A little Satellite radio help


Active Member
I have a car stereo that is Satellite ready, and never thought I would use that feature.... till now. I am getting sick of commercials with a little bit of music in between.

Between Sirius and XM has anyone had any experience? The hardware is the same price for either company. I just wanted to know if there were any known issues with either, benifits of one over the other and any experience that any one has had with them.

Thanks in advance.
I have had XM for a little over a year now. I've been happy with it. Two of my friends have Sirius and they like it, except for the reception issues. They get signal drop outs, a little more frequently than I do, and it's kind of annoying.

Hope this helps,
Thanks any little bit of info helps... I am sorry to hear about the drop out issues with Serious... I was just about to make a decision and go with them... I have been doing a lot of comparing with the 2 services. Serious seems to offer a lot more than XM does. XM has a single news feed "Public Radio Legend". Serious on the other hand has CNN, Fox News, The Weather Channel and a lot more talk radio stuff. I want it primarily for music, but the news and talk is very nice to have when ya want it.

They are both the same price for the hardware, and subscription.

If anyone is watching this thread, you can get a 3 day trial for both Serious and XM and listen to them through the web for free for 3 days.
My Hertz rentals always have Sirrius in them (one of the "benefits" of renting a car every week for the last 10 years). I like it... great selection of music. I've spent a lot of time with it and hadn't had too many drop out issues - not enough for me to really notice.

One of my friends has XM and we went to the beach (NC) last weekend with it. We lost our signal as we got about 10 miles away from the beach and didn't pick it back up again until we got back to the same area heading home. This surprised me, but he said it happens every time he drives out there. Otherwise, seemed decent.
It's been a while since I looked at either. A year or so ago I subscribed to XM for a few months. I was using an XM-PCR device (purchased for $35 just before they were discontinued - I should have ebayed it for $300 when I had the chance :( ). The software left much to be desired - which is the main reason I cancelled - but for the most part I liked the programming.

Like I said, I haven't looked at either for a while. But, at that time Sirius used to have a lot more commercials or interruptions during music than XM. Is that still the case?
I've had XM for years and could not be happier. Everyone faces the same issue of choosing one and I can't comment on the reception differences between the two. If you need a variety of programming then that should probably be the driving issue. I only listen to 1 channel and never change.

If you live in a large city check to see whether they have radio repeaters installed. If not you will loose the signal in downtown areas and plenty of other places. XM has repeaters in Houston and I can drive around downtown and in parking garages and not loose the signal. When repeaters are not present even a tree can block the signal.

I have never used satelite but a friend of mine took his back only after a few days of buying it becasue every time he got near trees it would cut out. So from my experiences with his setup i would say if you live in the desert then you will be fine. He could have possibly just had a crappy system though. It was a portable with a antenna that he stuck out the window.
I know a few people who have XM in their cars (came with the car). They have all loved it. I have not heard any complaints from them (both were in Acura's and were factory installed).

I'm on the fence, but have been going back and forth between a portable unit I can use in the car and at home (although Polk has a nice one for home use only), and an iPod or equivalent. Most of my listening is at home (but I would use it in the car) and with a large collection of MP3's I haven't been inspired to make a decision (although I have thought about it often)... yet.
electron said:
Found this link, looks like it might help with your decision, as it compares both services, and was updated just yesterday.

They look pretty similar on that comparison!

I would check out the channel lists. If you have specific musical likes, especially non-mainstream tastes like me, then the channel selection will make your decision.

Both services have RS-232 controlled devices for automation. I think the Kenwood Sirius receiver is the best-looking one, but there are many to choose from. If you have (or plan to get) whole-house audio, several brands including Russound have special XM tuners that show XM data (channel names, song info, etc) in the LCD keypads.
Another vote for XM. I've had it for about a year and now I can’t live without it. :(

For the car, I'm sure they are both very comparable. I went with XM because it’s installed in my house and the wide selection of software apps. XMLobby is one of those Killer Apps and a huge hit when guests are over. Additionally, ExtremePCR and TimeTrax are really nice.
Antenna placement is an issue. Don't expect much from antennas placed inside the car (even in the front window). I used to have a 99 Corvette and I placed the antenna under the back facia inside the car. Guess what, since the car was not metal I got great reception. My current installation was done by a professional moron (not me). It is placed so near the edge of my luggage rack on my SUV that I suspect that causes problems when the car faces a certain direction. Get someone who knows what they are doing to either install the antenna or tell you where to place it. It ain't rocket science but even the pros sometimes will place the antenna in a bad place because it's easier to install.

I've had both XM & Siri and have had reception issues with each. And, in both cases, I was able to easily resolve the reception issues by moving the antenna & changing the FM frequency transmitter to the point where both were rock solid. I decided to stick with Siri because of the programming. I'm a huge football fan, I'm a parrot-head (Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Radio) and I do occasionally listen to Stern.

Having used both I would honestly tell anyone to let the programming guide them and regardless of which one you choose you WILL LOVE IT! People who have XM sware it's the greatest thing in the world and vice versa... I try to be a bit more objective so I can say they're both great.

I currently have the Sirius Sportster Replay PNP receiver with Car Kit and Boombox. I also bought an additional antenna which is mounted by my pool cabana to connect the boombox to when we're hanging out in the summer. This is easier then unraveling the boomboxes own antenna every time to get the best signal.