Anyone have satellite radio?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Stephen L, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. Stephen L

    Stephen L Second Unit

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    I'm thinking about adding satellite radio to my car. I spend a lot of time driving and there is nothing at all going on in radio today. In Boston every rock radio station plays almost the same playlists , even the clasic & oldie station play the same 50 songs over & over. I'm not happy about paying for radio content but for less than a CD a month I can get a big variety of musical choices(I think).Seems like I'm always listening to either talk radio or a CD in the car .Well has anyone jumped onboard XM yet? Are you happy with the sound quality and musical programming?
     
  2. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

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    Not to get Stephen's hopes up that I acutually have the thing, but I too am very interested in satellite radio.

    The only OTA radio I listen to anymore are public stations and certain sporting events. I feel that Clear Channel and Infinity have sucked the life out of commercial radio.

    I really love the 45 digital music channels I get w/ my digital cable, and I love the thought of having nearly 100 in my car, or anywhere, if I use the portable Sony XM radio.

    XM or Sirius subscribers, speak up! I know there are tons of early adopters of all things technical on this board, so start talking.

    Moderators, maybe this thread would do better in the music areas?
     
  3. Tony G

    Tony G Stunt Coordinator

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    I am an XM early adopter. I'm pleased with it. The sound quality is great, though true audiophiles claim it's really not CD quality (I can't say that I can honestly tell the difference while driving down the road in my Montero!)
    The programming works for me. As with any service offering so many channels, I only listen to a few the great majority of the time. For me, it's Channel 46, Top Tracks. This is the XM "main" Classic Rock channel, playing the big classic rock hits. Since Christmas, when I got mine, I've only heard one song that wasn't familiar. The other classic rock type offerings that I listen to are The Loft, which is a little lighter, and Deep Tracks, which plays album cuts that frequently aren't familiar to me if I'm not a big fan of that particular artist.
    The above are "real" XM stations, which play only music. The thing that XM doesn't talk about in their advertising is their rebroadcast of several Clear Channel stations. Clear Channel is a major investor in XM, and you can tell it from going around the dial. My wife, who refuses to listen to Classic Rock, insists on light rock (as a compromise - she'd rather listen to bluegrass, but that's another story [​IMG] ) It turns out that the only light rock offering on XM is a rebroadcast of a NYC station, complete with the FULL COMPLEMENT of commercials, something that XM cries out against in their advertising. And to make it worse, they've been running a lot of ads for some liberal Hilary Clinton wannabe running for a state senate spot (I'm sure he'll get elected by a landslide in NYC, but he'd be tarred and feathered here in east Tennessee if he ran THOSE ads!) I know there are also stations from Houston and LA, but I haven't listened to those.
    Some other stations I've had a chance to catch: My kids have taken to the XM Kids channel, and always ask for it when they get in the Montero with me. Much of the programming is hosted by a girl named Absolutely Mindy (I'm not making this up!) with a particularly grating high-pitched voice, but the songs are OK, and my kids enjoy it. I'm not a huge fan of sports talk radio, but I suspect fans would like the offerings there, though they seem to have LOTS of commercials. And you can always catch some news, with a good variety of channels.
    Sorry, I don't do rap, heavy metal, country, or latin, so I can't really comment on those offerings.
    In summary, I think it's worth $9.95/mo for me. Living in east Tennessee, the radio offerings are three steps beyond terrible. It's nice to always have something to listen to.
    One thing about hardware that I have found troublesome. I got the Sony unit for Christmas. With 100 channels to choose from, the thing only has five presets! My car unit has twenty, almost more than every station within a 100-mile radius of here! I find this quite annoying.
    I hope this helps.
    Tony
     
  4. Scott_G

    Scott_G Second Unit

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    I don't have it - but one of my sales guys does and I ride around with him quite a bit.

    His wife got it for him for Christmas. At first it was no big deal but after a while ... He love it. Most channels - no commercials. You listen to whatever you want to. Want to here the news - no problem. Great mix of music types. Remindes me a little of the cable radio stations.

    Neither one of use likes morning shows. You just get music.

    His commute is a little longer than mine - 45 min to an hour each way.

    I think it's great if your in the car a lot.
     
  5. Bill Eberhardt

    Bill Eberhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought my wife an xm-radio with the Alpine 7878 CD/MP3 head unit for Christmas and she absolutely loves it. When she used to listen to fm radio she would channel surf the instant a commercial came on and it would drive me nuts. Her favorite channels are jazz, classic rock, and the NASCAR channel.
    The sound quality is very good, but then I'm not much of a car audio critic. I listen to am radio on my commute so I can get the traffic reports.
    I got lots of "you're the greatest", "atta-boy" bonus points for getting the radio for her. And that makes up for a multitude of HT purchases the past year. [​IMG]
    Xm will charge my credit card every 3 months so paying for it isn't a problem. There was about a $10 fee for activating the service on-line and the radio was receiving within about 1/2 an hour.
     
  6. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Supporting Actor

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    So how many "real" XM stations are out there? Are the majority of the offerings out there from Clear Channel?
     
  7. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

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    Ugh, Clear Channel is invested in XM? I guess I can cross that one off my list.

    Tony, how is the reception? I too do not require perfect CD-quality sound. Even though my car is quiet, there is always enough road noise to make perfect sound unnecessary. I am curious about reception, though. I heard that sometimes reception in downtown areas can be poor. One of the companies, I can't remember which, was reportedly installing repeaters on tall buildings in downtown areas.
     
  8. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    How exactly does the reception work if it is off a satellite? I would imagine that you lose the signal if you go under a bridge or overpass. Obviously that can't be the case or else they wouldn't sell a single unit.
     
  9. Tony G

    Tony G Stunt Coordinator

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    The sound quality is very good. Like you, road noise makes perfect sound in my Montero unrealistic. Given that, I think the sound quality is excellent.

    Brian: you're right, of course. Driving under an overpass doesn't affect the signal. When I drive into the concrete parking garage, however, I lose it. I have had no signal problems driving around Kingsport. However, when I drive to Asheville, there is a very mountainous stretch (called Sams' gap, for those of you who have made the drive) where I generally lose signal for a very short time (3-5 sec) two or three times each trip through. That's the only time I've had signal problems.

    Michael: I'm not sure how many of the music stations are Clear Channel rebroadcasts. I don't have my channel info with me (I keep it in the Montero). Off the top of my head, I don't think it's more than four or five. But some of the talk stations (the Ask channel, that has a lot of the financial guy, Bruce Williams, for instance) are Clear Channel.

    Tony
     
  10. Michael St. Clair

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    Not using Clear Channel is a strike against XM that makes me more interested in Sirius. Cincinnati is totally dominated by Clear Channel, and their stations are too repetitive, it is like power rotation city. Boo!

    Plus the commercials. Come on Sirius, I'm getting impatient!

    I'm also expecting hardware subsidies once competition kicks in.
     
  11. Ryan L B

    Ryan L B Supporting Actor

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    How often do you have to listen to the same station untill you start getting repeats. Do they play the edited version or the uncut version. Lastly, about the clear channel problem, if there is a major concert on that would get a similcast to radio stations, would it be on xm
     
  12. Kelley_B

    Kelley_B Cinematographer

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    I would like to see stations for music that isn't normally played on the radio. If they had a Darkwave/Goth station(s) I would sign up in a heartbeat.
     
  13. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Do they make anything for listening to at HOME? I can't see subscribing to something I can only listen to in the car, but sounds like a good thing to have otherwise. Some of this stuff I'd leave on all day if I got it.
     
  14. Ryan L B

    Ryan L B Supporting Actor

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