Why is Uniden charging for DMR/Provoice

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kevOps2016

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I am confused and new to scanners, I purchased the Uniden BCD436HP because well you really couldn't get a good opinion on if this was better than the Whistler - WS1088 or TRX-1. Due to many folks saying that Uniden was a great all around I figured I would go for it. Now after having the scanner for just over a week, I find out that we have to pay to have the scanner upgraded to ProVoice and DMR yet this is a free upgrade by Whistler. Can anyone explain why Uniden charges for software upgrades and the competition doesn't? Are these that much better, I'm lost.
 

kevOps2016

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kevOps2016

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One note....Whistler doesn't currently offer ProVoice, only Uniden does.
You are correct ProVoice no but, MOTOTRBO and DMR they do. My bad on the ProVoice part however we still have to pay for DMR and I am not even sure what MOTOTRBO is, but I am reading the forums to learn as much as I can.

Whistler has announced updates for its WS1080 and WS1088 (handheld) and WS1095 and WS1098 (Desktop/mobile) scanners for DMR and MotoTRBO. These are free updates that are installed by updating the firmware in EZ-Scan. No ProVoice upgrades have been announced for Whistler scanners.

In addition, Whistler has announced 2 new scanners. The TRX-1 (handheld) and TRX-2 (desktop/mobile) will work on DMR and MotoTRBO out of the box and will be updatable later for NXDN. (Expected about January 2017.)
 

RRR

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I've had mine since November. Even Wal Mart's have been selling TRX radios for months. I've had NXDN in mine for a while now too....
 

ShyFlyer

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Technically speaking, Whistler isn't providing those protocols for "free." They are just built into the retail price. With Uniden it's extra since they added those protocols after the scanner was released.

It's a minor, but important, distinction.
 

gonefishn1

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Technically speaking, Whistler isn't providing those protocols for "free." They are just built into the retail price. With Uniden it's extra since they added those protocols after the scanner was released.

It's a minor, but important, distinction.
Hmmmmmm,,,,,Whistler has announced updates for its WS1080 and WS1088 (handheld) and WS1095 and WS1098 (Desktop/mobile) scanners for DMR and MotoTRBO. These are free updates that are installed by updating the firmware in EZ-Scan. Sounds like free to me.
 

ShyFlyer

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No need to be snarky about it. I was under the impression that Whistler shipped the units with the capability built in. I now stand corrected.
 

AlexC

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You guys also need to think of it from a bean counter/marketing perspective. If they charge money for the feature they are going to get a good idea of who is going to buy the feature. They know how many people will buy it etc.

If they just give it away they know that they sold 1000 scanners with features a b c d e f and g, but, not how often f, d, and b are used.

That's what is probably what one of their goals is by charging for it.
 

hiegtx

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Technically speaking, Whistler isn't providing those protocols for "free." They are just built into the retail price. With Uniden it's extra since they added those protocols after the scanner was released.

It's a minor, but important, distinction.
Uniden is paying a royalty fee for each upgrade, so the fee is at least in part a cost recovery, both of the royalty and the engineering internally to translate the capability into an updatable firmware. On the DMR systems, the Uniden scanners actually track the system (yes, some better than others as far as DMR types go).

The Whistler scanners 'free' upgrade gives the scanner the capability of decoding DMR & NXDN (for the TRX series), but it does not actually "follow" the system. As long as the system is not overly loaded, this works satisfactorily for most users. The DMR (MotoTRBO) and NXDN emission codes are open standards, so the ability to receive them only (not tracking) does not incur a royalty. The underlying trunking protocol would require a royalty to access, hence the fee Uniden charges. As Whistler is only providing the receive capability (although it does allow talkgroups to be entered), does not cost them a licensing fee, and thus is provided at no additional cost.
 

RRR

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Technically speaking, Whistler isn't providing those protocols for "free." They are just built into the retail price. With Uniden it's extra since they added those protocols after the scanner was released.

It's a minor, but important, distinction.
Considering the new Whistler and new Uniden's are about neck and neck in price with just a small amount of shopping around involved, I just don't see there being a noticeable markup in Whistlers. Besides, Whistler has said there will be more upgrades down the line for free (IE; at no additional charge).

(And Whistler will decode and monitor NXDN, has for months)

I have seen half a dozen improvements over firmware upgrades for my TRX-1 since I got it, and each one has noticeably improved my experience with the scanner. The TRX series was built to grow and expand.
 

wbswetnam

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Besides, Whistler has said there will be more upgrades down the line for free (IE; at no additional charge).
Upgraded features and tweaks, yes, but that does not necessarily mean new digital modes, such as dStar or ProVoice.
 
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TomTN

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As a "for profit" business, Uniden must do what it takes to cover their overhead plus turn a profit. If they do not do this then the scanner business would be discontinued. It is to our benefit for the scanner companies to find investing in scanners to be a profitable venture.
 

jonwienke

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Considering the new Whistler and new Uniden's are about neck and neck in price with just a small amount of shopping around involved, I just don't see there being a noticeable markup in Whistlers. Besides, Whistler has said there will be more upgrades down the line for free (IE; at no additional charge).

(And Whistler will decode and monitor NXDN, has for months)
Yes it decodes NXDN, but it doesn't track trunked NXDN, which means it doesn't follow conversations correctly on busy NXDN systems with multiple voice calls happening simultaneously.

Also, Uniden scanners have features Whistlers don't, like GPS-based location scanning, which is critical when traveling more than a few miles. So yes, you pay more with Uniden, but you ultimately get more.
 

N4GIX

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You are correct ProVoice no but, MOTOTRBO and DMR they do. My bad on the ProVoice part however we still have to pay for DMR and I am not even sure what MOTOTRBO is, but I am reading the forums to learn as much as I can.
DMR = MotoTRBO
MotoTRBO is simply Motorola's trademark name for their implementation of the DMR standard.
 

RRR

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Yes it decodes NXDN, but it doesn't track trunked NXDN, which means it doesn't follow conversations correctly on busy NXDN systems with multiple voice calls happening simultaneously.

Also, Uniden scanners have features Whistlers don't, like GPS-based location scanning, which is critical when traveling more than a few miles. So yes, you pay more with Uniden, but you ultimately get more.
With Whistler, I CAN hear NXDN, with Uniden, I can not.

I'd rather hear what I can, even in a slightly off format, than hear nothing at all. They systems I have been monitoring, it seems to track quite nicely.

And who said Whistler wasn't going to offer more *free* digital modes in the future? Those TRX babies were built for expansion!
 

jonwienke

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And who said Whistler wasn't going to offer more *free* digital modes in the future? Those TRX babies were built for expansion!
The same can be said of Uniden and the x36 line of scanners...
 
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