Call Us Toll Free: 1-855-430-7753

Installation costs of satellite radio



Installation costs of satellite radio

Satellite radio is growing by leaps and bounds. More national known personalities are switching to this broadcast method. To not be left out in the cold you will need a satellite radio, but just how much will this new endeavor cost you?

Satellite radio has two types of costs associated with it. The first type is the start up or installation costs while the second cost is the subscription cost. The different is that the installation cost should be a onetime expense while unless you get a lifetime plan the subscription cost will be ongoing.

The costs involved in the start up and subscriptions costs will differ depending on what satellite radio company you choose, XM or Sirius. In 2008 Sirius bought XM satellite radio and the companies merged however they still have their own offerings, subscriptions and channel packages. XM and Sirius both now have choices in their package lineups that include their own channels plus "The Best of" the other carrier you still need to choose which one you are going to pick to set up a subscription with. Choosing the provider is a personal choice but you will need to decide. Before the merger you had to purchase equipment specific to the carrier since Sirius satellite gear worked only with Sirius and XM satellite apparatus only worked with XM satellite radio. However when XM and Sirius merged into what is referred to as Sirius XM satellite radio they announced that interoperable receivers must be in stores within nine months of the close of the merger.

As part of the merger Sirius XM promised that satellite radio listeners would one day be able to tune in every channel offered by both services on a single device. The MiRGE, the newly formed company's first interoperable receiver, will deliver on this promise. It is available for purchase as of early spring of 2009 for a cost of $249.99.

The MiRGE comes with a vehicle dock, interoperable vehicle antenna, vehicle power adapter, cassette adapter, aux-in cable, remote control and vent and adhesive mounts. It measures 4.5" x 2.5" x .78" and weighs 4.7 ounces, and it can be moved from car to the home using accessories such as a home kit.

The company says the MiRGE will switch between the two services at the touch of a button, display channel info on a large and customizable color screen, display a real-time programming guide, alert users to favorite songs playing on other channels and allow pausing, rewinding and replaying up to 60 minutes of real-time Sirius or XM programming. Up until the MiRGE came out a person wanting to hear both offerings of XM and Sirius had to have 2 satellite receivers, one for each carrier.

If you only want to pay a subscription to one carrier though than you would need the equipment for that specific carrier and subscribe to either XM or Sirius. The costs involved are quite similar so it is likely your choice will be determined by the programming of the satellite radio company.

Besides the equipment itself there is also a onetime activation fee that is part of your start up costs for satellite radio. The equipment needed for this endeavor includes a tuner or receiver, antenna and mounting hardware. There are many types of satellite radio receivers and now some include the antenna so it is not needed separately.

You will need to determine what type of satellite radio you want. There are ones made for your home, automobile or even a plug and play type that can go from your house to your car and back. There are also "boomboxes" and a portable satellite radio receiver that is small and easy handheld like an MP3 player.

Here is a breakdown of satellite radio costs:

Activation: Both Sirius and XM satellite radio require an activation fee to start up your relationship with their services. For Sirius radio the activation fee is $15 or if done online for an annual plan or greater it is only $10. For XM radio the activation fee is $14.95 or if done online it is only $9.95.

Car Installation Costs: Costs for installation for satellite radio will depend on the type of component you have purchased and want installed. There are basic and advanced installations. The basic installation would be for a radio only and advanced for a radio with other components, such as compact disc player.

  • Labor for installation for a satellite only radio - $40 to $75
  • Labor for installation for a satellite radio with other components, such as CD - $60 to $80
  • Sirius car radio and car kit - $50 to $100
  • Plug and play unit - $80 to $150XM car receiver - $100 to $125
  • Antenna - $30 to $70
  • Mounting apparatus - $20 to $40
  • Activation - $15
  • Plus subscription fees (typically starting at $12.95)

The total cost for having a satellite radio installed in your car is down from the last few years when it would could nearly $500. For now around $200 you should be able to get a basic satellite radio receiver and have it installed. Of course if you want a better system you will pay more for the satellite radio component.

Home installation costs: Home unit prices have also come down the past few years. Installation can typically be done by the homeowner thus cutting down more on the startup costs.

  • Sirius home table top receiver - $300
  • XM home tuner - $220
  • Antenna - $30 to $70
  • Activation - $15
  • Plus subscription fees (typically starting at $12.95)

Again your actual expenses will depend on what type of tuner or receiver you purchase for your home. For some satellite channels they now allow you to get it streaming on your computer. So you might choose a car unit but then pay the extra cost to allow you to pick it up on your computer as well.

Plug and Play / Boomboxes / Portable Satellite Radio Costs: These types of units allow you to use your satellite radio in different places. The plug and play components can be used in either your house or home. Portable radios resemble portable MP3 players and allow you to take the use the unit anywhere you want. To get proper coverage from the satellite your house would need to be equipped with the correct amount of cables, antennas and home kits.

  • Home Kit - $50 to $300
  • Receiver - $100 - $125
  • Boombox - $100
  • Portable player - $200 - $300
  • Plug and Play unit - $80 to $150
  • Activation - $15
  • Plus subscription fees (typically starting at $12.95)

It seems everything is going portable now. Satellite radio is no different. Unfortunately at times you might not be able to pick up the signals from the satellite as well as a home or car unit but the capability to carry your satellite radio with you will probably make up for those times you have issues.

While we figured in the subscription fee as $12.95 there is a newer option with each carrier that is $16.99. For $16.99 per month with Sirius you can get every Sirius channel plus "The Best of XM" including Oprah & Friends®, MLB Home Plate, NBA and NHL games, the 24/7 NHL Home Ice® channel, The PGA TOUR Network, Opie & Anthony, XM Public Radio® and more.

With XM for $16.99 per month you can get over 180 channels including every XM channel, PLUS Best of SIRIUS, including NFL play-by-play, two full-time Howard Stern channels, NASCAR races and shows, as well as Martha Stewart Living Radio.

For $12.95 with Sirius you can get over 130 channels, including 100% commercial-free music, plus all of SIRIUS' sports, news, talk and entertainment. And with SM for $12.95 you can get $12.99 XM everything which includes 170 channels. This has commercial-free music channels to MLB and NHL play-by-play. College sports from the ACC, Big 10, Big East, Big 12, Pac-10, and SEC. Tune in to world-class news from FOX News, CNN, CNBC, and more.

There are other choices for music or talk radio channels, family friendly channels and even a la carte where you pick the channels you want. These packages run from $14.99 to $6.95.

The equipment and start up expenses for satellite radio do not have to be expensive. Both satellite radios have special promotions and rebates on their equipment regularly. The prices for satellite radio units have come down, as installation costs have as well. You could read the manual yourself and skip the professionals from installing the equipment if you choose. The equipment has advanced in the past few years now where you can even record on your satellite radio so you can list to a program at any time. This type of device costs around $250 currently.

Both Sirius and XM have sections of their sites dedicated to explaining the types of radios available - in the car, at home/office, on the go or for listening online only - along with other accessories you may want or need to make your satellite radio listening experience all that you want it to be.


Related articles on CarInsurance.com


Tell us your thoughts

Leave a Comment
0 Responses to "Installation costs of satellite radio"