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Satellite radio equipment ?s & comparisons

Hello to all - I'm having quite a time choosing satellite equipment and am hoping for some answers here. I checked threads but most of you are a bit ! over my head in the technical department, so if you can stand it, here are my (basic) questions:

What is the best sytem to buy and how complicated is it? I've read about differnet components, wiring harnesses, etc. and it's pretty fuzzy for me... my dealer quoted me $675 for parts & labor and I'm going in tomorrow so I'll be able to check it out in person, but I'm not sure how competitive those numbers are.

How complicated is the installation? Do I have to worry about someone messing up my wiring?

I tried checking out Consumer Reports and they had an article from last year that compared Sirius and XM, with virtually no info on the equipment (which would be outdated by now anyway...) If I missed the thread that explains all this, then I apologize ahead of time. (Newbie!)

Thanks for your time.
 

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Well, it all depends...

First of all, there's two ways to go. OEM which is from Nissan or aftermarket.

Both have disadvantages and advantages, depending on your preferences.

OEM? Well, you can't tell it's installed, it works with the radio presets, and the steering wheel controls, as well as your existing display.

Aftermarket? You have to stick something somewhere to see it, but there is an audio adapter that will give you almost the same audio quality as the OEM. It's a heck of a lot cheaper and if you're in to portability or some extra features found on newer units, it's the way to go.

I like the "stealth" look, where you don't see it and it's all integrated.

If you are mildly mechanically minded, you can save some money. Lots of people have done their own installs and would be happy to offer tips on their experiences. Basically, there's the receiver which plugs into an existing harness in your Murano (unless it's a 2003) and an antenna that you have to mount and run the wires from.

That's for the OEM system, which will set you back perhaps $350.

For aftermarket, you still have to put in an antenna, but you also have to buy a Pac Audio input adapter, pull your radio out to connect that, and then connect and find a place to mount the sat receiver display, which will not integrate into the Murano's controls.

But it will cost less, by about $100, perhaps.

If you go OEM, the display support is better on Sirius than XM. I have XM and it would be nice to have more characters, but the reality is, I never have issues figuring out what's playing.

So what's right for you? Beats me.. But ask us all the questions you like!
 

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One question is what year is your MO? If its 2004 or latter the OEM SAT installation is pretty easy if you have worked on cars. I would rate it a 5. If you are not comfortable you could always have it done by a shop for a few dollars.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Guys . . .

. . . for your replies. My Murano (MO?) is an '04, and I, too, prefer a "stealth" look - minimalism, if you will!

As far as saving money: well, if I'm not that confident in my wiring capabilities and I happen to mess things up, well, that's not really "saving" anything, is it?

I'll try to send a pic of my car with my dog "driving" . . .

:2: Thanks Guys . . .
 

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04 installation is pretty straight forward as the car is prewired for the reciever. All you would need to do is install the reciever in the rear and the antenna. If you like the "clean" look you can mount the atenna inside the top of the rear hatch (hatch is plastic works great). You can see a picture of my antenna in my gallery.

I installed mine about a month ago... I am now officially an XM snob... all 18 presets are on XM.
 

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I'm not sure that the other folks have answered your other basic question, Sirrus or XM? I have XM but it's really a toss up as to which you like. I understand the Sirrus has more commercial free channels than XM does. Go to each web site and see what kind of programming fits you best. XM supposedly has a feature that you can listen to XM for free if you have broadband on your computer. I'm getting ready to try it. I had the dealer install done on my 05 and loved it. It wasn't cheap, 360 for parts and 150 for labor but it works great and I wouldn't go bback.
 

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XM will also run on your Windows Media Center PC, if you have one.

Nothing like putting a high end sound system in a quiet home environment and listening to compressed audio from XM. It sounds OK, as long as you don't listen too hard and keep the volume down.
 

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I'll soon be getting an OEM satellite radio installed in my MO for the great price of $399, which includes parts AND labor, as compensation for my dealership treating me horribly (go to this thread for details). And I'm going with Sirius. To me, there are basically 4 reasons to get satellite radio (besides the obvious like coast-to-coast coverage and commercial free):

1) Music: both have fairly eclectic choices in music. So to me, it's a draw between XM and Sirius here.

2) News: both XM and Sirius have pretty much the same news radio stations (Fox, CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, traffic/weather, etc). Again, a draw.

3) Talk radio and entertainment: to me, the edge goes to Sirius. Not just because of Howard Stern is coming to Sirius, but because Sirius offers more talk radio that's less "mainstream," such as three choices in political talk (a left, right, and moderate channel), the Maxim Magazine channel, and two NPR channels. If I wanted mainstream, I'll listen to FM.

4) Sports: definitely goes to Sirius IMO! XM offers MLB, but Sirius offers the NFL, NBA, and NHL (if they decide to play again).

A couple other things that drew me to Sirius:

- You can pay a one-time fee of $500 to be a lifetime Sirius subscriber on your receiver. After about 3 years it pays for itself. And it's only $75 to transfer that to another receiver.

- Listen online whenever you want. Though, I think XM offers this too.

Either way, you'll be happy with either XM or Sirius. It'll be up to your individual tastes on what you prefer.

On a side note...only XM offers a receiver that you can take anywhere you want. If Sirius offered a receiver similiar to XM's on-the-go one so I can take it from car to car, I might have gone with that type of receiver instead of the OEM from Nissan. But I don't regret the decision. I, too, am pretty minimalist and love the fact that I can control the satellite channels from my wheel.
 

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jaak, how many chars can you see through the OEM display with XM? I have Sirius (factory installed), and I can't see that many characters either. I think I can see like 12 or 15 or something... I'll have to count next time I'm in the MO, but I find it pretty frustrating.

The characters take up a fixed amount of space even though an "i" is nowhere near as wide as a "W". So the text looks like "S o n g T i t l e", which is frickin' annoying. And there is no way to enable text scrolling. So you're stuck with the first 12 or 15 or however many characters you're given. Most aftermarket units have much denser characters that look a lot nicer, as well as support scrolling if you want to enable it.

I really, really like having the satellite integrated, however. I'm just annoyed about how crappily the MO displays text.

Anybody know if those who have the Nav unit/screen installed experience better text display?
 

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XM is worse, with only ten characters.

Not only does that suck, but the RDS in the Murano is crap too, as it's far from complete. Nissan was really being lazy and didn't do it right.

If you have Nav, you have the choice of the Channel Number, Name, Artist, or Song Title, but only one at a time.

At least the monochrome display will show you all at once.

Nav screen


Monochrome XM


Monochrome Sirius
 

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Wow, that really sucks. I can't believe how low-budget their satellite radio implementation is. I wish I had the time and resources to try to hack the MO's display and rewrite the software.

It would be cool to get a bunch of computer-savvy MO owners together and create a new embedded system to drive the NAV screen that kept all the current functionality but added more customizability and full, proper support for XM/Sirius.
 

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Yeah, thought that many times, as have others, but no one's followed through yet.

Fair bit of work, and who's got the time?
 

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Sirius Radio

Can I confirm with anyone, that I need to buy the Sirius Radio Receiver in order to get sirius radio in my Mo? Do i need to buy anything else? An antenna maybe or does it come with that?

Then I use the siruis radio through our regular Mo radio or do I have to use the receiver part?

I'm considering buying it today since it is free after rebates.. the receiver part.

I also believe 3 months free and then like $12 a month, right?

Does anyone have it installed and love it ? (not XM, just sirius I mean)
- Thanks
 

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I love Sirius' programming, I was just annoyed at the way the Mo's display handles the data.

You will need a tuner and an antenna. Your stereo is the receiver and is pre-wired to handle Sirius (if it's '04 or later). Actually I seem to recall some people talking about how the '03 is SAT-ready also...not sure tho. I think what you mean by receiver is the unit that goes in the dash or is mounted somewhere in the dash area...the thing with the buttons and the screen. You don't need to buy one of those if your Mo is pre-wired for SAT. Some receivers have the tuner built in. These are mostly the portable ones that you mount above the dash. The ones that are made to be mounted inside the dash, that replace the stereo completely, usually don't have the tuner built in. At least that was the case a year ago.

Anyway, the antenna is magnetic and goes on your roof, and the wire gets fed down to the tuner, which is easiest to place next to the stereo's amp, I would think. Then you just connect the tuner up to your stereo. You can probably check the service manual for exact wiring instructions. Or hopefully someone with installation experience will chime in here. My Mo came with the SAT package already installed, so I have no idea how it was done. However, I have installed an aftermarket Sirius tuner, antenna, and receiver (replaced the entire OEM stereo) into my fiancee's Jetta. It was pretty darn easy.
 

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I just switched from OEM XM to OEM Sirius 2 days ago. I do like the additional text that gets displayed. Right now, Sirius's channel offering is a refreshing change from XM. (I have been an XM subscriber for 3 years and still have it in 2 other vehicles).

Since I had the wiring harness already, it was literally a 15 minute job. I have the Sirius antenna stuffed in the third brake light compartment, my XM antenna is on the roof. So far, the reception is about the same as XM. I do see some drops in places I didn't with XM, but I also now get good signal in places where XM didn't work well. So its a wash.

I did switch for Howard Stern, but I think I'm going to get some other fringe benefits. I haven't terminated service on my OEM XM receiver yet though. I'm still in "eval" mode.
 

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jtemail said:
I just switched from OEM XM to OEM Sirius 2 days ago. I do like the additional text that gets displayed. Right now, Sirius's channel offering is a refreshing change from XM. (I have been an XM subscriber for 3 years and still have it in 2 other vehicles).

Since I had the wiring harness already, it was literally a 15 minute job. I have the Sirius antenna stuffed in the third brake light compartment, my XM antenna is on the roof. So far, the reception is about the same as XM. I do see some drops in places I didn't with XM, but I also now get good signal in places where XM didn't work well. So its a wash.

I did switch for Howard Stern, but I think I'm going to get some other fringe benefits. I haven't terminated service on my OEM XM receiver yet though. I'm still in "eval" mode.
Where did you purchase your unit from?
 

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I'm sticking with Sirius, I'm out of eval mode. Even some of the dropout issues have gone away. I still have factory XM in 2 other vehicles, so I will be diverse.

I bought my receiver from Grubbs which is where I also bought my XM one a year or so ago. I am going to try to get my XM one swapped and sell it here on this forum. I couldn't sell my current XM receiver with its intermittent "LOADING" issue with a clear conscious.
 

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My first post here. I just traded my Jeep on an 03 Murano, which does not have the adapter cable (not sure that is the proper terminology). For now I am installing my Sirius FM modulated unit from the Jeep in the Murano.

My question for those who have installed FM modulated units (it is the plug and play type that can be transferred to my home stereo)...where did you install the display unit? Where is the best spot?

By the way, I also have a Z and I cannot believe how much I love driving the Murano. A very pleasant surprise.
 

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Sirius radio. Stern and Stewart. What a combination!
 

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gdojr

I actually saw an interesting install of a sirius FM Modulated unit in a sunglass holder the other day. I can't remember if the Mo. has one or not. Different make of vehicle but it got me to thinking. They ran power from the dome light. The Receiver/FM Modulator unit was skinny enough to fit inside the sunglass holder that flipped down from the ceiling. When they were using it they just opened up the sunglass holder and selected whatever channel they wanted. Pretty cool install!!!
 
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