Goodbye XM Radio

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Ronald Epstein, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    You know, from day one I was a supporter of
    XM Radio. I bought into the service early,
    purchasing both an Alpine hardwired head unit
    for the car and a Delphi SkyFi unit for my home.

    For months I have been raving about XM radio
    on this forum as well as other forums. I bought
    XM Radio T-shirts and windows stickers. I even
    sneered at those that even dared to mention the
    competitor, Sirius radio.

    Well, tomorrow I get rid of XM Radio and change
    over to Sirius Radio.

    I put a lot of thought into the decision. The
    bottom line is, I don't want to listen to commercials
    on satellite radio. Period. End of story.

    When I first bought XM, the amount of commercial
    play was negligable. I could handle it. But over
    the past few months I noticed XM increasing the
    amount of commercial play per hour. The latest
    stats I heard is that XM plays 6 minutes of
    commercials per hour. Honestly, it seems a lot
    more than that.

    I just couldn't take it anymore. Every 20 minutes
    my music was being interrupted by commercials. What
    made it worse was the fact that they played the same
    commercials over and over and over again. You
    either heard commercials filled with frantic
    Onstar callers or Allstate trying to
    pitch you its Safe Driver deal.

    Another thing -- I listen to the 70s channel. It's
    a great channel, but I'm sort of getting tired of
    the station playing the same soundbytes from the
    movie Oh God, Young Frankenstein and
    M*A*S*H over and over and over again. I
    also seem to be hearing the same songs time and
    time again. My cable music channels offered more
    70s rare tracks than XM does.

    But let's get back to the commercials...

    I wrote letters to XM Radio urging them to get
    rid of their commercials even if it means raising
    their prices. I couldn't convince any of my friends
    to go with XM Radio after they found out that
    Sirius Radio offers no commercials. You can
    see how fast Sirius is growing just because
    they advertise themselves as a commercial-free
    service.

    I want to listen to music. Not commercial any
    interruptions.

    Yeah, XM Radio saves you $3 a month over Sirius
    Radio
    . But if having to pay $3 more per
    month meants not having to listen to the increased
    amount of commercial airplay, then I consider that
    money well spent.

    So what did I do?

    I decided to get rid of my Alpine head unit and
    bought the Kenwood X869 receiver. The Sirius
    tuner is FREE with the purchase. I paid a minimal
    amount of money for the antenna and install.

    I'm selling my Alpine head unit, XM car tuner and
    antenna, plus my Delphi SkyFi receiver and two home
    kit cradles for about $300-$350 to anyone that
    wants it. I'll post something in the FOR SALE area
    shortly.

    I hope that I'll be happier with Sirius than
    I was with XM Radio.
     
  2. Paul W

    Paul W Second Unit

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    As someone who is sick and tired of commercials (and who has an interchangeable XM/Sirius harness in my new Audi), I am very interested in hearing how you like the Sirius service.

    Please keep us informed!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. ScottCarr

    ScottCarr Second Unit

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    i recently completed a VERYVERYVERY long survey for sirius. a couple of times they asked about commercials. Each question pertaining to commercials were to the most negative response. I feel if they start popping in commercials I will gladly cancel my subscription at the end of my 1 year commit.

    I can hear commercials for free on FM
     
  4. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    I highly doubt Sirius will add commercials. They just asked that question to see if their marketing is reaching out to new customers.
     
  5. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Ron-

    Welcome. Some of the same reasons I had. That and the fact that Sirius plays completely uncensored mixes on all networks (yep, including Comedy, etc.) were big factors. This sounds foolish, but there are titles, even old titles, where when censored you get music that isn't as it was intended; especially for some 60s/70s rock (protest music, folk, etc.) where the occassional F'bomb was used for effect [​IMG]

    I think you'll be happy. I think the more commercials XM adds, the more people, like you, will look to alternatives.
     
  6. Shawn Shultzaberger

    Shawn Shultzaberger Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the update Ron. I was going to go with XM after the beginning of the year but after reading your post I think I will go with Sirius. In the mornings when I'm driving home from work all I want to do is listen to music but out of the 12 stations that I like on FM all 12 talk talk talk. I want music! Not commericals and more talk! Choice is good, music is good, commericals are bad. Looks like there might be a Kenwood HU in my future. [​IMG]
     
  7. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    Ron, would you send me an e-mail. I have something to tell you. You will like it, but I can't disclose it here.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I am slowly inching my way toward your course of action, Ron.

    As I have mentioned to several friends, get Sirius for the sole reason that I consider ANY commercials too many.

    When I bought in, it was known that XM was NOT commercial free, but like you, they are intruding way too much on my music (The Boneyard, primarily).

    I don't know which service's business model is the one that will survive (if either!), but as you suggested, I would happily pay $3 a month more to get rid of the damn commercials. I like the programming on XM, but I just HATE, HATE, HATE commercials.

    Seems to me that the buzz on XM is going the wrong way. They may feel that they need the commercials to survive, but I have a feeling that there is going to be an exodus of subscribers unless they rethink things.

    Good look with Sirius, and please post your impressions.

    BGL
     
  9. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    I don't like commercials either, but Sirius just doesn't have the channels I love the most on XM:
    XMPops, Cinemagic, and Sonic Theater primarily.

    Sirius' lineup just seems to me to be more like a glorified Music Choice...
     
  10. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Thus far, one day into the service, I have mixed
    feelings about Sirius.

    First, I noticed that the sound quality is a
    small step up from XM Radio. The audio has more
    bass to it, and vocals no longer take a backseat
    to the instrumentals. This may not be a fair
    assesment of the two services due to the fact
    that I changed the head unit in my car. I now
    have a Kenwood 869 (instead of an Alpine 7894).

    The first thing you notice is that there are no
    commercials on the music channels. It's one song
    right after the other with ocassional banter from
    the DJ who seems to be very respectful to the music.
    Last night, I only heard the DJ announce music artist
    birthdays.

    Sirius has a terrific EASY LISTENING channel
    (channel 4) for adults. It plays some of the best
    easy listening tunes from John Lennon, Herb Alpert,
    Lionel Richie, Phil Collins, etc. It's a really
    relaxing mix of popular favorites old and new.
    To my knowledge, XM Radio had no such channel.

    The bad points....

    The Sirius Totally 70's channel has very
    little of the "fun" music that made up that decade.
    It has turned into more of a classic rock channel
    as of late. I know this because I was surprised
    after listening to it yesterday, I saw the same
    complaints I found posted on the SIRIUS BACKSTAGE
    forum. It doesn't have the charm of XM's 70's
    decade channel.

    Sirius also lacks the personality that XM Radio
    had. Though I am only into my second day of
    listening, I don't hear any of the movie and
    TV soundbytes nor countdown shows that defined
    that particular era. Perhaps I need to listen more.

    I really want to listen more to Sirius before I
    write a huge report here and compare both services.
    So far, however, I am leaning more towards SIRIUS.
    The audio quality sounds slightly better on my new
    Kenwood system, and the fact that there aren't any
    commercials popping up every 15-20 minutes makes
    my choice a no-brainer.

    Will post more after I have had more of an
    opportunity to listen and compare.
     
  11. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    One of the things my wife noticed is that the 70s channels have become very.. segregated. IE, there are other areas within Sirius that play a heavy mix of 70s/early 80s "soul" "funk" etc.. and they don't really trend into the "70s" channel as a whole, whereas the "70s" has pretty much become 70s rock "Backspin" has pretty much turned into early eighties/late seventies funk/etc.

    It's taking me a whiel to get used to those kind of things as well, though, and I agree I wish it were more mixed.

    As far as banter, I'm pretty glad there is, basically, none. Some channels have absolutely none. Why bother, the title comes up on your display, I don't need a DJ to take the time away.. especially useful on the children networks [​IMG]
     
  12. Joshua_JO

    Joshua_JO Agent

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    Hey Ron,

    Sirius seems to be really good about taking in customer feedback. I would definitely drop them a line about what you think about their 70's station.
     
  13. Michael Cucka

    Michael Cucka Stunt Coordinator

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    Ron -

    I think you'll be happy with Sirius - I love the content and the occassional DJ comments - usually pertinant instead of lame.

    My only beef is I have trouble with my home unit with dropouts as the satellites move around - planning on doing some attenna placement work this weekend to eliminatte this.

    You have choosen wisely...
     
  14. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Hi, Michael!

    Good to hear from you.

    Let me put it this way...

    I left XM Radio for Sirius hoping to
    find Nirvana.

    Unfortunately, Sirius ain't the Nirvana
    I was hoping for.

    As far as music is concerned, XM Radio
    has its act more together than Sirius does.

    The fact that Sirius has no commercials
    has made my car traveling a far more enjoyable
    esperience. On the other hand, I don't find
    the music on Sirius to be as good as XM Radio.

    I am planning to put together a report for
    the forum in about 5 days. Would like to put
    something together that will hopefully help
    newcomers with no clue about satellite radio
    decide what is best for them.
     
  15. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

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    Maybe I'm listening to the wrong stations or flipping at just the right times but I just don't hear this commercial issue being raised.

    Yes if just one commercial is an issue (since Sirius claims to be 100% commercial free) then I guess you have a point. However, I just sampled the Sirius streams via the net and I heard more dj/'personality' banter in around 15 minutes then I have heard in hours of XM listening. This to me can be just as intrusive.

    I'd like as little commercials as possible but I am also paying for a greater bredth of choice, something commercial Clear Channel radio does not give me.

    I have had XM for one year now and am very happy with their service. I have nothing against Sirius and think any and all competion is a good thing. The only thing that has even made me consider switching formats was Sirius' new contract with the NHL.
    I am a huge NHL fan but even that looks like it will not sway me.
     
  16. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  17. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Here's the big problem with XM Radio commercials....

    The fact that they play 6-10 minutes of
    commercials per hour may not seem much
    to anyone......

    ....but anyone that has been with XM for the
    past year will tell you that commercial airplay
    has significantly increased to the point where
    it is noticeable.

    This was not how XM Radio began when they
    promised "limited" commercial play.

    The major problem I have with the XM commercials
    is the fact that they play the SAME commercials
    over and over again.

    Here I was sitting in my car or home -- listening
    to good music -- when all of a sudden I hear this
    commercial starring a frantic "Onstar" caller who
    is screaming at an Onstar operator.

    This follows with 15 minutes of music play.
    Then, once again, we get another screaming "Onstar"
    calling commercial followed by an Allstate commercial
    that I have heard a dozen times already today.

    It's cute at first, but it doesn't take long
    until the commercials become downright annoying.
    It was enough for me to want to rip XM Radio out
    of my car and spend a few hundred bucks to get
    Sirius.

    Am I happy with what I did? Not exactly. I have
    some issues about the Sirius programming, but at
    least there aren't anymore commercials.

    No service is perfect. It will be a tough choice
    to make, and hopefully I can help clear it all up
    next week when I post a report of what I found.
     
  18. Sathyan

    Sathyan Second Unit

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    Can anyone comment on the classical channels? One complaint I have against my FM and cable classical stations is the tendency to play single movements/arias from symphonies/operas. Do either XM or Sirius play entire works? Is it a fairly comprehensive playlist?

    thanks
    Sathyan
     
  19. Michael Cucka

    Michael Cucka Stunt Coordinator

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    Sathyan -

    Don't know XM, but Sirius' classical content is excellent [​IMG]

    Only three stations - larger orchestral, smaller chamber, and vocal - but the programming choices are varied and certainly beyond the normal fair of FM or satellite. All works are complete and often there's a theme of the day - based on anniversaries, etc.

    Good stuff!
     
  20. Joel L

    Joel L Auditioning

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    I am glad you made this post as i too was about to get xm radio, now i will still hold off a bit longer.
     

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