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I have a 2003 E46 and would like to install the new Sirius Satellite radio. The dealer is quoting me US$800 installed. The receiver is $299, the antenna is $125 the installation kit is $25 and if you have a 6 disk changer installed you need an additional splitter cable for $15. The question I have is that I have one of those shark fin antenas factory installed from BMW. No one at my dealership really knows what it is for. Some speculate that it is for the BMW telephone and some say it is for the Satelitte radio, and some say it is just the radio antenna. I do not know if I need to spend the additional $125 for the satelitte antenna when I think I have it already? Does any one know? My dealer has only installed one of the units in a X5 and they said they put the satelitte antenna inside; which goes against everything I have read about needing the antena on top of the vehicle.
 

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i don't know if anybody really knows the purpose of the shark fin antenna. i've even heard that it was for the NAV system. i have the NAV in mine, but no antenna. i know the radio antenna is embedded into the rear window.

people that i know of that have the sat radio all have an external antenna. if the shark fin is really an antenna for the radio, maybe you can use that.
 

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okay,

just got an answer back from my parts consultant at the dealer. he said that the "shark fin" antenna is for the cellular phone kit.

so, you will need to get the antenna for your satellite radio.
 

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The shark fin antenna is for BMW ASSIST Which is similar to OnStar.

BMW is working to make the antenna useable for other things like Sirius.
 

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The sirius radio antenna uses diffrent freq then the radio's you have to use a sirius antenna. I had the system in my last car, and tried to use a XM antenna, it looked the same but it picks up a diffrent freq, you have to use the right one.
 

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Just my personal opinion, but from what I've heard the coverage of Sirius sucks. Sirius only uses 2 satellites that try to span the entire US and end up missing spots. XM uses 3 and has much better coverage.
 

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Ya... Sirius is Seriously out of whack. Mine had an XM setup preinstalled and im quite happy with the installation. The XM antenna is kind of unslightly and big but its very well installed and the receiver module control is attached to my dashboard in a thin inconspicuous location to the right of the steering wheel... very cool. XM is much better and also much more financially stable than Sirius, which is teetering on the edge of extinction since this is the kind of market where there really can be only one market leader, and XM has most of it.

Also on a side note, I wonder exactly which CD Changer option they would need the splitter for? Most if not all OEM BMW changers are hardwired on a special Changer BUS, the only way a splitter would be needed is if the car has had one of those crappy FM modulated changers added.
 

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Actually Sirius has the better coverage and has the 3 satellites in orbit. XM has only 2. That will have to be replaced BTW for faulty solar arrays. I also like Sirius because they now offer Blaupunkt, Alpine and have better sports programming.
This is good write up on both comapnies.
http://13donuts.com/sat-rad.htm

Sirius radio is the best thing ever considering the amount of miles I put on every year.
 

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Originally posted by ArchaicAngel@Jan 4 2004, 11:50 PM
"Just my personal opinion, but from what I've heard the coverage of Sirius sucks. Sirius only uses 2 satellites that try to span the entire US and end up missing spots. XM uses 3 and has much better coverage."

You have them mixed up! It's XM that has inferior service and satellites. XM only has 2 geostationary satellites at a low elevation angle making their signal more susceptible to obstruction. In fact there is a problem with the XM satellites and they need to be replaced quickly.

Sirius sounds the best, has the most varied programming, including the NFL, and they soon will have streaming stock quotes and sports scores. Sirius has 3 geosynchronus satellites at a high elevation orbit that provide superior line-of-sight coverage. Here's a link to the Sirius website explaining the differences:

http://www.sirius.com/servlet/ContentServe...d=1065475754125

And here's a graphic showing the satellites and orbits of both the Sirius and XM satellites.

http://www.tiger-usa.com/sirius-xmorbitanim.gif

If you are near a Sound Advice, check them out. My local Sound Advice specializes in BMW's and Mercedes installations.
 

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I know this is an old message stream, but does anyone have any pictures of how/where they installed their tuner? I like the XM tuner, but everything I've read indicates that Sirus is the best programming. But their tuner is way to big...

Has anyone installed one that looks nice?
 

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I am an installer for circuit city and have been for nine years. like posted earlyer it is sirius that has 3 sats and better overall coverage. i have owned both services which i get for free through promos and sirius is the one i use most. also earlier it was quoted that their is only room for one big carrier in the marketplace. how do you explain home depot and lowes or best buy and circuit city or target and walmart although we all know whos winning that one. if you look at the factory carriers for xm and sirius you will see that GM and honda and toyota all choose xm however mercedes BMW ford lincon mercury audi vw nissan volvo porsche chrystler plymoth and dodge all plan to use sirius. I have an idea why dont we all buy stock in sirius while we can still afford it. I have a 00 328i and if you dont have a factory changer you can use that plug (along with kenbmw1 adaptor check out soundgate for details) with a kenwood sirius tunner which by the way you can get for free from cc if you purchase the sat ant. that you need anyway.(50$).and it will work with your factory radio. although you cant preset stations and cant read text messages for artist or channel name. bottom line if you can only choose one take it from someone who has both sirius is top dog! :thumbs
 

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I was quoted $600 installed for Sirius by BMW here in sunny FL- That is for the facory upgrade that will work though your existing Business CD if is is new enough- I think it has to have a button that says "mode" vs"cd"...
 
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