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Driving your car with an installed XM satellite radio can be an exciting
experience. Wherever you drive, you have continuos broadcast of your
favorite stations, with no interruptions and no commercials. In fact,
XM radio is similar to cable TV, where you pay a small fee each
month to receive superior programming. With XM you can receive
over 150 different channels, many with commercial free music, talk
show personalities and quality sports programming such as Major
League Baseball and NASCAR.
In order to receive the XM radio broadcast you must have a special
receiver that is XM compatible. For this matter, an excellent Sirius
receiver won't help. The XM receiver you need includes a chip set
and usually an antenna to pick up the XM signal, encode it and
decompress the signal so that you can hear CD quality broadcasts.
Either in your car, at home or on the go in a portable unit, listening
to XM radio is a great experience.
Because most people listen to the radio when they drive, the vast
majority of XM Radios are car audio units. So supposing you have a
car, let's check out the installing process of the satellite radio.
There are three main types of XM Radio units that can be used in
your car. They are portable receivers, aftermarket car stereos that
include built in controls for XM Radio and car manufacturer's stock
radios that include a compatible XM Radio car stereo. These stock
radios already include a special XM Radio antenna and any other
hardware necessary to enjoy XM Radio.
There are five main methods for installing an XM satellite Radio in
your car; they include Cassette Adapters, Wireless FM Modulators,
Hardwired FM Modulator, Aftermarket Hardwired Adapters and XM
Compatible Stock Radio.
Cassette Adapter FM Modulator - the cassette adapter FM modulator
is an extremely easy way to connect your portable XM radio or XM
Radio receiver to a car's stereo. This method is only good for vehicles
that have a cassette player. The cassette adapter plugs into the
headphone jack or audio output of your XM radio or receiver and then
on the other end, the wired cassette is inserted into your car's
cassette player. The car radio reads audio signals that are sent from
the XM radio or receiver through the cassette player instantly giving
you XM Radio. Cassette adapters are extremely easy to use and
very affordable, usually costing less than $20. Their performance is
usually rated as average.
Wireless FM Modulators - a wireless FM Modulator is another easy
way to enjoy XM Radio. A wireless FM Modulator is a small device that
plugs into any XM Radio receiver (usually through the audio output
or headphone jack) and sends the audio signal as a radio frequency
that is then picked up on your existing car stereo's radio. Wireless FM
Modulators work on specific radio frequencies, so both the Wireless
FM Modulator and your car's stereo must be both on the same
frequency (for instance 89.5). The Wireless FM Modulator is powered
by a single battery (usually AA or AAA) and can cost as little as $20.
The quality of sound for Wireless FM Modulators is usually very good,
similar to your FM radio reception.
Hardwired FM Modulator - a Hardwired FM Modulator is similar to an
FM Modulator, however it is not wireless, it is directly connects
between an XM Radio receiver and your cars antenna, which also can
be connected to an XM Radio antenna. Hardwired FM Modulators are
usually installed for XM Radio receivers that are installed permanently
in your car. Three advantages of having a Hardwired FM Modulator
is that it is powered by the car's battery, offers better reception than
a wireless unit because it is connected with a cable and lastly the
permanent installation makes your receiver in your car look much
cleaner and professional.
Aftermarket Hardwired Adapters - give a person the ability to control
their XM Radio through their existing car's aftermarket radio. The
Aftermarket Hardwired Adapters include everything that is necessary
such as the receiving component and chipset to receive XM Radio all
that is necessary is a compatible XM Radio car receiver and antenna.
Aftermarket Hardwired Adapters usually vary by different car stereo
manufacturers, but are usually installed behind your dash board and
powered by your car's battery. You can then control all the functions
of your XM Radio through your cars stereo. Obviously, you will still
have full use of your car's stereo.
Aftermarket hardwired Adapters are perfect for a clean and
professional looking installation. They offer great sound and features.
They are usually affordable costing from $100 to $200 depending on
model. It is important to note that you first need an aftermarket XM
Radio compatible car receiver for the adapter to work.
XM Compatible Stock Radio - for the ultimate in ease and function an
XM compatible stock radio is the best way to listen to XM Radio. If
you are buying a new car, certain car manufacturers offer XM Radio
as a premium feature with your car's sound system. With this type
of unit, there is absolutely nothing that needs to be installed.
Everything is already installed for you meeting the highest quality
standards; you just need to subscribe to the XM Radio service.