Satellite Radio

I've been eyeing satellite radio service for a while. I make long trips from time to time, and it would also be nice for in the office. My father works for Delco Electronics, a division of Delphi, which manufactures units for both XM and Sirius. He has offered to get a unit for me at a great discount, but I'm not sure which to choose. The user base for both services has matured over the last couple of years, as well as the products available. I need a unit that can go from the car to the office. I've looked at the Delphi SkyFi, the AudioVox SIR, and the Kenwood H2A.

At first, I was looking only at XM. Everything I had read about Sirius said that they were near bankruptcy, and were no where near the customer levels that they needed in order to be profitable. All indicators were that Sirius was going to go belly up, and soon. XM, on the other hand, had great buy-in from several auto manufacturers, and was well on their way to the target market of one million customers. So I looked only at XM. There were two XM receivers that could go from the car to the home / office: the Sony and the Delphi unit. I liked the sony unit, but the screen was a bit small and hard to read. The Delphi unit had an enormous screen. The Delphi unit was also ugly! The brushed steel look is fine, but contrasting with the bright red-on-red display just doesn't do it for me. When I told my pop about all this, he suggested that I take a look at the Delphi Roady. The roady had interchangeable face plates for different colors, and the display could also be modified to use different backgrounds and fore colors. This was a big plus over the SkyFi unit. Unfortunately, the Roady was designed for in car use only. The unit was not made to be detached and moved to the living room or office. The outputs were such that I could just disconnect everything, but it would be a pain to carry all of that equipment in and out.

So today my dad calls and asks if I had considered the Sirius radio service. He mentioned that he got the equipment free if there was a one year subscription. He said that offer was good on both the Audiovox and Kenwood receivers. Both of these receivers can go from the car to the office. The audiovox unit looks a lot like the SkyFi unit, with a big display and nice control layout. A big plus over the SkyFi is that the display is a nice sky blue. Much better than the red. Some other features that I liked were that it had a 10 song memory for recording songs that you like. After reading a few reviews, I found that the Sirius service offers three NPR stations, where XM has none. Also, all of the Sirius channels are commercial free, while XM has commercials on most popular stations.

M nod goes to the Audiovox unit on the Sirius service. It looks better than any of the other units, provides a nice set of features, and can go from my car to the office. The Sirius service also appears to provide some features that I prefer over XM (such as audio streaming to any PC, and commercial free programming). This all comes at a premium price over XM ($12.95 vs. $9.99 per month). I'm really looking forward to getting this unit so I can start playing around and see how good this satellite radio service really is!


Jade Mason