Monday, April 03, 2006

Gear of The Week: Sirius Satellite Radio

In an article that inspired me to get satellite radio last summer, the senior vice president of KNBR (the Bay Area's biggest sports talk station) said: "We cannot go on the air and break down the interior line of the Tampa Bay Bucs. People don't want to hear that."

Au contraire! You mean I get to hear intelligent football talk instead of nonstop blather and bad jokes? Sign me up.

There are two providers of satellite radio: Sirius and XM. Both offer more than 100 channels of music, talk and sports. Both cost about $12 per month. The important distinction is that Sirius has an exclusive contract with the NFL. Sirius broadcasts every NFL game and features a dedicated NFL news and talk channel. This means that if you are driving through Roswell, New Mexico, you can still tune into Greg Papa live as he screams: Touchdown Rrrrraiders! It also means that you are never far from up-to-the-minute news about free agency and the draft during the offseason.

Here are the basics for getting into satellite radio

1. Provider – XM or Sirius? Sirius covers the NFL. There’s your answer.

2. Receiver – Choose one of the many Sirius-compatible units that grab the signal from outer space.

3. Subscription – Once you buy your receiver, you call in your serial number to Sirius to activate your subscription.

When choosing your receiver, I recommend researching your options. I chose a “plug and play” unit called the
Sportster Replay, and I am very happy with it. It can be easily moved from the truck to a companion boombox, and you can pause live radio for up to 45 minutes (in other words, you can pause the radio while you're in Home Depot, then resume it on your drive home and skip all the commercials, sort of like Tivo). There’s also a new mobile iPod-style unit (which has advantages and disadvantages), and many in-dash stereos now offer a permanent satellite radio install.

If you are considering satellite radio, please feel free to email me at with any questions.

Disclaimer: You will hear Raiders haters on Sirius, which is inevitable. Some of the hosts can be annoying (after all, Randy Cross is one of them), which is also inevitable. However, in the balance, the content is very timely and informative.


Blogger Doobie said...

All this and Howard Stern too!

9:59 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I've never even tuned into Howard Stern. Here I've got 100 channels at my disposal, and the knob rarely turns from NFL Channel 124.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I purchased Sirius for Howard Stern, but I listen to the NFL channel almost exclusively.

9:00 AM  

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