I just entered the world of satellite radio. I would have never thought I would pay for the service since the radio in my car is free, but after doing a lot of research, and being a huge fan of a couple of stations on there, I thought I`d give it a try.
If you do not know what satellite radio is, here is a very basic overview. It is radio where your receiver picks up a feed from a satellite that is broadcasting a variety of music and shows. There are two satellite radio companies, XM and Sirius. I have two friends that also have satellite radio, which is where I did most of my research before making my decision. I will get to more on that in a moment.
Both companies basically have all the same stations, with some differences mixed in, like naming the stations, music format etc. The quality of both are excellent. If you have long drives to work, or find yourself in your car for long periods, I have to admit, satellite radio is pretty awesome.
On most stations, I would say about 97% of them, they are commercial free. That means you get one song right after another, with the occasional DJ talking in between, but that is more to just let you know of the songs that are about to come.
The stations that do play commercials are the ones that you may be able to get on your free radio in your area, such as ESPN, CNN, Fox or Bloomberg.
Along with playing non stop music on over 100 stations, they also offer the ability to listen to live concerts, concert replays and things like that. If you can not find a radio station on satellite with music that you enjoy, then you aren't listening to satellite. There are that many choices. Anything from Mozart to Elvis and the hair bands of the 1980`s to Broadway show tunes and Hip hop. Whatever genre you like, it is on there.
Now I know I must sound like an infomercial for the satellite companies, but let me say this. I am in no way, nor is our company, associated with either XM or Sirius.
You also have options for the receivers in order to obtain the signal. You can get docking stations for the home, car of office. They also have portable ones that you take with you similar to a Walkman (for those of us old enough to remember them), MP3 player or iPod. You will have to decide which receiver is right for you as they all vary on cost and the options that you get with them. Obviously the more options, the higher the cost goes.
Each satellite company also has various plans. You can pay month to month, one or two years in advance, and I know Sirius has a lifetime plan, where you pay all of it up front and never pay again, although they give you a disclaimer about the life of your Sirius receiver. Choose a plan that fits your budget.
Now that you have picked a satellite provider, a payment plan and your receiver, you are ready to go. You can either sign up online, which is the way I found to be the easiest, just make sure you have a credit card handy, or you can call the satellite company directly.
In about 5 to 10 minutes your satellite radio should start playing. So find the stations that you enjoy and begin listening.
When it was all said and done, I chose Sirius, on the Stilleto II portable receiver and signed up for the lifetime plan. I chose Sirius mainly for the NFL package that comes with it and Jimmy Buffet`s Margaritaville Radio. I am a huge fan of the NFL and of course find myself to be a parrot head.