Satellite radio

The development of Satellite radio in the United States

The satellite radio industry is dominated by two major players – Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio. Both companies charge a monthly fee for their services, but service payment plans often change to attract more customers. For example, starting in 2005 Sirius offers a $500 fee that is valid for the lifetime of the equipment. Sirius offers 65 music channels, without any commercials and traffic and weather reports for most of the major US cities. On the other hand, some of XM Radio’s channels did contain some commercials, but in much smaller quantities than those found on terrestrial radio channels. Today, XM has 67 commercial-free music channels, 21 channels with detailed traffic and weather information, 39 channels of news, entertainment and sports and an amazing number of 23 play-by-play sports channels. XM Satellite Radio Inc. owns the most impressive digital radio equipment and facilities, boasting over 82 end to end broadcasting studios. Sirius Satellite Radio is located in the heart of New York City with a huge recording studio. Sirius Satellite Radio has an impressive library of over 2 million music tracks.

Sirius Satellite Radio

Sirius Satellite Radio is one of the two main providers of digital radio broadcasting in the United States and it shares this important market with XM Radio. While you would think that XM and Sirius are 100% rivals, you will be surprised to find out that both companies are working together on a joint program in order to develop a receiver for both of their broadcast frequencies. Sirius uses three geosynchronous satellites that pass over the United States territory at regular time intervals and transmit the data alternatively. The Sirius satellite network is also located in a position that offers better line of sight – this means that transmission interruptions caused by trees, mountains or any other landscape form are less likely to happen. Sirius announced that the number of subscribers to their services goes beyond the 4 million count

XM Satellite Radio Inc

XM Satellite Radio Inc. began broadcasting in 2001 and has seen a continuous development ever since. The digital radio used by XM Satellite Radio Inc. is encoded using the CT-aacPlus technology which is broadcast in a 128kb/sec format that is high in fidelity and is similar to CD quality. XM Satellite Radio Inc uses two Boeing HS-702 satellites which are constantly orbiting the Earth at a height of 22 300 miles. IN order to minimize transmission ad reception loss, XM Satellite Radio installed terrestrial transmitters in most major cities in places where loss of signal is more likely to take place (tunnels, high building areas). XM radio claims to have an impressive number of over 6 million subscribers.

Working with the automobile industry

Both satellite radio providers saw a huge market in the car industry, so they began negotiating with al major car manufacturers to convince them to offer their services and equipment as standard or optional on the vehicles they produce. Some of the auto manufacturers that have either XM or Sirius satellite radio installed from the factory are: BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce, Chrysler, Dodge, Mercedes-Benz, Jeep, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar, Mazda ,GM, Cadillac, Buick, GMC, Vauxhall, Saab, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Infiniti, Porsche, Lexus, Scion and Audi – to name just a few. Sirius has managed to get exclusivity from major car manufacturers such as Audi or VW2007 through 2012. IT was a major success for Sirius as Audi and VW previously also offered XM radio services and equipment on their vehicles. After conquering the vehicle industry both manufacturers tried to move the success of satellite radio into the homes of consumers by creating some trendy portable satellite radio receivers. XM satellite radio created the XM2go™ line of « walkman-like » receivers and Sirius developed a variety of portable devices, such as the Kenwood Portable Satellite Radio Tuner, Here2Anywhere and the Sirius S50. More attempts are being made for introducing satellite radio in the homes of conservative media consumers.

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The development of digital multimedia broadcasting

Satellite radio systems are actually part of a larger group of broadcasting mediums, which specialists refer to as Digital Multimedia Broadcasting or DMB. This digital transmission system is used in order to send data to different receivers such as radios, television sets or mobile phones and PDAs. There are two different ways of using digital multimedia broadcasting – S-DMB which is broadcasting via a satellite or T-DMB which uses terrestrial emitters. The complexity of the entire digital multimedia broadcasting field is huge. Out of all the features and characteristics digital broadcasting offers, satellite radio is probably the most spectacular as it generated immense interest and triggered an intense competition between the two main satellite radio broadcasters, Sirius and XM Radio. The development of satellite radio and other forms of digital broadcasting is spectacular because it offers two main qualities that terrestrial emitters are deficient in: quality and coverage. In the case of satellite radio, for example, the sound quality from a satellite broadcast is much higher than AM or FM broadcasts, as the hissing noises and transmission disturbances are eliminated.

Technical features of digital multimedia broadcasting – overview

Whether it refers to television, satellite radio or cell phone transmissions, digital multimedia broadcasting is based on the Eureka 147 DAB standard. Digital television uses the T-DMB which is made for transmissions on frequency bands III (VHF) and L (SHF). T-DMB is an ETSI standard (TS 102 427 and TS 102 428).
T-DMB uses MPEG-4 Part 10 (H264) for the video and MPEG-4 Part 3 BSAC or HE-AAC V2 for the audio. When it comes to satellite radio, there were a few issues to be resolved by the main satellite radio broadcasters. The satellite radio receiver needs to be in the line of sight of the satellite to receive the transmission – and there is the problem of having different landscaping objects block the direct transmission. Land based devices were installed in order to eliminate the lack of direct satellite transmission. Since the wider spectrum of broadcasts has to be covered, digital multimedia broadcasting uses OFDM-4DPSK modulation and a chip of T-DMB receiver is also provided by MPEG-2 Transport Stream De-multiplexer. This helps reduce the negative effects of shadowing and fading, present in many digital transmissions.

The future of digital multimedia broadcasting

The transfer from the analog world to the digital one is obvious in all fields of work. Since digital multimedia broadcasting is developing so quickly, there is a silent battle going on between the new age digital technology and the classic analog one. OF course, many compare the transition from the analog to the completely digital era with the way audio cassettes were replaced by CDs and later on even DVDs. However, the development of digital multimedia broadcasting is slower since it happens on so many levels at the same time. Digital television is taking us into new spaces that are basically hybrids of the features of regular TV and characteristics of the Internet. Satellite radio is also taking huge leaps forward, with more and more programs having satellite radio exclusivity. There are even discussion of moving events like the MLB exclusively on satellite radio, which would provide one of the first deadly strikes against terrestrial radio broadcasting. Digital data transmission is fast and accurate, and so far reality proves that the satellites used in order to facilitate broadcasting and reliable. Most digital multimedia broadcasting companies that own satellites also have backup ones ready to go in orbit and replace a defective one. Some other benefits of digital multimedia broadcasting recommend it as a next step in the development of broadcasting. From the consumer’s point of view, the quality and interactivity options of digital TV or satellite radio broadcasts are important features. Although most digital multimedia broadcasting channels and technologies are still complex and sometimes expensive, the evolution of digital broadcasting seems to be here to stay.

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The basics of Satellite Radio

Broadcasting digital radio via satellite is not something new and concepts of doings this have been with us for a few years. From the early days of satellite radio, companies like Dish Network have offered digital audio channels as part of their programs. The breakthrough in popularity of satellite radio, however, happened just recently, when the technology became more permissive. Satellite radio was very rare on moving locations, such as boats or cars, mostly because there was the need for some expensive equipment – a tracking dish. This was a strong deterrent which kept satellite radio quite unknown by the general public. Today, however, one can receive digital audio satellite broadcasts by using a small, GPS-like antenna. This greatly increased the feasibility of the satellite radio systems and more and more vehicle owners began considering satellite radios as a good source of music and news.

The birth of satellite radio in the United States

When the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated a spectrum in the « S » band (2.3 GHz) for the broadcasting of digital radio services in 1992 no one thought the amplitude that the system would take in the future. From the initial Digital Audio Radio Service (DARS) things progressed until two companies were given licenses to broadcast digital radio in 1997. These two were American Mobile Radio (today known as XM Satellite Radio) and CD Radio (presently called Sirius Satellite Radio). The fact that satellite radio is nationwide makes it a very attractive media channel, both for commercial and non-profit organizations. The two companies that initiated the development of satellite radio saw the huge potential it had, since it wasn’t confined by the limitations of other terrestrial broadcasters.

Benefits of using satellite radio

Here are some of the most noteworthy benefits of having a satellite radio system:

* No more geographical limitations – since the radio program is broadcast through a satellite you don’t have to switch radio stations every time you leave a certain coverage area.
* The digital quality of the satellite radio has some amazing benefits on its own. There are no noise disturbances that were traditional to FM and AM broadcasts. The transmission is crystal clear and satellite radio receives some valuable points when broadcasting quality is concerned.
* Analog radio stations simply cannot broadcast the full range of sounds available through digital satellite radio.
* Both XM Radio and Sirius Radio can be picked up on all the US territory and they are also available in some parts of Canada and Mexico.

Satellite radio technology

Each of the major satellite radio services uses its own equipment to broadcast the signal to their clients. The competition is tight and customers have to “pick sides” in order to benefit from satellite radio broadcasting. You have to choose your preferred company and purchase adequate receivers for that particular company. Both XM Radio and Sirius Radio provide their clients with different ways of receiving their services. The field where most competition takes place is in the negotiation with the major automobile manufacturers. Both XM Radio and Sirius Radio have deals with the auto industry giants in order to offer their services and equipment as optional on the car models they produce. Other partnerships were created with audio equipment manufacturers, who now offer satellite radio transceivers and matching headsets. The most recent shock in the satellite radio universe was caused by the production of portable MP3 player-like satellite radio receivers.

The future development of satellite radio

One of the main problems of satellite radio was addressed by the main satellite radio broadcasters. Since you need to be in the line of sight of the satellite to receive the transmission, different problems appeared with mobile satellite radio receivers, especially when different landscaping objects blocked the direct transmission. To solve this, land based devices were installed in order to eliminate the lack of direct satellite transmission. Another interesting aspect related to satellite radios is that they approached their service offers from a different perspective than traditional radio broadcasters. Instead of airing commercials they charge a subscription fee. For many people, this is actually the best alternative, since they get an almost 100% content broadcast (whether it’s music or talk shows) without the 10-12 minutes per hour of annoying commercials. In most cases, the monthly subscription for satellite radio is of around $12.

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SONY portable receiver

Welcome to the world of Sony! In this article we will try to discuss the features of the Sony portable XM receiver, which, by the way, was the first plug-and-play model sold on the market. The gadget is the ideal receiver for people who need a compact and totally portable communications receiver. Although the user interface is pretty out-of-date and the receiver lacks a numeric keypad, the Sony portable receiver is a great radio. Imagine yourself in a James Bond movie, or imagine the good old days, the 1950’s, imagine a spaceship with its fine curves, well.. the Sony receiver has it all: the futuristic looks of a spaceship, its utility like any Bond gadget and its state-of-art like the science fiction of the 50’s movies. The XM Satellite Radio is an adventure! Although the portable receiver is no longer listed on the market, it is still available in the channel. Below, I will try to discuss the features of three Sony portable receiver models, the ICFSW7600G.2CE7, the ICFSW11S.CE7 and the ICFSW12S.CE7.

ICFSW7600G.2CE7 Sony Portable Receiver

The price of this model varies at around $200, its frequencies being 150 kHz -30Mhz (LW/MW/SW), 76-108 Mhz (FM). It has 100 memory presets, an audio output of 380 mW, size of 190×118.8×35 mm and the weight of 608 g.
The nice thing about this model is that it provides LCD read-out in 1 kHz steps, can be electronically tuned and the frequency can be adjusted on the keyboard. For its modes (AM, SSB, FM) you can listen to stations from all around the world. As additional features, you can use the receiver as a clock or alarm.

ICFSW11S.CE7

For $40, this model is a bargain. It has a led tuning indicator, frequencies between 153-279 kHz (LW), 530-1602 kHz (MW), 76-108 Mhz (FM), audio output of 100mW, size of 155x90x33 mm and it weights 340 g. As a drawback on this model is that you can listen to FM stereo only throughout the headphones.

ICFSW12S.CE7

Last but not least, Sony is offering a world receiver that is a handy companion for people who travel a lot. It has twin digital clock display and clock controls, telescopic whip, and the unit closes itself when not in use. Regarding technical details, the ICFSW12S.CE7 portable receiver cathes frequencies between 530-1605 kHz (MW), 4750-21750 Mhz (SW), 87-108 Mhz (FM), it has dial tunning, Led tunning indicator, an audio output of 100 mW, size of 111×30.5×80.3 mm and weighs 233 g. The average price is $100.

As for car kits and accessories, home kits are available at an average price of $130, the package containing a home dock, a power supply, an antenna, and an adaptor between mini-stereo to twin RCA. If you want to purchase a car kit, you can found one at a price of $129.99. Although it’s hard to find one, you can purchase a FM Modulator, if you don’t have a car radio with a cassette player. Also, for $64.99 you can buy 50 ft. cable extension, which connects to your home antenna, providing more cable, thus, more space.

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Sirius Satellite Radio overview

Together with XM Radio, Sirius Satellite Radio is one of the two main providers of digital radio broadcasting in the United States. Sirius Satellite Radio currently broadcasts on over 120 channels with a variety of broadcasts including music, talk shows, news broadcasts and different other forms of audio entertainment. Sirius Satellite Radio covers the entire US territory. The high quality of the broadcasting signal produced by using the most advanced digital encoding technology makes the transmission clear and accurate. The fidelity of the sound transmitted digitally is much better than any analog radio provider can offer. The noise disturbances often associated to FM and AM broadcasts are now eliminated and the transmission is clear and almost identical in quality with the original track. Sirius Satellite Radio holds one of the two FCC approved licenses for delivering digital radio in the United States. The digital radio broadcaster only shares the field of Satellite Digital Audio Radio Services (SDARS) with Sirius XM Satellite Radio Inc. Here is some more information on the Sirius company:
Corporate headquarters: New York City, New York
Date of launch: July 1, 2002
Satellites in service: 3
Available satellite radio channels:120
Monthly subscription cost:$12.95
Sirius Satellite Radio is truly an impressive corporation. Located in the heart of New York City with a huge recording studio situated in the Rockefeller Center, Sirius Satellite Radio has a huge library of over 2 million music tracks. The quality of the transmission is very high as it is in the 128kb/sec format – which is similar to CD audio quality. The company uses digitized signals through the PAC encoding technology, providing high fidelity broadcasts all over the United States.

The Sirius satellite

The three Loral SS/L-1300 commercial satellites used by Sirius deliver constant digital radio broadcasting to Sirius’ subscribers. As with most commercial satellites, the Loral SS/L-1300s orbit above the Earth at 22 300 miles. Very similar to XMs satellites, the Loral SS/L-1300 commercial satellites have a more inclined orbit which allows them to cover an even more extended area. The elevation angle of 60 degrees is more generous than the regular 45 degrees used by geostationary satellites. Since one of the most problematic aspects of satellite radio broadcasting is the line of sight – which can be easily interrupted by landscape or buildings – the Loral SS/L-1300 commercial satellites have a slight advantage over their competitors, since they have a clearer line of sight. The three satellites used for broadcasting slowly orbit around the Earth and only two of them are functional at any time. This is because Sirius only has two transmission frequencies and by alternating satellite transmission they can eliminate interferences while also having a spare satellite to put to use in case something goes wrong with one of the others. The 3 satelites take turns broadcasting – when one of them leaves the footprint of the continental U.S. another picks up the broadcasting transmission. Since the more inclined orbit provides better coverage, Canada and Mexico are also well covered by the digital broadcasting. This is an interesting feature of the Sirius satellite radio, as it enhances the benefit of not having to switch radio stations during long trips or while traveling outside US borders. Sirius has also announced a collaboration with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Standard Radio Inc. This would allow anyone in Canada to benefit from Sirius’ services while using any of the Canadian English and French channels.

Sirius broadcasting

Because the broadcast signal used in satellite radio transmission is so strong, you only need a small receiver in order to be able to listen to it. By using small omni-directional antennas you can take your digital radio programs wherever you are – either on the road or at home. The technology used is similar to GPS devices and the receivers don’t require pointing. Some of the new features of satellite radio refer to the extended broadcast information abilities, and the transmission can supply information on artist, music title or genre. One of the developments Sirius is working on is streaming video broadcasting – something that will probably become available to the general public soon after the technology and broadcasting methods become secure enough.

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Sirius Radio specifications

Sirius Satellite Radio has more than 150 channels available with the subscription that they provide. This includes 65 commercial-free music channels and 56 sports, news, talk, entertainment, local traffic and weather channels.

Music channels seem to be numberless, but unfortunately they aren’t even tough there are plenty of music stations that please every person no matter what gender of songs he or she likes. So, there are country music channels that include New Country, Classic Country, Alternative Country and Bluegrass. For hip-hop lovers, Sirius satellite radio has 4 channels: Hip-Hop Nation, Shade 45, Wax and Back Spin and not to mention the other streams where you’re ears will be delighted with house, club mixes, electronic a, disco, R&B, reggae and not to forget rock(classic, alternative, mellow, metal, blues) music. For classical tastes, there are three channels: classical pops, chamber music and classical voices. But if you are a jazz type of person you can relax by turning the radio on one of the six-channels of non-stop jazz.

There a lot of music programs that are hosted by international and national artist like Eminem, David Johansen Steve Van Zant, the Rolling Stone’s producer who can be listen on the Underground Garage channel.

Sirius has a beautiful collection of uncensored comedy that is available to you. You only have to tune into Sirius’s stream Raw Dog where you can listen to George Carlin, Margaret Cho, Cheech and Chong, Eddie Murphy, and Chris Rock

In the sports area, Sirius Radio has a terrific collection of channels and only enumerating those takes a lot of time. But here is a sum-up: the NBA, the NFL and the NHL. And besides this, Sirius wants to bring to you tournaments of men’s basketball games, the lineup of 27 college hoops programs and the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and for the ones who love cars, in 2007 they will have the possibility to listen to all NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series, and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races.

Besides entertainment, Sirius has a series of news and talk channels: ABC News & Talk, BBC World Service, BBC Mundo, Bloomberg, CNBC, Court TV, C-Span, CNN Headline News, Discovery Channel, E Entertainment, two ESPN channels, Fox News, Hispanic Talk, Radio Disney, Sirius Trucking Network, the Weather Channel, the liberal network Air America and more. Besides this, it also includes a gay/lesbian news and talk station.

It seems that Sirius tries to satisfy as many demands they can, judging by the wide variety of programs. And having all of these advantages, Sirius is a really determined challenger for the XM.

In comparison with the XM, the Sirius satellite radio has less quality in sound and the XM’s stereo separation is wider. So, we all hope for improvement.

In terms of gadgets, XM has more technology than Sirius radio. There are no MyFi’s, but instead Sirius has the XACT XTR1 that is a limited portable version of the MyFi. And Sirius has no turners with TiVo-like features as the equipments provided by XM. There are companies like Alpine, Audiovox, Blaupunkt, Clarion, Delphi, Jensen, JVC, Kenwood, Sanyo, and Tivoli that produce Sirius hardware.

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Sirius and XM Satellite Radios

There are two major companies that offer satellite radio in America: Sirius and XM.
XM was the first company that offered satellite radio. It has two satellites named Rock and Roll and it has its studios in Washington D.C. Sirius Radio has three satellites and has its studios in New York As the XM was first, it has 3,2 hundred thousand, but Sirius brings competition with 1,1 hundred thousand subscribers in the present time.

Satellite radio is by far the best radio ever, making the AM/FM radios look old and dying even. This new era of radio has a lot of advantages that will please you at the maximum.
As the income comes from the subscribers not from advertisements, there are no commercials, no one is saying what to buy, no one is promoting their channel and no one is interrupting you from listening to what you want, where you want. There a lot of choices in want to listen to as both XM and Sirius have a big programming variety that includes music channels of world music(pop, rock, classical, rap, hip-hop, opera, country, western, jazz, dance, blues, Latin), weather, news, traffic, sports and entertainment channels. Local weather and traffic channels are available only for major cities in the U.S.A. provided by the two companies and every five minutes you can hear updates. The best thing in all channels is that there are uncensored. So, you can listen to uncensored stand-up comedy and hip-hop channels, at least for now.

The satellite radio has a very good sound quality, no static and no interference, a quality that may be compared with the one of a CD. The radio is based on a go/no-go system based on the strength of the signal. So, weak signal may cause dropouts.
You can easily get information about songs and artists right on you satellite radio receiver that can also help you select channels and categories. This makes it easier for you to choose the exact channel or song you want to hear. So, whenever you are wondering what song or channel you are listening to just read the information that the receiver shows.

Now you can get satellite radio wherever you like, eventough at first it was design only for car use. With the right equipment you can easily have radio, but it depends on you whether you subscribe at XM or Sirius. Unfortunately, you can’t use a satellite radio turner for both XM and Sirius. There are three types of turners depending on where you want to listen to satellite radio. The Plug-and-play turner can be used out-door wherever you like as long as you have a portable boombox that can receive the signal. There are turners especially made for using them in cars and the home satellite radio turners for using them at home.

Both companies want now to offer a video service. This is planned to happen in the second half of the year 2006 and will include at first two video programs designed for children. Satellite radios’ prices start at about $75.A subscription costs 12.95 per month wherever you want to subscribe as both XM and Sirius radio charges the same. There a couple of discounts like you can get satellite radio for a year at $9.95/month or Sirius is offering a subscription for a lifetime at $500.

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Satellite radio quality and content

There are two important characteristics that recommend satellite radio as a service most people would like to have in their vehicles or homes: quality and content. When talking about quality we mostly refer to how clear the sound output is from satellite radio when compare to terrestrial radio broadcasts. Content, on the other hand, refers to the quality of the transited material. This is where the two giants in the satellite radio industry – Sirius and XM Radio – battle it out. The quality of the receivers and the technologies they both use are similar, but the difference can be made when it comes to exclusive high quality content. Let’s have a look at both the satellite radio quality and content characteristics:

Broadcasting quality

The broadcast quality is, when put in numbers, of 128kb/s 44.1khz for both digital radio service providers. This is the equivalent of CD quality. Although the coverage of satellite radio, which is far superior to what any terrestrial radio station can deliver, is an important factor, the quality of the sound is what brought Sirius and XM Radio more subscribers. There are many similarities to the way digital television worked or how cable TV has over 80% of the US population as subscribers, although they can receive free programming using UHF and VHF antennas. It’s the same with satellite radio – although one can get free terrestrial radio, satellite radio comes at an affordable price and offer a broadcasting quality that is superior to analog radio. Also keep in mind that satellite radio is commercial free – and this is huge selling point.
The high analog-to-digital conversion quality means that there will be no sound interferences, hissing sounds and other audio disturbances characteristic to FM and AM transmissions. This is mostly obvious when listening to music on your satellite radio system. The bass is much stronger and accurate, while the high sound levels are crystal clear. There is also a stronger mid range of sounds that you will consider to be more robust and accurate than what terrestrial radio produces. Although someone with a trained ear will tell you the music quality is not exactly as good as CD quality, it is extremely close and for the largest majority of users this difference is not even noticeable.

Content

So now that we know how good the technological side of satellite radio really is, let’s have a look at how broadcasters are trying to improve the quality of the content they provide. One of the most interesting approaches was to fight for obtaining exclusivity over some transmissions. For example, negotiations have been carried out between XM Radio and MLB in order for the satellite radio provider to obtain exclusivity rights to broadcast all MLB games. In an interview to WSJ, Edison Media Research’s President Larry Rosin declared that « it is probably inevitable that baseball radio broadcasts will go to a 100% subscription model… It will happen because there’s too much money in it not to do it. » Today, around 23% of XM subscribers are signed up to receive the MLB transmissions, so there is real potential in such a venture. Of course, this would be a terrific blow against terrestrial radio and the two sides are engaged in combat while you are reading this. Of course, content quality can also be increased by having the best people in the industry work with satellite radio. Both Sirius and XM Radio know that someone who pays $300 for a receiver and $10 – $12 each month for a radio service wants to get the best content out there. Surprisingly, when it comes to music channels, the difference in content quality between satellite radio and terrestrial radio is made in one main topic – commercials (or rather, lack of commercials on satellite radio). Since most of XM Radio and Sirius channels are in-house productions and only a small percentage are retransmits of terrestrial radio, this becomes an interesting aspect to consider.

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Satellite radio Q&A

Q: Overview of satellite radio
A: Satellite radio means pay-radio or it may also be called a subscription radio. It is a little bit like the traditional one, but it has more programs than it. It’s available in Africa, Asia and Europe due to the services provided by WorldSpace and in North America by Sirius and XM Radio.

Q: What are the advantages of this new radio?
A: You’ll have a wide variety of programs that includes music channels (rock, modern rock, alternative, classical, pop, hip-hop, country, jazz, electronic, Christian, Latin), weather, news, traffic, sports and entertainment channels, no commercials included. All musical channels are commercial free.
This radio has a clean, digital signal and it has almost the quality of a CD. It has no static and no interference.
You can get satellite radio not only in your car, but anywhere you like: in your house, in an Rv or boat so that you can enjoy the programming variety that this radio is offering whether you are relaxing in your sofa, if you are in a vacation or if you are in your car on a business travel. The only thing you must do is to properly install the equipment that you need.
Purchasing the equipment, you will also have information which will be displayed on the radio receiver about channels, music, songs and artists.

Q: What about disadvantages?
A: Unfortunately, Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. Territories can’t receive the satellite radio’s signals.
There are no local stations, but you will have local traffic and weather channels provided by XM and Sirius.

Q: What does provide XM and Sirius radio?
A: There a few differences between them. For example, the XM provides more that 150 channels and the other one more than 120 channels. The first has two Nascar racing channels, Major League Baseball, PGA TOUR coverage, plus ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-10 football and basketball coverage and the Sirius has Live NFL, NHL, and NBA play-by-play, plus English Premier League soccer and college sports game. But they have the same price $12.95/Month

Q: How do I install satellite radio?
A: There are a few things that are necessary to get satellite radio.
First you need a satellite radio antenna that picks up the signal from communicational satellites and then delivering it to you.
Then you need a satellite radio tuner that passes the signal from the radio antenna to the receiver. There are three basic types of radio turners. There are the Plug-and-play satellite radio tuners that can be used in the car or at home or with a portable boombox wherever you have satellite signal and they only need one subscription. There are three types of Satellite radio tuners for the car: universal tuners, « Satellite radio-ready » in-dash receivers and in-dash receivers with a built-in satellite radio tuner. The last basic type is the Home satellite radio tuners perfect for using them in-door.
The third item is a satellite radio receiver which helps you to select channels and categories, to view various songs or artists information.
Last but not least is a subscription to XM or Sirius radio that must be acquired in order to receive programming.

If you want to have the best quality sound in your car you can choose between these three options:
1. in-dash receiver with a built-in satellite radio tuner
2. « satellite radio-ready » receiver connected to an external satellite radio tuner
3. Plug-and-play satellite radio tuner connected to your car stereo’s auxiliary input.

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Satellite radio costs

Everybody has heard about satellites. But how many people heard about satellite radios? Satellite radio is a subscription radio service. It’s somehow identical to cable television, with the difference that it provides a wider range of stations not available on a standard AM / FM radio. There are many questions to be answered about satellite radios like “How does satellite radios work?”, “What kind of equipment should I purchase?” etc. but in this article I will try to answer a question that first pops up in everybody’s mind: “HOW MUCH DOES SATELLITE RADIO COST”? This is a tricky question because the cost of a satellite radio is divided in two: installation (or activation) costs and the monthly subscription fee.

Activation costs

Activation costs refers to the amount of money that are to be spent on a XM or Sirius Satellite Radio to start the service. Although you can find many promotions that allows you to save up money, the activation costs vary, being able to make the activation by phone or by World Wide Web. To be more precise, if you activate your satellite by phone, you will pay $15.00 if you choose Sirius Satellite or $14.99 by choosing XM and, as for WWW activation, the cost of goods is somehow lower: $5 with Sirius or $9.99 with XM. As for the monthly subscription costs we will discuss this below, but, before that, I must say that recent media campaigns are dramatically dropping the prices for installation and activation, both on Sirius or XM, in some cases even offering free activation.

Typical costs for a car dedicated installation

If you want to install a satellite radio into your car you are to consider buying a new satellite-ready car stereo if you don’t have one. Although many local dealers offer built-in car satellite radio, there is still the problem of having a satellite radio receiver. And these, as you may notice, cost money. It is possible though to use the existing car stereo that does not support satellite radio. How? There are two known ways of connecting the receiver to the available non-satellite radio car stereo. First, by using the radio inputs (usually the CD) and installing a control unit for tuning up the satellite radio streams. The second method consists in installing a satellite radio receiver, which broadcasts the satellite radio signal on a FM frequency. The place where you can install the receiver depends: under the seat, in your trunk, etc. taking care of connecting the receiver to the satellite radio antenna mounted on the car’s exterior.
So, there will be a minimum cost of $350.00 and a maximum of $600, like below:

Receiver $75 – $125
Radio $125 – $250
Antenna $60.00
Labor $80.00
Activation $10

Costs for a dedicated home installation

If you choose this option, that means you will have to install a dedicated stereo receiver unit, which in some cases is similar to regular AM / FM receivers. As an additional cost, you will have to buy an antenna, which can be found at a price of $60. Here is a short review of the approximate price of installing a dedicated stereo receiver unit:

Receiver $150 – $300
Antenna $60
Activation $10

Costs for a Portable Unit

Portable units gives you the ease of using you brand new satellite radio wherever you want, but, in every room you will have to own a home kit (antennas, output cables and power supplies). The price for this option is around $400.

Receiver $120
Home kit $140
Boombox x2 $100
Activation $10

Subscription costs

As for the subscription costs, it depends if you own a Sirius or XM Satellite Radio.
Subscription costs for a Sirius Satellite Radio are paid monthly where the charge is $12.95, with a low adjustment is you subscribe to a year or two. The highest number of Sirius radios that can be activated are three for $6.99 each per month. Business subscriptions are $24.99 per month. Another interesting thing is that for $499.99, Sirius is offering a life time subscription.
On the other hand, if you have a XM Satellite Radio, you will have to pay a monthly charge of $9.99. Still, some channels are to be paid separately, like Playboy Radio, which costs an additional $2.99 per month. Commercial and Business Subscriptions cost $24.99 per month.

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