WSI + Sirius, oh goodie
I missed the fact that WSI, the company behind Weather Channel Marine, inked a deal with Sirius Satellite Radio in March. “Our goal is to offer the gold standard of marine services”. This is good news, as it should heat up the competition between WSI’s service, now only available on PCs (including Maptech i3) via a single satellite, and the XM Marine Weather that can be had either on a PC or on Garmin network plotters. I’ve been watching the “live” weather category closely, and have tried at least the early PC and Garmin products, and was very impressed with how much detailed and macro weather sense I could get easily. In fact—odd timing—I was trying out a pretty good GRIB weather tool last night, but without the Nexrad radar and frontal line predictions, I missed the wet squall line that’s passing through here this morning! Above, and bigger here, is part of an old Weather Channel Marine screen that just suggests how you can see animated Nexrad combined with current and forecast fronts…very effective. A face off between giants Sirius and XM as providers of top notch U.S. coastal marine weather should lower subscription and hardware costs, open up new platforms, and really make boaters aware of this valuable service.
Wow…Ben, I’ve actually been struggling with the logistics of installing this system on the family boat. It is already equipped with Sirius, and we have been thinking that we could use the cable that is already there for the Weather system with a different antenna and just stop the Sirius service. Now it appears that this might not be the case…Do you know if the original Sirius antenna will suffice now?
I don’t know for sure, but it seems very likely that the Sirius antenna will work for both audio and data, though you’ll need a new receiver for the data. There will probably be receivers that do both audio and data too, like Garmin’s.
Its good to mention that these systems work in US coastal waters only, but I have heard of people using XM and Sirius as far S as Baja (I’m in Seattle) These systems are not global weather solutions for the blue water cruiser. However, if you’re a coastal cruiser going up and odwn the ICW this rocks!