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New pricing structure allows customers to pick only the stations they want

XM and Sirius have announced proposed price cuts and new plans for post merger services, despite the fact that a merger between XM and Sirius is far from a done deal. A XM/Sirius FCC filing (PDF) reveals the company has a new pricing structure with new packages starting at $6.99 and going up to $16.99 per month.

This programming is a la carte, offering subscribers more service options. At $6.99 per month, customers can choose 50 channels and add additional channels for $.25 per month. Under the $6.99 package, the subscriber would have to choose all 50 channels from either XM or Sirius. The company does not allow mixing and matching between both services with the $6.99 package. This represents a 46% decrease in the price of the current lowest cost subscription rate from either provider.

Another a la carte option gives subscribers 100 channels and the option to pick from the best programming of both XM and Sirius for $14.99 per month. Other new service packages include two family friendly packs that block adult themed programs like Howard Stern and Playboy.

Customers will also be able to get all programming from both XM and Sirius on their current XM or Sirius hardware post merger for $16.99 per month. The proposed a la carte programming would be available within one year of the merger.


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How's the quality?
By Netscorer on 7/24/2007 7:22:34 PM , Rating: 2
I once wanted to get sattelite based on their advertisement of all-digital ad-free radio.
I've read however about 3 years ago that all-digital actually means sub FM quality and ad-free means loads of ads on talk shows.
Did they get better or worse since then?




RE: How's the quality?
By stevenplatt on 7/24/2007 7:42:57 PM , Rating: 2
The quality is decent. I am sirius subscriber. I have a quality after market setup with pioneer, kenwood and infinity components. The sound quality is better than that of FM, but far from that of a CD.

These new pricing plans make so much sense my main gripe as a subscriber is that much of the channels are crap. Yes, there are a ton of talk radio channels. Even the standard channels have DJ's that chime in after every other song. I would love to be able to select stations and save money, because of the 100+ stations, i may listen to 10 frequently. I do not know if this will be sufficient to save their business however. I noticed that i channel surf and just as with regular radio when i commercial comes on i change channels, with Sirius a song is played that i don't like, I change the channel. The ease of radio presets makes commercial free music not that important to consumers. Only those who make frequent long distance trips (truck drivers ect) will enjoy the service. I have a lifetime subscription, if i had to pay monthly i would discontinue service.


RE: How's the quality?
By therealnickdanger on 7/24/2007 7:47:58 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a Sirius subscriber - I have been for several years now. IIRC, the best quality any channel gets is roughly 160K, but they use some proprietary compression scheme. Different songs also seem to receive different compression, judging strictly by ear. I can certainly tell the difference between Sirius and a 320K MP3 in my car, but honestly, the awesome variety of content makes up for it, IMO. So long as Sirius doesn't inherit XM's commercials, I'll be a subscriber for life.


RE: How's the quality?
By PolPot on 7/24/2007 9:17:30 PM , Rating: 2
I have XM and must say that it's a sanity saver as I have to travel through rural Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri on a daily basis. Really, the selections are pretty disappointing. Mostly, I just leave it on CNN or XM Comedy. If you are relying on the built-in FM transmitter, it will definitely sound worse than an FM radio station. The interface on my Roady XT could stand a lot of improvement and simplification.


RE: How's the quality?
By AlexWade on 7/25/2007 7:59:12 AM , Rating: 2
I have XM, had them since almost the beginning. My XM radio goes directly through my Pioneer head unit. The sound quality is equal to a CD. Not superior, like HD radio. Of course, some stations have too much DJ chatter, but my favorites have none at all. There are commercials on talk radio, but only because talk radio is a re-broadcast of something with commercials.

If you want satellite done right, avoid the FM radio attachments and get it direct to the head unit.


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