Old 10th June 2006, 22:05   #1
Psythik
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So one day I decided to get Sirius...

Distraught from the fact that there is really no practical way to bring SHOUTcast into my car without a wireless hotspot around, I decided to go with the next best thing, satellite radio.

Now, as many of us know, here in North America you get your choice between XM or Sirius. In the beginning, I literally knew absolutely nothing about the two, considering that I have never heard satellite radio before. I decided that I should research both services and make a decision based on my own judgment.

One of the first things to compare was music selection. The four genres I was most interested in were Alternative Rock, Hip-Hop, Ambient/Lounge/Chill, and most importantly, Progressive/Ibiza Trance (my favourite genre). I found out that both services' respective websites offer a "free trial", where one could listen to their selection of radio stations over the internet. I took advantage of this, and found that while XM and Sirius both provided good Rock, Rap, and Chill stations, XM's Dance stations consisted of nothing but that bubblegum pop shit that you would find at one of those fashion shows. Sirius, on the other hand, had their "Area 33" station, labeled "Trance & Progressive House". Good enough for me, and defiantly better than that fashion show bullshit on XM. At this point I pretty much had my heart set on Sirius, but let me take the time to point out some other things I liked about it over XM:

Sirius has this station called "Faction", for "Action sports fans". Faction is the possibly the only station I've heard that can mix Rock & Rap, and get away with it. Bam Margera from "Viva La Bam" (one of the only shows on MTV worth watching) has a show on Faction; I find the stories he tells rather amusing, and sometimes even hilarious (one poking fun of the stupidity of the people who work in parking garages even had me literally burst out in laughter on the way to KFC). Sirius also has "Blue Collar Comedy Radio", and me being a fan of those guys was another plus.

Some of you might say "But what about Howard Stern?" Well to be honest, I couldn't give half a damn about Stern. That skinny-ass white boy with the funny hair can take that microphone of his and shove it up his ass for all I care.

Anyway, continuing on, another factor I had to consider was purchasing and installing a satellite radio tuner. I didn't want some clunky unit that attached to my AC vent, so upon discovering that my Kenwood deck is "Sirius Ready", I found out that all I had to do was plug a little box into my stereo and I was good to go.

Now enough with the blah, blah, yadda, yadda that most of you skim over anyways. Here are pics of my new setup (click to enlarge; apologies for the camera phone quality):


I decided to but the "little box" under the passenger seat. Note the cheesy seat cover:



Took me a long time to get that pesky little antenna mounted on the roof, but it was well worth it, since the result looks professional, and the antenna wire is not visible from inside the car (I hid it behind some panels):

Here's another pic.


My Kenwood XXV-01D deck tuned into Faction:



So about the sound quality: I was somewhat disappointed to find that the fidelity isn't exactly comparable to that of a CD, like they want you to believe. Hell, I wouldn't even call it FM quality. The music doesn't so much sound compressed like a low-bitrate MP3, but instead it sounds more like the frequencies are cut off at around 11000Hz, which makes the highs of the music sound somewhat muffled (I've heard that this is the case with XM as well). However, I would say that the variety of music, mixed with no commercial interruptions, likable DJs, as
well as uncensored music makes the less than favorable sound quality bearable (I'd say that I've gotten so used to it, that I don't even notice it much after listening for awhile).

So is satellite radio worth it? I would have to say yes, only because I'm sick to listening to crappy commercial-ridden FM stations that play the same 20 songs every single day! With Sirius, I don't even want to leave my car. In fact, one of the contributing factors of me not driving 20 over the speed limit anymore is because I get to listen longer if I slow down (that, and the fact that I've gotten two speeding tickets within three months, after only a year of driving a car).

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Old 10th June 2006, 23:01   #2
ScorLibran
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Re: So one day I decided to get Sirius...

Quote:
Originally posted by Psythik
So about the sound quality: I was somewhat disappointed to find that the fidelity isn't exactly comparable to that of a CD, like they want you to believe. Hell, I wouldn't even call it FM quality. The music doesn't so much sound compressed like a low-bitrate MP3, but instead it sounds more like the frequencies are cut off at around 11000Hz, which makes the highs of the music sound somewhat muffled (I've heard that this is the case with XM as well).
IIRC, Sirius uses AAC+ psychoacoustic compression. And there is a lowpass, but it's not 11,000; it's perhaps around 15,000 or so.

And it's certainly not CD quality, but it IS better than non-HD FM. Just measure the dynamic range and noise level.

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Old 10th June 2006, 23:11   #3
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Unless that box (or the car stereo?) can't decode sbr.
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Old 10th June 2006, 23:38   #4
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It still doesn't sound good enough for me to replace CDs with it.

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Old 10th June 2006, 23:41   #5
dlinkwit27
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I stopped reading once you said Viva La Bam was a good show.
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Old 11th June 2006, 04:23   #6
Psythik
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Quote:
Originally posted by gaekwad2
Unless that box (or the car stereo?) can't decode sbr.
I'm sure it does, since the quality isn't that bad, and since a $600 car stereo should be able to decode it...


Quote:
Originally posted by dlinkwit27
I stopped reading once you said Viva La Bam was a good show.
I never said that; I only said that it's the only thing worth watching on MTV. Apologies if I've offended anyone, but I can't help but laugh at the stupid shit they get away with.














My life is boring, okay?

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Old 11th June 2006, 05:26   #7
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Fair enough, but I think that show sucks balls. It's about as real as the Simple Life. I'm Cereal!
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Old 11th June 2006, 12:15   #8
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I think you get the Chris Moyles breakfast show on Sirius, I listen to that every morning

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Old 11th June 2006, 13:19   #9
ElChevelle
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Meh, never considered anything other than XM.
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Old 11th June 2006, 14:58   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by dlinkwit27
I stopped reading once you said Viva La Bam was a good show.


I mean come on, he is the biggest idiot in the universe, what's his radio show like? "now i'm going to break this cardboard box OVER MY HEAD"?

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Old 11th June 2006, 16:50   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by ElChevelle
Meh, never considered anything other than XM.
Ditto that
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Old 11th June 2006, 17:57   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by ElChevelle
Meh, never considered anything other than XM.
Like a Citroen XM you mean?

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Old 11th June 2006, 20:59   #13
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I know two people who have both Sirius and XM and they both say the same thing; neither one is any better than the other. When they get sick of one they go to the other and back-and-forth.
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Old 12th June 2006, 10:40   #14
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Well, that's an idiotic waste of money.
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Old 12th June 2006, 13:07   #15
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I agree. XM and Sirius are so similar it's too close to call. Pick one and go with it. And when you get tired of it, switch to the Phatbox, or a CD, or HD-FM. It's not like satellite radio is the only way to get high-quality music in your car.

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Old 12th June 2006, 22:09   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by ScorLibran
And when you get tired of it, switch to the Phatbox
Hooo-leeee shit.. I just checked out the price of a Phatbox. $600.00 is the cheapest one for my truck.
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Old 12th June 2006, 22:30   #17
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I would consider sirius because I think howard stern is funny.

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.
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Old 12th June 2006, 22:51   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by razzinno
Hooo-leeee shit.. I just checked out the price of a Phatbox. $600.00 is the cheapest one for my truck.
It's no low end stuff. Burr-Brown output stages, compatible with six encoding formats, Hitachi hard drives, dozens of firmware interfaces to factory and aftermarket head units. You get what you pay for. (And the one for my car's $850. I'd buy one now if I weren't trading my car for a 550i within a few months...and it WILL have a Phatbox included in the deal.)

For me, Sirius is just one aspect of a complete car audio system. But it's only justified if music is a very important consideration in your life, AND if you spend enough time in your car to justify the cost for all the components.

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Old 12th June 2006, 23:07   #19
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That's what always kept me from putting serious money into my car. I drive for maybe a half hour at most at a time. It simply isn't worth spending a lot of money on a great sound system when the local radio station plays enough good music for me most of the time. The sound system that came with the car is fine for me.

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