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Originally uploaded by Paul Timmins.
My new toy, a sirius receiver to replace the old half broken one I currently have.

(Did I mention it's blue?)


Sep. 19th, 2005 02:56 pm (UTC)
Sirius works great. I've used it for about 3 years now.

This one in particular has a 40 minute recorder inside, which allows you to pause and rewind live radio (you can't schedule a recording to listen to later, but eh, who cares..).

I have this thing about blue, so the fact it's blue is quite important :-)

Sirius has a few technical advantages above XM. Sirius uses an adaptive bitrate codec (like VBR in MP3, for example), so Sirius can pack WAY more in their bandwidth allocations. XM has two geostationary satellites - "Rock" and "Roll", one covering the east coast, and one covering the west (This means your signal is usually coming in at a very steep angle, from the south southeast or south southwest) Sirius has 3 satellites in elliptical orbit, which means that at any given time, there is 2 satellites visible, and they're generally at a much less steep angle, sometimes they're right over top of you. This means the signal works better in things like mountains, or other places with variable terrain. Since Sirius also uses ground stations for fill coverage (though according to my antenna aiming utility on my unit, while it can see ground stations, it's never had to switch to one as a primary source, since it's always had a good view of the satellites, even in Detroit where I live). Sirius is owned by less institutional investors, and more individuals, meaning that they were less greedy, and always have been, in my experience. Their price is $12.95/mo, but they only have one tier of service, that includes unlimited streaming via the internet, and they've always been 100% commercial free on the music channels - always. XM only started when they ditched clear channel as an investor and Sirius was eating their lunch because people were like "fuck, I'm not paying for a service with commercials on it!". Sirius is also anti-censorship, and brags about it. They have a few kids channels where they censor things, but unless all they can get is the radio edit version, they always play the dirty version on every channel. They're crazy enough to take on howard stern, and give eminem his own channel.

In short, I like Sirius better. I've seen both, and I made my choice :-)
Sep. 19th, 2005 03:18 pm (UTC)
I must state that it did a great job driving from OH to NV. I'm a big fan of RawDog (the uncensored comedy channel), even if it does have occasional commercials for crappy products.
Sep. 19th, 2005 06:06 pm (UTC)
Given that XM also has terrestial repeaters, does the lack of a 3rd satellite, or ellipticals really make that much of a difference?
Sep. 19th, 2005 06:16 pm (UTC)
Yes. They only have terrestrial repeaters in heavily populated areas. In the UP, you're on your own off the major highways. 2.3 Ghz is blocked by trees (which is the frequency both satellite radio companies use), so you want satellites above you rather than to the sides, since trees grow up, and not side to side.
Sep. 19th, 2005 06:17 pm (UTC)
Also, elliptical orbit is much cheaper, and means the satellites are closer, meaning that there's less money spent in running the gear, and more money spent on the talent, and also it means that the satellites are easier to service, and are going to have stronger signal levels all other things being equal.