By Ed Oswald | Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 12:07 pm
The satellite radio operator on Thursday debuted its first “a la carte” capable radio, the Starmate 5 for Sirius, while also giving users the option to get the best of the other service without having to change radios in most cases.
The Best of Sirius package for XM includes Howard Stern, the NFL, NASCAR, additional college sports programming, and Playboy Radio. For Sirius customers, the Best of XM adds Oprah, the NBA, Opie and Anthony, the NHL, PGA, additional college sports programing, and XM’s public radio channel.
For either service, the monthly rate would be bumped up to $16.99, essentially meaning the additional channels would cost a little more than $4 to receive. Those interested can either sign up for the new plans from each service’s website, or call in to have a representative change it for them.
I’m looking at the offerings here, and I have to say that in my opinion, Sirius customers seemed to be getting the better deal here. Yes, XM customers are finally getting Howard — and the NFL should have broad interest — but that’s about it. Notice something missing here? XM is apparently not ready to give up its MLB exclusivity. Then again, Sirius XM may have left it out for now just because the offering seems lopsided already.
On the hardware front, Sirius is introducing the Starmate 5, which would be the first radio to support a la carte selection of channels from the the service as well as the “Best of XM” option. Priced at $129.99, the radio includes the car kit.
It will be available through Best Buy, Crutchfield, RadioShack and regional retailers immediately, according to the company.
Features include the capability to pause, rewind, and fast forward through up to 44 minutes of live radio, up to 30 presets, and the capability to be alerted when an artist, song, or sports team is on the service.
There hasn’t been anything said as yet on a similar radio for the XM service, although we’re in the October timeframe that Sirus XM has given for the debut of these radios.