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Old 11-26-2006, 02:48 PM   #1
tex_junk
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Default My thoughts on Sirius and looking for some input

Hi there...

I am now about one month into Sirius, and am still kicking around the idea of a lifetime subscription. I am listing pros and cons, and if anyone has any other input, please let me know. It will help decide. Thanks.

PROs

- Numerous channels with a wide variety of music, talk, and sporting events
- No commercials on music stations
- Free internet music and some talk shows
- Lifetime subscription option
- Traffic / weather every four minutes in some areas
- Works across the US
- Works in rain, shine, or snow
- New radios coming out have universal docking stations
- Most radios have a pause / rewind / forward option
- Most radios record up to 45 minutes (approx) of music to rewind / pause as long as the channel is not changed


CONs
- Heavy repetition on the music channels (Note: I listen to 80's, Buzzsaw, Octane, Hair, and Alt Wave, and some groups get more air time than the others, and I have heard only one or none of the following groups: Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister, Alice Cooper, Rush, Helix, Autograph, Y&T, Accept, AC/DC, Slaughter, Joe Satriani, Yngvie Malmsteen, Savatage, Duran Duran, and a few more. Any reason why? Do the lables have contracts or boycotts with Sirius?)
- DJs sometimes cut into the beginning or end of the song as they jaw-jack which is very annoying
- Talk and/or news shows sometimes seem to be broadcast from a tin can
- Not all of the US is covered in the traffic / weather stations
- Customer Service is inept and have the iq of an elm tree. When I called and asked about the fine print about lifetime subscriptions, they said there was none. When I asked if I could upgrade my receiver the answer was, "Yeah, you could probably do it." Probably? How about a REAL answer McFly. If that were my company, that CS rep would have fired on the spot for not knowing and at least putting on hold and getting an answer. (BTW, I went to the website and found out it is a maximum 3 receivers @ $75 each.)
- Reception is blocked out under over hangs, or heavily canopied roads
- FM wireless transmitter is useless (In Sirius' defense, this is via an FCC mandate that I read about on this forum.)

I guess that's it off the top of my head. I read Sirius' Investor Realtions information on their web page, and if I read it correctly, they still have not turned a true profit; but, expect to soon. When that is, I am not sure. While the lifetime offer is tempting (Merry Christmas to me!), I hope the company will be around a while, and not severly change their options.

Any input? Thanks!!!!
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Old 11-26-2006, 02:50 PM   #2
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Why do a lifetime sub??? Why not just pay the year-to-year and enjoy till you change your mind?
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Old 11-26-2006, 05:54 PM   #3
magneto
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The lifetime sub is probably not a good idea if you only want one sub and you don't plan to keep it--and your radio--for at least 3.2 years, given the $75 transfer fee.

On the other hand, in my case I'm already ahead by getting the lifetime--I paid for one in 2003 when they cost $399.99 and now Sirius on my trusty Audiovox PNP2 is completely free. Now that the lifetimes are $499.99, if you plan to keep a radio for more than 38.5 months, you're ahead to get the lifetime. And Sirius will let you swap out radios under the lifetime for no charge if the radios fail within the warranty period (including extended warranties, which I think anyone should get with any satellite radio anyway)--I've done this kind of swapout before. With a lifetime, additional subs would be $6.99/mo, of course, and you can transfer those for no charge, which is useful if you also want to take advantage of improved products as they become available (but you'd have to keep your lifetime as your "primary" sub). By the way, you can upgrade your current standard sub to a lifetime at any time and even get it prorated--I've also done this before. Finally, Mel Karmazin has repeatedly told the investment community over the past year or so that he would like to raise the $12.99/month sub price "at some time in the future"; when that happens, a lifetime sub that you prepaid $499.99 for would then be paid off even sooner (if you have one; if you don't, the lifetime would probably cost more, if they still offer one).

Oh--Buzz Saw/19 plays lots of "classic" Rush & AC/DC. (But not Duran Duran.)
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:15 PM   #4
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tex, that was about the best pro/con analysis of satrad I have ever read.

One small point. Sirius will transfer your lifetime sub for free if your receiver is broken or stolen. You will probably need to furnish proof. It may be subject to change.

Also, FYI, the bandwidth IS limited on the talk stations, causing severly degraded sound quality. This allows more bandwidth to be used for music channels and increased SQ. This tradeoff is due to the bandwidth restrictions placed by the FCC on DARS (satrad). It is unlikely to change.

My only other comment is that most of your Pros are factual, and most of your Cons are subjective. The facts will usually not change, while your opinions and attitudes often will. IOW, the hardware and content probably won't change, but you will probably end up liking the service either more or less, probably less.

If limited playlists is the big factor for you, I would go with XM. Sirius is slowly building up their playlist; it'll probably take years.

Sirius is on the verge of Cash Flow Break Even (CFBE), but probably won't be pulling in actual profits for a few years. Satellites are very expensive.
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