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thoughts on XM vs. Sirius?

   Discussion: thoughts on XM vs. Sirius?
JMD · 18 years, 10 months ago
I think this was discussed on FHDC before, but I couldn't find the topic so maybe I'm just making stuff up. Anyway, satellite radio is supposed to be available in Canada "very soon" and I was wondering if anyone had thoughts on which service to go with? I haven't had an opportunity to listen to either before.
Starfox Back · 18 years, 10 months ago
We went with Sirius, partly because of their Lifetime Buy ($500, and never pay another bill, expires 12/31/05 tho). A good comparison is here.

As with anything, your personal tastes kinda dictate which you'll probably like better.
Josh Woodward Back · 18 years, 10 months ago
It's worth noting that the "lifetime" applies to the lifetime of the unit, not your body.
Starfox Back · 18 years, 10 months ago
And noting that you can "move" your "lifetime" subscription up to three times (not counting defective units or stolen equipment. Kinda makes it worth it.
nate... Back · 18 years, 10 months ago
honestly? I don't see the point.

The reception (on the two different installs I've tried) seems to be even suckier than regular FM radio..... and it actually costs money for no apparent reason.


I'll stick with local radio and mix cds.

Starfox Back · 18 years, 10 months ago
Our reception has been awesome on our Clarion SIRPNP unit except during heavy downpours.

And it costs money because there are no commercials, and *gasp* actual variety! Try getting that in any Clear Channel dominated market.

I love it because I can get electronic/techo/dance, blues, real country music, and blue grass and a ton of other types of music you would NEVER hear on commercial FM radio.
Talcott Back · 18 years, 10 months ago
Funny, that's why I listen to public radio ;-)
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 18 years, 10 months ago
ditto. Between the Folk on WFUV, the Jazz and blues no WBGO, and the talk and classical music on WNYC AM and FM there is pretty much always something I want to hear on the radio. I listen to WQXR second only to FUV, that's the local commercial classical station.
nate... Back · 18 years, 10 months ago
ahh, but you're in texas.

In the northeast, we have a lot of these things known as "mountains" (or, more accurately, "hills")

Starfox Back · 18 years, 10 months ago
Worked fine on our drive to Eastern New Mexico which has decent sized mountains.
nate... Back · 18 years, 10 months ago
well, then, I don't know what to tell ya.... there's clearly some difference between our experiences.... hardware? location?

Starfox Back · 18 years, 10 months ago
Possibly both. There may very well be other sources of interference in the Northeast that could be preventing the antenna from receiving the signal clearly. Not sure how since the Satellite radio band is pretty far out of other bands, but *shrug*.

Can also be hardware, when I was researching units, there were a few that were dinged because of poor signal reception.
JMD Back · 18 years, 10 months ago
I've been interested in satellite because where I am located (eastern Nova Scotia) we get a grand total of 3 radio stations (4 if you count CBC in French). Including one that has radio bingo and "Ceilidh time", which is pretty much all fiddle music (no singing). Assuming we get decent reception, satellite will at least give us some more non-fiddle choices.
Brian Dinsky · 18 years, 10 months ago
Sure, I sell em at work, but I don't care about that. I can, however, use my knowledge to help other people know what is out there.

A lot of people are finding Sirius to be a very attractive offer, obviously partly because of Howard Stern, but the price of the Starmate car unit is pretty damn cheap right now. Right now (at Radio Shack, anyhow), the Starmate started out at $99.99, went down to $79.99, and are now fixed at $39.99 - $10 (MIR), netting $29.99 + tax.

If I didn't hate radio so damn much, I'd buy one. I've even had a customer buy two of them just so he could set the wiring up in two cars, and just move the receiver between them. Of course, a second receiver is only $6.95 ($5.95?) more per month on an account.

I should probably add that the Starmate unit has a non-permanent (yeah, yeah, temporary) installation, as it has a built-in FM transmitter (which doesn't suck, surprisingly), a suction-mount, magnet-mount antenna, and a remote control. The home kit ($39.99) may or may not entice people, as it (only) contains an non-car antenna, and a AC power cord. If that's worth $39.99 to you, go for it. You COULD just get a DC>AC power converter for like $20-$25, but then you have to worry about the antenna.

As far as the programming itself is concerned, I absolutely hate the radio for many reasons, but I really CAN find something good to listen to every single time I look. There's something like 120 stations, and just being able to hear random live Phish, and the occasional Zappa tune makes me think it's worth it. If I didn't have a 60gb iPod, and the sweetest friggin' mount/charger/fm transmitter EVER MADE (DLO's Transpod. The damn thing KICKS ASS. White version, I couldn't say as to any performance differences between that and the newer silver/black units), I would consider getting satellite radio.

There are other models of Sirius hardware out there, like the Orbiter, and the Sportster. The Sportster and the Starmate both have Replay versions available, which can record up to 44 (weird, eh?) minutes of audio. Call it a PAR, whatever. I don't personally think the difference in price for the Replay feature is worth it, but what good is my opinion seeing as how I don't own any of this stuff.

I'll be damned if the Starmate isn't a friggin' deal and a half, though. There's some also very minimalistic (no screen) new piece called the Sirius One.

Don't know much about XM.

Hope this helps in some way.
Misch · 18 years, 10 months ago
I'm kinda pissed off at Sirius, ever since they dropped the Folktown stream and replaced it with a stream of muzak.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 18 years, 10 months ago
That's why the Kennedys moved? Did you write Sirius?
Will work for anime · 18 years, 10 months ago
i don't have either at the moment (tho my husband and i have been considering getting sirius soon) but as far as content goes, my one friend loves XM because he gets his "Phish Friday" which i guess are live Phish shows everyfriday, if your into that kind of thing. Also he travels around the east coast quite a bit and through XM he can get traffic updates and warnings where ever he's going. my other friend has sirius and is able to listen to hockey all the time. I know that both Larry King and Martha Stewart both have channels on Sirius (which may persuade or disuade you to get it ;-). We may get Sirius so we can keep listening to Howard Stern next year.
Misch · 18 years, 10 months ago
Yes I did, and I'm writing again. Basically to say that I gave it a try, and I still think the "Coffee Shop" muzak channel sucks. (Although I have to admit that they've played a *tiny* fraction of folktown stuffs, some Dylan, the occasional Dar Williams song, Lucinda Williams, Donovan, and a few others.

other than that, it's pretty much been the DMB/Coldplay/Billie Holiday stream.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 18 years, 10 months ago
You seem to have forgotten your old friend the reply button.

Billie Holiday almost makes it worth while.
goovie is married! Back · 18 years, 10 months ago
we didn't realize that folk town had been dropped when we rented a car with a sirius satellite radio for our christmas trip to maryland...and we're seriously (no pun intended) disappointed with most of what we've heard on sirius before. disorder and left of center have offered some interesting stuff, but "coffee house" is painfully lame.

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