently--and coincidentally--managed to time our last visit to the mountain with the HughesNet satellite installation. But as I wrote previously, those first baby steps didn't go so well.
Thanks to glacially slow initial download speeds, the unexpected realities of a 200MB daily download limit, and the necessity of loading countless Windows updates onto their 2-year-old, Internet-chaste PC, we had retreated the mountain almost embarrassed by how badly it had gone.
So, I set out to make it all better by bringing them a refurbished MacBook, pre-configured at home with everything they'd need for a happy Internet life. I even unhooked my home Wi-Fi network and donated it to the cause. … Read more
NICE, Calif.--This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Imagine getting to introduce to the Internet a couple of otherwise-normal 60-somethings who, having lived off the grid at 4,000 feet in the middle of national forest, have missed more than 30 years of media innovations.
That's what I did earlier this week, with my in-laws, Tyler and Donna. They're perfectly nice people. They just have never used the Internet before, haven't watched TV, really, and even their cell phone is turned off most of the time to conserve their limited solar power.
I've been coming to … Read more
Subscribers at DBSTalk.com, and I experienced a blank program guide with a date of 7/14 and all shows noted as "To Be Announced." While channels continued to receive programming, any recordings were disrupted.
Callers to DirecTV report they were told the problem was fixed or being fixed and they would not lose any programming. A hard reset (or reboot) seemed to fix the problem temporarily, but eventually the guide data … Read more