I was just reading the latest Mobile Entertainment magazine (still on stands until June 15th) and in it, along with WAY too much Ipod stuff, was a quick breakdown on XM versus Sirius satellite radio. This is timely because I was asked for such a breakdown by a dear friend of mine who is looking into getting satellite radio. I trtied to find people that I knew who had each service, but I couldn’t pin down anyone I knew or anyone who had Sirius. But where there’s an internet connection, there is a way. Unfortunately, I could not find the article I was reading on the magzine’s site, but I can recap for those not wanting to preuse the issue.
It goes like this:
Hardware: XM (Both XM and Sirius now offer portable tuners in addition to the standard players that you would need to buy. You can’t use one’s tuner with the other’s, either. Sirius’s most portable player, the XACT XTR1 only allows recorded streams to be carted around. XM’s 2 portable tuners allow varying degrees of Tivo-like recording on the fly and mp3 playback. One of which is called the Pioneer Inno. XM is currently getting sued for it.)
Music: Draw (Depending on what you like and whether you care to hear XY celebrity (like Snoop or Isaac Hayes) or DJ hosted their or show or in a couple of cases channels you can find a good selection of the major genres and oldie companions of them.)
Sports: Toss up (If you like NASCAR, XM is for you (until 2007). Right now, NFL, MLB, and hockey are split between the two, but will change soon. XM also has golf and baseball exclusively. Outside of the split stuff, Sirius has the NBA and NCAA football and basketball . XM , finally, has the Big Ten, ACC, and PAC-10, football and basketball.)
Talk Radio: Sirius (Really, from what I see, it depends on who you want to hear. Sirius has Howard Stern, Martha Stewart, NPR, and a channel with a block of podcasts that sits near Stern’s two channels, just to name a few. XM has Oprah, Air America, Ellen Degeneres, and whatnot. Take your pick.)
Other Content: Sirius (Supposedly because of Canadian radio and the BBC. Both Sirius and XM do weather and traffic for limited areas (probably major cities). XM has St. Louis, though, and divides their channels up better.)
Support: Sirius (Excellent 24 hour Tech support. XM 20 hours a day except for the 12 on Sunday)
Overall: Draw. (Go figure)
That being that, I did find a few other places with the majority of the same info. Instead of reading them off, i’ll list them here.
Howstuffworks – Great site for questions on, well, look at the site name. The article starts from how Satellite radio works and goes from there.
Mad dog in the fog – A blog with a graph of total subscribers of each service as of 3/4/2006.
Radiosatellite.org – Saved the best for last like Vanessa Williams. This site has a side by side comparison of the two services down to where they are located. It is nicely done because it really breaks down the services and has links to each one’s station listings, samples or each, equipment and so on. Go here first. really.
You could go the each one’s site to check them out, but the last link I gave is comprehensive. I should also point out that each service provides internet streams through their respective sites with free subscription. You can also listen to the XM streams over the net without subscribing for a charge.
That’s all I got people. Go forth.