Poor FM/SAT reception?

Discussion in 'Prius v Audio and Electronics' started by btcompute, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. btcompute

    btcompute Junior Member

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    Location:
    Central NH
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three


    Has anyone found that the FM and Satellite reception on the Display Audio system in the V three is rather poor?
    I find that the FM reception is not a strong as other cars I have driven, even with simple stock stereos installed. The signal strength of many stations, even local ones seem to fluctuate dramatically. Not the case in our other cars.

    I find the same thing with SAT radio, but this is the first car I have owned that has Sat radio, so maybe this is normal.

    Any thoughts on whether it is the quality of the stereo itself or maybe just not the best antenna?
    Anyone have experience with replacing the antenna with something better?

    Any helpful comments would be welcome.
     
  2. RichardAK

    RichardAK Member

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    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    Vehicle:
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    Three
    Not sure if it's helpful but the sat radio is almost completely useless due to poor reception so I won't bother subscribing to that service. My son also had a three month demo subscription in their Nissan and it suffered from the same poor, intermittent reception. FM seems to be okay but we haven't travelled too far out of town yet and there are few to no stations outside of the major cities.
     
  3. n0na

    n0na Junior Member

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    XM radio doesn't work at all when the car is parked in my garage. Nor does it work when I'm driving on an east/west road with trees just to the south of the road. That's all understandable since the satellite signal is coming from an area of the sky that the sun passes through and anything that gets between the car and that part of the sky is going to kill reception. People in Alaska should have more of a problem than people living in Texas as the angle to the satellite would be closer to the horizon and more subject to blocking.

    AM/FM radio reception probably won't be as good in the Prius v as it would be in a car with a long external antenna. That's the laws of physics at work. I don't know where the AM/FM antenna is located in the Prius v (maybe the little stubby thing?) but I would think reception would be compromised due to its poor antenna, though I haven't noticed it myself in the two excursions I've taken in my new Prius v. However, I do know that HD radio drops out frequently where I live (I'm close to the maximum range for radio reception for most of the stations I'd like to listen to.). Regarding HD radio, an analog station transmits not only an analog signal, but also may broadcast as many as three HD signals in the same channel. Usually, the first HD signal is a duplicate of the analog signal (the other HD signals are completely different programming) and when it drops out, the radio receiver will seamlessly switch to the analog signal until the HD signal returns. That switch over is sometimes noticable due to the analog and HD1 signals not being in sync with one another (it takes more time to process an HD signal). If you listen only to the analog signal, it shouldn't be too much different than what older cars provided other than the fact that the compromised antenna in the Prius v may not provide the reception of a good external antenna. By the way, HD doesn't stand for "high definition." It doesn't really stand for anything. Depending on how the station manager implements it, an HD signal can be either higher or lower in quality than the analog signal.
     
  4. mattheikkila

    mattheikkila New Member

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    Location:
    concord, california
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    I rarely had issues with XM (going through tunnels and sometimes driving through areas with a lot of large trees.) I don't listen to FM enough to know, however.
     
  5. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Three
    I replaced the stubby antenna with a full size and have little issues with the FM. The SAT is normal from my experience with other receivers. XM has downgraded their quality since merging except on a few channels. In my area the best quality is HD FM by far.
     
  6. Selborne

    Selborne Junior Member

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    Five
    Can you post a link or description of the replacement antenna you purchased? I'm looking to increase my FM sensitivity. Does it simply screw into the same spot on the roof?
     
  7. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    I used a longer antenna from a 2008 Prius, it fit and worked fine. I am in the fringe of some Austin FM stations and recognized the reduced sensitivity on the V immediately. The longer antenna restored FM sensitivity. Probably any ebay seller that has compatibility with the 08 Prius would work equally well. The above link is an 11" version, others have 16" versions. I have also read that Dodge dealers have a low cost version that fits.
     
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