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New to Sat Radio - XM Questions

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by JackF, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. JackF

    JackF Member

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    Hello! I'm new here and had a question about sat radio, specifically XM Radio.

    I've decided to try out XM Radio and am interested in the SkyFi2 receiver.

    I want to use this receiver for home and in the car.

    Now, the SkyFi2 comes with a FM modulator, so all I have to do is place it next to a FM radio and tune it in. Correct?

    What kind of audio quality will I get while using the FM modulator in my car? Can I just buy a cradle, install the cradle in car, and use the FM modulator in the SkyFi2 and expect good results? Or is it best to buy one of those kits that use a cassette tape?

    I will probably use this more at home than in the car, so does the SkyFi2 work with that boom box I see sold in stores that's made for the SkyFi1? How does that boom box sound?

    Also, when using it inside the home, will I have to run an antenna outside or always hook up a wire antenna next to a window?

    Does the SkyFi2 scroll sport scores?

    What's the word on this receiver? Is it good? Bad? Kicks butt?

    I have only seen the SkyFi2 on the net. I haven't really looked for one in the store. Do you think the big stores like Circuit City will have it?

    What kind of billing options does XM have? Will I be forced to pay once a month or do they have a six-month or one year option?

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to hearing the MLB baseball broadcast on XM in 2005. I've bought the MLB audio Internet package for my computer the last three years. It should be nice to just quickly flip to an XM channel and hear my Cubs or Giants or Dodgers, as opposed to getting on the MLB website and logging it, which takes some time using a dial up connection.

    Also, I'm planning on getting my brother a SkyFi1 for Christmas. Shoot, they are only like $65.00 in Wal-Mart. What's the easiest way for him to hook it up to his car? Is using the cassette adaptor thing the way to go with the SkyFi1?

    What really got me onto getting an XM is one of my relatives got an XM radio for his car (he's a NASCAR fan). I had a chance to play with it and really thought it was cool.

    I'm wondering if, since they already have Nascar, they might also add the Indy 500, Indy Racing League, Champar World Series, and Formula One race sometime in the future?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Jack,

    I can sort of talk from experience and from
    things that I hear regarding the SkyFi 2.

    First, from all the initial reviews from
    Ziggy and members of XM411.COM, I can
    tell you that the SKYFI 2 is not only a huge
    hit but a huge improvement over the initial
    SKYFI unit (which I am using).

    Sound quality output has been greatly improved
    thanks to the fact that this unit generates a
    higher output level than the original.

    I will always tell people that a direct connection
    to your car's head unit will give you the best
    sound over FM Modulation anyday. On the other
    hand, after reading Ziggy's review on XM411.COM
    I was surprised to learn that he found the sound
    output through the FM Modulation just as good as
    a direct connection. This is something I have to
    hear for myself.

    The original SKYFI boombox got poor ratings because
    of poor power output. This may now be dramatically
    improved due to the increased SKYFI 2 output. Still,
    unless you are planning to take XM to the beach I
    would opt to just plug the unit into your own
    boombox via the home kit.

    When using the SKYFI with the home kit, you will
    need to run an antenna to the window. In most all
    cases it does not to be sticking outside the window.
    I just found out something cool -- you can actually
    plug the SKFIU 2 into a home kit plugged into a
    boombox/stereo while also broadcasting to a spare
    FM station on a radio in a different room. Neat!

    If you are buying a SKYFI unit for your brother's
    car I would recommend a casette input over FM
    modulation. The cassette input is a more direct
    connection that will not suffer from any signal
    interference.

    You will love XM!
     
  3. Dan Joy

    Dan Joy Well-Known Member

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    Jack F,

    If your here at this forum, you will appreciate this forum

    I have learned an awful lot from here and am requesting the Skyfi2 for xmass.
    Don't spend too much time in there[​IMG]
     
  4. Greg Krewet

    Greg Krewet Well-Known Member

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    Mainly due to Ron's comments, I, just today added a xm skyfi2 to my car. It uses the FM Modulation and the sound is exceptional, most channels are the equal to my local area stations.The programming is as varied as possible. When you activate you will be billed Quarterly or Yearly.
    I bought mine at Best Buy and let them install it. I was worried about that but they took a very careful survey and explained all possible options to me. The installation cost was $40 which was reasonable considering it took three hours to cover the installation and briefing. In addition, They also gave me a DVD of the Elton John Dream
    ticket, a specialoffer that I believe is good only in Nov. I truely believe you will enjoy your skyfi2.
    Best
    Greg
     
  5. JackF

    JackF Member

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    Ok, I read that the FM modulator on the Skyfi2 only works when the Skyfi2 is placed in the car cradle. So does that mean I can't just sit it next to any of my small radios in my home and use the FM modulator to play the XM broadcast over my small radios?

    After reading the forums at XM411.com and XMFan.com I'm not sure I want the new XM boom box or even the cheap XM boom box for around $65.00 at Wal-Mart.

    I will probably use the XM radio 99% of the time in home, not in a car. So I need at least decent audio quality. Can anyone here recommend any good and cheap (under $100.00) small speakers that would be good for the Skyfi2? I love my JBL Platinum Series speakers that came with my Compaq computer that I bought about four years ago. I don't think my speakers are premium or anything like that, probably low cost. But I really love the sound. If I could get audio quality like that I would be happy.

    Does the antenna have to face the south? Or will placing it near any window work?

    Thanks!
     
  6. Mike-C

    Mike-C Member

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    If you don't want to get the boombox you can always get the home dock kit for the Skyfi, which Ron mentioned. It outputs its signal via stereo RCA plugs ( the red and white ones). You can connect it to anything with an RCA audio input such as a home stereo receiver.

    Since you mentioned that you have JBL Platinum Series speakers with your PC you also have the option connecting the home kit to your sound cards audio input, although I have not tried this option myself. If your sound card only has the 1/8 in ( headphone jack) input you'd need an adapter cable to go from RCA male to 1/8 male. You can get the cable at your local Radio Shack. The RCA portion of the cable should have the female jacks for the RCA's and the the male end should have the 1/8 in stereo plug.

    My antenna is sitting on my window facing south west. If you're in a major metropolitan area there may be ground based repeaters nearby, which would mean that your antenna could be facing any direction.
     
  7. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Jack,

    You said the FM modulation only works
    with the "car cradle."

    From what I understand (and I can't tell
    you this from experience)it should work with
    the HOME CRADLE as well (you may have thought
    they are one and the same).

    I don't know the broadcast range, but I did
    read a SKYFI2 user was able to hook his home
    kit directly to his stereo in one room and
    listen to XM through a spare radio channel
    in another.

    In THEORY I don't see why this would not
    work. I would just like to see opinions of
    others that have tried this.

    I'm still a month away from buying my SKYFI2
    to replace my original. My finances are too
    tied up to be buying one right now.
     
  8. JackF

    JackF Member

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    I've been reading more on the skyfi2. Apparently the FM modulator does work in home. From what I've read on other forums, it actually works pretty good.
     
  9. JessyMcK

    JessyMcK Well-Known Member

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    i have the skyfi and your antenna does not need to be near a window. Mine is ontop of my grndfather clock and it faces away from the window.
     

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