AVS Special Member
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Historic College Park In Lake Worth, FL, USA
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I just activated a new Sony DRN-XM01H2 to replace my one year old "H1" for use at home and in my cars. It's a plug 'n play unit. I had to buy it online since all the local stores were too busy with the Delphi SkyFi receiver to be bothered with following up the old Sony plug-and-play with the new one. I didn't want to have to replace all my cradles and AC/DC converters so I sought out the 2nd generation Sony online and bought one heavily discounted that way.
Well, this updated Sony plug-and-play XM receiver pretty much fixes everything that was wrong with the first one:
1. Blue-on-blue display that was pretty but impossible to read on the original unit is now an easy to read under all conditions blue-on-white.
2. The new remote now has a 10-digit keypad for direct tuning, plus it duplicates the channel up/down keys on the original along with power on/off, memo, display, menu and enter. It adds a "band" key for selecting each of four bands into each of which up to 5 channels may be saved as presets and selected via 5 preset keys on the remote.
Operation is familiar except for the added features of direct channel tuning via the remote keypad plus the introduction of a 20 preset capability instead of only 5.
Note that presetting channels in bands labeled XM-1, XM-2, XM-3 and XM-4 (5 presets per band) may only be accomplished via the controls on the unit itself...NOT VIA THE REMOTE. (Wish Sony had said that in caps in the instructions...instead it's in the very smallest font in the whole guide!) The band selector and the 5 preset buttons on the remote are for operation after presets have been loaded via the on-unit controls. The on-unit controls are for loading presets as well as normal operation.
To load channels as presets in the four bands, first put away the remote so you won't be tempted to try to use it to complete this function, since it won't work. ;) Then, go to the main unit and select an XM band by advancing the band button on the extreme right edge of the main unit, manually scroll to the channel you want with the scroll roller on the top of the unit, then hold down one of the 5 preset buttons on the front of the unit until the preset locks. Then for each subsequent channel that you want to create a preset for, "shampoo, rinse, repeat...":D(I should get a job writing instructions manuals for Sony...you should see their convoluted way of conveying what I just wrote.)
After all the presets are loaded-up, operation is pretty intuitive and the remote is slim enough to be operated with just one hand while the other is on the wheel. In addition to the "band" button on the remote, the "display/back" button from the old unit now adds a "band" function for advancing through the 4 bands and the 5 preset buttons on the unit select the 5 presets on each of the 4 bands. You can program any channnel on any preset and in any band you want. I set-up XM-1 with 5 pop music channels, XM-2 with rock and dance, XM-3 with jazz and classical and XM-4 with news, weather and talk.
Being able to easily read the screen on the main unit will probably save life, limb and property compared to the original unit which was a complete nightmare to read, day or night. This safety feature was my primary motivation for an upgrade. In a car, the old version was a menace to public safety.
The new unit sounds the same as the original one. Oh, and it still says "Bye" when you turn it off like the old one...a nice, friendly touch.
The new, miniature magnetic antenna is much more elegant than the original clunky "shark tail" antenna. I can't wait to replace the old one with it.
Shame on Sony for laying such a bad egg the first time around...kudos to Sony for fixing it so brilliantly and stepping up to bat with a nice $75 mail-in rebate (on top of a substantial dealer discount from US-DBS, for a net price of $119.95 plus S&H) to make an upgrade a no-brainer for we early victims, er, adopters!
WPTV/WFLX West Palm Beach, FL