HD & Sat. radio questions

Discussion in 'Prius v Audio and Electronics' started by lisalys, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. lisalys

    lisalys Junior Member

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    So I've had my v for a whopping 6 days now, and I'm not very impressed by the radio. I pretty much went with the 3 because of the HD, but at least one channel has started dropping in and out of HD while I listen. And considering the non-HD track (is it called a track? I have no clue!) is several seconds off, it's kinda like watching TV when a 'flipper' has got dibs on the remote. Total audio whiplash. I'm assuming there's nothing wrong with the unit itself as the other channels seem to work. Is this something maybe a better antenna would help? Do they even make after-market screw-in antennas?

    Also, I was never planning on paying for the Sirius, and wasn't expecting it to actually be activated. Does it automatically shut down after the first 3 months? And when that happens, do the display screens go away? If not, is there a way to make them go away? I really don't think I will appreciate having to scan through umpteen channels of static to get between AM and FM...

    And here I thought from reading this forum that it was going to be the speakers driving me insane. :)

    - lisa
     
  2. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Actually all these questions have been asked and answered on the v forum over the last year. There are lots of technical details regarding HD radio, so here goes:

    1) Buy a longer antenna, it will help. I used one that fit a 2008 Prius.
    2) HD radio is transmitted at 1% power of the normal analog station. So a 30,000 watt station on FM will be transmitting 300 watts on HD. Auxiliary HD2 and HD3 channels, when available are even less power and are often in Mono.
    3) HD is true digital which means it's all or none.
    4) The primary HD channel will fall back to standard FM when necessary
    5) HD digital processing takes more time than analog processing so there is often a noticeable shift unless your station is totally high end and provides an analog delay on FM so that the shift in is sync. This is not required by the FCC so most don't do it.

    Bottom line, buy a better antenna and listen to the strongest station. Otherwise you can turn HD off at the button to the right when on a given station. Long term solution: ask your favorite station to upgrade their equipment from 1% power to 4% or even 10%. These have been recently allowed by the FCC after hearing the issues you and thousands others have expressed.

    Yes you get 3 months of free satellite radio. You can reprogram the preset buttons anyway you want, and can mix and match AM, FM and Satellite which will then work from the steering wheel buttons.

    Finally, I like HD radio because of it's typically excellent low and high end frequency response. I think it's sound quality is better than Satellite, although satellite has much more variety and does not get affected by distance. You can listen to the same satellite station non-stop from Seattle to Miami. The cost is high but many think it is worth it. Some report that SiriusXM will give you a deal if you don't buy it immediately after the 3 month trial.
     
  3. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I would add a warning that SiriusXM has mandatory auto-renewal.
     
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  4. lisalys

    lisalys Junior Member

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    JimboPalmer, I never gave them any information -- it was running when I test-drove the car. So I guess at some point it will just magically turn itself off when they realize nobody signed for it?

    rjparker, do you mean any 16" antenna that says it works on a 2008 prius? I didn't even realize they came longer! Sadly, I guess there goes my half-baked idea of getting one of those sharkfins. :-/

    And I really have been reading through the older posts, but there's ~so~ ~much~ ~stuff~!

    thanks!

    - lisa
     
  5. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Yes any longer one that works on a Prius, primarily because it has a coil in it, not just a piece of wire. The satellite guys know who you are, probably from the dealer.
     
  6. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    You'll be getting letters, lots of letters from the satellite people.
     
  7. lisalys

    lisalys Junior Member

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    Mike, letters I can deal with -- it's when they automagically start charging me money that I have a problem! :)
     
  8. JMD

    JMD 2012 Prius 4 Solar Roof

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    Sirris has a A-La Carte which is the least expensive. It costs $8.00 per month + Taxes and Royality comes in about $10 and you can select any 50 stations. You can visit on the web site and sign up or learn more about it you will need your sirius account number so they can assign it to the right car. Best to create an account thus you can cancel at any time but probaly on the year anniversary is the effective date. I also believe you can ask them to stop sending you soliciations. Where I live there are only 6 or so good radio stations that I may like, and frankly those are not that good with to much talking and or commercials. Sirus has good Jazz Stations, Vintage Rock, Pop, and the talk radio is great in the morning with CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox and others. $10 heck I spend that on lunch so it won't break the bank. Than again if your looking to cut expenses this is good to not sign up.
     
  9. n0na

    n0na Junior Member

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    It's illegal for them to charge you without your permission. Of course, it's always possible to you signed away your rights in the fine print when you signed all of those documents when you bought the car. In my case, satellite radio stopped working 2 weeks after the 3 month period ended (so I had it for 3.5 months). When I try to tune to a satellite radio channel now, I get a voice advertisement telling me to sign up for the service. Not thanks. It's way too expensive for what I get out of it.
     
  10. lisalys

    lisalys Junior Member

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    Hey n0na, are you still stuck with 3 full screens of SAT presets? I really doubt I'm going to want to keep it, but I already hate having to scroll through five bazillion channels to get anywhere.

    I did go through everything I signed, and there was nothing related to the sat service. IIRC, it was already running when I took the car for a test-drive, so I don't think it had anything to do with me. :)
     
  11. schmuly

    schmuly Member

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    We also got letters and phone calls when our 3 months were up. We just told them the sat radio cut in and out too much and was NOT worth it for us. Ours was also on when we bought the Prius and the dealership supplied SiriusXm with our name, address and phone #. When it did work it seemed that the songs repeated about every 3 hours. Not for me.
     
  12. n0na

    n0na Junior Member

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    Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. You can get rid of the SAT presets. If I remember correctly, there are a total of 36 presets available. You can set any of them to SAT, FM, or AM. And, you can overwrite any of the presets at any time. On the audio screen there are two buttons: Options and Source. Press Source. Then select either SAT (no point if you don't subscribe), FM, or AM. Now, tune in a station using the tuning knob. Press and hold the preset button where you want to store that station. Whatever used to be in that preset will be erased and replaced with the station you just tuned in. So, just overwrite the SAT channels with either an FM or AM station.
     
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