XM Radio any good?

Tim Kline

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Tim Kline
wondering if anyone here has one or has experience with XM Radio? I'm thinking about getting it in my car.

How much does it cost? Is it worth it? I only really want it for the Metal station, which is something local radio around here doesn't and will never have. I have a CD Player in my car but sometimes I like to hear a good mix of songs instead of the same few bands over and over for the whole trip. If I'm driving down the highway in the middle of a huge thunderstorm, will the radio work? Will I be able to get local stations if I want to just like a normal radio?

At Best Buy today they had a Sony one for $250, that looked cool, had XM, CD, MP3, etc, and the guy said it's $70 for the antenna. is that antenna built into the car somehow or is it just some kind of strong magnet that sticks to your roof? I work in the middle of the city and I'd hate for someone to steal it off my car...

So, anyone know if it's worth getting?
 

Scott L

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Whatever you do do NOT get a Sony deck. The XM RF Modulator unit is ok, but everyone I have talked has had bad experiences with Sony head units. I was even suprised when I reinstalled my facotry stereo and took out my Sony HU, sounded much more clearer and clean.
I'd check out the Alpine, Eclipse, or Kenwood XM models as they are very good CD players. I know Pioneers have XMs but only their higher end ($600+) models are worth looking at.
As for XM Radio itself just about everything I've heard is positive. I think it's around $10/mo and the music is compressed to around 56kb/sec. Still probably sounds better than scratchy FM/AM.
Edit- Buying your stuff online will save you up to 35% on most things:
www.carmedia1.com
www.zebaudio.com
www.ikesound.com
 

Henry Carmona

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Just got a Pioneer 8400

Waiting for the XM digital receiver to arrive so i can subscribe.

Its only about $10.00 a month.

The Pioneer 8400 is a great unit which also plays MP3's

Retails for over $500.00 but i got a brand new one online for $389.00.
 

Kelley_B

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I love the music playlist on Sirius's Satellite Radio. They don't have commercials, which XM does, but they do cost $3 more a month. I have heard the XM has a lot of Clear Channel rebroadcast.
 

Ryan Witt

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I have recently heard (from an ex-Circuit City salesman) that Sony will be quitting the Car audio biz.

Don't know if it's true, but that would affect wether I would purchase the Sony or not.
 
E

Eric Kahn

I am waiting for Sirius because of the fact that XM is part owned by clear channel, the people who ruined broadcast radio
 

Rob TT

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Feb 1, 2002
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I recently looked into getting XM for my car and was a little disappointed. I have a $320 Alpine and in order to get XM, I would have to buy the $70 dollar antenna, and a $260 processor. I think 7 out of the ten rock stations were commercial free. The part that I didn't like is that you have to mount a antenna (a little bigger than a computer mouse) on top of your car. I have a Trans Am and it would just look stupid. The antenna has to be in line of sight to the satellite, so you cannot hide it anywhere. If you have an SUV or something, you can easily hide it in the roof rack area. After you mount it, you still have to run a cable from it. Usually a thin strip of plastic. They do make antennas that mount to glass, but they're kind of bulky looking. Depending on what city you live in, tall buildings can interrupt the signal along with parking garages, long overpasses, mountains.(just remember, the antenna has to "see" the satellite) You cannot pick up local radio stations through satellite. If these conditions don't effect you, I say go for it.
 

Todd Hochard

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XM is part owned by clear channel, the people who ruined broadcast radio
That seals the deal on why I won't be getting XM. Clear Channel

I didn't know that. I didn't look very hard, though. I'm also a bit (ok, I guess not really) surprised that there are commercials.
 

Tim Kline

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so I have to buy a new radio, a processor and an antenna? I kinda figured it would all be built into the radio.

If I don't like XM 6 months after I buy it, can I switch to another provider later on, or do I have to buy a whole new radio, processor and antenna to do that?
 

Todd Hochard

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Well, lessee... From their website:
Clear Channel Radio, the largest operator of radio stations in the United States, provides advertisers with a coast-to-coast platform of more than 1200 stations. Broadcasting across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Clear Channel programming reaches more than 110 million listeners every week. Advertisers spend nearly 20% of their radio advertising dollars with Clear Channel.

In addition to the reach of our own 1200 stations, Clear Channel’s Premiere Radio Network syndicates more than 100 programs to more than 7,800 radio stations total. Premiere reaches 180 million+ listeners a week with its network of top #1 names including Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Rick Dees, Casey Kasem, Jim Rome, Carson Daly and Art Bell. Premiere also broadcasts Clear Channel Entertainment concerts and new CD debuts, enhancing the synergies between divisions.

Despite Clear Channel Radio’s far reaching geography, radio remains a live and local medium in every market the company serves. Clear Channel Radio’s size, however, allows it to leverage state-of-the-art technology and large-market on-air talent to deliver premium programming to smaller towns. Hugely popular shows can be broadcast all over the country, giving listeners the programming and diversity they crave no matter where they are. Clear Channel uses digital voice tracking and in-market feeds to deliver a sound that is live and local.

1200 stations, and for those sharing the same format (Top 40, alternative, etc.) they often get the SAME, EXACT programming and rotation (by their own admission above)- which is great from a business standpoint. But, from a local flavor standpoint, it sucks- badly. The last time I took a driving trip up the East Coast, I heard the same stations, with the same jingle identifier (ever heard "picking you up, and making you feel good, MIX xxx.x!"), same DJ voices, and same too, too limited rotation (the supposed "alternative" station here is more limited than the Top 40 station!!)

It is homogenization of programming country wide, and it's not just Clear Channel doing it. This works for prime time TV programming, and even syndicated radio (like Love Lines, for instance), but for listening to radio, it just leaves a very bad taste in my mouth (ear?).

Imagine if every Italian restaurant across the country were an Olive Garden. Sure, I can get Spaghetti alla Carbonara at just about any decent Italian restaurant, but it's the local flavor and human touch that distinguishes.

Bottom line- I'm simply not willing to pay to hear something that is already essentially nationwide on FM.

Todd
 

Ted Lee

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thanks todd -

now that you mention it, i think i saw an expose on these guys. something about how they're totally taking over...to the point where they own the billboards that advertise their stations, etc...

when i saw the word synergy it made me think of the story...they focused on that word too.
 

Leo Hinze

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Jan 15, 1999
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Clear Channel and Infinity broadcasting have pretty much sucked what little life was left out of commercial radio broadcasting. I just read an article the other day that talks about how some of their bad tactics are now working their way into NPR/non-commercial stations.

Personally, I rarely listen to the radio, much less commercial radio. I prefer NPR or news/talk if the radio is on, but I have lots of CD's, internet radio, and the Music Choice digital that I get with Time Warner.

I hope Sirius eventually rolls out nationwide, and that they maintain a wide variety of commerical-free stations.
 

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