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Why do I need Satellite radio when I have a Smartphone?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Mark Holtz, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    I've had my Android Droid phone with Verizon Wireless for a little over a year now. It's a Droid X with 3G data, and I was very lucky to have the Unlimited Data on my phone. However, for about a month now, I have been listening to streaming music through my phone which does have a jack so that I can hook up a FM transmitter and listen to it on my car radio. The applications that I have loaded up (and links to Android Marketplace) are:(Note: Most of these applications are probably available in iPhone versions as well)

    Part of this is because I enjoy the old "Big Band" music as well as classical and jazz music. Unfortunately, "Big Band" music is no longer broadcast in my market, and the local Public Radio station has made some changes to the format that is making local Jazz and Classic music lover unhappy.

    I'm looking at the coverage map for Verizon, and most of the areas where I would be traveling in has 3G coverage. So, the question becomes.... if people are able to stream music through their smart phones, why bother with Satellite Radio?
     
  2. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

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    If you have an unlimited data package and you can receive the programming you want, then your smartphone is probably a better alternative. The one area where sat radio might be cheaper is with their sports packages.
     
  3. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    I have satellite radio for the convenience. For a 5 minute drive, I don't feel like connecting my phone and launching whatever app I'd need for streaming.
     
  4. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone DBSTalk Club

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    My wife has Sirius, strictly for Howard.

    I just use the Sirius app with her account and stream it via my smart phone.
     
  5. 4HiMarks

    4HiMarks Hall Of Fame

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    I would shorten that question to "Why do I need Satellite radio?"
     
  6. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

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    For those who can't stream or someone who is interested in sports and wants all the games WITHOUT blackouts, or doesn't want to listen to 20 minutes of commercials every hour...... I could go on.

    Of course, ever since the merger, Sat radio hasn't been as good as it originally was.
     
  7. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    If the question were "Why do I need a satellite radio?" I would answer that you probably don't.

    I didn't need it. But our new (2011) car came with the service, I don't have to fiddle with my iPhone while driving to use it as there are controls on the steering wheel, in our area [name your company] cell service of all G's (and FM radio) is hit and miss while I only very briefly lose the satellite in two places, plus having no commercials (although some of the "DJ's" are annoying) and consistent playlists no matter where you are is good. So now I do need it.;)
     
  8. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    There are some situations where a smart phone won't work.

    At work I can't have a smart phone(or any cell phone in some locations), stream radio via my PC, or put music CDs in my PC. So, at work I listen to my XM radio (XMP3i) at my desk and on the drive to and from work.

    Mike
     
  9. dmspen

    dmspen Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Our daughter is in college some distance away from home. When we travel down the state, there are many areas without 3g or good radio coverage. Satellite radio is terrific at these times. Also, my favorite music station went bye-bye 2 years ago but satellite radio has a station that is a great alternative. Also, not having unlimited data on my phone prevents this as a real option not to mention fiddling with the phone while driving to change anything. Our van has voice recognition so changing XM stations is simple.
     
  10. dualsub2006

    dualsub2006 Icon

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    PRO Sports
    MLB At Bat app - Home and away audio. No blackouts, every game. $15 a year.
    NFL 11 - Home and Away audio. Every game, no blackouts. $22 a year.
    NBA League Pass - Live video and audio. Don't have it so don't know much about it. $40 a year.
    NHL Gametime - Home audio. Don't know anything else. $10 a year.

    iHeartRadio - Many, many college football and basketball games. Every game that I needed to hear this year. Free.
    Tune In Radio PRO - Many, many more college games. A lot that I wanted to hear I found through his app. $.99

    Rdio, Daytrotter and Pandora for music and I'm all set. I'm spending $5 ($16 less actually as I kept my Inno to listen outside my vehicle) or so less per month than I was paying XM. But it wasn't about he money.

    The music on XM sucks since the merger. College sports were hit or miss. MLB is home broadcast only. Screw all of that. My solution isn't as convenient as XM was, but I'm much happier with my own solution.
     
  11. jadebox

    jadebox Godfather

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    If I drove a lot, I'd probably still have satellite radio. Unless you have one of those car tuners that provide controls from your cell phone, it's much safer and easier to tune a satellite radio while driving than the play with the cell phone.

    But, I drive a short distance to work each day. I have "favorites" set up with the Stitcher app in my smartphone to play a couple of news summaries, a couple of "news" summaries from The Onion, then a few podcasts. As I am leaving for work, I just click "Favorites" then "Play" then set the phone aside.

    For longer trips, I use Audible.com to listen to audio books or I play music stored on the phone.

    -- Roger
     
  12. sum_random_dork

    sum_random_dork Icon

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    As others have said, when you drive a lot you don't always get the best reception with 3G/4G. I know many places I drive I am lucky to get any signal driving through the mountains of California. I have been with XM since '02 and like knowing which stations I enjoy and what's on. Yes I can download various apps to listen to sporting events if I wanted but it's easier to have it all in one location.
     
  13. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    As I stated in my first post, most of the areas that I travel in have 3G coverage. I-5 and I-80 towards Reno... no problem. US-50 from Sacramento to Tahoe.... that's a maybe. CA-89.... absolutely no cell service.

    Of course, I have a very short commute. If I was a super commuter over not-so-well traveled roads, maybe I would be a bit different.
     
  14. Yoda-DBSguy

    Yoda-DBSguy Hall Of Fame

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    Why would someone choice actual satellite radio over a 3g cell combined with an fm transimitter you ask?

    Well that's a simple one. The reason is because every FM transmitter I've ever used (and have tried them all) sound like crap!

    -Their quality lacks for several reasons.
    -The frequency being transmitter is so narrow that most highs and lows get lopped off.
    -The range is not only pethetic; but down right insulting as you will get intetmitant static or interferance from almost in the vehicle including right infront o the radio itself.

    The qaulity of sound is just leaps and bvounds better on an actual digital headend/tuner then what your trying to use by going the FM transmission route.

    At any rate; I'd suggest buying a transmitter locally with a store that has a lienant return policy as you will probably end up doing just that. :listening

    Quality is not harmonious with cheap as you may find out soon enough....
     
  15. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    Unfortunately, my 2005 Chevy Malibu doesn't seem to have a AUX input so that I can hook up a audio player directly for playback, thus the FM Transmitter has to do. Otherwise, we are talking about some serious money that I really don't want to spend.
     
  16. jadebox

    jadebox Godfather

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    Oh, I missed the part about using an FM transmitter in the original post.

    I use a Bluetooth adapter plugged into the auxillary port in our car.

    I tried one of those FM transmitter things and found it to be useless. Every five minutes the audio gets washed out and you have to retune the transmitter and your car radio.

    -- Roger
     
  17. Yoda-DBSguy

    Yoda-DBSguy Hall Of Fame

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    I'm telling you, your gonna be really frustrated with the reception and quality (or lack there of) on an FM transmitter.

    Without spending much at all a better alternative would be to add a fm modulator. It's relatively inevpensive and hooks inbetween the car stereo headend unit and the incomming car antenna line. It gives direct composite style rca plugs for direct audio in from your device. You simply choose what channel you want your signal to be pumped out to and you'll regain the quality as well as a steady always reliable signal.

    If you need a source let me know and I can direct ship one out though my distributor.:grin:
     
  18. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    OK, in mid-February I'll be driving around the middle of Texas in a rental car that doesn't have satellite radio. I've got an Android phone, so what's the best way to listen to my XM channels through my phone?
     
  19. Yoda-DBSguy

    Yoda-DBSguy Hall Of Fame

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    Almost all of the newer cars in rental fleets (as well as those available to consumers) already incoporate a an aux or "input jack on radio. Simply use a mini stereo (headphone jack) to mini stereo (headphone jack) cable to connect your smartphone to the factory radio.

    Code:
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Cables-To-Go-1.5-3.5mm-Right-Angled-M-M-Stereo-Audio-Cable/16419477
    If the rental does not include such an "aux" jack; then the FM transmitter I so despise is your only real solution.
     
  20. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    I guess I'll have to pick up the cable you mentioned. Of course, I won't know until I pick up the car whether it has such aux jack.
     

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