Sirius Satellite Radio Informative - Review of their service
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I've been a customer of Sirius for about 6 months now. I just thought I would take a moment to share my opinion of their product and service for anyone considering satellite radio.
First off, be aware that the portable car kits do require some sort of installation even if they are not replacing your internal car stereo. I had to do some pretty neat wiring tricks to hide the power line from the antenna (a magnet that you stick on your car roof) to a power source (cig lighter outlet). Then you also have a power line from the actual radio as well. So for my radio (XAct) I needed two power outlets available.
I believe if you get the internal kits (that completely replace your car stereo), you won't have this wire problem. However you will need to probably get it professionally installed, unless you know what you are doing.
Moving on to the service/programming. I personally love the programming. Since January when I installed it, I have not once ever listened to the regular radio! I find it fun surfing the tons of channels for with my little remote control, kind of like surfing on a TV. The radio devices themselves usually give you good information about the genre, artist and title. On most radios you can even browse what songs or artists are playing at that time on other channels before switching the channel, which is cool. Mine has a built-in "pause" feature as well that lets me stop the programming if I get a call or something and it will start recording. When I unpause, it plays back where I left off. Very cool. However, be warned that if you car power outlets don't stay on when you turn you car off (mine don't, a Toyota) then if you use this feature and turn your car off, it won't remember or record what you were listening to.
Moving on the the performance of the service. I had a little trouble in the beginning with mine. My reception using the built-in FM transmitter was shoddy. I couldn't turn it up very loud without being overwhelmed by static. Come to find out, my radio had come with a factory setting of the "internal" volume of the device set to full-blast. This was causing the output to be less than desirable. After turning down the internal volume of the radio the sound was 100 times better and I've enjoyed it thoroughly since. My only real complaint about the service is the reception is definitely touch around large downtown cities, going under bridges, or even a parking garage. I lose my signal in most of those situations. However, having great programming available to me when driving 5 hours across the state when previously I would lose all radio contact is great! So there are trade-offs.
Lastly is the price. I pay 12.99 a month. I think it is totally worth it if you do a lot of driving to work, or for a job. Satellite radio has made my commute much more enjoyable. They do offer a lifetime subscription for around $500, but I'm just not sure how well the company's financials and long term outlook are right now, so I've been holding off on that one. Also, the lifetime program does not cover replacement of your radio. If you were to buy a new radio, they charge you a $50 service fee to switch your lifetime membership to the new radio device. I may opt for this plan soon now that I've tested the service and love it.
That's all I got for now. Hope you found this helpful.