January 16, 2008

XM Radio

Living in a land of Spanish speakers when you speak very little yourself is not easy & sometimes even lonely. Hearing English every once in awhile has become essential to our sanity! However, (in Morelia at least) you can't just turn on the radio and listen to your favourite music, sports score, news cast, etc. This is where satellite radio enters the picture. XM and Sirius satellite radio subscriptions are both available in Canada and USA for approx. C$15/month. Their coverage is technically supposed to be for just those two countries. If you call customer service at either provider neither will give you a definitive answer about receiving a signal in MX. They say something along the lines of "at this moment we do not offer service in Mexico". Granted, this IS true. You can't buy XM receivers in MX or even sign up for monthly service without a NA mailing address BUT you can sign up when in Canada or the US and then bring it down with you. This is because it's all about the satellite footprint (see pic). It is sooooooooo big that it covers half of MX & XM has no way of stopping you from receiving their signal once over the border. We have found that XM easily works in MX as far down as Morelia. While at home, the antenna must be pointed toward the south to get reception. In the car, we get reception in most situations. Urban areas with lots of tall buildings or areas with lots of tall trees or mountains will 'cause the signal to sometimes drop off. In any case, there has been no regret prepaying for a year's worth of feed.


Brenda said...

We don't have XM radio; but do get to listen to radio from "back home" by using the free radio stations online through our computers. We are from Alberta, close to Edmonton so we listen to CFCW from Edmonton. There are many, many stations to choose from depending on what area of Canada you are from. This is a free service. We don't spend very much time in the car so don't miss not having english radio in it.

Kate said...

Us too! I even have a little CBC radio icon on my comp.'s desktop. When I click it the Canadian goodness starts flowing. Oh how I miss The Mercer Report! What my husband REALLY loves about XM though is it is the exclusive carrier for all NHL games. A couple times a week he's glued to the stereo for the Sen's games (they play Oilers too!). Listening to a hockey game on the radio I think is very retro/kitschy kool.