okay, so i've been looking at getting satellite radio for some time and i finally did it. i settled on siruis for various reasons which i won't go into here.
after a week of using it, here is what i have to say.
what i got: sirus monthly subscription
equipment: blaupunkt america ar04
used in: my car (jetta) -- i converted my cd-changer to an rca auxilary (now i can use my ipod too!)
# of channels:
expectation: a lot
reality: a lot
variety of channels:
expectation: a lot
reality: most of the channels are arranged in categories, and from what i can tell, the categories seem to repeat themselves too frequently
variety of music in channels:
expectation: good stuff, old stuff, new stuff, etc. you get the picture
reality: i haven't really seen what is “good stuff“ to me, i've really felt like i've been listening to the same playlists on the radio and other channels (the ones that “go deeper“) don't seem to be anything different than the mix stations available on public radio.
expectation: no commercials. ever. constant music (or talk radio if you choose that channel), one after another.
reality: this one threw me. i really bought into the no commercials thing. little did i realize that the channels have DJ's and these jockeys have “shows“ -- annoying ones. i really thought it would be song after song...but no, it is about 3 songs, then a sirius commercial ('cmon do i need to hear a commercial about the station/channel i'm listening to? that's the benefit of the huge device you gave me...it's written all over the display!), then lame dj's spouting their lame show stuff...i could really do without the jockeys...i wanted music all the time.
quality of content (technical quality):
reality: great, mostly. i've noticed for my experience two things...the music stations are great. the talk/news stations sound like am radio and in some instances worse. the news broadcasts sound like someone just has a microphone up to the tv speaker of the show...it sucks (remember i'm not using the fm modulator). i've noticed it is basically a stream concept...i noticed when i am behind large trucks or go under a tunnel, the signal isn't immediately lost, but a few seconds later it is -- recently i drove to our downtown (phoenix) and was getting sporadic signals...it struck me as odd...
quality of content (my opinion):
expectation: lots of variety, good music, good talk, etc.
reality: i find myself surfing more than i normally do on public radio...and i notice that a lot of the songs are repeated across channels in the same category...which makes me wonder why there are multiple choices for classic rock (classic vinyl, the vault, you get the picture -- all the same different names). and the hip-hop rap stations...okay, we get it...satellite is uncensored...but let's not curse just because we can...it doesn't even sound natural coming from the adlib banter between the djs.
expectation: a few to get setup, finding the good channels, etc.
reality: as expected...and more. i hate the device...huge bulky, too many cables, etc. and the blaupunkt is one of the nicer ones -- i think i'll opt for one that is built into my car...maybe i'll have a better experience.
overall, i have been disappointed. i'm considering returning all the equipment...it just hasn't lived up to the expectations at all for me.
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