Installing satellite radio- What to choose?

Mike-C

Grip
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
16
I'm hoping someone can help me out with this. I'm planning on getting satellite radio, I'm leaning toward XM but I wont decide definitively until I find out which one the Opie and Anthony show is going to be broadcast on.

My car is a 2004 Ford explorer with the factory installed 6 disk in dash cd changer. Since my car is brand new I want to keep my current radio/cd player. If I go with XM I'm guessing that I would have to choose the Delphi XM SKYFI because I would also want to get XM in my home and office and the SKYFI would allow me to do that cost effectively . Since I don't have a cassette player in my car is using the FM modulator my only choice to get satellite radio hooked up in my vehicle? Is the Skyfi only powered by lighter adapter or are their other choices ( IE. hardwiring to the cars electrical system)


I live in Bergen County in Northern NJ. Has anyone in NJ/NYC area used the FM modulator and how does it sound in comparison to FM, hardwired XM car radio, and cd? Being that I'm in the largest media market will the modulator get a lot of interference.

Any help or insight you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
 

Mike-C

Grip
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
16
I'm hoping someone can help me out with this. I'm planning on getting satellite radio, I'm leaning toward XM but I wont decide definitively until I find out which one the Opie and Anthony show is going to be broadcast on.

My car is a 2004 Ford explorer with the factory installed 6 disk in dash cd changer. Since my car is brand new I want to keep my current radio/cd player. If I go with XM I'm guessing that I would have to choose the Delphi XM SKYFI because I would also want to get XM in my home and office and the SKYFI would allow me to do that cost effectively . Since I don't have a cassette player in my car is using the FM modulator my only choice to get satellite radio hooked up in my vehicle? Is the Skyfi only powered by lighter adapter or are their other choices ( IE. hardwiring to the cars electrical system)


I live in Bergen County in Northern NJ. Has anyone in NJ/NYC area used the FM modulator and how does it sound in comparison to FM, hardwired XM car radio, and cd? Being that I'm in the largest media market will the modulator get a lot of interference.

Any help or insight you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
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Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
56,809
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Ronald Epstein
Hi, Mike!

According to everything I have heard, Opie and
Anthony will be on Sirius. An announcement is
forthcoming.

That being said, I don't think I could talk
you out of Sirius over XM.

Sirius is sort of pale in comparison when it
comes to music programming. The playlists on
Sirius are ultra-tight. The service caters to
the FM radio philosophy where only familiar hits
are heard. This ultimately means much more
repetition.

Either the SkyFI (XM) or the Sirius PNP units
can be hardwired to the electrical system. I
would stay away from FM modulation if at all possible.
I would hope your factory installed unit has an
AUX INPUT in the back of it that you could plug
a portable unit into. Perhaps someone here knows
more about these radios than I do.

FM modulation sounds okay. It's basically strong
signal FM quality. Anything you can do to provide
a direct connection to your stereo will result in
better audio results. Don't expect CD quality from
either service, though the audio does come close.

It seems like you will ultimately choose SIRIUS
because of Opie and Anthony. I can't blame you --
I am being forced to resubscribe to the service I
dumped in favor of XM months ago. Just realize that
you'll never get the broad range of music that you
would get through XM. This is the biggest factor
against Sirius for most people.

If you have any further questions please ask. We
are here to help.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
56,809
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
Hi, Mike!

According to everything I have heard, Opie and
Anthony will be on Sirius. An announcement is
forthcoming.

That being said, I don't think I could talk
you out of Sirius over XM.

Sirius is sort of pale in comparison when it
comes to music programming. The playlists on
Sirius are ultra-tight. The service caters to
the FM radio philosophy where only familiar hits
are heard. This ultimately means much more
repetition.

Either the SkyFI (XM) or the Sirius PNP units
can be hardwired to the electrical system. I
would stay away from FM modulation if at all possible.
I would hope your factory installed unit has an
AUX INPUT in the back of it that you could plug
a portable unit into. Perhaps someone here knows
more about these radios than I do.

FM modulation sounds okay. It's basically strong
signal FM quality. Anything you can do to provide
a direct connection to your stereo will result in
better audio results. Don't expect CD quality from
either service, though the audio does come close.

It seems like you will ultimately choose SIRIUS
because of Opie and Anthony. I can't blame you --
I am being forced to resubscribe to the service I
dumped in favor of XM months ago. Just realize that
you'll never get the broad range of music that you
would get through XM. This is the biggest factor
against Sirius for most people.

If you have any further questions please ask. We
are here to help.
 

Mike-C

Grip
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
16
Ron,

Thanks for the quick response.

I've got to admit that I was hoping that O & A would be on XM. Everything I've read seems to indicate that the music programing on Sirus is "less than inspiring". If I wanted to listen to something less than inspiring I can just tune into any FM station in the NYC area. DOH!

Oh well at least Sirius has the NFL, its not much but its something.

My knowledge base on car audio is severely lacking ( I'm a home theater kinda guy) but you mentioned something about an AUX input. I can tell you that my factory stereo does not have an AUX button on it, which I think would be necessary if the unit had an AUX input. Would'nt it?

Thanks for all your help.
 

Mike-C

Grip
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
16
Ron,

Thanks for the quick response.

I've got to admit that I was hoping that O & A would be on XM. Everything I've read seems to indicate that the music programing on Sirus is "less than inspiring". If I wanted to listen to something less than inspiring I can just tune into any FM station in the NYC area. DOH!

Oh well at least Sirius has the NFL, its not much but its something.

My knowledge base on car audio is severely lacking ( I'm a home theater kinda guy) but you mentioned something about an AUX input. I can tell you that my factory stereo does not have an AUX button on it, which I think would be necessary if the unit had an AUX input. Would'nt it?

Thanks for all your help.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
56,809
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
Mike,

Yes. Your unit would have some sort of AUX
selection in order to have such an input. From
the little I know about these things most factory
installed units do not have AUX in.

This leaves you with two options...

The next best option would be to get a PnP unit
with a cassette adapter. Something tells me however
that your stereo unit may not have a cassette deck
since you mentioned 6-cd changer.

I suppose that leaves you with FM modulation.
While certainly not at the top of my list, it seems
it may be your only alternative.

I am going to hope someone else will offer another
option that I may have overlooked.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
56,809
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
Mike,

Yes. Your unit would have some sort of AUX
selection in order to have such an input. From
the little I know about these things most factory
installed units do not have AUX in.

This leaves you with two options...

The next best option would be to get a PnP unit
with a cassette adapter. Something tells me however
that your stereo unit may not have a cassette deck
since you mentioned 6-cd changer.

I suppose that leaves you with FM modulation.
While certainly not at the top of my list, it seems
it may be your only alternative.

I am going to hope someone else will offer another
option that I may have overlooked.
 

MatS

Screenwriter
Joined
Jan 24, 2000
Messages
1,593
although it appears you decision may already be made to choose the other service
I would just like to add at this time the Roady is the most cost effective solution to switching between car and home.
 

Scott Giles

Auditioning
Joined
Jun 17, 2004
Messages
8
Hey Mike-C;

I'm in the strange position to have contact with both Sirius and XM. I've had an FM modulated Sirius receiver longer in my older car, and recently purchased a newer GM with XM ready radio.

I don't listen a lot on a day-to-day basis. I drive on business travel, however, so my use is hours at a time for a limited number of days.

I don't listen a lot to music, anymore. I had trouble finding a channel, or combination of channels on Sirius for music that I could listen to long term. I listened to the talk or "entertainment" channels more. So, I shouldn't say much about the music on SR vs. XM, besides the fact that the little I have listened, I've heard some change for the better on Sirius, I think.

But to your thinking about FM modulation, I would say that the quality of the final product for my Sirius FM set up is just tolerable. If there is anyway you can go into preamp inputs on your factory radio, spend the extra, do the work! While traveling, there are a few cities (Phoenix being one) that I've found that have no "quiet" frequencies at the bottom of the FM dial to listen to Sirius on! This is a Mexican broadcaster problem in particular, but you may find a similar problem - hopefully for different reasons.
 

Gary Silverman

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 12, 2000
Messages
121
Mike, as far as hardwiring the Sky-Fi, don't cut off the cigarette lighter adapter to wire the unit in. It is a transformer to change the voltage from your car's 12v to a voltage the Sky-Fi can use. I added a cigarette lighter socket in an out the way and hidden location in my wife's car, and the adapter gets plugged in there.
 

Gary Silverman

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 12, 2000
Messages
121
Mike, as far as hardwiring the Sky-Fi, don't cut off the cigarette lighter adapter to wire the unit in. It is a transformer to change the voltage from your car's 12v to a voltage the Sky-Fi can use. I added a cigarette lighter socket in an out the way and hidden location in my wife's car, and the adapter gets plugged in there.
 

BrianAe

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 2, 2002
Messages
441
I think Ron's statements about Sirius programming are a little strong. It all depends on what type of music you like. I tried both at the same time by borrowing a XM unit and streaming Sirius over the web and chose Sirius in the end, mainly for the music content. If you like rock (especially classic rock) then Sirius provides better programming. They have like 5 dedicated classic rock stations including the Vault which plays like 1000 unique songs out of 2000 songs weekly. They also have a channel dedicated to jam bands like the Dead, Phish, Allman Brothers, and a bunch of newer bands that play the same type of music. XM has no such equivalent. Even the 60 and 70 decade stations on Sirius play as much rock as pop (which might be why Ron doesn't like Sirius as much).

XM programming is more varied but I would even argue that it is too varied. The Vault on Sirius with like 1000 unique songs per week is in my mind the perfect mix.
 

BrianAe

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 2, 2002
Messages
441
I think Ron's statements about Sirius programming are a little strong. It all depends on what type of music you like. I tried both at the same time by borrowing a XM unit and streaming Sirius over the web and chose Sirius in the end, mainly for the music content. If you like rock (especially classic rock) then Sirius provides better programming. They have like 5 dedicated classic rock stations including the Vault which plays like 1000 unique songs out of 2000 songs weekly. They also have a channel dedicated to jam bands like the Dead, Phish, Allman Brothers, and a bunch of newer bands that play the same type of music. XM has no such equivalent. Even the 60 and 70 decade stations on Sirius play as much rock as pop (which might be why Ron doesn't like Sirius as much).

XM programming is more varied but I would even argue that it is too varied. The Vault on Sirius with like 1000 unique songs per week is in my mind the perfect mix.
 

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