The two satellite radio companies, XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio, are testing television broadcasts over their systems.
Both companies demonstrated their potential offerings at the recent Computer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Sirius officials said the company hopes to offer three or four video channels within 18 months. They are partnering with Delphi Corp. to develop the system which would begin broadcasting stock quotes, sports scores and traffic information for around $20 a month. Full motion video would follow.
Rival XM demonstrated music videos at the show but is going slow, because the investment in video broadcasting is expensive, according to spokesperson Chance Patterson. “It’s not viable today.”
Even though video over satellite digital radio systems is technically possible, there still are issues that need to be worked out. Because video signals take up much more bandwidth than audio, picture quality can suffer on a system built and optimized for radio, which needs less bandwidth.