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Let's talk about satellite radio

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Electric Chair, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. Electric Chair

    Electric Chair Well-Known Member

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    I was all set to buy the Sirius Starmate 4 until I read the reviews on it at Amazon. Alot of complaints about "white noise" and "hissing" in the background. Does anyone have this model? Opinions? If not, what model do you have, and do you recommend it?

    I am cancelling my Netflix for football season, so I figured I might as well dump that monthly $$$ back into the economy.
     
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  2. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    Dood, first of all I've had sirius for like three years and I totally love it. Honestly I stream it on the internet as much as i listen through the receiver. But I don't have any experience with the model you're talking about. I still have the same radio I got three years ago. It's called the roadster. I don't think they even make that model anymore and it's kinda bigger than their newer ones, but it works great so whatever. I don't know a whole lot about the newer radios they've released, but usually the reviews at amazon are pretty solid. Find one that is well reviewed and I'm sure you'll love it. :tup:
     
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  3. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

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    I have an older model as well and I love it especially because local Bay Area radio is awful unless you're a San Fran Giants homer. FM sucks here as well.
     
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  4. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    EC,

    I have an older model (Sportster). ftwbolt has the newer Sportster 4. That's the one I might upgrade too, unless they come out with a Sportster 5.

    The Sportster models now have playback to get about 1 hour that you might have missed, and they show the team and score.
     
  5. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    I have XM and listen to ESPN radio when I'm on the road. When Colin Cowherd comes on, I generally switchta the comedy channel...can't stand that asssshole, kinda reminds me of the ankle biters here.

    Every oncet in awhile, 'specially when I'm travellinta Dallas, I hit a spot where I get bad reception, and hafta search for an FM station that my XM receiver will work on.

    I've had it for acuppola years now, and am very happy with it.
     
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  6. compubolt

    compubolt BoltTalker

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    I have XM in one of our cars, I like it alot, I am really happy to have sirious and XM merge so i can listen to the NFL games.
     
  7. MtlBoltsFan

    MtlBoltsFan Jesse Ventura/Howard Stern 2016

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  8. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    There is a spot right in Waco that lasts for about 5 miles that interferes with the sat radio. Also, another one on the South side of Ft. Worth on I-35W.

    Couple military bases do the same. Fort Bliss, and the AF one near Tucson, and Edwards AFB in CA.
     
  9. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    I know one of the strengths of XM and Sirius is the large number of talk radio shows. What about music? I've heard that the music quality from satellite radio isn't as good as that of a decent FM station and is more like music on typical AM. Has the music quality of satellite radio improved since this article from two years ago?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7150262/
     
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  10. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    I think the music selection on satellite is 20x better than terrestrial radio. Plus there are only a fraction the number of commercial breaks.
     
  11. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea why people gripe about music or the selection.

    I'll listen to three genres of music: Country, Classic rock, and classical. All three have a variety of stations just in those groupings.

    On Sirius, there are two real good classic rocks stations (Classic Vinyl and Classic Rewind), plus three others each dedicated to decades (60's, 70's, 80's). Two good Country stations, and two good classical stations.
     
  12. compubolt

    compubolt BoltTalker

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    the best part is the online music streaming, thats almost better then having it in the car, is pend more time at my desk then in my car.
     
  13. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    I stream Stern everyday through the office stereo system so everybody can listen and enjoy. But I believe it's an extra couple bucks a month to stream audio at digital quality, so IMHO it's better suited for the talk radio. But regardless, it's a badass and super convenient feature.
     
  14. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

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    EC,

    I have the Sirius Sportster in my truck, the boombox for the backyard & outdoor trips (you just drop the sportster right onto the boombox) and use the internet feed inside the house.

    Only problem I've had is with reception at times. But I have a lot of trees around me, so that's the only thing affecting the signal. Oh, also got a "bad" antennae that gave out on a drive once, but Best Buy replaced it without cost or any real down time. They know these things can go bad, so they're prepared to make it good for ya'.

    Shows: Howard is can't miss radio. Bubba the Lovesponge is a crazy asss mofo, Scotty Ferrell is growing on me again. These shows are all on the Howard channels (100 & 101). I love the old replays of Howard from years ago. Classic stuff.

    NFL Channel... NFL all the time. Need I say more??

    Raw Dog comedy channel is awesome. I love Jim Breuer Unleashed. The Wise Guys is great because it's Big Puussy from the Sopranos and some of his goombahs.

    Playboy channel is definitely an up and cummer.

    Music channels are solid. The Reggae station is one of my fav's.

    Not sure what else I can say, except that the merger with XM would only be a good thing. I hope it happens soon.

    NOW GO GET YOURS!!!! :tup:

    EDIT: My dad has the Stiletto and loves it.
     
  15. TheLash

    TheLash Well-Known Member

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    I have sirius and most times the reception sucks. I'm planning on ghetting a car cd player that has an ipod input jack as I've heard that will clear up all of the problems.:icon_shrug:
     
  16. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    That's the main issue I would have with satellite radio. The reception. It does little good to have 100+ channels, if you can't get them because of reception problems.

    For me to pay $12.00 a month or whatever, along with a $100+ equipment outlay, the reception needs to be such that I can get any station listed, 99% of the time, anywhere. Even in tunnels or buildings.

    Also, the audio quality of the music. I can handle "average" audio quality on talk radio channels, but I expect CD quality or better on music channels if using digital satellite. It looks like both Sirius and XM have improved the audio quality of their music channels greatly since that article I mentioned that was written back in 2005. Back then, music channels only used a data stream and encoding method that was equivalent to 48kbps per channel. They've increased that to 128kbps per channel. That's a good thing.

    So, it looks like the reception issue is the only one that would be a roadblock.

    I might wait until after the XM/Sirius merger to try out a radio that can receive all their combined channels and test it's reception quality in all circumstances.
     
  17. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    If someone has reception problems then 9 out of 10 times it is where the antenna is placed.
     
  18. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

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    Yep. If it's a reception problem at home, they have extender kits so you can wire the antennae way up on top of your roof. But the best way for home listening is the web connection.

    The Pro's far outweigh Con's. Right now satellite radio is bending over backwards to make sure you're satisfied with their products & services. Right now is the time to jump onboard because you can ask for the world and they'll at least try to give it to you.

    I don't even bother with terrestrial radio. I have my iPod hardwired into my factory radio, too. So if I hit the mountains and the trees block out the satellite, I just plug in the iPod and listen to the 6,000 songs in there. Problem solved.

    HOOK IT UP, EC!!!! Sirius is the only way to go. :abq2: :icon_party:
     
  19. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    Yup, now that you mention it, that's about where my probs occur.

    I don't have any probs in and around Ft Sam, Lackland or Randolf AFBs.
     
  20. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Me either, and none around most bases. Just a few. Has to be some kind of unique radar or something ....
     
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  21. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    I have the Sportster along with the boombox and a dock for my home. I got the Stileto for Fathers Day. I love it.

    The only problem I seem to have is in parking garages. I get searching for signal alot more with the Stileto more than with the Sportster.

    :tup:
     
  22. turbo_turtle

    turbo_turtle In Disguise

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    One reason why your Stileto is a problem. It is probably a LOS antenna feed system in which it needs the sky to see the statelites. Since it can not see the sky due to the Parking garages, it becomes blind and gives you the searching mode error.

    Your sportster is probably a bounce feed system in which it looks at any thing that can carry a signal like a flag pole or any other souce like even another cars antenna. It first feeds from the Satelite to the carrying source via the flag pole uses that pole to send the signal to your antenna then to the radio for listening pleasure.

    I probably confused you more than helped out but I hope that I could help about you sgnal problems.
     
  23. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Something like a commo guy said to me once .... "LT, we're having problems with the tropo's bouncing off the ionosphere."
     
  24. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    Thank's for the info. :tup:


    :icon_tease:
     
  25. Electric Chair

    Electric Chair Well-Known Member

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    Great input guys. nick, it's on, it's just a matter of getting it dialed.

    Dumb question: I love to drive down into Baja for fishing/surfing trips. Some trips find me in the middle of BFE. As in 10 people within 50 miles and absolutley NO radio/phone. Satellite phones work, however. To me that would mean that satellite radio should work, no?

    Also, what if I flew to Indonesia which is basically on the other side of the planet. Will the same quality/variety of channels be available to me? Is the signal/programming the same worldwide, depending on who your carrier is?
     
  26. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is that it will work.:yes:
     
  27. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    EC - It works.

    [​IMG]
    Quite a few Cabo hotels and fishing boats advertise that they have Sirius. Just google.
     
  28. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    More info ....


    The Sirius satellites have an average elevation angle of about 60 degrees as opposed to approximately 45 degrees for geostationary satellites. This higher elevation allows them clearer line of sight and fewer obstructions such as buildings and trees. The 3 satellites slowly orbit the Earth approximately 100 degrees apart and employ a "hand-off" method, meaning that only 2 of the 3 satellites are active at any given time to avoid interference as Sirius is only allocated 2 different frequencies. One of the satellites over the U.S. will use frequency A and the other will use frequency B. As each one of the satellites leave the footprint of the continental U.S., they deactivate and hand-off their signal to another satellite which has just re-activated and is just entering the footprint of the continental U.S. Each of the 3 satellites spend approximately 16 hours over the continental United States, with at least one satellite over the United States at any given time.

    The inclined orbit also means that many areas of Canada and Mexico are covered better by its satellite footprints. Sirius also has a forth redundant satellite on the ground ready to be launched in case one of its three primary satellites should fail. The Sirius satellites cover the entire continental United States as well as many areas of Canada and Mexico. Sirius also uses a number of land based repeaters, located throughout the U.S., mostly in major sites that have tunnels and large buildings that can block out satellite reception. By default, your Sirius radio receiver will "listen" for the signal on the satellite frequencies. If it is not able to receive them, it will automatically switch to terrestrial mode and listen for the signal from a repeater. Once the satellite signal has been re-established, it will switch back to satellite mode. Additionally, Sirius has recently announced a partnership with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Standard Radio Inc., that would allow Canadians to subscribe to a Canadian satellite radio version of Sirius, with Canadian English and French channels. This application is currently before the CRTC for final approval.
     

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