xm radio streaming

xm radio streaming

I have heard that you now must have the Plano roof in the MS in order to get XM radio. I live in the east cost and have had sun roofs in my cars for over 25+ years. In 25 years, I might have used it twice. For that reason, I chose not to get the Plano roof in my MS. I did get the Tech package with the Ultra Premium sound system because it was marketed as what I needed to get XM.

I spoke to a Tesla representative and she thought I could just get XM on my phone and stream it through my MS. I guess that could work, the question I have is wouldn't that eat up my phone data package?

Hopefully some one can enlighten me.

Thanks for any input. | 2015年4月14日

Yes. If you have one of the those rare old unlimited data plans it shouldn't matter. Otherwise, you're going to want to watch how much data you actually use with XM over your phone's data.

rmg007 | 2015年4月14日
Brian H | 2015年4月15日

There's no such thing as "Plano" mode.

Robinskalsky | 2015年4月15日

But if you order Piano Black trim you get Piano mode :)

coachrodri | 2015年4月15日

Sorry, Brian H., meant the glass roof. Thanks for your input?

JVL | 2015年4月15日

Coachrodri - I also like Sirius / XM - and have been very critical of Tesla's approach of only being able to get it with the Pano Roof / Upgraded Sound System package. Potentially 4k to get Sirius? No thanks.

So I also looked in to streaming, and I will tell you what works best for me. First off, Sirius has a package called ultimate or unlimited and it includes internet (or phone) streaming. You can get this package for 49.99 for 6 months by calling Sirius and telling them you want it. They don't advertise this - but yes - just for asking they will cut the price by less than half. Then you have to set up a reminder to call back in 6 months to do it again. So 10 minutes on the phone every 6 months get you Sirius unlimited for about 100 bucks a year.

The next piece of the puzzle is TMobile. Tmobile lets you stream a bunch of music services free of charge - unlimited - and Sirius is one of them. This is obviously a tougher choice to switch carriers, but for me TMobile has been great and cheap.

Then you download the app and you stream Sirius. Overall, it is a pain because you have to change channels on the phone itself - the controls on your steering wheel don't do it. I use it mostly to listen to Howard Stern so I just turn on the streaming when I get in the car and don't change the channels.

Overall - it is a lot of gyrations for something that is standard on a 12K Kia - and something that Tesla should certainly make standard for all of their cars - but they don't and I have learned to take these small disappointments in stride in order to drive the best car on the road.

Good luck.

JagMan | 2015年4月15日

Wait a day and it will probably all change again! - Someone needs to reign in whoever is in charge of options or maybe the staff are taking turns?

My busted old 2014 P85 without the sunroof has XM so what changed (apart from EVERYTHING)?

Anyway I wouldn't stress it the XM functionality in the car is really not worth the effort (IMHO) | 2015年4月15日

From an engineering perspective, any early Model S could have XM as the antenna was under the glass of the hatch. I suspect this was not an ideal location for XM as it requires line-of-sight to satellites.

My understanding is Tesla moved the antenna to under the pano roof glass to solve this and get better reception no matter what direction the car was traveling.

The non-pano roof is metal, and putting an antenna is far more complex. Tesla could have solved this by adding a shark-fin antenna, which looks a little stupid and hurts range slightly due to airflow. This is common on other cars where looks and efficiency are unimportant.

Another technique is to make part of the roof plastic and put the antenna under this area. This adds complexity and is hard to make it look seamless.

All that said, it's possible Tesla could redesign the car to accommodate XM without the pano roof, but they have a lot on their plate, and I assume this is low on the priority list.

Brian H | 2015年4月15日

you coulda/shoulda said: "$4K to get Sirius? Get serious."

Just sayin'. ;p

charles | 2015年4月15日

You don't want the XM for a few reasons (I have it).

First, Tesla give you four years of free streaming with LastFM (I believe) and Slacker radio. The channels on Slacker are as good, if not better, than XM. At least for music.

Second, XM reception on the Tesla stinks. I routinely actually goes "static" when it loses the signal.

Finally, for some BIZARRE reason, Tesla chose to not allow digital sound processing with XM. When you choose any streaming option, the sound in the premium package sounds incredible. But with FM radio AND XM, it turns the digital processing off and the system sound absolutely horrible. Almost like old time FM radios in cars.

Its one of the biggest disappointments I have found on the car.

CharlesJR | 2015年4月15日

@charles - when did you get your car?

Do you know if the antenna is in the hatch or the pano roof of your car? I suspect it makes a significant difference, and is why Tesla relocated it.

Rowlie | 2015年4月17日

My experience with XM has been different than Charles's.

I have XM in my car (with panoramic roof) and it sounds much better than it did in my previous car. It's still not as good as streaming Pandora One or Spotify Premium from my phone (both of which sound better than the TuneIn and Slacker apps offered in the Tesla), but it's decent and I have not had any issues with it dropping out. It seems to be more reliable than the 3G connection. Due to the relatively poor sound quality of Sirius in my Audi, I rarely listened to Sirius once I had streaming bluetooth. I find I listen to it much more in my MS.

I purchased a "lifetime" Sirius radio plan when I bought my 2004 Audi A8 and it was the reason I chose Sirius over XM at the time ($350 one time payment). The merger with XM took place a few years after I bought it. I had the Bose system in my Audi and most Sirius stations sounded noticeably worse than streaming internet radio. My "lifetime" plan does not include internet streaming of their stations. I had to pay a $75 transfer fee to move it to my MS, but I now get twice as many stations and the sound quality is much improved over my old Sirius setup.

I could and did use the digital sound processing on my Audi, but haven't been as impressed with it in my MS, so I don't typically use it.

jeff | 2015年12月13日

Arrgh. Just drove my Model S P90D home. Got every option EXCEPT the pano roof.. which friends said just heats up the car. Went to listen to XM.. and you know what I found. I late found the caveat on he web site explaining this.. but who is going to mentally connect Premium sound features with a sun roof? I totally missed that. And how easy would it be to add XM streaming to the audio system.. instead of having to muck with my phone to fire it up. Good thing I have autonomous driving while I am mucking with my phone.

NOT AN ICE | 2015年12月13日

this post confuses me, maybe I just lucked out, but I do not have the pano roof for many of the reasons cited above , P 85D delivered March 18, 2015-I did not expect XM to work given this post but I was pleasantly surprised that it works, just fine! In fact it works better than tunein or slacker radio in that it is clearer and louder, I also have the premium sound package - go figure

5thumbs | 2015年12月13日

Jeff. Same thing happened to me. I missed that fine print too!

Chunky Jr. | 2015年12月13日

I can't think of a way to do it other than via a phone and bluetooth. If you have an old phone laying around, you could dedicate that to XM streaming so at least you wouldn't have to mess with your current phone. Just leave that phone in the car and always have the XM app in the foreground.

Chunky Jr. | 2015年12月13日

BTW - xm streaming is very low bitrate, I think 128kbits/second. That is only 16 kbytes a second, or about 1MB per hour. It would take a lot of streaming to eat into your data plan.

bodyelectric | 2015年12月23日

Similar disappointing experience. The sales person more or less talked me out of the Premium Sound package but did not point out that I needed that for XM. I have had XM on other cars for years, so this was quite a shock. I have the sun roof but when I inquired they told me there is still no way to add premium sound or just XM after the fact. The XM channel I listened to the most, almost exclusively actually, was BBC, which I can find on the Internet radio. It's not bad so far, but I'm still kicking myself.

The other big shock for me is lack of speed dialing. That is such a major UI deficiency I can hardly believe it and keep looking for a workaround (there is none). Would be so easy to add as a software update so I really hope they do it.

Otherwise - great car! | 2015年12月23日

The XM antenna used to be in the hatch glass, so all Ultra equipped cars could get XM radio reception. This was not an ideal location, as the car will block the signal in some positions. Tesla has now moved the antenna to the roof, under the pano glass for more reliable reception. So it improved XM, but now requires the pano roof. A plastic roof insert could have been designed in the non-pano roof to allow XM to work, but I gather the volume is too low for Tesla to bother (and they have a lot of other things on their plate at the moment).

Standard XM is at 64 Kbps, and you can pay more for a premium 128 Kbps service. For more on all the streaming options and undocumetned details:

Made in CA | 2015年12月23日

We have completely gotten rid of XM. Tesla's options requirements to use it sealed the deal. We did not get it in either of our MS's and we do not miss it one bit.

Slacker sounds and works so much better. And I no longer have to put up with XM's horrible customer service. Good riddance.

rxlawdude | 2015年12月23日

@TeslaTap - "Standard XM is at 64 Kbps, and you can pay more for a premium 128 Kbps service."

Please provide a citation for this statement. I'm not aware of a two-tiered bitrate.

NV4NV | 2015年12月23日

Page 103 of the manual:

"On some vehicles, XM radio is available only if Model S is equipped with both the optional sound studio package and the panoramic roof. To optimize aerodynamics, Model S does not have an external antenna. The internal antenna is compatible only with the transparent panoramic roof."

OK ... so you cannot get XM with the solid roof because the engineers did not want to install one of those shark fin antennas as it would mess with the aerodynamics.

I guess that means my dog can no longer hang his head out of the window because that would interfere with the aerodynamics. By the way, he loves launches. | 2015年12月23日

Looks like I'm wrong on the XM bitrate. Far more messy than I thought!

At the SiriusXM website there is no indication of bitrate or relative quality. It looks like they've changed the packages. The Premium package many have talked about in the past that bumped the bitrate does not appear on their site.

At Wikipedia, they state the original content is saved at 384 Kbps compression, while the transmission for each indicate each channel can be assigned a bit rate in 4 Kbps segments from a total of 4 to 64 Kbps.

So for some XM channels like talk shows, it may be closer to the 4 Kbps bitrate (rather poor quality).

I find a lot of people saying they offer a 128 Kbps service and it required an extra payment. Perhaps XM dropped this service (as it reduces the number of channels) or perhaps it was never this fast or it only does this for the internet streaming option (not usable in vehicles). I've found some general conjecture that XM's better compression techniques may equal 128 MP3 compression, which I doubt. These claims may have lead others to think it is 128 Kbps. | 2015年12月23日

...transmission for each channel can ....

rxlawdude | 2015年12月23日

@TeslaTap - No worries, I think this dual data rate schema may have been true circa 2009.

b.tesla | 2015年12月23日

XM's bitrate may be completely different between what is beaming down from a satellite through the pano roof vs. internet streaming with your PC web browser or smartphone. I dropped them years ago when they removed my favorite station from the satellite and made it internet streaming only. Streaming from my Android had a horribly low bitrate that sounded like crap.

Chunky Jr. | 2015年12月23日

The internet streaming rate is definitely different than what is used over satellite.

Rowlie | 2015年12月24日

I've found the sound quality of XM to be highly variable, depending on the channel. Music stations get more bandwidth than talk channels, but even among the music channels, some seem to be better than others.

They all sound better in my MS than they did in my Audi A8.

sueswack | 2015年12月27日

Has anyone tried the antenna that sticks on the windshield?

Could it receive satellite signals and use the standard radio or internet?