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Markwesti 02-12-2017 09:43 PM

Sirius XM
Is it just me or does anybody else think there is to much talk ?

SailingUphill 02-12-2017 10:01 PM

Re: Sirius XM
Meh, yeah probably. My complaint is their is extreme compression going on, and there is still a dramatic difference between Sirius based receivers, and XM (can tell between my Chevy Pickup - xm, and my Ford - Sirius), its pretty obvious, but both suffer from compression the likes of a 96kbps MP3...

If you use something like Pandora on "high quality" you can hear a huge difference... Yeah I get it, XM doesn't use data. I'm just using a comparison, and frankly I have the same complaint about MP3 compression.

What really bugs me about XM is their ridiculous charges, if you complain enough you can get the $30 for 6 months deal, but you can't get them to sign off on a $60 a year.. The service just isn't good enough for $12/month they really want! I have to admit though, its pretty much the perfect music source for a boat though.

Towguy 02-12-2017 10:55 PM

Re: Sirius XM

Originally Posted by Markwesti (Post 3823497)
Is it just me or does anybody else think there is to much talk ?

Almost no talk and no commercials on the music channels..xm keeps me going especially when there is no other service,pretty well any kind of music I am in the mood for or I listen to the hockey and talk the other talk and news could disappear as far as I am concerned,and yes a bit expensive..but I never buy the latest cd,s or anything and I just switch my portable little unit from truck to truck,just have seperate antennas for each,for convenience,could very easily plug it into a boat with 12 v power plug multi use....Ralph

olson34 02-12-2017 11:36 PM

Re: Sirius XM
We just dropped them after four years. Having been (deservedly) suspicious of their business practices, I never gave them any access to any sort of auto-pay.
I had to have discussions (!) with their pushy phone answerers every year... I would insist that they give me a price break due to terrible sat. reception here at about Lat 47, and finally they would give me a one year contract for about $90 to 100. Most of their phone people did not understand even the basics of satellite reception - one even told me it should be perfect for me since it came from the Sky!

In the last year their "promo" spots, i.e. commercials, have gotten so darned numerous that it just got too irritating trying to find some music to listen to. We only ever used them for about 6 music channels anyway. It reached the point where I could switch channels 4 or 5 times, and run into another of one their commercials on every channel at once!

Last year, after getting the one-year "deal" again, and having to listen to the operator lie to me that they never gave an annual contract to Anyone, and then finally doing just that, again, I decided that if things did not improve, I was leaving. We have two vehicles and that was running us about $200./year for both. Heck, for that kind of money I can buy a late model iPod for each vehicle!

BTW, the operator this time did not try to false bill us or "slam" our account as they have dome a couple times in the past. Well, not yet anyway. That monster multi-million $$ fine by the Feds a while back must have got their attention. That, and the registered letter I sent in to confirm my cancellation. (My back up plan would be filing a complaint with our state's AG office.)

Years ago, they offered a reasonable music service, but it's gone downhill a lot.

Funny thing, after all that has transpired, last week we get a snail mail offer for $30. for six months. It went straight into the shredder.

Apropos of whatever our quoted "full price" was always $15./month per vehicle. I have never paid that... but they sure wanted it. Now I wonder if they quote different rates in different states? Weird.

capta 02-13-2017 12:06 AM

Re: Sirius XM
Never tried their music service, but their weather service, which shows up in color on my plotter, was FANTASTIC! Real time video just like on the TV, with each cell's direction shown. All kinds of display and alarm choices. I'd gladly pay their price ($50.00 a month) if I could get it here. Lost it a day out of Bermuda and the chartplotter is still trying to connect, six years later. I guess we both miss it.

SailingUphill 02-13-2017 07:17 AM

Re: Sirius XM
I'll add that their traffic info actually works pretty well too, but it'd cost approx $200/yr for me to add it to my truck (which already has navigation and its part of the XM navigation package).. If any of you have tried their streaming you'll notice the same compression I noted before.

Yes I'll still likely pay for their service.. Yes I AM considering it for the boat, and Yes I'll likely still complain about it :)

olson34 02-13-2017 10:45 AM

Re: Sirius XM
The reasons given by Capta are interesting and enlightening; given his needs and location I might look at this quite differently.
I have only cruised along the west coast, so am always in range of a NOAA weather forecast. My charting app on our laptop can receive Grib files also.

Sitting here at home, with radar weather patterns and forecasts available at a mouse click, it's easy to forget that some of our talking points are really just "first world complaints" .... !!

Fair winds and hopefully few big green spinning lumps on your radar display.

Markwesti 02-13-2017 07:23 PM

Re: Sirius XM
Wow what a bunch of great answers . Ms.westi has it in here car and she is fine with it although does notice some extra talk but it does not bug her like it does me . Yrs ago when it was just XM it was much different than Sirius , the song selection was so much better and what little talk there was was interesting and pertained to the song short and sweet . This year they were ever giving there own political opinions . The compression part I find interesting I guess I don't listen to enough different types to really hear the difference but I have been told there is one . Our set up on the boat consists of a Sirius Sony boombox and the Sirius receiver , we like the sound quality . The boomer will play a mp3 and a smart phone . My plan is to get rid of Sirius and get Pandora on my phone , Problem is the data plan . I need a bigger one and I need it to be around $50 a mo. , is that possible ? Thanks .

Towguy 02-13-2017 09:40 PM

Re: Sirius XM
So if it's going to cost 50.00 dollars a month more,to get music on your phone..? How is that better than xm? If you find there is too much politics on the music channels(?) your on the wrongs channels!!get some good old/new/alt rock going and crank it... Oh I think I-phones are a bit much too I just use Samsung flip phone still it talks and texts...for computer stuff I use a computer or my I- pad and only where I have wi-fi . .Ralph

Minnewaska 02-14-2017 07:35 AM

Re: Sirius XM
If one is within cell range, the internet music apps (Pandora, Spodify, etc, are substantially better. By comparison, sat radio is a dinosaur. They don't seem to eat much data either. In any case, more data capacity on your phone can be used for all sort of other things too..... weather radar, etc.

I do have a couple of Sat radio subscriptions in the cars, as we often make drives where there is zero reception (radio or cell). Is it worth the price of admission? I don't think so. This is why monopolies are supposed to be illegal.

Markwesti 02-14-2017 12:22 PM

Re: Sirius XM
I didn't explain my data needs/cost very well . First my cell bill is about $40 per month . If I could a data plan for a total phone bill of say around $50 . per month I think I could get that through the finance department .
Towguy we listen to 2 classic rock stations one is called classic rewind the other is classic vinyl , I think the former one with Nancy Aldren where she is doing her DJ thing from the rock hall of fame has the most talk . First a announcer comes on to introduce Nancy then Nancy comes on and does her DJ thing , if they only did that say once a hour I could live with it but they do it about after every 3rd song . Classic vinyl is just as bad and they make up these stupid comments about the songs . My favorite station is the one they call lithium 90s' grunge , Ms.westi will not let me play that one when she is on the boat . And I have to admit I only like about half the stuff they play , but the talk is kept to a minimum and it is interesting (sometimes). There are a couple of other classic rock stations we listen to like Little Stevens' under ground garage and some jazz/blues stations but they all have pretty much the same format of talking . I did not give up my old cell phone quietly , I had a Samsung slider I loved that thing well it fizzled and my buddy the Don gave me his IPhone 4 . It took a dump so I got another slider . It stopped working and Don had another I 4 he gave to me and thats where I'm at now . Pandora is in the future and I will also look into Spodify . Now I just have to get that magic number data plan .
Here is a picture of the Don on my soon to be I Phone .

Minnewaska 02-14-2017 12:33 PM

Re: Sirius XM
There are no DJs on Pandora, but unlesss you pay the vig (which I do not), you will get a commercial about every 20 mins. However, the channel selections are limitless. You simply tell it what you like.

Markwesti 02-14-2017 12:41 PM

Re: Sirius XM
Yes Minnewaska , no DJ's and last time I had it on the boat I was on their $5. a month plan with no commercials . But stupid me I didn't know I was using data .

Towguy 02-14-2017 01:06 PM

Re: Sirius XM
Ya I like lithium sometimes,but also not when wife's along ,same with octane, go to channell when I a getting drowsy..sometimes it's good to do a trip with something like ..the 60,s.. Did that when I went to pick up my S2 ,a 9 hr round trip,(I cheated and just pulled boat and trailer up on the 28 ft deck,no stress of lights and bearings),the thing is I can just listen to Latin music or reggae as my mind wants or hockey and hockey talk this time of year,no politics,no news,no commercials,yes I guess they do talk a bit in between sets but it usually pertains to the music,although I don't know what they are saying on the Latin or French channels?? I would go stir crazy listening to the same cd,s over& over especially when I am way out where there isn't any radio service or cell coverage for that matter,we have come a long way from 8-tracks and I appreciate that!!......Ralph

flyrod 02-14-2017 03:54 PM

Re: Sirius XM
Many years ago I bought Sirius radio w/a lifetime subscription for $400.00. I lived in the sticks and radio reception was difficult. Works great, use it in both the truck/boat and in the house. I listen to mostly blues and yes the chatter has increased with the years, but light years better than commercial. I'm told this plan is no longer available.

Towguy 02-14-2017 04:52 PM

Re: Sirius XM
Mmm yes I remember those lifetime subscription offers,shoulda,coulda... Also like I said earlier if you just get a antena kit for each vehicle or boat you can move a portable around,and use the jack to plug in any kind of system,only one contract..course that doesn't help if someone else wants it at the same time.. When I have wi-fi in the house,yard Or when I was in the hospital I liked Tunein radio lots of options and totally free..aardvark blues,best station the states do you still have to choose between Sirius & xm?. Ralph

Markwesti 02-14-2017 06:35 PM

Re: Sirius XM
It's SiriusXM now Ralph , they merged . Before the merger I had XM I liked their song programming (selection) and there was very little talk . I think my favorite station was XM cafe to me it was just the right mix of new and old mellow stuff I learned of many new and old artists . SiriusXM has a version of it but it's not the same . One thing , although I have never tried it is you can customize the stations you like . I thought OK this will be grate I can customize so I will just get music ... Wrong .

JimMcGee 02-16-2017 09:32 AM

Re: Sirius XM

Originally Posted by flyrod (Post 3825321)
Many years ago I bought Sirius radio w/a lifetime subscription for $400.00. I lived in the sticks and radio reception was difficult. Works great, use it in both the truck/boat and in the house. I listen to mostly blues and yes the chatter has increased with the years, but light years better than commercial. I'm told this plan is no longer available.

I bought lifetime subscriptions for one of our cars and the boat back when it was Sirius. It seems like they're trying VERY hard to get rid of those lifetime folks. They somehow "lost" the subscription for the car after the merger and claimed they had no way to re-enter it into their merged system. They refunded part of the cost but obviously the monthly cost outpaced the refund in a hurry. Unfortunately it was for the wife's car and she didn't want to cancel it at the time :hothead

Now they keep sending me letters saying the hardware we have on the boat (Sirius stiletto) is no longer supported and will stop working in 2015, 2016, 2017 due to a format change. It hasn't yet. I called their tech support I asked "It's a satellite receiver. You can't change the format or every receiver out there will stop working, so what's the problem?" Three transfers later still no answer. The lifetime is also supposed to be able to be transferred to a new receiver up to four times. Tech support said they didn't know if they could still transfer the service. So lifetime really isn't lifetime. I guess they don't care if they lose you as a customer because you're not paying a monthly fee :hothead

For now the receiver on the boat keeps chugging along. But since cell coverage has improved so much along the Jersey shore I'm finding I listen to Pandora and Plex most of the time anyway.

BTW, the song selection on Sirius also dropped after the merger. It's not unusual to hear the same songs repeatedly on different stations, and I'm noticing a lot more B-sides lately. I'm guessing they're cutting back on song selection to reduce their licensing fees...

Markwesti 02-16-2017 11:40 AM

Re: Sirius XM
+1 Jim , question if you have a data plan that lets you play Pandora all you want why have SiriusXM at all ? And if you don't mind me asking what is your data plan carrier and how much does it cost . Another question is it the same cost to have a data plan for a tablet as compared to a phone ? Is the data plan for a tablet separate from a phone ? Thanks .

JimMcGee 02-16-2017 06:50 PM

Re: Sirius XM

Originally Posted by Markwesti (Post 3826865)
+1 Jim , question if you have a data plan that lets you play Pandora all you want why have SiriusXM at all ? And if you don't mind me asking what is your data plan carrier and how much does it cost . Another question is it the same cost to have a data plan for a tablet as compared to a phone ? Is the data plan for a tablet separate from a phone ? Thanks .

We're with AT&T. We've got something like an 8 gig plan with rollover. The phone is also my secure hotspot for checking email and browsing the web with my laptop. Months that I travel I use a lot of data, the rest of the time not so much. With rollover I always have plenty of data available. And streaming music doesn't make much of a dent in my data anyway. I just plug the audio jack from the phone into the aux jack on the stereo and I'm good to go.

The upside of satellite is I do like some of the stations on XM/Sirius, it costs me nothing and reception is never an issue.

To stream using your tablet you'll need to buy a tablet that's set up for cellular.

OK Geek alert !
This summer I'm upgrading the old Sony with a new Fusion head that I can control with a new Garmin 741 at the helm (via FusionLink over NMEA 2000). I *think* the latest firmware upgrade will allow me to control Pandora streamed through my phone (running a FusionLink app) via Bluetooth to the Fusion head from the Garmin at the helm. That will inspire me to finally buy the Pandora commercial free upgrade.

Fusion is also rumored to be working on a Plex interface that will work the same way to stream via phone (I've got over 600 albums and a 100 or so music videos on my Plex server). The problem with that approach is you lose fidelity with Bluetooth. Since I already have a miniplug cable run from the helm to the stereo for the current Sony remote I may use that and an old smartphone in a waterproof case as a music interface.

What I'm not sure about is how good or spotty cellular service will be when we get to the Keys, so satellite may become more important for us there and I may end up installing a music server on the boat for when I'm sick of satellite.

Yeah, yeah I know, but I really like music and I really enjoy playing with the electronics. :D

Geek out !

RegisteredUser 02-16-2017 07:37 PM

Re: Sirius XM

Originally Posted by Towguy (Post 3825193)
.... ..the 60,s.. .....we have come a long way from 8-tracks.....

8-tracks were kinda simple, bulky but easy...had a few...:)

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