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Sirius XM MiRGE vs. XM Xpress RCi: A Comparison

Thursday, March 31st, 2011
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Since it’s release in 2009, we at TSS-Radio.com have gotten a lot of questions about the Sirius XM MiRGE plug & play receiver. The question we get most is “Why don’t you carry the MiRGE?”. Upon it’s release Sirius XM decided to keep the MiRGE as an exclusive product, meaning we, or any other retailer, wouldn’t be able to carry it. However, what most customers don’t know is, while we can’t carry the MiRGE, there is a very comparable radio available at TSS-Radio.com. That radio is the XM XpressRCi.

Here is a quick comparison guide to show you the differences and similarities between the Sirius XM MiRGE and the XM XpressRCi.

From the photos above, you’ll notice the MiRGE and RCi look almost identical. Both feature split screen displays, a control knob, preset buttons along the bottom, and are relatively the same shape and size. The MiRGE radio is a bit thicker, but otherwise they are the same radio.  In terms of features, both the MiRGE and XpressRCi feature the Replay function that allows you to pause and rewind up to an hour of live programming and sports/stock tickers. However, there are a few differences. The MiRGE has 20 favorite channel presets (10 for Sirius/10 for XM) where as the XpressRCi only has 10, but the RCi has the Song Saver function (allows you to store up to 10 songs on the radio for playback) where the MiRGE does not.

Here is a side by side comparison of features:

(Red text denotes exclusive to MiRGE, Green text denotes a feature of the RCi)

Besides the minor differences in features, there are also some programming differences – but not as many as you may think. First of all, the MiRGE radio does get a FULL Sirius and FULL XM subscription, unlike any other model, but it also comes at a higher monthly subscription price. The MiRGE requires the Sirius XM “All in One” package that is $19.99 per month (plus additional taxes & fees). The benefit to this package basically comes down to both home and away NFL broadcasts, some additional sports coverage, and a few extra music channels. The XpressRCi can actually get pretty close to the MiRGE programming options by adding the Best of Sirius package and a full XM subscription for only $16.99 per month (+ taxes/fees).

View the XM with Best of Sirius channel lineup HERE.

View the Sirius XM All in One (MiRGE) package HERE.

In all,  if you purchase the MiRGE (which is a more expensive radio) you pay about $3 more per month just to have the convenience of Home AND Away NFL Broadcasts. The Xpress RCi with XM and Best of SIRIUS will have all the same NFL Broadcasts, but you’ll only be able to listen to the home stream. It breaks down to an extra $36 per year for the subscription and about $160 more for the MiRGE radio hardware vs. the Xpress RCi.

As I mentioned earlier, the MiRGE and XpressRCi are nearly identical in size and shape, so they are also compatible with the same accessories.

Here are some accessories that will work with both the MiRGE and XpressRCi:


Car Kit

XM PowerConnect Vehicle Kit XADV2

Although the Sirius XM MiRGE doesn’t ship with a PowerConnect Vehicle Kit, it is compatible. The PowerConnect Vehicle Kit gives you easy, do-it-yourself installation and good sound quality when transmitting wirelessly over a FM frequency. This is also the car kit that ships with the XM XpressRCi.

Boombox

Sirius XM Portable Sound System

The Sirius XM Portable Sound System is the first boombox designed for use with both Sirius and XM plug and play receivers. It is compatible with both the MiRGE and the Xpress RCi, as well as several other models. This boombox is battery compatible and includes everything you need to take Sirius XM wherever you go!

Home Kit

XM Dock & Play Home Kit

Both the XM XpressRCi and the Sirius XM MiRGE are compatible with the XM Dock & Play Home Kit. The XM Dock & Play Home Kit  allows you to connect your XM or MiRGE plug and play receiver to any home stereo system with RCA inputs.

Motorcycle Kit

XM Professional Motorcycle Kit

The XM Professional Motorcycle Kit is a TSS-Radio.com exclusive product designed to work with the XM Xpress line of receivers, as well as the Sirius XM MiRGE and newer XM onyX. It includes everything you need to set up XM radio on your motorcycle.

If you are interested in more information on the XM XpressRCi or any of the accessories featured, please contact us at sales@tss-radio.com or call 773.772.4340

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Troubleshooting Your Sirius XM Plug & Play Receiver

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
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If you’ve owned a satellite radio long enough, you’ve probably encountered one of the common issues that occur. It’s likely you’ve seen ‘Antenna Not Detected’, ‘Acquiring Signal’, or have had your radio not power on. However, these common satellite radio issues can often be fixed by replacing inexpensive parts.

Here is a troubleshooting guide for these common satellite radio problems.
Problem: Antenna Not Detected, No Antenna, Check Antenna

What’s happening: Antenna Not Detected occurs when the antenna is no longer transmitting to the antenna port on the dock or radio. This can happen if the antenna wire is kinked, if the magnetic base of the antenna has gotten moisture inside of it, or it’s been otherwise damaged or has just gotten old.

Troubleshooting: Try plugging in a different antenna into the radio or docking station you are having a problem with. Since home & car docks use the same antenna connection,  you can test a boombox antenna with a car dock or vice versa.

Solution: Replace the antenna. You can find a vehicle antenna HERE or a home/boombox antenna HERE.

Problem: Radio will not power on.

What’s happening: The radio isn’t receiving power from the power adapter. The power adapter may have a blown fuse, a short in the cable, or some other physical defect.

Troubleshooting: In rare cases radios will stop powering on and it will not be the power adapter. To test your radio try it in another docking station. If you get power in your car dock or boombox (or vice versa), you’ll know the problem is the power adapter.

Solution: Although it is sometimes possible to replace a fuse, it’s best to replace the whole power adapter to be certain you are correcting the problem and to avoid potentially damaging your receiver. Click HERE to find replacement Sirius power adapters, HERE for XM.

Problem: Acquiring Signal, No Signal

What’s happening: Acquiring Signal is one of the more complicated common issues. It happens when either your radio or docking station cannot acquire the signal from your antenna. In most cases Acquiring Signal is NOT a problem with the antenna, but rather the radio itself or docking station.

Troubleshooting: Try using your plug and play receiver in a different docking station (like a boombox or home dock) to see if that corrects the issue. Although unlikely a problem with the antenna, use a spare antenna to test as well. Test the radio by using different combinations of parts you know are working.

Solution: Replace the docking station or radio. Click HERE to search for Sirius replacement docks, HERE for XM. Click HERE to view Sirius replacement receivers, HERE for XM.

For more information on parts or help with troubleshooting email sales@tss-radio.com or call 773.772.4340.

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A Quick Guide to SIRIUS XM Mounting Options

Thursday, February 24th, 2011
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When installing a plug and play Sirius XM radio you may think you are limited to the vehicle mounting options included in the box, but you aren’t! There are actually several ways to mount your satellite radio to achieve a cleaner look, make it easier to use, or make it even more portable. Check out all of your options below!

Vehicle Specific Mounts

Ford Fusion 2010-2011 Custom Mount

A Vehicle Specific Mount is a forged piece of metal that is attached to existing bolts (located behind the molded dash parts in your vehicle) giving you a clean, factory like look. Vehicle Specific Mounts offer a great solution for customers who want to maintain a factory-like look in their car while retaining the portability and ease of use that comes along with a plug & play satellite radio. VSMs are available for a wide variety of vehicles, including semi-trucks and foreign cars that are often hard to find parts for.

To check out our selection of Vehicle Specific Mounts click HERE.

Vent Mounts

Sirius Universal Vent Mount

XM Vent Mount

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A vent mount is an easy-to-install, unobtrusive option for installing your Sirius XM radio. The vent mount simply clips into the heat/air conditioning vent in your vehicle offering you access to your radio without blocking the view out of your windshield. The vent mount is small and easy to install or remove, making it a great option for customers who need to take their radio in and out of their vehicles regularly.

Visit our Universal Mounts section to find more information on Vent Mounts

Adhesive Mounts

Sirius Stratus 6 receiver & car kit being used with an adhesive mount

Adhesive mounts are another affordable and easy-to-install mounting option. Like the vent mount, the adhesive mount will not obstruct the view out of your windshield, but it also adds flexibility in mounting location. An adhesive mount can be applied to any clean, flat surface in your vehicle and will not damage your vehicle’s dash or interior if removed. It’s a great option for customers looking for a semi-permanent mounting solution.

Check out our Universal Mounts section to find the Sirius or XM Adhesive Mount that will work for you.

Suction Cup Mounts

Sirius Universal Suction Cup Mount

XM Suction Cup Mount

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The mount Sirius XM customers are probably most familiar with are suction cup mounts. Suction cup mounts have been included with many of the most popular Sirius radios over the years and are a sturdy, easy to use mounting option. However, in some newer vehicle kits only the vent or adhesive mounts are included. Realizing that suction cup mounts work out well for many customers, we offer the option to purchase a suction cup mount for your Sirius or XM radio separately at TSS-Radio.com.

Suction Cup Mounts can be found in our Universal Mount Section. Click HERE to take a look at all of our options.

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Portable Vehicle Kits

Sirius Universal Portable Vehicle Kit

Another option for installing your Sirius XM satellite radio is a Portable Vehicle Kit from TSS-Radio.com. We developed the portable vehicle kit for customers who are in need of an easy mounting option when moving their radio from vehicle to vehicle. These kits are an excellent option for local truck drivers who are constantly using different trucks, business travelers, or practically anyone else who needs to use their radio in different vehicles frequently. The Portable Vehicle Kits include a specially designed suction cup mount that has an attached metal plate for mounting your magnetic satellite radio antenna. This allows you to keep most of your components attached for quick and easy removal or installation.

Check out our Sirius or XM Vehicle Kit sections for more information on these kits, or click HERE to view the Suction Cup Mount with Antenna Pedestal separately. (Also available in a XM version HERE)

Mount Accessories

XM Mount Adapter - Required for using a XM Radio with a VSM

Swivel - Allows you to tilt the radio and provides clearance for cables when using a VSM

In addition to all of the mounting options you’ve read about, we also carry a wide array of mount accessories. Sometimes they are necessary to make a mounting option compatible, sometimes they just make things a little better. We also carry a variety of items that will allow you to use other devices (such as iPod, GPS systems, etc.) with Vehicle Specific Mounts.

Click HERE to view all of our Mount Accessories.

If you have more questions about mounting or installing a Sirius XM radio in your vehicle please email us at: sales@tss-radio.com or give us a call at 773.772.4340

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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Friday, May 23rd, 2008
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No, this isn’t a joke. We are reviewing what will likely be one of the Summer’s biggest blockbuster movies–Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull here at TSS Radio. And no, there aren’t any Stilettos or Sportsters in the movie, we just wanted to lighten things up and not be so “SIRIUS” all the time. (Pun seriously intended)

This fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series starts off a bit slow and although it ends up being pretty entertaining there’s still something to be desired–especially when compared to the previous Indy films. The first hour of “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is filled with half-hazard plot development and boring details that you will forget by the time you are to the good stuff anyways. It seems as if the back story is kind of an after thought and the plot is so all over the place it doesn’t end up mattering. The first hour also introduces us to some campy, over the top characters–most notably the Russian femme fatale/Natasha from Rocky & Bullwinkle-esque villain played by Cate Blanchett. I couldn’t help but find her accent laughable and the character’s weird interest in the paranormal and psychic communication led this avid television watcher to compare her to Jackie from Lifetime Network’s “America’s Psychic Challenge” (they even have the same haircut!). After we are through with Natasha…er, I mean, Irina Spalko (Blanchett) we are forced to meet the not very believable as a rough and tumble greaser Shia LeBeouf as a character called “Mutt Williams”.

Our first encounter with Mutt is with him riding up on a motorcycle doing his best impression of Marlon Brando from “The Wild Ones” (hat and all). Maybe I can’t take LeBeouf seriously as this kind of character because he was in “Even Stevens” for 4 years, or maybe it’s because his character’s dialogue is dotted with cornball ’50s slang and all he seems to do is comb his hair. As the movie progresses he kind of loses the lame slang and comb, and becomes a highlight of the movie. I think LeBeouf has a quirkiness about him that translates really well in a role that mixes action and humor, especially alongside Harrison Ford who has pretty much made a career of that.

Once the movie gets rolling there are some really enjoyable action sequences that remind me of why I thought being an archaeologist was the coolest job in the world when I was a kid. The action is reminiscent of classic Indy and we finally get to the cob-webbed caves and situations that only Indiana Jones could get out of. The last half of the movie also reintroduces the character of Marion Ravenwood (played by Karen Allen) who you may remember as Indy’s love interest in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. The banter between Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood is also a throw back to the earlier films and provides some of the only humorous moments in “…Crystal Skull”, which is a disappointment.

Overall, I would say that “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is worth seeing if you are a fan of the series, however it didn’t leave me with the same excited, adventurous feeling I remember after watching the older ones. In conclusion, this movie will not spawn a future generation of wannabe archeologists like the earlier films may have, rather it will most likely just create another overworked action franchise and more work for Shia Lebeouf (as if he needs it).

Tish
TSS Radio

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