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Bringing the Tunes to the Lake

by Lori Wolak


Is there the solution for those of us who are tired of not having any good radio stations in our remote lake locations? Tired of having to carry CD's on the boat in order to have some decent tunes to listen to on the water? Tired of listening to inane radio commercials when all you want to hear is some music? We are told we can hear any music we want, wherever and whenever we want, with Satellite Radio. Can it be as good as they say it is? Can the millions of subscribers of XM Satellite Radio be wrong?


Here's what I found out in my research on XM Satellite Radio. You pay for the receiver you choose up front, and then pay the monthly access fee, which is now around $10 per month. XM Satellite Radio currently offers 120 digital channels of choice programming from coast to coast: 68 commercial-free music channels, featuring everything from hip hop to opera, classical to country, bluegrass to blues; 33 channels of sports, talk shows, comedy, children's programming and entertainment programming. XM offers a variety of stations you cannot always find on commercial radio. Virtually every musical style imaginable is represented in one or more stations. Many of their stations include totally unique programming. Some non-music channel choices include BBC World Service, PBS's News Hour with Jim Lehrer, Bloomberg News Radio, NASCAR, CNN News, and The Weather Channel.


XM currently has 16 channels of traffic and weather information for major metropolitan areas, covering New York City, Los Angeles, DC, Boston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Chicago, Houston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Orlando, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. They are about to launch five more. So, if you choose an easily transportable receiver, it can do double duty. You can take it to the lake for remote area access, and then back home for the metro information during the week.


XM doesn't do any targeted marketing to boat owners yet, but the fact is, if you can hook it up to a car radio, you can hook it up to a boat radio. Several of their receivers can be moved from house to vehicle easily, meaning you could have XM at home, at the lake house, and on the boat, if you desire. I told XM I wanted a receiver that could go from house to boat to car. They recommended the Delphi Roady 2, which can be used in the car or the boat with the built in FM modulator. This receiver wirelessly transmits XM to any FM stereo, making it very easy to move. There will soon be a portable battery pack available for it. I think I will wait for that to be available before I order one, but I hope it is out soon! So, my conclusion regarding XM Satellite radio is, add another water toy to my wish list! Happy listening!



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