Best Buy Informative - Full Cost Of Replacing Your Car Stereo With A "Satellite-Ready" Stereo
I wanted to share my recent experience shopping for a new car stereo at Best Buy.
First let me say that I am a Sirius satellite radio subscriber, and have been so for a few years now. My only complaint about the service has to do with my satellite receiver. It is not built-in to my car, and hence I have to run it through an FM transmitter to my built-in car stereo. This loses some of the sound quality, so I get static and feedback occasionally.
To solve this problem I went to Best Buy to check out their selection of satellite-ready car stereos. I was pleasantly surprised to see a large selection of stereos ranging from $100 to $300 that all came "satellite ready".
Figuring installation was going to be the biggest x-factor in the cost, I inquired how much it would run me to get one of these stereos installed in my 1999 4-Runner. The Best Buy associate was very helpful and advised it would cost about $110 to install, which included the dash-kit to fit my existing car dash. Not bad, that would bring the total cost to $210 if I went with the more affordable stereos.
I decided to pull the trigger and buy one. As I was showing the associate which model I wanted, it occurred to me to ask one more question. "How does the satellite antenna work?". Knowing that my existing satellite radio has its own antenna, I figured these "satellite-ready" radios had one as well.
They don't. That is an extra component called the "satellite-brain" that costs another $140. No where on the satellite-ready stereo description/label does it tell you about this. Nor did the sales associate mention it as I was about to purchase one of these stereos. If I hadn't asked, I would have gotten a satellite-not-so-ready stereo installed. Instead, I opted to pass since this would push my total cost up around $350... and it was starting to not be worth it.
Just wanted to share this in case any folks out there were thinking of buying a "satellite-ready" stereo for themselves, or as a gift for someone. They are not quite satellite-ready...