Readers of this blog know that I’m not shy about my unabashed support of satellite radio company Sirius XM. I’m a shareholder and a long-term subscriber and I sing the praises of the company whenever I can. Hell, I even include direct links to their products in my blog entries as you can see! With all of the negative buzz surrounding the company from its constant attacks by the internet media, I thought I would relay a brief, positive story about the company.
On Monday of last week, my Sirius XM unit started showing a message saying, “Antenna Not Detected.” I hadn’t moved the unit or the antenna in many months so I wondered what the problem could possibly be. After some fiddling, the message went away and the unit worked fine. Then Tuesday came around and the message popped back up on the radio. I figured that some more fiddling would fix it – nope. I didn’t get mad, but I wondered what the issue was that was causing the problem.
I tried to self-diagnose the problem. On the one hand, I have a Sportster Replay, which is one the older, discontinued models and there was a chance that the unit was shot. On other other hand, though, I’ve only owned the radio for three years so for it to be busted after three years of use is unacceptable. I did some Googling and the information online wasn’t really clear about what the problem was (it could be the unit or it could be the satellite receiver or it could be something else – great). As it turns out, the satellite receiver was shot and I needed a new one, which was provided free of charge via a spare receiver that one of my roommates had (thank you!).
However, in the few days where I didn’t have Sirius XM I had to listen to terrestrial radio on my two-hour daily commutes plus my driving around town. It was mostly miserable. You really forget just how many commercials there are on terrestrial radio until you have prolonged exposure to the endless drones of car, lawyer, and doctor commercials. And they don’t stop. Two minutes goes by, three minutes, five minutes, seven minutes – sometimes even more! It was horrible.
To avoid the commercials on Howard Stern’s channels on Sirius XM, I flip to one of the music channels. Easy enough, right? Well, with terrestrial radio when the talk show hosts would hit their ten to fifteen minute non-live content breaks I was essentially screwed! First, I had to find a channel with music on it that I actually wanted to hear. Second, I had to hope that the channel came in clear (my commute takes me across state and I generally heard more static than anything else). What aggravation!
When one goes a few days without Sirius XM satellite radio, they begin to really appreciate how great of a service this really is for those who have long commutes. I’m so glad that Sirius XM exists because other than NJ 101.5 (when it’s not on another ridiculously long commercial break) there is absolutely nothing to listen to on terrestrial radio.