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Old 09-04-2008, 17:07   #1
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FM Radio Question

Can anyone tell us what the difference is between Sirius Radio and HD (Hi Def?) Radio other than the subscription factor? What is HD Radio? What does everyone else use?


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Old 09-04-2008, 19:53   #2
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The basic difference between Sirius/XM and HD is that Sirius is satellite based, digital radio with quality comparable to CD's and content that is (mostly) commercial free and unregulated by the FCC. There is a monthly fee and adapters are available that let you get Sirius through any existing home or car stereo.
HD radio is a new terrestrial based digital system aproved by the FCC and designed to bring radio stations (both AM and FM) into the digital age and allow them to compete more effectively against satellite based systems. There are about 500 FM stations usig the system currently and a very few AM stations. There is VERY low consumer acceptance of the system at present and it requires a new radio to receive HD broadcasts. The big advantage is that once the investment is is free. On the may not get better sound as many stations are using their digital bandwidth to broadcast MORE and different "channels" of music to broaden their appeal. You also face the loss of signal with distance from the transmitter unlike Sirius which allows you to listen to a station anywhere in its' satellite footprint.
In my opinion, HD is a new and unproven system that is not a safe bet for cuirsers at this point. It MAY be a logical choice for homes in markets where HD is broadcast and where the benefits are obvious.
Sirius can be an excellent choice IF you can handle the monthly fees and enjoy a wide variety of entertainment AND will be sailing within the "footprint" of the satellites which are optimised for land dwellers!
Here is the footprint...note the edges of coverage in the Caribe, Central America and alaska.

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Old 10-04-2008, 12:29   #3

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"What does everyone else use?"
Plain old AM monoraul, and FM stereo. I have enough radios, they sound good enough for what I use them for, and I'm not buying new radios, or willing to pay the subscription fee for the satellite radios. (Sirius and XM were each licensed based on being competitors, a merger was just recently given final approval.)

And that's what most folks still use, plain old AM/FM radios. A lot of new cars come with XM or Sirius built in, so the radio is "free" but you still had to pay more for the car it came in. And a number of folks have subscribed to both services, but the merger was partly because not enough folks were subscribing at all. If there's a show, or a channel, that you are willing to pay for, by all means, subscribe. A friend of mine subscribes because XM has a "forties music" channel, and there's nothing similar on AM/FM for them. Another one wants some major sporting games that are not available ot them locally live.
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Old 10-04-2008, 19:15   #4
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Thanks guys, Ed wanted to buy a new DC radio and was assulted by salesmen, lol!
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Old 10-04-2008, 20:59   #5
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Not mentioned is that the music channels on XM and Sirius are commercial free and there are a heck of a lot of them...which for me makes it worth the subscription price. HD radio has commercials just like regular FM radio

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