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General Scanning Discussion - For general questions not specific to a model of scanner or general discussion of use of a scanner. Manufacturer specific posts should be directed to the appropriate forums below and location specific posts should go in the appropriate regional forum..

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2009, 5:27 PM
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Default Why are digital scanners so expensive?

Does it cost that much more to make a digital scanner over the others or is just because they are a hot item? I know when hand held calculators came out MANY YEARS ago they where very expressive and now you can get the ones that years ago cost $100 plus for $5 or less now. Do you think the price will come down in the feature?
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Old 05-31-2009, 6:30 PM
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Question Why?

Maybe because you get what you pay for? To keep up with technology it's a necessary evil.
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Old 05-31-2009, 7:41 PM
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They have to pay DVSI for the P25 vo-coder license. The cost is passed along directly to the consumer. The rest of the scanner is inexpensive to produce overall.

Will it come down? I doubt it as the technology is clearly owned by another company and they can keep the price locked for as long as they want and not sell the rights to anyone else.
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Old 06-01-2009, 5:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KS4VT View Post
I doubt it as the technology is clearly owned by another company and they can keep the price locked for as long as they want and not sell the rights to anyone else.
Devils' advocate here. What's to keep the Chicoms' from reverse engineering it and mass reproducing it, like they do everything else. Patents and copyrights evidently don't carry any weight overseas...... What're ya gonna do?
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Old 06-01-2009, 6:31 PM
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One might notice that all of the current "digital scanners" on the market, regardless of manufacturer, are roughly the same price. The simplest explanation is: that's the price people are willing to pay. Capitalism 101.

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Devils' advocate here. What's to keep the Chicoms' from reverse engineering it and mass reproducing it, like they do everything else.
Someone could copy the hardware pretty easily. A trunking scanner, though, especially a digital one, is "mostly software". Any intelligent manufacturer makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to extract that software from a production unit.

(Oh, and could we please get off the "because P25 decoding costs money" idea? Very few of us know what it actually costs a scanner manufacturer to include that feature today.)
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Old 06-01-2009, 6:50 PM
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Top consumer-grade scanners have been in the $400-500 range for 15 years. As new ones roll out, models at lower pricepoints may get the formerly more pricey features.

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Originally Posted by DonS
(Oh, and could we please get off the "because P25 decoding costs money" idea? Very few of us know what it actually costs a scanner manufacturer to include that feature today.)
Absolutely not. Whether $20 or $200, it is not an insignificant part of the cost.
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Old 06-01-2009, 8:40 PM
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its simple supply & Demand Folks!!
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Old 06-01-2009, 9:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DonS View Post
(Oh, and could we please get off the "because P25 decoding costs money" idea? Very few of us know what it actually costs a scanner manufacturer to include that feature today.)
DVSI gets about $300.00 per vo-coder....so there u go.
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Old 06-01-2009, 9:26 PM
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Originally Posted by joekansas View Post
Devils' advocate here. What's to keep the Chicoms' from reverse engineering it and mass reproducing it, like they do everything else. Patents and copyrights evidently don't carry any weight overseas...... What're ya gonna do?
Not much really, but until someone reverse-engineers the vo-coder it isn't here.
Besides, P25 is only popular here and not overseas in Europe or Asia, so the audience is very limited and probably not worthwhile to go though all the headaches to reverse-engineer it.
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Old 06-01-2009, 9:48 PM
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Originally Posted by KS4VT View Post
DVSI gets about $300.00 per vo-coder....so there u go.
LOL, Sure!
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Old 06-02-2009, 4:43 AM
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ok...so don't believe me. Call them up yourself and ask how much a single P25 license is.
I know someone who did and that is what he was told a few years back.
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Old 06-02-2009, 6:16 AM
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Originally Posted by KS4VT View Post
ok...so don't believe me. Call them up yourself and ask how much a single P25 license is.
I know someone who did and that is what he was told a few years back.
And you think the single license (most probably for a development license) is representative of what the license is for a product produced in the quantities that scanners are produced in?
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Old 06-02-2009, 6:30 AM
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Originally Posted by N_Jay View Post
And you think the single license (most probably for a development license) is representative of what the license is for a product produced in the quantities that scanners are produced in?
so tell us how much it is then. are you implying DVSI gives away the IMBE codec for a song or offers it under GPL?

I think it is fair to ASSume that digital scanners cost considerably more than analog only models because:

1)-there IS a licensing cost of acquiring the IMBE codec from DVSI and it's implementation into the final product

2)-the increased demand, with digital being thrust upon the public safety community the way it is, seems only logical that manufacturers want to capitalize on the market.

the price point isn't really too far out of line with the first Trunk Trackers about a decade ago when they first appeared. Only one company (Uniden) was bold enough to mass market a scanner capable of monitoring Motorola trunking and not fear the legal force of Ma M coming down on them back then. IIRC the BC-235 was around 400 dollars when first introduced in 1998 and the price never fell below 300 bucks until it was almost discontinued. Strictly supply and demand.
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Old 06-02-2009, 7:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTS2000des View Post
1)-there IS a licensing cost of acquiring the IMBE codec from DVSI and it's implementation into the final product
Nobody's arguing with you on that point, and nobody has suggested they're giving it away for free, offering it "for a song" or licensing it under a free license. I think you're ASSuming things yourself.
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Old 06-02-2009, 7:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KS4VT View Post
DVSI gets about $300.00 per vo-coder....so there u go.
then you are saying Radio iShack s losing $$ when they sell em for $299.00 or 279.00??? yeah riiiiighttttt

Last edited by AlabamaRS; 06-02-2009 at 7:33 AM..
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Old 06-02-2009, 9:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hfxChris View Post
Nobody's arguing with you on that point, and nobody has suggested they're giving it away for free, offering it "for a song" or licensing it under a free license. I think you're ASSuming things yourself.
so how much does the license cost? price structure, etc. Wasn't assuming anything, but since others claim to know how about posting the facts and figures rather than belittling and laughing at others who may not.

Obviously it is considerable being the difference price points are so great between an analog only Trunktracker and a digital capable one. What some would like to know is how much does DVSI charge the average scanner manufacturer for IMBE?
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:43 AM
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so how much does the license cost?
No idea, and I never claimed to know.
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Old 06-02-2009, 4:29 PM
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Originally Posted by MTS2000des View Post
so how much does the license cost? price structure, etc. Wasn't assuming anything, but since others claim to know how about posting the facts and figures rather than belittling and laughing at others who may not.
The people who know are almost certainly prohibited from disclosing such information.

The point is: we don't know what the scanner manufacturers' per-unit cost is for licensing DVSI's IMBE vocoder. It's likely we never will.

Quote:
Obviously it is considerable being the difference price points are so great between an analog only Trunktracker and a digital capable one.
I don't believe we can logically reach that conclusion ("obviously it is considerable"). There are too many other factors involved with digital vs. analog-only scanners. For example:
* number of models on the market
* size of market (i.e. units sold)
* price people are willing to pay
* other features (not related to digital operation) in available digital scanners that are not found in analog models

For all we know, the per-unit cost to manufacturers for the DVSI IMBE vocoder could be $100, $20, $1, or 25 cents, if there's a per-unit cost at all. Since we don't know, it's pointless (and somewhat silly) to claim that the prevalent $500 price tag for a digital scanner must, somehow, be based on such a licensing expense.
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Old 06-02-2009, 4:40 PM
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The largest non-hardware factor is R&D expense, but royalties/licensing costs also play a significant part.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTS2000des View Post
so tell us how much it is then.
I can't answer that. (mostly because whet I do know is under NDA, and I am very sure that the cost is different for each user depending on the quantity, the amount of support required, and the risk DVSI carries vs. the equipment manufacturer. (Typical contract terms)

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Originally Posted by MTS2000des View Post
are you implying DVSI gives away the IMBE codec for a song or offers it under GPL?
Hu?? Did I say or even imply so?
Or are you just arguing by intentionally twisting what was said (Or stupid enough that you realy don't understand what you read?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTS2000des View Post
I think it is fair to ASSume that digital scanners cost considerably more than analog only models because:

1)-there IS a licensing cost of acquiring the IMBE codec from DVSI and it's implementation into the final product

2)-the increased demand, with digital being thrust upon the public safety community the way it is, seems only logical that manufacturers want to capitalize on the market.
Did I say anything that disagrees with you assumption?
The issues being discussed is the amount, but that subtlety is easy for someone like you to miss.

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Originally Posted by MTS2000des View Post
the price point isn't really too far out of line with the first Trunk Trackers about a decade ago when they first appeared. Only one company (Uniden) was bold enough to mass market a scanner capable of monitoring Motorola trunking and not fear the legal force of Ma M coming down on them back then. IIRC the BC-235 was around 400 dollars when first introduced in 1998 and the price never fell below 300 bucks until it was almost discontinued. Strictly supply and demand.
Wow, now you are arguing with yourself. (why should I be surprised?)
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