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Satellite Radio

When I was at the DC Amped event I spoke with one of the tech guys about the lack of external antenna (shark fin) for satellite radio. He felt that the car should have one, but said that Elon was adamant about the car not having it. He felt that the reception suffered without the antenna.

Does anyone have experience trying to tune in satellite in the Model S yet? I know I can stream online in the car, but I want to know about the satellite reception through the invisible antenna.


They said they managed to make it work on the inside of the Pano Roof, that is why the Pano room is required for the satellite radio to be an option. I trust that TM tested it to make sure it works satisfactorily, but I stream everything... :)

You have to order the Pano roof to get the satellite radio option??

rterry, that used to be the case when options where first announced in Dec, 2011. Soon after it was said that they found a solution for the solid roof as well, but in any event, they were not willing to taint the roof line with a visible antenna of any kind.

great! Thank you!! I was hoping to get satellite radio with the solid roof.

rterry, don't take my word for it. If it's important to you, better ask Tesla for a definitive statement. If you get one, let us know!

It's definitely available with the solid roof. It was announced in a blog entry several months ago.

Does anyone know for sure if the Sound Studio Package comes with an XM Satellite Radio module? TM's description of the package says "XM Satellite Radio preparation." That's how the upgraded audio package on my 2008 Camry Hybrid read. The wiring was in place, but the module was a $250 aftermarket dealer installed add-on.

check with your rep

Ahh, yes, I was working based on old news apparently, I agree however with Volker.Berlin, ask your rep!

I am getting Pano so it's mute point for me!

Byt, that comedy central is messing you up

Steve, the sound studio package does give you satellite radio preparation,. Sounds like we are going to end up paying up for the receiver


At risk of stepping on Brian H's toes:

That would be a moot point, not one that doesn't make a sound.

What about the receiver that I already have? Can it be installed in the Model S?

Ya, it's a very interesting word. Ancient times, a meeting of Anglo-Saxon villagers to decide an issue causing unresolved controversy. Hence, a question not decidable in present circumstances, or deferred for later determination.

Well, if you couldn't get XM radio with the solid roof, then it might as well be a mute point. >:p

For those wanting the official blog text...
"Another item that has received attention is Satellite Radio being available only with our all-glass Panoramic Roof. We did this because we really dislike how a 'shark fin' antenna on the roof detracts from the beautiful lines of Model S. With a Panoramic Roof we can install the antenna under the glass which means it doesn't need to protrude above the roof line. We found a solution that allows us to offer Satellite Radio, without the shark fin, on all cars that choose the Sound Studio option."
-George Blankenship

LOL, I thought it was a mute point, meaning it doesn't matter to me so I don't even hear it? No? Oh well, maybe all that Comedy Central watching is messing me up! :D

Moot Point it is then... :P

Does HD radio work yet? For me far more important than the highly compressed XM....

No "maybe" about it. That's Stewart's Secret Master Plan!

I dropped Sat radio quite some time ago, reasons being; they could magically merge satellites and radios but not back office accounting (this would take 3 to 4 yrs) and audio compression got to the point of sounding just slightly better than two tin cans and a string. Your best solution IMO is utilizing your phones' 4G or the Tesla's 4G to stream audio from Pandora (no commercials for 40 bucks/yr or get MOG ( for 10 bucks a month over 15 million songs and streams at 320kbps (near CD quality). Bottom line better audio quality, music you want to hear and the savings from Pandor/MOG over Sat radio will help pay for your Model S.

Happy Streaming!

@GlennH, thanks, that sounds good to me, in more way's then one! :D

Glenn, I plan on using my 4g phone and pandora already. I haven't heard of mog and will check it out thanks!

+1 GlennH. Sat radio's "commercial free" music stations have 15-20 sec annoying station id jingles every two or three songs (because I can't see the channel I'm on by glancing at the dash?) and the talk stations (even NPR) have more commercials than terrestrial radio. Audio quality sucks, play lists loop after only a couple dozen songs, and it costs a fortune. OTOH, HD Radio rocks.

very interesting regarding Pandora...I would miss my sports on the satellite though.

Tons of great streaming options should become available once the Tesla app store is running. Does anyone know if any services will come preloaded?

I saw slak3r on there already, but I use pandora.

@GlennH | AUGUST 23, 2012: Your best solution IMO is utilizing your phones' 4G or the Tesla's 4G to stream audio from Pandora...

I would like to do that, but I'm planning on driving from Tucson, AZ to Pinetop, AZ in the White Mountains and there is hardly any cell reception along the way. Radio stations are also hard to receive. Satellite radio is the only option for listening to non-music broadcasts.

Our Signature S with the Studio Sound Package has working HD radio. The XM radio is included in the package, but isn't functional at the moment. The XM capability is to be included in a future software update.

Do you know if a free XM trial subscription will be included with the Sound Studio package?

@ bbmertz - We don't have any information about an XM trial subscription. We may learn more when the software update arrives.

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