Without subscription you should see the channel names, and song titles etc. but you'll only be able to hear channel 1. If you don't see the title (besides the channel name) for channel 1, then it's likely your cable has some kind of problem.. If you're unsure, I'd suggest installing another XM application (i.e. FrodoXM, XM Debug etc) and verifying that it won't work there either. If it works on one app and not in another, your hardware should be ok but some setting in the software is wrong (for xm that should only be the serial port number). If the XMD doesn't work in any software then your cable or box is the problem.