We debate satellite radio -- EW's guide to the pros and cons of XM and other services
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Finally ready to leap into satellite? XM and Sirius provide distinct programming, which should make it easy to choose, right? Well…

XM

PROS: Slightly better at covering every conceivable subgenre. Deeper playlists full of newcomers and delightful obscurities. (In the last hour, I discovered Jackie Greene on X Country, Martha Redbone on The Flow, and Ace Frehley’s cover of ”Do Ya” on The Boneyard.) Exclusive sports include baseball and NASCAR. And we love their recordable/ portable handheld units.

CONS: Fewer hard-rock channels. And obscurities aren’t always a good thing (REO Speedwagon rarities, anyone?).

SIRIUS

PROS: Arguably, Howard Stern. Pro sports like the NFL and NBA. Beats XM when it comes to eclectic, personality-driven music channels (and star DJs, like Vin Scelsa). Little Steven oversees two rowdy presets we couldn’t live without: Underground Garage (hail the Dictators!) and Outlaw Country (a gamut running from David Allan Coe to Bob Dylan).

CONS: Arguably, Howard Stern. They’re missing a few genres XM covers, including Americana and neo-soul.

VERDICT

Both have brilliant programming, with channels for everything from bluegrass to Broadway to reggaeton. So, sorry?it’s a tie. In a world full of no-win situations, relish one of life’s few can’t-lose conundrums.

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