The Big Switch: XM to Sirius

If you had told me last month that within 30 days I would have ditched XM and switched to Sirius I would have called you an “idjit”.

But here we are. I had been driving the ’02 MegaSUV with an add-on XM unit that Esposa’s parental units gave me for Christmas a coupld of years ago. Two weeks ago the Esposa bought herself a spanking new MegaSUV, trading in my old one, and El Nuevo MegaSUV came equipped with Sirius.

Since my unit wasn’t compatible with the MiniSUV Express (my new ride) I was faced with either purchasing additional connecting cables or a new radio. Thinking that it didn’t make sense to have two service providers – both Sirius and XM offer discounts for additional radios – I switched and procured a Sirius Sportster 4.

As far as content, I can’t complain. The music is the music and both play music. Sirius has a significant advantage in that they broadcast Big XVII games, so we can pick up the Ags without depending on the solar powered transmitter of our local AM radio station. Still working out what stations play what brand of music and so forth, but so far not too bad.

So far I have to say I like the way XM stations are programmed a bit better, but again, I’m still getting used to Sirius and I’ve already heard one of my favorite Thin Lizzy songs on Sirius that I never heard in 2 years with XM. So I’m withholding judgement.

For those considering any satellite radio though, here’s a big tip – do not depend on the in-built FM transmitter if you live an even a semi-populated area. Also consider where your car’s FM antenna is located. The MiniSUV Express has the antenna embedded in one of the rear side windows with the Sirius unit in the front. The transmitter has a tough time cutting through the FM clutter so I get a constant whooshing static sound with occasional breaks.

It’s hard to compare to my previous XM unit because I used the cassette tape modulator which provided a direct contact and near-digital quality sound, so I’m really not pleased with the sound at this point. They make a box that goes between the radio and FM antenna which should help. The only drawback is that I will have to go under the console to access the back of the radio which scares the crap out of me. Semitough is not known as Mr. Handy.

Stay tuned for more updates on the satellite saga…….


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