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How SiriusXM works in Puerto Rico

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Image Source: http://www.vcsatellite.com/sirius.html

Image Source: http://www.vcsatellite.com/sirius.html

If you live in Puerto Rico you probably already know that there are only a few radio stations that are only in English and they also have tons of commercials. So you may ask yourself, Is there SiriusXM in Puerto Rico? Well, the answer is YES, with one caveat. I’ll show you how SiriusXM works in Puerto Rico.

So I’ll cut right to the chase, SiriusXM works in Puerto Rico but ONLY under the Sirius platform, NOT the XM or the SiriusXM platforms. So, if your satellite radio is an XM or SiriusXM radio, it WILL NOT work here in Puerto Rico, trust me, I have the experience to prove it and I will tell you it further down if you are interested. But, currently, if your car does not already have a radio compatible with the Sirius platform then you must get an after market radio. Currently there are 2 devices that would work here, the Stratus 7 and the Starmate 8; I have the Sportster 5 but they don’t sell that one anymore, you’d have to get it used (likely) on Ebay or Amazon.

Now, you can still get the “All Access” package and stream online if you wish, but your car device will only get the Sirius channels, not the new SiriusXM channels with the latest features. It seems that they are upgrading and updating their programming and features but mainly for the XM and SiriusXM platforms and not for the Sirius platforms. Having said that, I personally think that Sirius Satellite Radio is much better than the local programming in terms of music. If you know Spanish though, some of the morning, afternoon, and evening radio shows from the local stations are usually hilarious! I find myself listening to those quite often, but in terms of music, the local culture is turning more towards Urban, Reggaeton, and Bachata music, which are my least favorite type of music, so needless to say that even though SiriusXM in Puerto Rico only has the Sirius channels and it doesn’t have all of the channels the Continental U.S. has, I am very appreciative that SiriusXM works in Puerto Rico even if it is limited to the Sirius channels. Do I wish we had all of the channels and features of SiriusXM? Absolutely! But that’s not the case, and I still appreciate what I do have, even though it is annoying to pay the same for less channels. The reason why Puerto Rico only gets the Sirius channels is because the Sirius satellites travel in a “Figure 8” pattern over the Americas while the XM satellites are fixed in place over North America only.

Image Source: http://www3.sympatico.ca/n.rieck/docs/sirius.html

Image Source: http://www3.sympatico.ca/n.rieck/docs/sirius.html

So, how did I find this out? My Sportster 5 Radio is giving me lots of problems so I wanted to get a new one that won’t give me as much trouble. I contacted SiriusXM and they assured me time and time again that the new SiriusXM radios will work just fine, I asked specifically for the Onyx Plus radio since it has the sports ticker, they said YES. Even though I didn’t believe them, I ordered the radio and installed it. Then, SURPRISE! It doesn’t  work! I contacted them and spent an hour with them on the phone trying new things to see if it works, nothing worked, then after an hour, they told me what I already knew and told them about the positioning of the satellites. I knew this already but apparently they didn’t so I took the radio installation down again then put it back in the box and mailed it back. So just so you know, SiriusXM works in Puerto Rico, just not quite like in the U.S.  but the online channels do work the same, if you don’t like the local radio stations, SiriusXM (with a Sirius platform radio) is a viable option. But it does cost money so if your phone data is unlimited or if you have a large amount of mobile data available then there are many options for you to listen to the music of your choice by plugging in your phone to the AUX input of your car.

Hope this helps.

P.S. Other than occasional problems up in the heavily wooded mountains of Puerto Rico or under tunnels in my commute to work, I have not had any problems with SiriusXM’s signal in Puerto Rico.

Jay-Webmaster

Author: Jay-Webmaster

Jay is an Atmospheric Physicist and Massage Therapist who was born and raised in Puerto Rico but went to college in the US before moving back to Puerto Rico. Creator of NewToPuertoRico.com and the new forum NewToPuertoRico.com/forum

4 Comments

  1. I would like te get seriux radio in p.r.

  2. Thanks for posting this Jay,

    Going through the hoops that most ex-pats or “half” puerto rican guys like me have to experience first hand to learn.

    Heres another XM conflict I encountered. I bought a used 2005 Acura MDX because I too live in the mountain and needed an SUV. BUT… what no one tells you here is that Acura only has XM platforms available in their vehicles. So no luck with stock radios in any Acura that I am aware of. Even our service tech mentioned she had a newer Acura and she isnt able to get XM in her car.

    Of course I could replace the OEM radio with an after market but then you loose accessory controls and steering wheel controls… its a mess.

    Hopefully one of your suggestions work for me. No TV, Internet, or XM radio where I am now. Its getting tough to say the least…. haha

    Let me know if you see any progression or change in their platforms.

    Thanks again for your online help!

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Nathan,

      Well, I got an aftermarket Sirius Satellite Radio, which means that it is external to the stock radio. There are a couple of them for sale on their website or Amazon, Ebay etc. As far as I know, they will not change their platform any time soon. They have XM, Sirius, AND SiriusXM programming, which is the latest and greatest and it is where they are focusing their energy for growth, but the SiriusXM programming is on the XM platform, and they do not have plans to expand into the Sirius platform unfortunately, at least not as far as I know which is also based on what customer service told me.

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