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Old 02-01-2005, 10:08 PM   #1
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Default DAB's Streamer GT Review (Long)

The Brix Lab Streamer GT is the next tuner in the natural evolution of the SIRIUS tuners. This tuner is a true stand alone in that it does not require any type cradle or docking base to work. You plug the power, antenna and audio-out directly into the tuner itself. This is the first of its kind for SIRIUS at least until the upcoming Sirius StarMate is released.

Packaging, the Streamer GT comes in a cardboard box and has a cardboard tray that the Streamer, remote, antenna and dock come in. This was a pleasant surprise as most of these tuners come in the bubble wrap, which requires some sort of sharp instrument just to get into it.

When I opened the box, I was really shocked by how small the Streamer GT really is. I had seen pictures, but until you see this thing for yourself you really have no idea how small it is. Now, I am going to go through each area and review them, at the bottom I will show you pictures and make a few select comments.

DISPLAY: Because this tuner is so small, I was really happy to see that the display had not been so downsized that I was totally turned off. No, they did a great job keeping this display as large as they could. It seems that SIRIUS understands that subscribers want larger screens. The top line shows the channel number and you can switch between the category and channel name by hitting the display button. The clock and band remain unchanged when switching. The one thing that I was a little disappointed about was that the display does not show the signal strength at all. We've all gotten use the the three little bars well they are vacant from the display. You can look in the menu to get your signal strength. You do get 2 nice big lines of text. I am not sure what type font this is, but its bold and very easy to read even from a bit of a distance from the tuner. There is no single line large text mode. You also can not change the type of font on the display. When initially setting up the Streamer GT, I had to turn up the brightness and also adjust the contrast for my eyes. Once I did this, I was really pleased with it. After it was on for a few hours, I did notice that the contrast had become a tad bit washed out, but not enough that it makes it unreadable. I gave the Streamer GT a thumbs up on a nice display. The buttons light up very well for night time viewing.

FM TRANS: I have used FM Transmitters on XM tuners and SIRIUS tuners. Let me just say the FM Tran on the Streamer GT has to be one of the best I have ever used. I put this thing through the paces today using it in areas that most FM Trans fail and this baby just kept transmitting with no static. The volume level of the FM Tran is incredibly loud it has a hot freaking out-put. I don't think anyone will be saying the volume isn't loud enough on this tuner. However, there is no means of adjusting the out-put of the audio in the menu. I did find that if you hit the + or - on the remote that you do get an audio level setting, but it does not work for the FM Trans. I found the FM Transmitter to actually be louder than the audio-out and even its very loud, so I am very pleased with the out-put volume on this tuner. I also have to say that they separation with the FM Trans is very good. I am willing to say this thing has the hottest FM Trans of any SIRIUS tuners and I honestly think it even rivals the Delphi Skyfi2 and this is without using the FM Antenna wire, which can also be hooked up directly to the tuner if needed, but I can't imagine anyone needing it. Though I can only speak for area, so your mileage may vary.

MOUNT: The mount is a 2 part setup. You have the part that attaches to the Streamer GT itself (back plate), which then actually attaches to the suction cup mount. The suction cup mount is actually a downsized version of the previous suction cup mounts. It seems to have a lower profile and it's much cleaner and looks better. It's sort of rounded and molded in such a way that it tends to blend rather than stand out. Then again I am a huge fan of the suction cup mounts, so others may see it differently. The good news is that this suction cup mount seems to have the same great suction and with the Streamer GT being so light it a great setup. I am sure there will also be a different type mount other than the suction cup that will be available for the StarMate when its released. But the Streamer GT is really being produced for the trucker market.

REMOTE: Well I guess you can't have everything. This is the same type remote that came with the Sportster, but this one seems to have a little better lay-out, but its still too darn small. I find it very difficult to use and quite honestly I hate it. It is the weak link to a overall fine setup. The buttons are small and hard to push, I find it not very responsive and you better point it directly at the tuner because otherwise you'll get no response. Again, I am just not happy with this remote and I think Brix could have done so much better.

MENU: You will notice there are some things missing from the menu. No auto-dim, no alarm clock or program alert feature. There is an auto-off and sleep timer function. There is also no way to turn off the song seek feature or for that matter to clear the song seek memory without doing it song by song.

I have not had time to set this tuner up in my truck, but I plan on doing that this weekend. I can see that its going to be pretty hard to hide the wires. You've got 2 wires on the left side, which is the antenna and audio-out and one from the left, which is the power. The good thing is that power adapter and antenna have right angles, so this will help them not stick out so far. The setup does not come with an RCA cable, so if you don't already have one, you'll have to buy one, so make sure you get a right angle one.

By its very nature this tuner isn't going to be as portable as a PNP tuner with cradle or docking kits. The reason being that you would have to unplug the tuner every time you wanted to move it. Of course if you plan to move the mount/tuner/power/antenna from vehicle to vehicle it would work, but there is nothing like just snapping a tuner out of a cradle and heading to the next location and slapping it into another cradle. I am looking at mounting this tuner in my truck and leaving it there, which is what I think its best suited for.

Overall, I give the Streamer GT a big THUMBS UP! I think its a sweet little tuner and if you are looking for something small that you won't be moving around a lot then I think the Streamer GT should be considered.

Now for the pictures:

Packaging:


Mounting, you can see the two parts, along with the remote and the suction cup.


Tuner attached to the cradle, side view


Tuner attached to the cradle, rear view, you can see how it slips together


How the second part of the mount attaches to the cradle, it snaps on and off.


Front view of the tuner attached to the mount


View of the Streamer GT display lit up, nice large 2 line text, notice the display is showing the channel name


Another view of the Streamer GT display, but this time notice the display showing the category. You switch between them by hitting the display button.


Last but not least, check out the ventilation, of course some of it is covered when the back plate is snapped on the tuner, but there are vent holes in the bottom, top, sides and rear of the unit.


Well that is all, I hope this helps someone make a decision. I am keeping this little tuner, I really like it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
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Old 02-01-2005, 10:18 PM   #2
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Great review. Couple of questions/comments:

1. Price & availability?
2. What does it look like with all the wires plugged into it (maybe you have a wider shot of your 7th pic).?
3. Is it a permanent install (unless you unplug all the wires)?
4. The remote looks exactly like the Sportster.
5. Any other types of mounts available?

It looks sharp. Looking forward to see what others think as well.

Thanks DAB
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Old 02-01-2005, 10:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for the review and pics!

Looks like this could be a good seller. Not sure it is right for me due to the extremely small size, although I do own an Xact.

Could you take a pic of the Streamer side by side with another receiver so we can compare the size?
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Old 02-01-2005, 10:54 PM   #4
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Michigan Made:

The Streamer GT is available for 129.99, plus shipping. Only location I know that has them in stock is American Wireless at this time.

I think this tuner can be setup to either be removeable or permenant, but basically just by removing the wires, you can move it anywhere.

I think the layout maybe a little different than the Sportster, but I don't really remember the Sportster one that way, all I know is that I hate it.

There is suppose to be a home kit available for this tuner, which will give you a mounting kit, home antenna, along with the AC power adapater.

I will take a picture when I get this baby install in my truck this weekend, that way you'll get to see it with the wires and all. The wires, I have it plugged into right now are at home and they are not right angle, so they look like crap.

SISO: Here is a couple of pictures for the comparison you requested.

Audiovox PNP3 and the Brix Streamer GT


Brix Streamer GT, Audiovox PNP3, Delphi Skyfi2, Audiovox XR9


Doesn't look like there is much difference does it? Thickness wise, there isn't any difference. GOD, I am a SAT RADIO JUNKIE, look at all those tuners... SWEET!
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Old 02-01-2005, 10:59 PM   #5
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Yea, dosen't look too much smaller. The screen loooks to be half the size of the others though.
The XM Audiovox tuner is NICE!
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Old 02-01-2005, 11:35 PM   #6
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I hear ya on the remote, the Starbase has the exact same one. Only the up down volume and channel buttons are really usable to me.
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Old 02-02-2005, 01:22 AM   #7
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I have both the Streamer and Streamer GT.

Overall, the GT is less than one-half the size of the original Streamer/Orbiter/Sportster 2nd generation units. At their deepest point, the GT is roughly 60 percent of the depth of the Streamer. Length- and height-wise, the GT measures roughly 70 percent of length and height of the Streamer. The unit is roughly the same size as an analog cassette tape, and about as thick as two cassette tape cases.

The window suction-mount is slightly smaller than the unit supplied in the Streamer Professional Docking Kit. Personally, I think the smaller window-mount supplied in this kit is still too bulky, even for long-haul applications. Given the much smaller size of the GT, there's no need for this heavy-duty of a window-mount.

On my particular unit, the "Select" and Category buttons "<" and ">" actually "glow" as the backside silkscreening is so thin, that the backlighting bleeds through the entire button.

I agree with DABs that this model gets quite hot. Hot-spots on the GT's shell begin to appear after six minutes; the display, top, and rear vent area become hot to the touch after 20 minutes. With the window-mount bracket installed, it will likely take even less time to heat-up, but I have not taken time to measure the difference. Summertime vehicle temperatures could pose a problem as it did with the AudioVox PNP2.

With the exception of the reduced number of presets (20 versus 30) and the auto-dim features, I think few will notice the previous features that were not included in the GT.

(more to follow)
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Old 02-02-2005, 01:31 AM   #8
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That is one sexy unit! Now Im torn between the Starbase and GT?!?! Or do I wait for the Sportster Replay. Hmmm once I find out the dimensions on the starbase I will probably make my decision. Thanks for the great pics and reviews.

Its nice to see SIRIUS getting there new products out! It really makes me wonder what XM has coming out next since SIRIUS is still catching up. Should be interesting around the August September time frame.

Thanks again!

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Old 02-02-2005, 08:59 AM   #9
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Any dimensions DAB?
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Old 02-02-2005, 09:47 AM   #10
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Default Streamer GT

DAB: Thanks for the nice review. Mine is to be in shortly. Can't wait. I'm going to LA for a vacation soon so it will be in use there...
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Old 02-02-2005, 12:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirius_Storm-Chaser
The window suction-mount is slightly smaller than the unit supplied in the Streamer Professional Docking Kit. Personally, I think the smaller window-mount supplied in this kit is still too bulky, even for long-haul applications. Given the much smaller size of the GT, there's no need for this heavy-duty of a window-mount.
I agree with you that the window suction cup mount is probably overkill, but lets not forget the distribution of the Streamer GT like its bigger brother is primarily for truckers. If you think about the inside of a big truck and how those cabs bounce around so much, it was probably thought the bigger heavier duty suction cup mount was the way to go. I am not sure if this unit was designed by Panavise, but they test all their mounts in a 35 MPH crash test, so I would imagine if you get the suction cup to small, its harder to pass those test.

I think most folks really don't want a window suction cup type mount and would prefer a dash or vent type amount and hopefully Brix with the Streamer GT or Directed with the StarMate will provide these type mounts. I am curious to see what type mount is planned for the StarMate. Hopefully they aren't opting to go with the suction cup mount too. Then again JVC comes standard with the suction cup mount, so who knows.



Quote:
Originally Posted by lronglien
DAB: Thanks for the nice review. Mine is to be in shortly. Can't wait. I'm going to LA for a vacation soon so it will be in use there...
Sounds good, I'll be anxiously awaiting your thoughts on this tuner. This should work out great on a trip. With the suction cup mount, power adapter and antenna setup is a snap.

Today using this baby in my company van it has really warmed up and the display has faded, but not too terribly. SIRIUS really will need to address the heat issue with the 3.0g chipset, hopefully they drop to a 6 volt setup, which will run cooler. I totally LOVE the FM Trans on this tuner. It works so well that it just blows me away everytime I hear it. I think I actually like the FM Trans SQ better than the direct connected, which is very, very strange.
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Old 02-02-2005, 12:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenDee
Any dimensions DAB?
Receiver Dimensions .................................................. ................. 110mm(W) x 70mm(H) x 28mm(D)
.................................................. .................................................. ... (4-3/8” W x 2-3/4” H x 1-1/8” D)
Receiver Weight .................................................. .................................................. ......... 261g (9oz.)
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Old 02-02-2005, 10:32 PM   #13
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DAB, thanks for the response. I look forward to seeing the pics. As I saw Jeremy say I like new toys too. I've only had my Sportster for just over a month and my mouth is already watering for a new one. Maybe my wife will approve if I give her the Sportster and send her to a day spa.
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:34 PM   #14
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Michigan Made, you are welcome... Yep you best get to sweet talking that women. All those toys and the things we do to get them.

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Old 02-02-2005, 11:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAB
Michigan Made, you are welcome... Yep you best get to sweet talking that women. All those toys and the things we do to get them.

You know, it's the price we pay. Gotta love it.
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