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Legend
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202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Contemplating taking the satellite radio plunge...need info PLEASE!
I'm looking into taking the satellite radio plunge. I've looked at both XM and Sirius, and it appears that while many feel XM has better sound quality, some prefer Sirius too. I've heard XM (have it with DirecTV) and felt the sound was FM quality or better, and I've heard Sirius and it sounded the same to me, so the reports of "near-AM level SQ" I've heard about Sirius seems unfounded at best and an out and out lie at worst.

The music station selection looks slightly better on Sirius, being that I am a MAJOR 80s hair band and heavy metal fan and they have Hair Nation. XM has the Boneyard but it seems to be somewhat inferior in selection to Hair Nation.

OK - so first off, here's what I like to listen to:

-talk radio, mainly conservative-leaning
-80s music of all kinds, pop, metal, rock, hair bands
-occasionally country and classical
-sports

I have a 2004 Mitsubishi Galant with the Infiniti system. Have no plans to replace that. Will I need an FM modulator or is there going to be a hook up on the stereo? I know that going through the owners manual and playing with the radio there appears to be no "aux" setting so I'm betting there is no way to hook it in directly.

I travel a lot and as a result would prefer to avoid the FM modulator route since as I drive into different areas my selected frequency may well be an OTA FM station and I'll have to change the frequency of the modulator while trying to drive...plus SQ will obviously be better with a direct connection.
 

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AllStar
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56 Posts
I have had both XM and Sirius since the day they started broadcasting. I love Sirius for the sports and the classic rock. I also think the country selection of Sirius is better.

I like XM for the selection of talk radio and late night radio (Coast to Coast).

Sound quality is about the same.

If you haven't taken a look at the web sites to see what is playing and what is offered, I would.

I can't really sway you one way or the other. I like them both for the various reason above.
 

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Legend
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202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've heard due to FCC regulations, the new FM modulators suck and it looks like my factory radio does NOT have an aux input, and I can use this "PIE" thing but then I lose my CD changer which I also don't want to do.
 

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I think (someone correct me if I'm wrong) XM is doing away with wireless modulators but has developed a "quick connect" system that will send a signal to your radio via your existing antenna. You won't have to give up the CD changer. I've had XM for three years but honestly, I think you would be very happy with either service. Both have plusses and minuses but both are way, way, way better than AM/FM. If you like MLB, get XM. If you've got to have the NFL, pick Sirius. Everything else is a toss up.
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pete K. said:
I think (someone correct me if I'm wrong) XM is doing away with wireless modulators but has developed a "quick connect" system that will send a signal to your radio via your existing antenna. You won't have to give up the CD changer. I've had XM for three years but honestly, I think you would be very happy with either service. Both have plusses and minuses but both are way, way, way better than AM/FM. If you like MLB, get XM. If you've got to have the NFL, pick Sirius. Everything else is a toss up.
I'm more a football than baseball guy.

How is yours hooked up?
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I saw a map showing signal strength over the US, and it appears that signals are VERY weak in the South, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida primarily, is that true?
 

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Godfather
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260 Posts
I have Sirius, I chose it for the sports (NFL and Oklahoma broadcasts) and I am more a classic rock person also. Both services are good, it all depends on which service has the music and programming that you desire. Try the free online trial of both services.

I have the FM modulator that you plug into the head unit and plug the antenna into the modulator, it has always worked great and both of our PNP units are hooked up this way. I only used the built-in modulator for a week, in Dallas there was never enough open bandwidth for it to work for long without having to change the station. I do want to get a JVC in-dash DVD with the Sirius Connect box and get rid of the PNP unit eventually.
 

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Legend
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bluedogok said:
I have Sirius, I chose it for the sports (NFL and Oklahoma broadcasts) and I am more a classic rock person also. Both services are good, it all depends on which service has the music and programming that you desire. Try the free online trial of both services
And I got it for NASCAR, plus, having Dish Network, I knew the music channels, and enjoy them.

I didn't actually know about the Oklahoma football, so that was an unexpected bonus.
 

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Banned
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I've heard XM (have it with DirecTV) and felt the sound was FM quality or better, and I've heard Sirius and it sounded the same to me, so the reports of "near-AM level SQ" I've heard about Sirius seems unfounded at best and an out and out lie at worst.
The audio quality of XM on DirecTV and Sirius on Dish is not the same quality you'll get from the SDARS providers themselves. Sirius and XM sound better on DBS then they actually do. Especially in the case of Sirius on Dish. I don't have many nice things to say about Dish, but Sirius sounds awesome on E*.

Having both XM and Sirius, some channels do sound better on one service then the other. Neither service is CD quality by any means (with an exception, see below), but Watercolors on XM, the smooth jazz channel sounds better to me then typical FM. Ethel, the new alt rock channel the compression is as clear as day. XM sound quality varies by channel, so does Sirius' to a point.

XM has two channels (XM Pops and Fine Tuning) that are broadcast in Neural digital 5.1 audio, you only get the discrete 5.1 signal if you have a compatible home theater receiver with a built in XM tuner, but due to the bandwidth these two channels are allotted they sound better then anything else on satellite radio no matter what receiver you have.

The music station selection looks slightly better on Sirius, being that I am a MAJOR 80s hair band and heavy metal fan and they have Hair Nation. XM has the Boneyard but it seems to be somewhat inferior in selection to Hair Nation.
Bone Yard is more or less Hair Nation and Buzzsaw combined. Some of the stuff Bone Yard plays doesn't exactly fit into the Classic Hard Rock genre. I mean Run Runaway by Slade, some Bone Jovi cheese but some stuff is pretty good. I never really listened to Hair Nation, but I do prefer Buzzsaw over Bone Yard. The two Later Classic Rock channels, Classic Rewind on Sirius and Big Tracks on XM are a wash. They're both are awesome.
 

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akron05 said:
I saw a map showing signal strength over the US, and it appears that signals are VERY weak in the South, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida primarily, is that true?
No. I live in NE Georgia and the signals are strong. I only experience signal dropouts where there is heavy foilage blocking a view of the Southern sky and/or in tunnels and parking decks outside metro Atlanta. None of the dropouts last more than a second or so. In Atlanta, with repeater coverage, dropouts are even more unusual.
Also, to answer your question about how my radio is wired, I use a hardwired FM modulator and listen on 87.9 FM. The quality is great.
 
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