Following the King to Sirius Satellite Radio
Reviewed by Lando da Pimp
In the summer of 2004, Howard Stern announced that he would not be renewing his contract with Infinity broadcasting and would be moving his show to Sirius Satellite radio. At the time of the announcement I was unsure if I would want to pay to listen to Howard Stern. I didn't really think about it since he had more than a year before the big move.
The realization that I needed to follow Howard came on October 18th when Infinity officially confirmed that David Lee Roth would be replacing Stern come January. That was all I needed to hear. I decided that I was going to move to Sirius radio.
I didn't know anything about the satellite radio technology and I couldn't get my answers from Howard since Infinity has not allowed him to discuss the different options one can do to listen to Sirius. After talking with fellow Stern Fan Network users I got an idea of what I needed to do to enjoy Sirius radio. I want to help other fans that have not made the move yet and provide information on how to listen to Sirius all day long.
What Do You Need to listen to Sirius
The first thing you need to do is decide how and where you want to listen. Because I am a huge fan of Howard I typically listen from 6:00 to the end of the show usually around 10:30. This would mean that I would need the ability to listen at home, on the drive to work, and at work.
To listen you first need to buy a receiver and a subscription for the service. There are a number of subscription options from paying monthly to paying for the entire year up front. Visit Sirius.com to purchase the equipment and subscription.
Sirius sent me the Sportster Relay receiver along with a three-month subscription for a complete review and feature. The Sportster Relay receiver is a great receiver for sports fans. The Receiver has the ability to alert you when your favorite sports team is playing and has the ability to rewind and pause the playback. However don't just think that this is made for sports. I am not a sports fan and I am enjoying the receiver immensley. The size of the screen allows it to display the channel name and number that you are on along with the time and what is currently playing on that channel.
My biggest concern was making sure that I don't miss any of Howard's show. This is really important for me. Here is how you can do it:
Listen at Home
At home I like to listen to the show in the morning as I check my email and eat breakfast in the mornings. To listen to the radio I place the receiver into the Sportster Boom Box. The radio can play through the built in speakers and also has an optional headphone jack. To pick up the signal you also have to attach an antenna to the boombox. The antenna needs to be in an area where the signal will not be blocked. I placed mine outside on the back porch with the wire fed through the window. To receive a good signal, the antenna should be outside but can also be near a window.
Listen in the Car
The most important place to listen to the Howard Stern show is in the car on my way to work. My morning commute is a little over an hour so I need to be entertained as I yell at traffic to move through the tunnels. The Sporster Relay receiver comes with a car kit to listen to in your car.
I was very unsure as to how the car kit installation is set up. The receiver has a built in F.M. transmitter that transmits the Sirius signal to your car stereo. When my radio is placed on 88.1 F.M. the receiver broadcasts Sirius through my car stereo.
The biggest problem I had was finding where to put the Sirius antenna. The antenna needs to be placed on a metal surface. The bottom of the antenna is a magnet that allows for it to stay connected to the car. I tried a number of places on the car but ultimately found the best place was on the outside of the car. I fed the wire along the inside of the car through the trunk and out the back on the back of the driver side.
Listen in the Office
Once I get to work I still have a couple of hours of Howard Stern to listen too. I also listen to music throughout the day and having satellite radio gives me more opportunities to listen.
I chose to use the home / office dock kit and was really happy of how well it works. On the back of the dock is an audio out port that can be used with headphones or line out into a stereo system. I ran mine into my work computers sound system allowing me to listen to the radio and the computer at the same time.
I still have my "old time boring radio" off to the side. However starting January 9th, this radio goes home.
What Else Can You Listen To?
My main reason for listening to Sirius is of course Howard Stern. However after listening for two weeks I have found a number of favorite channels and shows.
The Raw Dog Channel (channel 104)
Raw Dog is a great collection of unedited comedy bits from a variety of comedians like Robert Shimmel, Richard Pryor, Dave Chappelle, and my favorite Sam Kinison. In the afternoons from 4:00 - 6:00 is Jim Bruer Unleashed. I was not a big fan of Jim when he was on Saturday Night Live however after listening to his radio show and hearing some stand up comedy bits I have found my afternoon drive radio show.
Check out Bruerunleashed.com
The Hair Channel (channel 023)
As a child of the 80's, I listened to nothing but metal. Motley Crue, Poison, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest are just a few of the bands that I loved growing up. The Hair Channel plays nothing but 80's hair metal and I love it.
The 80's Channel (channel 008)
While I loved hair metal I also loved the alternative music of the 80's. The 80's channel plays music like Flock of Seagulls, Dexter's Midnight Runner, and other pop music from the Me decade.
What ever your favorite type of music Sirius has it along with news and sports channels. Howard Stern isn't the only celebrity on Sirius. Martha Stewart and Eminem both have their own channels.
If it wasn't for Howard Stern moving to satellite radio, I would have missed out on how great satellite radio is. While Howard Stern's channels 100 and 101 are not populated with very much programming at the moment it has given me the opportunity to listen and explore the different channels.
I hope that this article helps provide information on the satellite radio technology and to help spread the word that the King of All Media is moving to a place where he no longer has to be censored and answer to the FCC. When you think about the government trying to control what you listen to I see no reason for paying for radio entertainment that is not controlled by the government.
For more information on Howard Stern and Sirius Satellite Radio:
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