OnStar Digital Upgrade
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Cadillac STS Forum - 2005 through 2012 Discussion, OnStar Digital Upgrade in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Has anyone had the OnStar Digital upgrade yet? I would be curious as to your experiences with VR and/or any ...
  1. #1
    Fred_Mac's Avatar
    Fred_Mac is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    OnStar Digital Upgrade

    Has anyone had the OnStar Digital upgrade yet? I would be curious as to your experiences with VR and/or any other noticeable differences.

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    don_mccarter is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: OnStar Digital Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred_Mac
    Has anyone had the OnStar Digital upgrade yet? I would be curious as to your experiences with VR and/or any other noticeable differences.
    I have been trying to get the upgrade through my dealer for months,
    still no luck.

  4. #3
    seveputter is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: OnStar Digital Upgrade

    My dealer now offer the OnStar digital upgrade. The price and committment to OnStar is outrages, almost $2,000. I passed, can not justify the added benefit for the price. With everything else going on in the cabin, DVD, Dolby Suround, Navigation, voice command, blue tooth, i need no more gadgets. I just want to drive the car now. It took a month to figure out how to open my garage door.
    fester46581 and fester46581 like this.

  5. #4
    The Tony Show's Avatar
    The Tony Show is offline See you in the funny papers
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    Re: OnStar Digital Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by seveputter
    almost $2,000.
    Eh? If you pay for three years of service (497.99) then they'll do the upgrade for free. How the heck did they come up with $2000??

  6. #5
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: OnStar Digital Upgrade

    They had problems with the STS kits because Autocraft didn't realize there were two mirror options.
    I think they have gotten that fixed.
    Maybe not though. I still see only one kit number listed.
    The one I got yesteday is for a CTS-V.

    To get the upgrade you have to buy 3 years of service.
    - 3-year Safety and Security (S&S) ADT package: $549 plus tax (if applicable)

    - 3-year Directions and Connections (D&C) ADT package: $1099 plus tax (if applicable)

    - 3-year Luxury and Leisure (L&L) ADT package: $2159 plus tax (if applicable)

  7. #6
    RicksCTS is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: OnStar Digital Upgrade

    I'd gladly sign on for three more years, as long as I could keep my mirror with the compass.....

  8. #7
    Riggidy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: OnStar Digital Upgrade

    I have a CTS, but I got it done a month or so ago. They hadn't really heard about it, so I had to explain the details. But then they looked it up and did it for me.

    $550 for the 3 years of the Safe and Sound Plan. Lot of money up front, but I linked it to my Verizon phone. So it will be worth it.

    Just wanted to check out the STS side of things.

  9. #8
    Fred_Mac's Avatar
    Fred_Mac is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: OnStar Digital Upgrade

    I got a call from my dealer today that the kit is in for my STS. I will let you all know next week how things go ...

  10. #9
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    Re: OnStar Digital Upgrade

    The real question is...Does the Voice recognition system work better now? Is there any other benefits to upgrading that I am missing?

  11. #10
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: OnStar Digital Upgrade

    There are some noticable differences between the operation of the two systems. A few of the commands are different.
    I haven't used them enough to see, but honestly I am not the right person to ask anyway. I rarely have problems with VR on any of them because I practice the commands quite often while working on them. I wish I could say I know for a fact that they have revised the VR software but GM hasn't told us anything like that. I'll go see if I can find a bulletin or something to that effect.

    It's sad I know but this is all they tell us.
    If the OnStar system properly responds to any command, the hardware is assumed good and the customer should be directed to the description and operational characteristics in published Service Information (SI) and the Owners Manual. They may also be directed to contact OnStar and be connected with the voice recognition group for assistance with system operation and tips
    As far as the benefit of updgrading:
    The deal is, as I understand it that next year the FCC is practically forcing all transmission to a digital format. Analog is about to become a thing of the past. Now I am not sure how fast this will take place but basically everyone is already switching to digital equipment, like cell phones. As it stands, companies like cellular providers are currently maintaining networks for both analog and digital customers. Next year if the FCC starts revoking analog licenses and companies decide they only want to maintain one network instead of two (and why wouldn't they) everything will switch to digital and those with analog systems will be left out in the cold. That means if you don't have a dual mode OnStar unit that will work on a digital network, you won't have any service because no one will be providing it, there will be no network to handle your signal.
    Basically no digital upgrade = no service in the future. Strangely OnStar has chosen not to include any models prior to 2003 in this upgrade plan. I guess they figure you can either buy a new car or if you have a car 3 years old or older you just don't get OnStar anymore.

    Now, that is the way I understand it. There could be some holes in there big enough to drive a truck through so if someone has done more research I am all ears. I don't have time to hunt down the information to verify all of that so take it with a grain of salt. If I find out anything different I'll let you all know.

  12. #11
    Cajonkev's Avatar
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    Re: OnStar Digital Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by antddaddy
    The real question is...Does the Voice recognition system work better now?
    I almost...almost mind you wish I could laugh about this but it is of course "not funny". Nothing at all about/against antdaddy as this has been posed many times by many people.

    But perhaps we will be able to settle it at least for the moment with ewill3rd's asistance.

    For me the real question is? - Are we talking about the STS VR System, or the OnStar VR System?

    The VCM replacement that is accomplished per the TSB for the OnStar upgrade is NOT the same module as that which controls the vehicle VR System. These are two different beasts with two seperate issues. Yes they share the same mirror/microphone but the actual logic resides elsewhere. At least that is what three seperate Service Managers plus Cadillac CSC repeatedly tells me.

    Now granted I have not gone through the Service Manual(s) nor had someone from Tech Services explained the detailed linear path the VR system takes but it does make sense. The command prompts and responces are completely different for each system (STS vs. OnStar).

    So again no offense to anyone but as I keep trying to get info from GM on the VR system it seems to get muddied up a bit everytime the OnStar upgrade is mentioned and folks start asking about "VR" without being system specific.

    So hopefully the upgrade "does" help those with OnStar VR recognition issues.

    And...

    Hopefully provides a seperate fix for the vehicle VR issues that have plagued so many...

    Of course like everyone else I'm interested in hearing how this upgrade goes as well...

  13. #12
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: OnStar Digital Upgrade

    Let me check some information because I think (and I use that term loosely) that somehow the navigation VR actually does use the OnStar VR in concert with the logic in the nav unit.
    I was noticing this because of some schematics I saw on DTS because I had some really freaky problems with the Amplifier. Long story... anyway, let me research this.

    For the record, I use the term VR for both systems even though they seem different. I guess I should ask if you guys want to know about the nav VR features or the OnStar VR.

  14. #13
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: OnStar Digital Upgrade

    I can't find anything in print but I'll tell you what I see based on the schematics.
    There is one microphone in the car, it's tied into the VCIM (on an '06 DTS) and the VCIM takes your voice signal, interprets it and sends it along some wires to the Navigation radio, the radio then uses that signal as a controlling input. It makes sense to me actually that they might do it this way because otherwise they would have to have TWO sets of voice recognition hardware/software setups. This way they can use one box to handle speech recognition for two systems.

    Oh and it appears to be the same for the new STS as well.
    Attached Images

  15. #14
    Cajonkev's Avatar
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    Re: OnStar Digital Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by ewill3rd

    For the record, I use the term VR for both systems even though they seem different. I guess I should ask if you guys want to know about the nav VR features or the OnStar VR.
    Thanks for looking into some more for everyone's sake.

    I think the simple answer is we want to know about "both". There are some folks that use OnStar extensively and have posted threads on recognition problems especially when Digit Dialing. There is another group "including myself" that do not have need for the OnStar features but would really like to use the vehicle VR for Nav/Radio functions (forgetting the climate control and other features like windows that it is also linked to). And finally there is "everyone" who would like to see both work as advertised/designed.

    Now I can certainly believe that the VCIM may be responcible for decoding spoken commands and sending them to both systems. Why have a redundant system if one will do? However there really is conflicting info out there and I am sure there are at least a few of us that would just like to know what if anything is in progress.

    Regardless, thanks again and we'll look forward to whatever comes of it...

  16. #15
    Cajonkev's Avatar
    Cajonkev is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: OnStar Digital Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by ewill3rd
    This way they can use one box to handle speech recognition for two systems.
    \

    LOL, dueling keyboards...

    Yes it does make sense but then do you see where it is broken out to the OnStar portion of the system? And am I assuming correctly that both vehicles use the same overall NAV/Radio/Climate even though the hardware chassis may be different?

    The other thought that has been lingering is how much of the issues are related to decoding the spoken commands versus the logic itself? Depending on the programming this could be one or potentially two different/related issues. Is the VCIM not recognizing/decoding the commands or is the logic not managing the VCIM data properly. For one thing the vehicle is programmed to respond to many more commands than just what the OnStar system always has so at some point the VCIM's would have had to have been upgraded. Alas only GM can say what they have/are isolated and I guess the answer will come either through these upgrades or as yet released info still to come.

    As an afterthought, I did hear something sometime back that the VR commands for the vehicle actually reside on the DVD Nav disk and are not in the module programming itself. Decoding still has to take place to the universal form and then compared. That was six months ago as I recall though so I am not entirely sure.

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