First, my disclaimer: I don't own a Satellite Radio. For that matter, I don't use CD's much anymore because I've converted my music collection to MP's and they're now stored on my computer's hard drive and at an online backup website.
On November 15th, 2005, DirecTV began to transmit about 70 XM satellite stations on unused DirecTV stations. I've listened to them occasionally, but not often.
What is the difference between Sirius and XM Satellite radio?
For those of you having trouble deciding between XM and Sirius, here’s a short comparison of some of the most important aspects.
The sound quality of satellite radio is determined partly by the number of satellites and their power. XM uses a single fixed location satellite that always stays above the US. Sirius, on the other hand, uses a combination of three orbital satellites with anywhere from one to three of them over the US at any given time. Both Sirius and XM also make use of ground based repeater stations to help boost their signals. Although both services will argue that their solution is better, overall both methods tend to be equally effective.
XM satellite radio claims to have over 170 stations although some of those stations are only activated at certain times and the average number
is a bit lower. Sirius Satellite radio currently has over 130 stations.
Since station lineups can change without notice, trying to provide a thorough list of who is available on what service would be a futile effort. However, Sirius features special exclusive shows featuring Martha Stewart and another by Howard Stern. In general, Sirius has more personality driven programming than XM.
Both providers feature a similar number of commercial free music channels spanning every major genre and decade. They also have a large collection of other stations including news, talk, sports, weather, and children’s programming. In general, Sirius has a better collection of talk and sports channels while XM features more local news.
Before choosing any satellite service, you may want to consider the financial stability of each or them. After all, you don’t want to buy the equipment and sign up for a service plan only for the broadcasting company to run out of money and stop sending a signal. Both XM and Sirius continue to lose money and have never been profitabl. Beginning in 2007, Sirius and XM began discussing a merger, which would no doubt lower operating costs and could be the salvation for both companies.