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Satellite Radio

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I spend a lot of time driving to and from ski slopes in parts of the country not known for excellent radio.

I'm therefore in the process of exploring satellite radio. Is it the next killer app for skiers bored with the drive or just a flash in the pan? Do any of you folks use one of these services and are they worth the bucks?

XM Satellite Radio has some samples you can listen to but those samples really don't tell me enough about the quality of their programming:

XM Satellite Radio

Any thoughts on this service as a cure for the long drive to the slopes???
post #2 of 6
I'd be concerned about satellite signals when in the mountains - you can suffer from shadow & ghosting with satellite in a similar way to terrestrial transmissions.
My first piece of advice would be to buy a car system that will play MP3 CDs or has a built in hard drive, and download 100 CDs onto it.
And secondly, could I suggest posting the question on Powder (although you may get JONGed). There's a few guys on there who are mad about cars, including a guy called "Bad_roo"

post #3 of 6
I have a Sat. Radio in my Big Truck and drive the Mts. daily. I have very few break-ups and the cost is worth it if you spend ALOT of time behind the windsheild. Have a good speaker system so you get the best sound possible. I would also suggest getting the full radio not the portable,too many wires laying around.
post #4 of 6
I have had an XM radio in my Jeep for the last 18 months, and I got it exactly for the long runs I make throughout the year to ski slopes and to fly fishing spots.

I have been very happy with my XM service---very few "blackouts" in the mountains, and I like the programming services (very good Jazz channels, a folk channel called "The Village", great BBC programs, etc).

The only blackouts I have experienced have been when the Jeep is close against a sheer mountain wall blocking the southern sky. I just came back from a 2 week trip to the Tetons and the Wind River range in Wyoming. I only lost the signal 2 times, I think, during the trip, and it was for no more than a minute in each instance. XM has an excellent suite of gropund repeaters in place in most urban skyscaper canyons.

My only compaints against XM programming: they don't carry NPR news programming (Sirus radio does); and the Weather Channel seems to update their radio reports only every 6 hours or so. I wish that the Weather Channel offered more frequent updates, and that it included serious information about impending snow dumps!

post #5 of 6
I've rented from Avis who has recently begun equipping cars w/ XM radio and now I make sure that rentals have it although I'm too cheap to get it myself. IMO their range of programming is broad, you'd have to have really eccentric taste in music to not find something you like. I also like "the village" their folk channel, also "Hank" their vintage country channel, but they also have an intriguing African music channel (called "Ngamo" or something like that) and a Jamaican channel called "the joint" (how did they come up with that?) Driving around northern NH & VT you hit dead spots but never more than a few seconds duration.
post #6 of 6
I just got back from a 19,000 mile road trip to Alaska and back to Colorado and I have to say, it's a damn shame that XM doesn't work north of Northern British Columbia. It works everywhere else in the country quite well, however. Since I'm usually doing a lot of driving where there are very few or no radio stations, satellite radio is invaluable. Although I've never tried Sirius, I'm really happy with the selection on XM. The XM Comedy channels are particularly good for staying awake late at night... although I always wonder what people think when I drive by laughing my head off with only my dog and myself in the car!
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