First, you attach the receiver to your car's dashboard using the included plastic stick-on holder. Next, you plug the power cord into your car's cigarette lighter to give the receiver its juice, and then you slip the attached cassette adapter into the audio cassette player of your car's stereo (this passes the satellite receiver's audio signal through to your car's speakers). Finally, you'll use a thin wire to attach a small antenna, about the size of a walnut, to your front or rear window--or for clearest reception, outside the car on its hood (though attaching it to the hood will require a professional installation for best results).
Then just turn on your car's stereo, but use the attached receiver to cruise through satellite stations.
The benefit of this plug-and-play approach is that you can set up satellite radio in almost any car with little time and effort. The downside is that this approach adds a lot of ugly cable clutter to your car's interior. Also, even though the receiver is small, you have to take care to attach it to your dashboard without blocking an air vent so your car's air conditioning and heating is not affected. Finally, if your car has those nifty stereo controls built right into the steering wheel, you'll find that only the volume controls work with satellite radio--you won't be able to change stations with your thumbs.
If you want to keep your car's interior looking as spiffy as possible, you can buy a different kind of satellite receiver commonly known as a "head unit." These units, such as the XM Commander
, replace your car's existing receiver, so they don't need a cigarette lighter's power or a cassette-tape adapter. They're a much more elegant option, but unless you're handy under the hood, you can count on spending at least $100 extra for installation fees. (If you're in the market for a new car, note that many 2004 and 2005 models include built-in satellite radio options.)
Hope that helps........