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Uniden at CES 2014

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DaveIN

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I just saw UPMan's picture and a mention from Gordo (Gordon West, WB6NOA), that Paul will reveal some very exiting news at the January 7~10th, CES show. Ham Nation 127 | TWiT.TV

The mention starts at timestamp 19:00:00. It also showed a previous picture of the HP-1 and a GRE PSR-500 (that I doubt you'll see the 500 again unless it's a Whistler version).:twisted:
 

wallyp

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CES Booth Locations

Requesting the location for booth where the Uniden scanners will be on display.at CES and will UPMan be there in person?
 

UPMan

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We will be in a hotel suite for private meetings only. I will be there, but the appointments are only through our sales personnel. I regret that it is not more public, but that is how we are rolling this year. But, you can catch me here at incredibly odd dates and times. :)
 

br0adband

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Wow, and here I am living just down the street from all the events and no public presence at CES? That was pretty much the only reason I went through the trouble to get passes, geez. Ah well, technically CES isn't an event for "consumers" as odd as that seems; it's an event for industry types to talk about and show off their wares they intend to sell to consumers so I suppose it all works out.

Boy, times really are changin'... :(
 

Boatanchor

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I just saw UPMan's picture and a mention from Gordo (Gordon West, WB6NOA), that Paul will reveal some very exiting news at the January 7~10th, CES show. Ham Nation 127 | TWiT.TV

The mention starts at timestamp 19:00:00. It also showed a previous picture of the HP-1 and a GRE PSR-500 (that I doubt you'll see the 500 again unless it's a Whistler version).:twisted:
From the video "will be announcing two very exciting products that will knock your socks off" lol.

Whats the bet the big announcement will be the 436HP and 536HP..

What I'd like to see now are some lower spec digital scanners that will compare in price and performance to the PSR500 & 396XT. Something that is $100 or more cheaper than the new scanners being released next month.

There's plenty of people out there that just want a simple, no frills, P25 scanner and don't want to pay $500-$600 for something with all the bells and whistles like the HP's.

I've got a feeling if Uniden don't produce something like this, Whistler stands to clean up, if/when they re-release the PSR-500 at <$400.
 

wallyp

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CES 2014

Last question on CES, will there be any brochures, spec sheets, handouts on the new scanners at any Uniden location at CES?
 
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From the video "will be announcing two very exciting products that will knock your socks off" lol.

Whats the bet the big announcement will be the 436HP and 536HP..

What I'd like to see now are some lower spec digital scanners that will compare in price and performance to the PSR500 & 396XT. Something that is $100 or more cheaper than the new scanners being released next month.

There's plenty of people out there that just want a simple, no frills, P25 scanner and don't want to pay $500-$600 for something with all the bells and whistles like the HP's.

I've got a feeling if Uniden don't produce something like this, Whistler stands to clean up, if/when they re-release the PSR-500 at <$400.
PSR 500? Why? The PSR 800 would be bettter. I do not think tha tthe PSR 500 can decode P25 Phase 2 - TDMA. I think that the PSR 800 can decode P25 Phase 2 - TDMA. Correct? Unless they plan to include TDMA in the PSR 500.
 

Boatanchor

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PSR 500? Why? The PSR 800 would be bettter. I do not think tha tthe PSR 500 can decode P25 Phase 2 - TDMA. I think that the PSR 800 can decode P25 Phase 2 - TDMA. Correct? Unless they plan to include TDMA in the PSR 500.
True, the PSR500 can't do TDMA, but not everybody wants or needs that capability.
Uniden have produced something like the PSR800, it's called the 436HP @ $499!
It's been done..

What I'm saying, is that what some people need is simply an updated version of the 396xt. Something that works well on analogue and plain old P25 Phase 1. Something that doesn't necessarily have 50 Million memory channels, audio recording features and/or coffee making facilities.

In other words, an updated 396XT style scanner with a price point somewhere between the BC125AT and the 436HP. Hopefully, closer in price to the 125AT than the 436HP :)

I might also add, that the 436HP is not exactly a compact scanner compared to the 396XT or the 125AT.
If you like carting a brick around on your belt then the 436HP will suit you down to the ground. If on the other hand, you prefer something that you can put in your pocket, then this may be another compelling argument for an updated 396xt style unit.
 
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br0adband

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While I'm not privy to the specifics of Uniden's finances or business dealings, nor of GRE's when they around or obviously with Whistler now either, I'm pretty sure that as soon as you add P25 decoding capability (in any mode, Phase I, X2-TDMA, or the new Phase II formats) that basically doubles or practically doubles the cost of the scanner(s), maybe a little more, maybe a little less. As I've always understood things the licensing fees for the vocoder firmware/software as well as the actual hardware for digital decoding (I could be wrong on this, so don't flame me to pieces, will you) are what have been responsible for the huge variance in pricing between digital and analog scanners, especially when most every other aspect of the devices tends to be the same with minor differences (more memory on the 396T, maybe slightly more open frequency coverage, etc).

Either way (above or below), it's a significant chunk of the cost of such models compared to their pure analog brethren these days and it's been that way since basically the BC-396T came out vs the very similiar in most respects BC-246T save for additional memory, a slightly different form factor, and of course the digital decoding capability.

After almost 10 years now with digital capable scanners I had hoped to see some price drops in terms of retail levels but it hasn't nor will it happen anytime soon it seems. The basic gist of it is this:

If you want a digital capable scanner (of any kind) these days and you're not looking to pay full retail meaning typically at least $499 brand new then your only option is to buy the last generation hardware - which is still quite capable for the most popular digital format, P25 Phase I - in used condition from eBay or craigslist or wherever you can find it I suppose. Even refurbs seem to have incredibly high price tags when you can find them.

I wish things were different, like many of us do, and I hate to see my CES passes go to waste but honestly there's not much of anything this year that's drawing me to head down the road a ways next week and drop in, sadly, not even Whistler's presence where they may or may not show off anything they're working on. :(
 

pdfdems286

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don't get me wrong, i like my psr-500, but if they get re-introduced at $400.00, i'd save my bucks and get a bcd436hp. can do so much more. just my .02 cents. plus it's only around 99 dollhairs more.
 

Boatanchor

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Well, Uniden can try and keep charging $500-$600 for a digital scanner but the fact of the matter is that at that price point, the Uniden and Whistler products really only appeal to the enthusiasts and those with money to burn.

For many others, particularly others wishing to set up a home based monitoring system, the SDR route offers a compelling alternative competing technology for 1/20th of the price.. And, I've got to wonder, once software like DSD and DSDPlus become widely known and adopted in the community, how many people will continue to spend $600 on a 'hardware and software constrained' base scanner that is only capable of receiving one or two digital voice standards for example?

Sure, us enthusiasts will pay $500-600 for a scanner, but that remains a lot of money in anyone's language. For the same $'s your average punter can pick up a nice high end tablet/phone that has many uses and almost unlimited apps, including streaming scanner channels. A scanner on the other hand, will only ever be a scanner..

I'm not saying that Uniden and Whistler scanners aren't great products for what they are - They are. But times sure are a changing quickly..

SDR is the future. Traditional 'hardware constrained' scanners and receivers are quickly being overtaken by SDR and first generation digital decoding platforms available right now. I don't think it will be long (12-18months is my prediction) before someone produces an open standard, handheld, 30Mhz - 2Ghz SDR based platform that incorporates something like DSDplus.

I've got to say that as an enthusiast, I've become a little less enamored and excited about the upcoming product releases since playing with a FCDPro+ and certain freeware software based decoders over the last few months.
 
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Dafe1er

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I agree Boatanchor!

I see the newer scanners being paperweights for desk. Everything is gearing more and more to the "PC/Tablet" side of things.

People like me that have spent thousands of dollars over the years to listen to things are really liking the new wave of technology coming out like the dongles, DSD, DSDPlus, SDR etc...

The new scanners are nice and would be great to have but when all the departments and Municipalities go encrypted there is going to be NO scanner out to Decrypt them. I do believe I remember seeing a year or two ago someone saying that scanners will not be around in 10 years due to encryption. This might be true to some extent.

I also think that either Uniden or Whistler or maybe both should come out with a lower dollar scanner for consumers. $199.99 or lower. It should have a built in tap (like the 800) and have the capability to do analog and digital signals. There are still some places and people using analog and to spend over $500 to listen to those freq's is not needed. I would love to have this type of scanner to just leave on the desk and run DSD with rather than my 15 year old scanner.
 

R8000

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I agree Boatanchor!

I see the newer scanners being paperweights for desk. Everything is gearing more and more to the "PC/Tablet" side of things.
I don't.

I just want a scanner to be....a scanner. Having a tablet based scanner just screams wanting it to be linked to your google/youtube/facebook/bank account/porta potty or whatever.

I just want a scanner to be a scanner. It only has one job in life, to scan channels. Not sync my life to google +.

To be clear, I like the features the new Uniden has on it. I like the idea of it having Wi Fi for remote capability...that's pretty cool and useful to me. But, it's still a stand alone scanner, not dependent on something booting up. I like the idea of a device that has one job in the world having dedicated display and controls.

I can also see how some users may benefit from having a SDR like radio.

For me, if I install a scanner in my car, I want it to turn on rather quickly and not have to boot a OS in order to use it or worry about being pulled over for "texting" when I am just adjusting a setting on my tablet controlled scanner. Sure you can argue with the cop but he's gonna see the tablet and assume your on Facebook or something.
 
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RadioDaze

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I agree with R8000. Give me a real radio, with real buttons, that isn't pulling double-duty with anything else. I want to be able to change a function by feel without taking my eyes off the road, or by reaching down to my belt if I'm walking. I wouldn't mind using a tablet to control a scanner that's in another room of the house - I think that'll really handy. Or even to tune in my home-based scanner if something happens in my neighborhood while I'm far from home. But I wouldn't dare try controlling my scanner via a tablet while driving. I STILL want to see a dedicated, hardware remote head. GRE looked like they'd be the first before the wheels fell off of their cart. Uniden came close in the past, but it was just a tiny bit kludgy and probably unprofitable. I want the next generation of radios to have a detachable front panel. If that means licensing someone else's patent and re-tooling, I'd gladly pay $50-$100 extra for that radio. In the meantime, I'm glad we still have buttons on Uniden's new offerings.

But if manufacturers think the scanning hobby has a limited number of years remaining, then we probably won't see too much more hardware evolution.
 

Boatanchor

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Its all 'horses for courses'.

I agree that a dedicated mobile scanner is the best option for the vehicle due to the necessity of a simple and clean user interface that SDR simply can't match (at the moment). As a mobile scanner though, I would have thought that mounting options in today's increasingly common compact cars and trucks, would have been right at the top of the design priorities. I myself would have preferred a remote head configuration, with the guts of the radio in the trunk and a simple, compact controller up on the dash. Uniden themselves have managed to incorporate similar controllers in sub $400 UHF transceivers in other markets, so it can be done and presumably with little re-tooling.

Instead, Uniden have chosen to implement something like a remote head with Wifi and some form of Android app, but once you go down this route, you may as well install a laptop/SDR combo in the trunk and use your 'I' Device on the dash to control it.. :)

It's a bit funny really.. Uniden appear to be targeting the same Tablet and computer savvy crowd, that are more likely to be the ones embracing SDR. So much for those people arguing strongly that they only want a radio with "real buttons and knobs", It's obviously cheaper to incorporate WIFI and pay some pimple faced teenager $10 an hour to write a new app than to re-tool the hardware to incorporate a separate control head :)

To me, the 436HP makes a lot more sense than the 536HP and that will be the unit I will probably be purchasing :)
 

pepsima1

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SDR radios are going to be the future for sure. DSD+ is already working really good with DMR MOTOTRBO, and NXDN decoding. Not perfect but pretty good.

Who knows what the future will hold when these software defined radios will have the capability to decode encrypted traffic. Of course it would have to be someone from a different country to write the software and code to do that but anything is possible at this point. Scanners will never be-able to.
 

kd7eir

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True, the PSR500 can't do TDMA, but not everybody wants or needs that capability.
Uniden have produced something like the PSR800, it's called the 436HP @ $499!
It's been done..

What I'm saying, is that what some people need is simply an updated version of the 396xt. Something that works well on analogue and plain old P25 Phase 1. Something that doesn't necessarily have 50 Million memory channels, audio recording features and/or coffee making facilities.

In other words, an updated 396XT style scanner with a price point somewhere between the BC125AT and the 436HP. Hopefully, closer in price to the 125AT than the 436HP :)

I might also add, that the 436HP is not exactly a compact scanner compared to the 396XT or the 125AT.
If you like carting a brick around on your belt then the 436HP will suit you down to the ground. If on the other hand, you prefer something that you can put in your pocket, then this may be another compelling argument for an updated 396xt style unit.

The 436HP is .40" wider, .28" thicker, .95" taller than the 396XT, and weighs 2.7 ounces more than the 396XT - hardly a brick by comparison.

Since you do not want the additional features/capabilities of the 436HP, what, exactly, are you suggesting be "updated" on a 396xt style unit? I must be missing something here...

I just cannot see an incremental upgrade to a 396xt style scanner making any economic sense to a manufacturer at all. If someone wants a better scanner than the 396xt, they would buy the obvious replacement for it, the 436HP.
 

Boatanchor

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I just cannot see an incremental upgrade to a 396xt style scanner making any economic sense to a manufacturer at all. If someone wants a better scanner than the 396xt, they would buy the obvious replacement for it, the 436HP.
Umm, how about Whistler re-introducing the PSR500 and retailing it for ~$350?
I realize we are comparing apples with oranges here, but how many 436HP sales are going to evaporate overnight once your competitor brings a digital scanner to market for $150 less than your latest show pony? Sure, some will need the Phase 2 capability of the HP scanners, but not all..

Uniden seem to be claiming that the 4/536HP scanners are the cream of the crop, best of the best or top of the range. That's all fine, but not everybody wants/needs/can afford the top of the line scanner..

The 396XT on the other hand has proved to be a tough, reliable little performer over the last 4 - 5 years, but it is likely reaching the product's EOL. An updated 396XT with improved audio (the existing 396XT audio is terrible on head/earphones), some minor firmware fixes to increase the talkgroup capacity and maybe even a minor external facelift and then retailed for ~$350 would fill the void nicely between the 346XT and the 436HP scanner lineup. Not to mention, it would give the new Whistler PSR500's some serious sales competition. A $150 'premium' applied to the 436HP seems appropriate for the additional bells and whistles minus the cost of batteries, wall charger etc.

Anyway, we'll see what eventuates but I know for a fact that Uniden are currently selling many hundreds, if not thousands of 396XT's into other markets (Countries) that do not utilize phase 2 in a big way, with potential for many more to be sold over the next few years as more P25 Phase 1 networks continue to be rolled out. It would be a shame if this model/form factor and price point were completely discarded by Uniden.

Regardless, clearly Uniden can't keep selling the 396XT for $499 if the new model is the same RRP.

I would not expect to get any indication from Uniden that there may be another 'lower spec' digital scanner in the works as this would potentially impact on the hype surrounding the release of the 4/536HP units. There is also little pressure from it's competitor at the moment, but this would change very quickly if Whistler get it's act together and starts shipping product.

Therefore, I predict that any new 'lower tier' digital product announcements won't materialize until the new HP units have been on the market for a few months, the pent up demand/hype for the high end models has stabilized and Whistler bring their models to market.
 
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