XM radio info

I was reading an article about the new liberal radio and noted that Xm Radio carries the station. So I checked out the site and, wow, there’s all sorts of really cool channels (big band, yum).

I did a search and saw where people raved about it in their cars. Do any of y’all have the home adaption kits? Or the boombox? I’d primarily be listening to it at work and at home. Will it work if you’re not near a window? I’m in a cube at work. If I put the reciever up on my cabinet, it’d have line of site on some east windows. Would this work at all?

Anyway, I’d appreciate any feedback. Thanks.

Sure thing. I’m one of the SD avatars for XM (others will be along I’m sure).

I have the car set in my truck and picked up them boombox for my office. Depending on where you are the boombox gets better reception than others. In my old building I had an interior office (no windows) and got great reception. In my new building I have a window and it’s spotty.

The boombox does come with a 25 foot antenna you can lay out if you want so that gives you some flexibility.

I love XM. I believe it to be an unalloyed good in my life. The channels are tight (though a bit narrowcasted) and well defined. Toss in the fact that they respond to listener feedback and add and drop channels every year or so and you have a good responsive firm that delivers a great product for peanuts.

I’ll be glad to answer any other questions you might have.

Damn, I was just about to post a “Ask the guy who has XM radio” thread.

You, me, Juanita Tech, AnnaLucretia, some others…

It’s our joy and duty to spread the gospel, man.

If you are in a large enough metropolitan area that XM has placed its terrestrial repeaters in your market, that will also help your reception indoors.

If you want to listen to XM in your house and your car, your best bet IS the SKYFI with the car kit, and either the home kit, or the boombox.

Look around on www.xm411.com and www.xmfan.com for internet specials on equipment, sometimes they get much better deals than Wal-Mart, CC, Best Buy, etc.

I’ve done some cursory looking into satellite radio too. What do you XM owners like about it, or dislike about it? I mean, sure, it’s kind of cheap, but hell, right now radio is free for me :slight_smile:

Also - how does Sirius stack up to XM?

Just have the car unit, and my fiance has the Roadie in her car. I’ve had it for around two and a half years. I was one of the first 2000 subscribers. Sorry, had to brag.

I love it. My family has a home unit, and it works perfectly with the antenna in the window.

They listen to their listeners, let me tell you. I emailed them about the American Left channel, and they added it. Loved listening to it today. Now I want them to bring Special X back. And stop playing so many remixes on the 80’s channel.

I’ve had SIRIUS for several months and I love it. I recently went on a road trip from Washington to California, and it was great to be able to hear the same music and talk shows for 1000+ miles.

I also got to check out XM for a few hours in my mom’s new car. I immediately noticed two things:

  1. XM has more music stations and fewer talk/entertainment. I believe they also have more channels overall.

  2. SIRIUS has noticably better sound on their music stations - about CD quality. XM sounds about as good as FM radio.

Other differences I’ve picked up from satellite radio forums:

XM has more ground repeaters, so if you live in a big city, XM is more likely to give you a good signal where you can’t see the sky (under a bridge or in a parking garage). SIRIUS has one more satellite than XM and better orbits, so when you can see the sky, you’re more likely to get a good signal from it.

SIRIUS is more hits oriented; XM has deeper playlists. I only listened to XM for a couple hours, so I can’t say if they have more or less repetition than SIRIUS.

SIRIUS’s music channels are all uncensored; I believe XM has some censored and some uncensored channels. I still catch SIRIUS playing the “radio edit” version of a song once in a while, though.

You can listen to SIRIUS over the internet, at reduced quality. Subscribers can listen as much as they want; guests can only listen for 20 minutes. XM has no internet streaming.

SIRIUS makes a big deal about its coverage of the NFL, NBA, and NHL. I’m not sure how much live sports coverage XM has in comparison.

Two of the big differences between XM and SIRIUS are now gone: XM has no commercials on their music stations anymore, and SIRIUS is running a promotion that makes it about the same price as XM (if you pay for 15 months in advance).

The equipment is mostly the same in terms of features and price. The channels are mostly equivalent, though SIRIUS has more channels in some genres than XM, and vice versa. XM has the new Air America talk network, but SIRIUS has had its own liberal talk station for ages.

I have XM in my car - it came with the car when I bought it last September.

I love, love, love it. You can get the stations just about anywhere I’ve yet driven - none of that fade out between cities crap. And while it sometimes goes out (it HATES parking decks) either it’s on or its off, no hunting for a good station through the static. It also hates to drive by certain buildings, FYI, probably because some material in them interferes with the signal.

The channels are plentiful, they stick hard to their themes, and they’re honestly pretty good - you’ll find something to like. There’s a whole lot of talk, though, and I suspect a lot of people end up listening to the same five or six stations all the time.

It’s a good way to find cool new things if you live in a boring radio market. I’m not a huge country fan, but some of the country stations are -awesome-. There’s a classic country station, a bluegrass station, a cool country fusion sort of station - very cool.

But it really, really hates parking decks. I don’t know if the antenna you get if you install it onto your car works better or worse or what, but that’s kind of obnoxious.

It usually won’t work inside parking garages, under bridges, in tunnels, or next to tall buildings, because you need to have a line of sight from your antenna to the satellite - just like with satellite TV.

Actually, that’s not quite true… your antenna will also pick up signals from repeaters on the ground, when possible, so it can work inside parking garages and next to tall buildings in some cases. I noticed that my mom’s XM kept working inside a parking garage in San Francisco.

So, depending on where you live, either XM or SIRIUS might give you better reception. SIRIUS’s satellites are higher in the sky, so buildings and trees are less likely to cause a problem; XM has more repeaters on the ground, so if you’re in a big enough city, you probably won’t notice when something blocks your antenna’s view of the satellite.

But if you’re out in the sticks where there are no repeaters, and you happen to drive through a forest or a tunnel, you’ll have no signal. It doesn’t really matter which antenna you have, it’s a fundamental problem with any satellite service.

Also, if you’re planning to use satellite radio at home, make sure you have a window or deck facing the right part of the sky! The exact direction you’ll need depends on which carrier you choose and which area of the country you live in; here, SIRIUS’s satellites are in the eastern sky, so when I moved last month, I picked an apartment with a view to the east.

Wow, this thread makes me dance with joy - I work at XM, and you guys seem to really love it! Let me tell you about it.
I used to work for Metro Traffic, which is owned by Westwood One, I was a traffic reporter in Washington DC, and bored out of my wits. Radio wasn’t fun, and it certainly wasn’t very lucrative. I have been on the air (mostly as a DJ) since 1980, and it’s been a long, slow slide to the state it’s in today!
I got an offer for XM’s new traffic service, and jumped. I’ve been there a month (today, in fact!) The money is a little better, but it’s much more than that. I’m really excited about my job, I love going to work, and it’s the most gorgeous place I’ve ever worked in.
I do traffic reports for Philly, St Louis, and starting tomorrow, Boston. Natives of these cities are welcome to send pointers to my email address regarding local road names (I already know the Conshahoken Curve!)
I don’t want to hijack this thread, but I’d be happy to rant and rave about my new home.

I’ve had Sirius for about 8 months and I think it’s great! I chose Sirius over XM because at the time, the receiver and the installation was free, so all I had to pay for was the antenna. I also liked the fact that Sirius has no commercials on the music stations. As was stated above, XM has now gone commercial free, so they are equal in that aspect. I believe that XM offers local weather and traffic updates, and Sirius has also began providing that service in selected markets.

In regards to the OP, I use the Sirius internet stream at work and have never had any problems with it. It requires you to have a high speed connection, which allows (IMO) for pretty decent sound quality. That might be an option for you at work.

The antenna isn’t in the receiver, it’s on the end of a long cable. Looks like the Delphi SkyFi boombox’s antenna is about 22 feet long, and you can buy a 50 foot extension. If that’s long enough, you could put the antenna next to a window and put the receiver in your cube.

If you can’t put the antenna near a window, it won’t really work. Aiming the antenna at a window across the room won’t give you much view of the sky.

Also, I may be wrong, but I think XM’s satellites will be in your southern sky, not to the east.

I love my XM. I have the PC receiver, which is a USB thingum which feeds the sound into the Line In on my sound card – all the controls are handled through software on my computer, which means the computer has to be on to listen to it but my computer’s on all day anyway.

I recently moved, and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to use my receiver, since there’s no windows anywhere near my desk, but I put the antenna on top of some shelves and I get a great signal (esp. from the ground-based transmitters – so-so from the satellite transmitters).

The variety of channels is awesome. The channel that made me really want to get XM is Cinemagic – nothing but film scores all day long. Awww yeah. :cool: I also like listening to the old time radio shows and the techno stations. Bluesville has a good selection of blues songs and The Loft has a lot of really good acoustic stuff.

My sister and brother in law have XM in both of their cars and a home boombox. They can’t get enough of it, especially when sitting in DC traffic, on long car trips or cleaning their house.

The variety and commercial free aspects of it are really great. Where else can you have 24 hour punk rock and 24 hour truckers chat?

Kalex, I’m so jealous you get to work there!! What a dream job! I hope you’ll pass on the #1 best part of XM: The morning Wall St Journal report channel – I called it “short attention span” radio because the topics were so wonderfully random and interesting.

Another XM fan checking in. I have nothing really to add: I got into XM right in the beginning so my equipment is probably obsolete already. (I never see the little shark fins on anyone else’s car. What’s up with that?)

I just wanted to say: Yeah, get XM. 'Cause I bought stock! :smiley:

Also, to all XM subscribers on these here boards: Does anyone know which station(s) will play Rev. Horton Heat? It’s the only alternative band I haven’t been able to find on XM anywhere. It could be because they are hard to pigeonhole into a single genre, but that doesn’t slow down any of the stations who play Tool or Jane’s Addiction. It just means you can hear those bands on a couple different stations. If you have heard Rev. Horton Heat on XM, please let me know on which channel.

I should go to XM’s web site and send them a note as well.

I have Sirius. I enjoy it. I mostly listen to ESPN Radio. Now that XM has commercial free music, XM has made up a lot of the difference between the two.

Sirius can still boast the exclusive NFL Package starting this season.

One knock on Sirius is that they do not have a CNN station. XM has CNN. Sirius has Headline News, but not the main CNN Station. If you want a regular news station, you are strapped in with Fox. If they got CNN, I would be perfectly happy.

I would love to get XM radio, as I’m sick of the cookie-cutter stations on the regular airwaves. But don’t they require a credit card*? Does anyone know of any other payment methods, like taking the monthly charge directly out of your checking account or something?

*Our credit is spotty right now due to last year’s unemployment due to illness, so getting credit isn’t an option right now.

We have XM radio in our wife’s Avalanche and love love love it!

Unfortunately it was not an option in my new Saab. To make it worse, my only options to get XM in the Saab are to install the radio kit (which may not work well due to the unusual nature of the Saab stereo, the display is tied to the phone and system information), or to get a stand alone kit that plugs into the cigarette lighter (I have two) and the cassette deck (DOH! I have CD-player). I may look at getting the office option, but with cable tv’s 100+ music stations, won’t get much use out of it at home (though I love the comedy channels on XM).

I just will have to bide my time until you XM people come up with a way to meet my needs darnit! :frowning:

OK, I just bought the XM Radio SkiFi reciever and boombox. I guess I’ll see if I can make it work in my office (crosses fingers), if not I’ll listen to it at home. I can maybe run the attennae thru the ceiling tiles if it won’t work at my desk but that would require sweet talkin’ the IT guy.

Thanks for all the feedback, it helped solidify my decision…