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Discussion Starter #1
[This is cross posted from the Yahoo 2004 forum]

Last Thursday I received an E-mail response from XMradio.com customer
support that they'd begun shipping the XM Commander
(http://www.xmradio.com/commander) Radios to their retailers about a week
before then. I checked on-line and could find nowhere that was
currently selling them, a couple said they were taking orders
anticipating delivery soon. I also happened on a forum that said some
BestBuy stores had them in stock even though they didn't show online.

So, I called my local BestBuy and sure enough they had some on the
shelf. I picked it up and promptly went out of town for a week. I
took the XM Commander to a local car audio place--Competitive Audio in
Nixa, MO (http://www.competitiveaudio.com) (same ones that did my window
tinting a couple weeks
ago(http://www.photoaccess.com/share/guest. ... 9&cb=CB_BH).
This was, of course, the first XM Commander they'd installed and
certainly the first ANYTHING they'd installed in a '04 Prius. Still,
they did a good job and didn't damage anything.

So, enough background, I dropped off the car about 4pm, came back
about 5:30pm--the usual amount of time they said it usually takes for
an install. Well, to say the least it wasn't ready. Do not go look
at this job in progress if you have a weak stomach or are particularly
attached to your car--the dash was in no less than 12 pieces with most
of the major buttons and such disconnected and the radio unit pulled
half way out!! It was a bit unsettling.

But, he got the antenna run under (?over) the roof lining and it's
invisible inside the vehicle. It exits at the center top of the hatch
and sits sleakly behind the original radio antenna--it really
shouldn't affect the streamlining or appearance.

The mounting case doesn't fit in the open slot in the radio stack so
we used double sided foam tape to stick it to the top and bottom edge
of the lip of the slot. It seems fairly stable though not solid and
there's an open area to the side that I'd really like to block out
with some black plastic at some point.

With the translucent door closed the read-out on the display is easily
readable in dim light or darkness and is improved further when you
adjust the contrast to the maximum amount. Today, in broad daylight,
I couldn't see the readout at all through the window--the reflection
was too great so the door had to be open. Still, I like the way it's
mounted since it's completely unnoticable from the outside with the
car off and doesn't affect the appearance of the dash at all.

There doesn't seem to be a good place to store the remote, not sure if
I'll use it or just use the controls on the main unit--time will tell.
I may try to create a pocket of some sort to put in next to the main
unit to hold the remote.

Anyway, I'm happy with XM already...how cool to listen to CNN Headline
news on the way home from work instead of the insipid radio announcer
and 10 minute blocks of commercials!

Enjoy the photos....
http://www.photoaccess.com/share/guest.jsp?ID=A55B5828A86&cb=CB_BH

Happy to field any questions about he XM. Just got my Ericson 610
this afternoon, babysitting my kids at the moment and charging the
battery, will try it out tonight. But dang, talking DVD, Audio,
Climate control and radar detector, SS/E, XM Radio, Bluetooth
phone--call me George Jetson!!!
--evan
 

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Wait for Factor XM

Thought I read on Yahoo that Toyota is going to come out with a factory XM upgrade....I will cross my fingers and wait.......
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yea, I read that too....about 3 days after I got mine installed. I think it said the Lexus 430 would be first with most other cars in the Toyota/Lexus lineup (including the Prius specifically) would follow 'shortly' after.

This should be a dealer installed option, so I wouldn't wait to get the car for the XM to come out, you can do it later. Also, for those unaware, there are 2 or 3 'SAT' options on the monitor/audio screen that seem to be there specifically to integrate XM/Serius directly into the current system. Thus, you could probably access and control it with the voice activation system and/or touch screen which would be VERY nice.

I'm glad I have what I have, I'll see what the new XM is like when it comes out. If a MAJOR improvement over what I currently have AND it's reasonablely priced (i.e. <$300 installed) and integrates as I listed above then I'll probably have it installed and just put my current system in my wife's car.
 
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