Receiving newsletters from the mainstream radio scanner manufactures is a great way to keep bang up to date with any new gear about to be released or at the very least any radio scanner advances being considered but it does sometimes highlight how seldom shiny new radios get produced.
I look forward to these goldmines of information floating into my email inbox but their lack of scanner content and recent events has got me a little worried about what we can expect to see in the way of new scanners in the near future.
The Waiting Game
Uniden have surpassed themselves recently with the BCD436HP and BCD536HP twin base/handheld units which have more than a few years of usability ahead of them unless the trunking networks change radically, something that’s always a danger as we become more reliant on the various trucking systems.
Does this mean that Uniden are going to kick back and concentrate on the other products they make for who knows how many years?. This thought kind of worries me a little and not because there will be nothing to write about but its just healthy for hobby radio to keep a certain momentum going with the amount of new equipment released.
Retailers will only sell a certain product if they can guarantee a volume of sales that justify the cost of advertising the products in the first place. A massive slow down in new scanner production could spell problems for the whole hobby.
Uniden have a huge chunk of the radio scanner market with some great models released in recent years and after their latest offering have sunk in and become a little old hat we can only hope there will be something even better to look forward to not that far away.
New Kids on the Block
Its not all bad though as Whistler have stepped up to fill the gap with 4 new radio scanners that can only be a few months away for hitting the shelves. The 2 models at the top of the range look promising while the others will nicely fill gaps in the scanner market opened up after the fall of GRE.
My one hope with Whistler is they really get it together next year and bring out some innovative scanners that will feed a bit more competition into the market. More competition will help drive down prices while bringing new features to the scanners that make it to the shops.