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Satelite radio: XM and Sirius... what's the difference?


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31 replies to this topic

#1 of 32 OFFLINE   Donald Lagasse

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Posted April 25 2002 - 07:26 AM

Now that Sirius is available (I know it's early) can anybody tell me any differences between the 2. I know Sirius is a little more per month.... $13 vs. $10 but what other differences are there?

Thanks

#2 of 32 OFFLINE   Jeremy Little

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Posted April 25 2002 - 04:02 PM

Sirius is 100% commercial free.

XM is commercial free on most stations. There are a few that have commercials but it is like a 30 second to 1 minute blurb and then right back into the music. NO BIGGIE.

In my store we have both hooked up. There aren't any home kits for Sirius yet, I don't think. XM does have both home and car kits. I have noticed that Sirius has noticeably more compression on some frequencies, especially the higher ones. Cymbal crashes, etc. sound like MP3's do. XM has some compression, but I think it is much less obvious.


If you are just wanting it for the house, buy the Sony Plug and Play model with the tape adapter. Normally you'd want to also purchase the "Home Kit". You won't need an additional base and antenna if used only indoors. So here's what you do instead. At my store we sell a miniplug to RCA left and right cable. You'll need to buy one of those. Also on the portable cd player aisle you can pick up the home power cord you need. It is Sony brand and has the same tip you'll need on it. It sells for $29.99.

The kit plus everything for your home- <$350
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#3 of 32 OFFLINE   Donald Lagasse

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Posted April 26 2002 - 12:46 AM

Jeremy,

That sounds like a good idea but let me clarify or make sure I understand. XM sells a home unit for which you can buy an auto kit such that you can use the unit in both locations. They also sell an auto unit and a home kit so you can adapt the auto unit for home. Are you saying, buy the unit for auto use which comes with the antenna, the remote, the base, the tape adapter, and the power cord.... then buy a power adapter and a mini to RCA cord and use the auto unit in home? This gives me the advantage of using the deck in both locations.... right?

#4 of 32 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted April 26 2002 - 02:33 AM

I'm far more interested in Sirius for my car...no commercials, and I like the list of channels better. I also can't stand typical Clear Channel stations, and I've heard a bunch of XM stations are just Clear Channel. If I want to hear Clear Channel, I'll listen to the dozen or so stations they have in my city.

#5 of 32 OFFLINE   Joshua Clinard

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Posted June 03 2003 - 05:19 PM

That's true Micheal, I've heard the same thing about many XM stations having Clear-Channel type playlists. Also, Sirius has recently upgraded their sound scheme, and it sounds much less compressed than XM as of now, according to some people who have both. They also just recently introduced two new portable units that look pretty sweet.

#6 of 32 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted June 03 2003 - 09:38 PM

What XM has that Sirius does not.. Is Delphi (GM) Backing.

The Delphi Sky-Fi is a fantastic product that lets you go
from the house, to the car, to the beach (Boombox). There is
no product like this for Sirius. Plus GM as a backer for XM
makes it a sure bet that they have plenty of capital.

There are 35 commercial free channels out of the current 107
on XM. Sirius is completely commercial free (will they stay
that way?). Sirius has a higher monthly fee and they do not
have as large of a market share or as big of backers as XM
does. Sirius's largest backers as of right now would be
Kenwood and Chrysler (in few vehicles). XM Has Sony, GM and
GM's underlying Delphi electronics division. GM is offering
factory XM in numerous new vehicles and plans to expand it
to even more for the 05 MY.

Sound Quality.. Not sure how clear Sirius comes through, I
never even gave Sirius a look over because for me the Delphi
Sky-Fi was the major selling point. The SQ of XM is fantastic.

I run my XM through a few thousand dollars of home audio
equipment and to me it sounds great.. There is some compression
that is noticeable on some old songs, on other songs it's
impossible to tell at all.

Either way I think they both have much to offer and I hope
Sirius sticks around and gains more ground.. Hopefuly the
more competition XM has, the more reason they will have to
listen to the consumers.. I don't want this ending up like
cable TV..
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#7 of 32 OFFLINE   Joshua Clinard

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Posted June 04 2003 - 05:06 AM

Your wrong about a couple of things. For one, Sirius has just as much backers as XM. Sirius has all of the Ford Owned Brands exclusively. XM will be optional on 70 models this year, Sirius will be optional on 65. Not that big of a difference. What I'm saying is that Sirius will be some serious competition to XM! Second, Sirius is a year behind XM, and they have doubled their subscriber base to 68,000 in the first quarter of this year. I belive they will triple that number this summer when the Here2Anywhere hits the market. A lot of people really like it, even if you do not. I think it's awesome personally.

Also, Sirius has also cleared all of thier debt. XM is still several hundred thousand dollars in debt.

XM has ads on half its 70 music channels and most of its 31 news, talk and information channels. Sirius has NONE on any of it's music streams. That ALONE is worth the 10 cents a day.

#8 of 32 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted June 04 2003 - 05:46 AM

Josh,

Ok I didn't realize that Sirius had Ford backing it as well
that's good they need it. Thier stock is currently trading
at what vs. XM? I haven't bothered to check.

I choose XM for the SkyFi. I looked into the Sirius offerings
and to me they just don't stack up. I have a Kenwood Sirius
deck in one of my vehicles and it will never see use as a
Sirius Reciever. I am quite happy with XM.. But....... If
XM starts to slam commercials down our throats you can bet
I will either jump ship or just cancel and not even bother
again.. We have grown to need some sort of pay TV be it DSS
or Cable.. But pay radio I don't "need" not when there are
CD's and MP3's.

I love it but it if gets to be like Cable TV I will drop it.

I just hope Sirius will force XM to keep listening to thier
customer base.
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#9 of 32 OFFLINE   Jed M

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Posted June 04 2003 - 07:50 AM

XM has better sports stations. The reason I didn't consider sirius was because they don't have fox sports or sporting news radio.
Quote:
XM has ads on half its 70 music channels and most of its 31 news, talk and information channels. Sirius has NONE on any of it's music streams. That ALONE is worth the 10 cents a day.

Sirius must be in trouble because this is the only ammo they have against xm. Let me ask you, just how many commercials does each station have an hour? 30 seconds? a minute? You make it sound like its the return of AM radio. I would think the overly compressed sound of sirius would be more of an issue, but I guess not.
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#10 of 32 OFFLINE   BrianAe

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Posted June 04 2003 - 09:43 AM

Sirius has NPR, XM does not, at least I think XM doesn't.

#11 of 32 OFFLINE   Thomas Nichols

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Posted June 05 2003 - 02:21 AM

I do wish we had NPR, but that is a minor quibble.

As for there being commercials on most of their talk shows. That doesn't bother me. They had some talk that was commercial free for a bit. It was odd. Talk radio has natural pauses for commercials. It sounded dopey when XM tried to fill the commercial holes with other stuff.

I love my XM and wondered how I ever live without it.
If it wasn't enough, they wouldn't call it the minimum.

#12 of 32 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted June 05 2003 - 04:54 AM

XM has stated plans to increase commercials up to six minutes an hour on half of the music channels. That concerns me. I prefer a commercial-free model.

#13 of 32 OFFLINE   TheLongshot

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Posted June 05 2003 - 05:27 AM

Quote:
There aren't any home kits for Sirius yet, I don't think.


Not true. The Kenwood unit is just starting to come out:

http://www.bestbuy.c....3021&scat=3023

There is also one by Audiovox that is comming out soon.

To be fair, XM has had about a year's head start on Sirius, so it shouldn't be that much of a surprise that they are playing catchup. It does seem tho that they are improving quickly and are rather responsive to customer input, which is a good sign.

Jason

#14 of 32 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted June 05 2003 - 01:10 PM

Michael,

Let me put it to you like this... No one needs pay radio
(We don't need cable either but....) the concept of pay
radio is still foreign to most. Heck look how much you
are debating it.. I buy new cars in less time than it's
taken you to make a decision on Sat Radio. But if XM does
increase it's commercialism then it's simple I will vote
with my dollars.. And cancel my account and sell my SkyFi
to someone else.

And I won't switch to Sirius either. The main thing like I
said before that got me into XM was the SkyFi and there is
nothing for Sirius as nice IMHO (I don't care for the Kenwood
unit.)


We'll see what happens..
Brett DiMichele
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#15 of 32 OFFLINE   TheLongshot

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Posted June 06 2003 - 02:44 AM

Quote:
(I don't care for the Kenwood unit)


You know, I keep hearing people saying this, but they don't even have it yet. (It is only just getting in the hands of people right now.) We'll see how it is once people start using it. (Personally, I don't need it, since I can just stream it over the computer anyways. Why do I need a home unit again?)

Don't underestimate the power of radio. I do think there is a market for this, since people like the "radio" delivery of music, but don't like the homogenious formats of the OTA broadcasts. It is also useful for those of us who make long trips and change areas.

I'm not sure yet if I'm one of the people who needs something like this, but I am giving it a try.

Jason

#16 of 32 Guest_Eric Kahn_*

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Posted June 06 2003 - 03:02 AM

I went for sirius because XM has commercials on the 3 music streams that I listen to most, 70's 80's and classical rock. my attitude was that if I was paying for music, I wanted it to be commercial free since their original adds said commercial free, but that changed when clear channel bought into it.

I already have commercial free music at home, 30 channels of it on dish network, I do not even use my option of streaming Sirius over my DSL connection into my computer, the Dish network feeds are of a better quality than sirius's

also I would not buy to Delphi unit, I think it looks hidious, at least the boom box unit does

#17 of 32 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted June 06 2003 - 05:51 AM

Eric,

See that's how design is a hit or miss thing.. many people
may love the Kenwood XM unit but I think it's a poorly
designed unit ergonomicly. Just like one car doesn't please
everyone either.

I bought a Kenwood HU for my Dakota and I am very much NOT
impressed with it's quality either.. I seem to recall that
Kenwood made good Head Units but this one doesn't do much
for me at all, my Pioneer in my Stratus has much better
adjustability and overall sound.
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#18 of 32 Guest_Eric Kahn_*

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Posted June 06 2003 - 09:23 AM

I am not exactly fond of the fact that they now have to redesign the faces of the headunits every year to put more and smaller buttons on them, when I got my sirius setup, my choice was limited to Kenwood pretty much after the JVC FM unit turned out to be somewhat lacking in sound quality played through the stock VW stereo

I do not really like the kenwoods setup, but I have gotten used to it and its quirks no longer bother me
I did not dislike it enough to not get a sirius setup
and XM was always out of the question since clear channel is involved with them

#19 of 32 OFFLINE   James St

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Posted June 06 2003 - 10:27 AM

Quote:
XM has stated plans to increase commercials up to six minutes an hour on half of the music channels


I noticed quite a few commercials already on some of the stations. Six minutes of commercials plus DJ's constantly running their mouth between songs is too much for me. I may cancel my service if this happens on the stations I listen to the most.

#20 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 09 2003 - 09:07 AM

Anyone that frequents this forum is going
to pick XM over Sirius for one main reason....

XM has Cinemagic!

I have had XM radio now for 4 months. Despite
the low volume of commercials on my favorite
decades channels, I can't see how Sirius can beat
XM's programming and personality.

I love what they do with the decades channels.
Listen to the 40s, 50s, 60s or 70s channel and
it sounds like you are back in the day. The DJs
talk and perform exactly as you remember them
on radio all those years ago. For instance, on
the 60s channel, there's this rapid fast-talkin'
DJ that constantly counts down the music. He
sounds like the DJs I remembered from that era.
Then there's Heidi, the valley-girl of the 80s
channel who really defines what that era was all
about. On the 70s channel, they play all sorts
of 70s TV and movie soundbytes and even throw in
a few SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK selections.

The people who program these channels at XM
are geniuses. They really put a lot of thought
into how a particular channel should sound --
way beyond just playing music.

I am so addicted to the "style" of XM RADIO
and can't see how Sirius could do better.

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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