Help in determining what satellite radio equipment and systems you need.  Types of tuners - plug and play, portable, home, or car and truck equipment comparison.Man knows so much and does so little. - Inventor Buckminster Fuller
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Satellite Radio Equipment

The First Step

Assess your current situation. Determine where you want satellite radio - in your car, in your home, on the patio, on your boat? There are equipment options to meet your needs no matter what your circumstances, so take the time to explore all of them. You would do the same if, for example, you wanted to buy a new mobile phone. It is important to see what other people have to say on a topic.

Satellite Radio Equipment

In your car or truck

There are several ways to get satellite radio in your car or truck if you didn't purchase it already installed. We can break these options into general categories based on the difficulty of installation and sound quality.

Good sound quality and easy installation

You can add satellite radio service to any car or truck stereo with a wireless FM modulated digital satellite tuner. This option does not require installation expertise and gives you the ability to transfer your satellite radio tuner from vehicle to vehicle. However, sound quality is better with a direct connection to your stereo's auxiliary input.

Moderate sound quality and easy installation

You can use a cassette adapter if you have a cassette receiver. This feeds the signal from a satellite radio tuner into your car stereo. Again, you'll have portability and can remove the satellite radio tuner from your vehicle. The sound quality will be only slightly better than through a wireless FM modulator.

A step up on sound quality, slightly more difficult installation

Choose a wired FM modulator digital satellite tuner to feed the signal from a satellite radio tuner into your stereo. Wired FM modulators provide slightly better sound quality than both wireless FM modulators and cassette adapters. This installation requires the removal of your in-dash radio to connect the modulator to the stereo's FM antenna input.

The best sound quality and more complex installation

You can connect an add-on or plug-and-play satellite radio tuner via standard RCA outputs for a direct audio connection if your receiver has an auxiliary input. Or you can buy an in-dash receiver with built-in satellite radio controls and connect a same-brand satellite radio tuner via a proprietary cable for a direct audio connection. This installation also requires the removal of your in-dash radio.

What types of satellite radio tuners are available?

Satellite radio products are designed to work in your car, your home, or on the go. It's important to think about how you want to use it so that you can determine which product will best fill your needs. There are three basic types of satellite radio tuners:

Satellite radio tuners for the car or truck

Universal Tuner. This tuner works with your in-dash receiver via an FM modulator, a cassette adapter or a line output.

Satellite Radio-Ready In-Dash Receiver. Controls an external satellite radio tuner.

In-Dash Receiver with built-in Satellite Radio Tuner.

Plug-and-play satellite radio tuner

Compact and portable. May be transferred from one location to another.

Requires separate accessory kits for use in the car or your home.

Most work with a portable boom box that can be used anywhere you can get a satellite signal, like the beach, on your boat, camping, at the ball park or on a picnic.

Requires only one subscription regardless of the number of kits or boom boxes you use them with.

Home satellite radio tuners

Component-style satellite radio tuners for your home that fit right in with your home stereo rack.


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