Satellite Radio: Sirius/XM

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    Satellite Radio: Sirius/XM


    Any of you guys using satellite radios yet.

    I'm considering getting a receiver. I'm looking to get a 'walkman' type that connects to your car and/or home.

    I'm primarily interested in metal music and live sports, in particular, Yankee baseball.

    Looking for feedback on subscriptions, services, receivers, and channel selections.
    Last edited by David Dunn; 05-05-2005 at 12:07 PM.

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    I have the XM "MyFi" portable. It's awesome, don't know how I lived w/o it. One thing to keep in mind is the many repeaters that XM has installed in major metro areas. The XM receivers don't need "line of sight" if a repeater is nearby. Sirius has few repeaters.

    If you're into Stern than Sirius is the way to go; otherwise I'd opt for XM. The XM channel selection is awesome, but I have eclectic-tastes in music. I listen primarily to the news and house/electronica channels. The rock channels are solid, but cannibalize on each other. IMO there are too many which necessitates a lot of channel surfing.

    Whichever you choose I think you'll love it.
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    a guy here at work has Sirius and he loves it...he had XM and didnt like it as much as he does Sirius.
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    I've got sirius and love it. They've got a wide range of music and have a deal w/the NFL. As far as live sports go it really depends on what you want to listen to b/c between the two just about everything is covered. So it just depends on what sports you want to listen to and which one has more of the sports that you want.

    I've actually never listened to XM but from what I understand Sirius is geared more towards a younger crowd. So i would assume that sirius is gonna have a wider range of metal music but again i haven't heard XM.

    I've got a portable receiver also so I can bring it from the car to this house. You can run it through most radios but i'm looking to get one of the sirius boom box things. Only problem w/having it in the house is you need to have the receiver outside to pick up the satellite signal. I just have my receiver for the house hanging out of a window so it's not a big deal, but something to think about. Hope this helps a little.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks
    So it just depends on what sports you want to listen to and which one has more of the sports that you want.
    Baseball. Specifically Yankee baseball.
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    Quote Originally Posted by B5150
    Baseball. Specifically Yankee baseball.
    XM has all of the MLB games. Sirius has NFL.

    Unless the baseball games are the deciding factor, I believe both services offer a trial version online which will let you listen to their channels for free online for a couple of days so you can get a taste of the different types of music both play.

    I have XM personally and love it. I have not listened to regular radio in about 6 months. I couldn't stand the commercials and all of the morning talk radio on regular radio during my commute to work which is why I went to satellite.
    I cannot comment on XM vs. Sirius as I never had Sirius, but XM has a wide variety of channels and the music is very diverse with not just the mainstream music.
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    Can anyone comment on which service has better electronica (house/trance) selection?
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    I doubt too many have sampled both services, but XM has 4 house channels, two of them, "BPM" and "the system" are very solid. Major players run mixes for 4hour blocks on system. There are 4 channels in total, but I only listen the the two mentioned. 50% of my time on sat is spent listening to the electronica channels. Again, can't compare heads-up to Sirius as I've not sampled their selections, but XM is solid in electronica.
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    the long short answer


    I never owned an XM unit but a close friend of mine had one and it was terrible - reason being the reception. He has since switched over to Sirius.

    Both services (XM and Sirius) need line-of-sight for reception. Both services have repeaters (ground-based towers) but that's mainly only in urban areas where skyscrapers and tunnels would prevent any signal reception. BigSwede mentioned earlier that Sirius doesn't have as many repeaters. Not sure where that idea came from - as I live in North Jersey and have no problem at all with reception on my Sirius unit at home or whenever I go into NYC. The only time I'll really lose reception is going through long tunnels and such.

    Something else to remember when purchasing the units. If you buy what's called "plug-and-play" (this is the modular type that you can listen to in the car, then bring inside your house with you - these generally sit on your dashboard), you'll likely have to use an FM modulator (usually included with a car-kit) to hear the music through your factory radio - unless you have a newer car with an AUX jack for your radio. Problem with this is that you're going to lose out on one of the benefits of satellite radio, which is CD-quality, digital music. Obviously the drawback of replacing your existing car radio with a satellite-ready unit is the cost of installation and the fact that you can't bring it inside your house.

    Once Howard Stern signed with Sirius I bought a head unit to replace the one in my car. I don't care to have the plug-and-play unit because I wanted the better sound in the car, and to be honest, I don't really listen to much radio at home anyway (except when listening to the Yankees lose ).

    Pros:
    Nicer head-unit than factory radio
    Full advantage of satellite radio capability (cd-quality sound)
    More security (head unit has detachable face, plus you don't have something sitting on your dashboard in case you live in a higher-crime area)

    Cons:
    Higher equipment and installation costs
    You can't bring the unit inside with you to listen to satellite radio indoors

    As far as channel selection - both are very similar in their lineups with between 60-70 music channels, and another 100-120 talk channels. On Sirius I love Alt Nation (for alt rock), Octane (hard rock) and Area 63 (trance and house music). For sports Sirius has exlusive contracts with the NFL, NBA, and NHL (who got the sh*t end of that deal?), and some college hoops. I believe XM has exlusive rights to MLB broadcasts but I'm not positive.

    Long story short - both services are pretty similar as far as the majority of their content and pricing as well. Sirius has 3 satellites while XM has 2 so Sirius has better reception without having to rely on repeater towers. If MLB games are the deal-breaker - go with XM cause everything else is pretty similar. Me - I would've purchased whichever service Stern went to, as that pretty much made the decision for me.

    Just ask questions, do your research, and don't touch any AAS/PH/Satellite radio till you're 21.

    BP
    Last edited by BigP0ppa3; 05-05-2005 at 01:44 PM. Reason: spelling
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    NYC has something like 25 repeaters on XM... while Sirius has 4-6 last time I heard. This was from investor relations at both companies. My wife is a fund manager and has to have this info vetted before investing.

    You know more about the stuff than I, but you certainly don't need line of sight to the sat, that's what the repeaters are for. I use mine working out at my gym and have no problems on XM. A buddy that has a portable sirius unit can't use it in the same space w/o line of sight.

    Not to bash sirius... I simply went with XM as they had more ground repeaters

    I see repeaters as a bigger advantage. How often do you have line of sight in a bldg? My XM works great in my apartment w/o the sat antenna. To each his own, though. Sirius is a solid product.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigSwede
    NYC has something like 25 repeaters on XM... while Sirius has 4-6 last time I heard. This was from investor relations at both companies. My wife is a fund manager and has to have this info vetted before investing.

    You know more about the stuff than I, but you certainly don't need line of sight to the sat, that's what the repeaters are for. I use mine working out at my gym and have no problems on XM. A buddy that has a portable sirius unit can't use it in the same space w/o line of sight.

    Not to bash sirius... I simply went with XM as they had more ground repeaters

    I see repeaters as a bigger advantage. How often do you have line of sight in a bldg? My XM works great in my apartment w/o the sat antenna. To each his own, though. Sirius is a solid product.
    Agreed - line of sight is not necessary if a repeater is nearby.

    Like I said, I have Sirius and haven't had any real reception issues except when going through long tunnels (like the Lincoln tunnel) or some longer highway overpasses. I have the permanently mounted head unit so I can't really say how reception would be inside a building. At work though I do park in a concrete enclosed structure and I can still a signal.

    My sister has an XM unit and our reception is about the same.

    Like I said, the real deciding factor for me came down to content - I went with Sirius purely so I could keep listening to Stern - though both are solid products.

    BP
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    Yeah, no fun losing a signal in a tunnel or waiting in the drive-thru. Yeah, wish they'd workout some TiVo-like buffer so we can listen to a few minutes of music if we've lost LOS.

    Sirius definitely has better head-units. Love my MyFi.
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    Quote Originally Posted by B5150
    Baseball. Specifically Yankee baseball.
    So you are actually willing to pay to hear them lose?
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    George is spending a whole lot more...huh
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigP0ppa3
    Long story short - both services are pretty similar as far as the majority of their content and pricing as well. Sirius has 3 satellites while XM has 2 so Sirius has better reception without having to rely on repeater towers. If MLB games are the deal-breaker - go with XM cause everything else is pretty similar. Me - I would've purchased whichever service Stern went to, as that pretty much made the decision for me.

    Just ask questions, do your research, and don't touch any AAS/PH/Satellite radio till you're 21.

    BP
    I'm anal about research and wanted to get some user feedback as well. The Stern Show, and Yankee Baseball are the two (factors outside of technology) weighing factors at this time. I'm Brooklyn born and raised, living in AZ and love the NYC 'spirit' of the Stern Show...and I love my Yankees (though not their most stellar start).
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigP0ppa3
    I never owned an XM unit but a close friend of mine had one and it was terrible - reason being the reception. He has since switched over to Sirius.

    Both services (XM and Sirius) need line-of-sight for reception. Both services have repeaters (ground-based towers) but that's mainly only in urban areas where skyscrapers and tunnels would prevent any signal reception. BigSwede mentioned earlier that Sirius doesn't have as many repeaters. Not sure where that idea came from - as I live in North Jersey and have no problem at all with reception on my Sirius unit at home or whenever I go into NYC. The only time I'll really lose reception is going through long tunnels and such.

    Something else to remember when purchasing the units. If you buy what's called "plug-and-play" (this is the modular type that you can listen to in the car, then bring inside your house with you - these generally sit on your dashboard), you'll likely have to use an FM modulator (usually included with a car-kit) to hear the music through your factory radio - unless you have a newer car with an AUX jack for your radio. Problem with this is that you're going to lose out on one of the benefits of satellite radio, which is CD-quality, digital music. Obviously the drawback of replacing your existing car radio with a satellite-ready unit is the cost of installation and the fact that you can't bring it inside your house.

    Once Howard Stern signed with Sirius I bought a head unit to replace the one in my car. I don't care to have the plug-and-play unit because I wanted the better sound in the car, and to be honest, I don't really listen to much radio at home anyway (except when listening to the Yankees lose ).

    Pros:
    Nicer head-unit than factory radio
    Full advantage of satellite radio capability (cd-quality sound)
    More security (head unit has detachable face, plus you don't have something sitting on your dashboard in case you live in a higher-crime area)

    Cons:
    Higher equipment and installation costs
    You can't bring the unit inside with you to listen to satellite radio indoors

    As far as channel selection - both are very similar in their lineups with between 60-70 music channels, and another 100-120 talk channels. On Sirius I love Alt Nation (for alt rock), Octane (hard rock) and Area 63 (trance and house music). For sports Sirius has exlusive contracts with the NFL, NBA, and NHL (who got the sh*t end of that deal?), and some college hoops. I believe XM has exlusive rights to MLB broadcasts but I'm not positive.

    Long story short - both services are pretty similar as far as the majority of their content and pricing as well. Sirius has 3 satellites while XM has 2 so Sirius has better reception without having to rely on repeater towers. If MLB games are the deal-breaker - go with XM cause everything else is pretty similar. Me - I would've purchased whichever service Stern went to, as that pretty much made the decision for me.

    Just ask questions, do your research, and don't touch any AAS/PH/Satellite radio till you're 21.

    BP
    sirius fan here as well. (20) octane never leaves the dial. awesome station.
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    I have xm radio and love it. Squiz is a very good chanel. Also they have Opie and Anthony which I like alot better then Stern and they have little Jimmy Norton on the show.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebub
    sirius fan here as well. (20) octane never leaves the dial. awesome station.
    Octane is a great station - I basically leave it on Octane(20) or Alt Nation(21) - I haven't listened to regular radio since I got my Sirius except for Stern in the mornings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigP0ppa3
    Octane is a great station - I basically leave it on Octane(20) or Alt Nation(21) - I haven't listened to regular radio since I got my Sirius except for Stern in the mornings.
    speaking of which, what station is stern supposed to be on when he comes to sirius in january?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebub
    speaking of which, what station is stern supposed to be on when he comes to sirius in january?
    I heard him talking about this the other day - he'll be on channel 69

    he's also getting control of 3 more channels as far as the programming - no idea what shows will be on there or what numbers they'll be yet. he said he wanted 1, 2, and 3 - but I doubt they'll give him those.

    BP
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    We had an early Christmas with the family this year as we will be out of town for the actual Christmas/New Year week.

    My wife got me this unit:
    http://www.sirius.com/servlet/Conten...=1126670694040

    with the home kit:
    http://www.sirius.com/servlet/Conten...=1126670694091

    The thing is, it is not portable, as in a 'walkman' type of unit. It needs an FM receiver to play the audio and it is not (DC-battery capable). I can use it in my car; that means those 30-40 mins on the drive to work and those 30-40 mins on the drive home. I can use it at home...I never have the environmental conditions at home to listen to music, plus I have digital cable which has plenty of digital music.

    The only tuely portable 'walkman' type of unit I could find is this:
    http://www.sirius.com/servlet/Conten...=1130363753674

    I am not about to spend $325 bones on a unit. Yeah, it has mp3 , download capability, etc, etc. I'm just looking to listen to the Stern Show and maybe some of the other comedian shows that Sirius broadcast so I am able to get through my 12 hours workdays with some good laughs. And maybe I'll rock from time to time while I'm at it.

    Should I just wait 6 months to a year when the unit I want becomes much cheaper? Do you guys have any leads on the type of unit I am after without the high $$'s that I am finding?
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    that is the only portable player i've seen for sirius too. i looked at it yesterday in circuit city was surprised at how big it was...and expensive. I'm hoping they'll knock it down to about 1/4 that size and make it cheaper. i mean hell, you still have to pay the monthly subscription.
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    Go out and grab an xm roady2 . I'm a yankees fan and can get the games on radio out of buffalo only if the stars are aligned and the weather is perfect. It came down to sports for me and between MLB, NHL, college football and basketball (XM has Big Ten, ACC and Pac 10) and the fact than I've given up Stern for Opie and Anthony, I had to get XM . The roady2 including the car kit is only $50 and I got the home kit online for $30. Thats a lot cheaper than what I would pay to get YES network and MSG to get Rangers games on the dish and i don't miss games when I'm at work anymore.
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    I have had XM for over a year now and love it. i went out to death valley all the way to bad water and had full bars the whole time. You don't need a tower you just need to know how to use your radio. Sirus is not that great in my eyes. It has stern but that is it. Xm on the other hand has tons of great stuff. Opie and Anthony will beat Howard any day.
  

  
 

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