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Discussion Starter #1
Thanks to all for the great posts and instructions on installing the Sat. receiver and wiring harness into a "03 MO. Now that we know where to order and how to install, the question becomes which service. I have been doing some research, but would like the opinions of those who are considering or have installed the Sat. receivers on the difference between XM and Sirius. So far, I have learned:
1. XM, partly due to a long head start, has more than triple the number of subcribers than Sirius.
2. Sirius has no commercials and has better encoding technology, so has the potential for better sound quality than XM without the commercials.
3. Sirius DJ's talk way too much. Maybe the XM DJ's have less time to talk to fit in the commercials?
4. XM has a serious problem with their satellites. It seems the satellites are decaying much faster than predicted and now there is a mad rush to build and launch replacement satellites before the present ones fail. What happens if the old ones fail before the replacements are in orbit?
5. Financial experts warn that both services have been operating in the red since startup and it might be years before either turn a profit. The investors may give up and sell either or both services. The most likely buyer would be Clear Channel Communications or Infinity Broadcasting. These are the two companies primarily the reason no one wants to listen to radio these days. Together, they control nearly all radio markets and have turned each station into uninspired and bland programming. If they get their hands on either XM or Sirius, they will most likely turn those systems into more of the same ole' commercial schlock.

Any opinions or suggestions to help decide which service?
 

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As far as I'm concerned, the decision between XM and Sirius is entirely personal and is related to which service provides you with the type of radio listening you want. There are clear differences (and lots of similarities). Head over to their web sites, browse their channel listings, and give them a listen! The financial end of things for the two companies is interesting but probably shouldn't be a deciding factor in your choice. My guess is that satellite radio will go the way of satellite TV.....consolidation, with one company buying out the other.

By the way, Clear Channel is already heavily invested in satellite radio. They own a large portion of XM and provide a ton of programming. Whatever blandness they have shown in the broadcast programming hasn't resulted in blandness in XM programming.

Jeff
 

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I'm an investor in both companies and I'm a subscriber to XM (on the family plan).

The subscriber ratio between the two companies is much greater than 3-1. Sirius just reported 149,612 subscribers while Xm just crossed the million subscriber mark.

http://www.sirius.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Sirius/CachedPage&c=PresReleAsset&cid=1066857394387

http://www.xmradio.com/index.jsp

I agree with jpburk in that it's all about programming choices, not the financial stability or satellite failure, it's a service and your paying for the programming.

I like XM but that's just because they were out first and I'm one of those early adopters. A co-worker of mine just got Sirius and we "discuss the differences" quite frequently.

As far as the disk jockeys go, the XM channels I most frequently listen to are commercial free. The other ones have some commercials but they don't seem to be the annoying stuff that you hear on the FM band (IMO).

Just pick one (you can listen for free on each of their web sites)and get on the bandwagon. It's all about the programming. I don't even think about the technology behind it anymore. Every single day I get in the Murano with the full digital SAT experience and the NAV system and that smooth CVT and VQ, I have a hard time stopping at my destination, I just want to keep driving.

As far as the investments go, they're both "Las Vegas money" type investments. Not the kind of stocks where you put your retirement money.

XM is starting to branch out a bit, I just noticed they're offering
weather information also.
 

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Sirius or XM

I can't live without my Sirius Satellite radio. Its so good that I will get another subscription for my home. On an average day I typically scan from "Sirius" Blues, Organic (everything goes, but mellow), 60's rock, 70's rock, Trend (current rock,adult album), Alt Nation (Alternative Rock), and Folk.

But if I'm in the mood, there are 6 Jazz Channels, 3 Classical Channels, 5 country and Bluegrass channels,etc.

But many more are offered. To run the totals: 9 Pop channels, 13 Rock channels, 5 Country channels, 5 Hip hop, 4 R&B, 6 Dance, 6 Jazz, 3 Classical, 9 Variety(includes Reggae, Latino, Kids, Live music, etc.), 16 News channels, (including NPR, 9 Sports), and 19 Entertainment channels, (includes Disney, Radio Classics, Comedy, etc.)

You hear something new and exciting you look at the display and learn the artist and song title.

THERE ARE ZERO COMMERCIALS!!

:D
 

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More facts..

I also "play" the stocks of both companies, here are some facts...


1) True, XM "rolled out" first, however Sirius was the first to develop satellite radio and was way ahead of XM...UNTIL..Agere (the Lucent spinoff) had an 11th hour delay in developing the chipset for the Sirius head units....this allowed XM to get the jump on Sirius...other wise it would be Sirius with the huge lead in subscribers instead of XM (Sirius should sue Agere for costing them millions in revenue.)

2) Sirius has NO commercials on their music channels, XM is commercial free on 30 or so of their music channels, but I hear that the commercials are increasing little by little (rumor).

3)My local Infiniti dealer is recommending Sirius to their customers because they think its better, they have no XM marketing material in their showroom. I don't know if this is true of all Infiniti dealers. (Customers can still request XM). The service manager says that most customers request Sirius anyway because Sirius has an exclusive deal with NPR (and NHL & NBA), seems that everyone wants the NPR talk feeds.

4)The Sirius satellites have a superior orbit to the XM birds...they are higher...creating more of a downward angle. Studies/reviews have indicated that you are less likely to lose the Sirius signal when driving through the mountains do to the higher orbit.

5)The Sirius satellites are capable of and Sirius will be offering....VIDEO! Video capable Sirius head units will come out in 2004 (according to rumor).
 

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No buyout..

Forgot to mention, there will be no buyout of one company by the other because of the same reason that Echostar(Dish) was not allowed to buy DirecTV...the FCC won't allow it! This would create a monopoly.

If you know the complete history of these two companies you would know that XM exists because the FCC told Sirius (formerly CD RADIO) that they must have competition in the marketplace before they could roll out....they would not allow 1 company to have a monopoly on such a potentially huge market....thus, XM was born.
 

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I had a choice between the XM and Sirius units for the MO and went with the Sirius unit.

So far they experience has been very good. No commercials :)

Some streams have DJ's or what ever they are called that seem to speak a lot, but you get used to it or just change the stream :)

I figured I was getting the Sat Radio so i don't have to listen to commercials, so why should I pay for one that will eventually have more commercials :)

But i agree with it being a personal choice between the 2. I don't think you can make a bad choice if you choose one or the other.

Its like vanilla or chocolate Ice cream :) how can you choose :)
 

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NO-MO-SNOW
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I too am struggling with this decision. Anyone else have some more insight/personal opinions?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Snow MO said:
I too am struggling with this decision. Anyone else have some more insight/personal opinions?
After a lot of listening to both services via the internet and talking to others who have satellite radio, I finally decided to go with XM. The main reason is that XM has a lot of specially produced programming on each stream. If you are looking mainly for a steady stream of music, then Sirius might be better, but if you are looking for more "in depth" and informative type programming, then XM might be better. Generally, I think XM appeals more to listeners about 35 and older while Sirius seems to be geared more for younger listeners.

XM does have commercials on some channels but they are few and far between and have not bothered me at all. XM is about $3.00 per month less than Sirius. If you activate via the internet rather than telephone, the activation is about half price. I have learned since I activated my service that if you do it by phone and tell them it is a new Nissan install, the activation and first two months service are free.

There are a couple of things though I do not like about XM, but they might also apply to Sirius. One is that on song titles and artists names, there are only 10 text characters displayed for each even though the display in the Bose radio can display about 20 characters in each line. If I hear something I like and do not know who it is, often ten characters are not enough to display enough of the name that I can tell who it is or what the complete song title is. The other thing is that the sound quality is lacking a little bit. It is certainly way better than AM radio, but not quite as good as well received FM station that broadcasts a good signal. But don't let that be a turn off since most FM stations only want to be the loudest in the market and do not worry about anything else as far as audio quality.

I had just about given up on listening to the radio while I was driving and would listen to CD's or tapes. XM has changed that now. No matter how long the drive, I can always find something worthwhile to listen to and I am sure I would find the same with Sirius. No matter which service you select, I think most listeners will find it well worth the investment.
 

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The other thing is that the sound quality is lacking a little bit. It is certainly way better than AM radio, but not quite as good as well received FM station that broadcasts a good signal
Whats up with this! I thought it was supposed to be near cd quality. If it is almost as good as fm then I do not want one. Can someone else confirm sound quality please.
 

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NO-MO-SNOW
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That's exactly what I was thinking. I was always under the impression that a satellite signal would be more clear than regular FM
 

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Maybe I made an assumption but the sat music I get on my dish setup at home is cd quality. At least it is dam close. Definately want to hear from other users on this one.
 

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I have two XM SAT receivers, one in the 03 Murano (full digital connection) and one in the 00 Maxima (Pioneer RF modulated through an available FM station). Both through the factory Bose.

When I first got the RF modulated system in the Maxima, everyone who rode with me would invariably ask what CD we were listening to when the XM was playing.

I'd go into my "dog and pony" demonstration show and play a strong FM station, switch to the XM, then play a CD, and they'd understand (or their ears would) the differences.

In my Maxima, the progressive change in sound quality is approximately equal moving up from FM to XM to CD, IMO.

Then I installed the Murano full digital connection system and now when I listen to the systems, I realize that there's another step up in quality between the SAT RF modulated and the SAT direct and then CD sound quality.

The difference between the Murano's XM/SAT and CD is still noticeable but significantly less so than in the Maxima.

I've never heard any FM station that sounds better than XM SAT, either through the RF or direct connection.

If your mobile system sounds worse than an FM station, I'd say it's been installed incorrectly, maybe isn't grounded properly?
 

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I have the XM installed in my O4 MO and I think the sound quality is near CD. None of the stations in the Pittsburgh area come even close to the sound quality of the XM unit...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
dklanecky1 said:
[
I've never heard any FM station that sounds better than XM SAT, either through the RF or direct connection.

If your mobile system sounds worse than an FM station, I'd say it's been installed incorrectly, maybe isn't grounded properly? [/B]
I think I did not express myself so that my statement was clearly understood. I agree that XM sounds, in general, much better than most FM stations for several reasons. The primary reason is the way FM stations process the audio signal to make it loud rather than be concerned about dynamics and frequency reponse. On the satellite systems, the reception signal strength is usually more solid and consistent and without the typical background noise hiss of the FM system. So in most cases, the satellite service will sound better overall than FM. XM and Sirius both heavily compress the digital stream in order to have more than 100 channels in a very small frequency bandwith. Perhaps the best way to state the potential sound quality of satellite is to compare a well encoded mpeg sound file to the original recording or a CD. Most people would not hear any difference, but I am an audio engineer, so my ears hear just naturally hear odd things in audio signals of all types that not many other people will notice.

Either way, I did not want to make anyone think that they might be disappointed with the satellite radio system. In general, it will sound better than most any FM station you listen to and will be pretty close to CD quality, plus the amount of interesting programming to listen to is astounding.
 

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Thanks for clearing that up. I feel much better knowing the average joe (me) will not really see a diff between cd and sat.

Being an audio engineer, how would you rate the overall sound quality of bose stereo system? I assume you have the one with the sub.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Snowride said:
Thanks for clearing that up. I feel much better knowing the average joe (me) will not really see a diff between cd and sat.

Being an audio engineer, how would you rate the overall sound quality of bose stereo system? I assume you have the one with the sub.
Yes, I do have the Bose system with the sub mounted inside the spare tire. I find overall that the sound quality is just adequate and should be better for a premium system. The downfall seems to be the speakers used in the Murano and not the receiver. I have a '96 Maxima with the premium Bose system and it sounds much better than the Murano.

I have found an interesting recent article comparing XM and Sirius at
http://www.hometheaterforum.com/satellite/
There are also user forums for both XM and Sirius. See:http://www.siriusbackstage.com/
and http://www.xmfan.com/

Together, this sources should help determine which service will be best suited to your listening habits.
 

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My personal opinion:

I had XM in my last car, and Sirius in my Murano. I am much happier with Sirius!

I am also thrilled with the sound quality!
 

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What can I say...XM channel 150
A refresing change in a world full of editing, censorship and the ubiquitous "bleep"

Oh, and as a Limey abroad, BBC World is the other channel I tune into.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
XM has just announced that beginning on Feb 01, 2004, all music channels will become commercial free. Starting around that time, they are also adding local traffic information and weather conditions for several major cities with each city having a dedicated channel. For more information, go to the website for XM radio, www.xmradio.com. This might help make the decision between XM and Sirius easier for those interested in having satellite radio.
 
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