How Do XM And Sirius Satellite Radio Compare?

By: Jim Johnson

If you want to take advantage of the satellite radio boom which is picking up steam with almost every passing day, you only have two major choices if you live in the US, either XM or Sirius. Both providers offer high quality, digital programming with over 100 channels to listen to so you can never run out of something good on the radio.

But what are the differences between the two services? It makes sense to figure that out in advance and make the right decision for you, as the equipment that you buy that enables you to receive the signal from one of the providers, cannot be used with the other provider if you decide that you want to make a change for some reason. So that means that examining the programming options from both XM and Sirius is an important step in the buying process, as it will be very expensive if you decide to change after the equipment has been purchased.

In actuality though, there are more similarities between the two providers than there are differences, especially in the field of music. Each has over 60 channels of music to tune into including all of the major generes like pop, hip-hop, blues, all kinds of rock, country, jazz, classical, as well as dance music and music by the decades (70s, 80s, 90s, etc.) So in this area, either one will no doubt provide you with all the music programming that you could ever need.

The differences in programming start to show up in the talk radio and sports radio sections though. In sports, XM broadcasts baseball games and Nascar, whereas Sirius has committed to more overall sports programming including all NFL footbal games, most NBA games, NHL, and Nascar. So if you are a sports fan, the differences can be important in this area.

In talk radio, one of the biggest draws for Sirius is Howard Stern. Of course, his radio show has been very popular for many years and has lots of listeners, so if he is a favorite of yours, you can only find him on Sirius. But there are other talk shows available as well, although Sirius tends to attract more celebrity talk shows hosted by the likes of Martha Stewart, Jimmy Buffet, and more. One other advantage in the talk area, is that Sirius also carries NPR, which has a wide fan base as well. The list is constantly changing though, so check the latest channel lineup to see what talk channels are being offered at this point.

Both services offer always-on, everywhere service that is available no matter where you live in the US, and the equipment for receiving each service is pretty extensive, with XM maybe having a slight edge in the portability field.

So look over the channel lineups carefully, choose your provider and enjoy the next step in high quality, digital entertainment.

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