Satellite radio

XM Radio Categories

Here are the main music categories that you can find on XM satellite radio broadcasts:
The Decades – songs from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s
Country – classic country hits are at home here, but you will also get a good share of new pop country and blue grass country.
Hits – this is for all hit lovers out there. Packed with Top 20 on Channel 20, the hits XM Radio channels also include some FM channels: KISS FM in LA or Houston’s Pop FM station, KMIX. You also get MTV and VH1 stations and if you’re in the mood for some popular love songs you can tune into The Heart and Lite channel. Another interesting channel is Cinemagic, where you will be able to listen to all your favorite movie soundtracks without being bothered by commercials. There are also two Christian rock channels and a classic alternative channel.
Rock – XM Radio features 10 commercial free channels dedicated to rock:
* Deep Tracks: classic and contemporary hits
* Bone Yard and XM Liquid Metal: the first channel goes with classic hard rock while the XM Liquid Metal plays hardcore metal.
* Fred: there is a lot of classic alternative music, some 80s alternative rock and punk music
* Top Tracks: classic rock tracks
* Unsigned: unsigned bands
* XMU, XM Café, the Loft, XM Music Lab: soft rock, eclectic rock and any other rock type that doesn’t fit anywhere else
Urban – rap and hip hop, both modern and from the 80s.
Jazz & Blues – 6 channels altogether out of which four are commercial free
Dance – techno and trance music rules here, but you also get some disco music
Latin – 5 commercial free channels of Latin, Spanish and Mexican hits.
International Music – 5 channels of music from around the world. You might find these five channels a welcomed break from all the music you are used to. Fresh music from around the world is presented daily.
Classical – classical music from both famous and less renown classical musicians. You get the XM Pops, XM Classics, Vox and Fine Tuning. As you would expect, all 4 channels are commercial free.
Kids – Radio Disney and XM for Kids. Excellent programs that will keep your kid busy and happy for a long time.
News – you will get Fox News, CNN Headline News plus other TV related news channels. They feature XM commercials.
Sports – you will get channels like ESPN Radio, ESPN News, Fox Sports Radio, Sporting News, NASCAR Radio. These channels cover most of the important sporting events in the United States but you can also get international sports news here.
Comedy – both family oriented comedy stiles and uncensored comedy bits. These channels are commercial free, which is really enjoyable.
Talk & Variety – there are different talk channels and shows that are really engaging, such as E! Entertainment Radio, ABC News and Talk, Buzz XM, Ask channel, The Power and Family Talk. However, these channels have plenty of commercial time which is a bit of a disappointment from a paid subscription service.
Variation and content

These are the things both XM Radio and Sirius are after. With over 100 channels, each provider is able to identify and target all the important age and social groups in the United States. When it comes to music, there are extremely specialized channels on XM Radio, so the consumer knows exactly what kind of music they will run into on that particular channel. The kids channels are pretty good and the sports channels are also ok. If you like to get your news TV style, XM Radio’s choice of channels is also interesting. The fact that commercials are present is not that bothering, as they are only allowed to play 6 minutes of commercials per hour. However, some of the music channels are kept 100% commercial free, which is good news for music fans who do not want their audition to be interrupted by intrusive commercials.

PPPPP

(word count 663)

What is satellite radio

Satellite radio is often considered one of the biggest improvements in broadcasting since the introduction of the FM band. Satellite radio is also called subscription radio or pay-radio because it is only available trough subscription to one of the satellite radio providing companies. Satellite radio follows a concept similar to cable television by providing a very wide range of programs which are not available in the traditional FM or AM format for a fee.

Satellite radio uses satellites to deliver radio programs to subscribers. The radio signal is broadcasted from Earth based stations to communicational satellites, which then redirect the signal to satellite radio receivers. The radio signal is broadcasted by communication satellites to a much larger area than traditional terrestrial radio antennas. For example, satellite radio is available al across the continental area of the United States. Satellite radio is available now in most parts of the world trough services provided by companies like WorldSpace (in Europe, Asia and Africa), Sirius and XM Radio (in North America). The radio signal you receive using satellite radio is digital, which means that it is always clear and static-free, which is one of the great advantages of satellite radio. Another great thing about satellite radio is that it is almost completely commercial-free.

To begin listening to satellite radio you will need the actual satellite radio (also known as tuner or receiver), a satellite radio antenna (which is often incorporated in the satellite radio) and a subscription to the service you choose. There are several types of satellite radio from which you can choose. One of them is the dedicated car or home radio, which play trough your car or home stereo. A second option is the plug-and-play radio, which can be used in your car, as well as in your home by paying a single subscription. Your third option is the portable radio, which has rechargeable battery, a built-in antenna and you can listen to it wherever you go using headphones. The radio signals offered by different satellite radio companies are proprietary, which means that you will need different hardware for receiving, decoding and playback, depending on your subscription. Each satellite radio receiver has its own serial number called Radio ID. When you get your subscription, you will also get an activation code for your receiver. Besides the actual radio programs, satellite radio transmits metadata that contains the name of the artist, the title of the song or program, as well as the name of the channel. This makes it easier for you to decide which channel to listen to and which program to choose.

Satellite radio services provide the subscriber with more than 100 programs that vary in content from rock and jazz to rap and classical music. But satellite radio’s utility reaches far beyond listening to your favorite music without the interruption of those annoying commercials. Satellite radio also offers exclusive sports programs, cultural and educational shows, news and talk-shows. Some of the celebrities that have moved their shows from free radio to satellite radio include Howard Stern, Opie and Anthony, Bob Edwards and Martha Stewart. Unlike terrestrial radio, satellite radio is not affected by bad weather or even calamities.

At first, many people wondered why they should pay for radio if they can get it free. However, satellite radio attracts more and more people every year due to its great advantages: no commercials, extensive reach, theme programs and exceptional quality of sound.

PPPPP

(word count 579)

The technology behind satellite radio

Any song you hear on satellite radio stars as a recording in a specific format on different recording mediums. IN most cases, the recording quality has to be maintained fairly high, usually around 384kb/s, while also being reasonably small enough to be transported on CDs and DVDs. The music tracks used in satellite radio are cataloged using a similar system to the MP3 cataloging criteria, the ID3 tags. The choice for the music tracks that will be played is made by each channel individually. The DJ selecting the tracks usually chooses about 20-30 minutes worth of music. The DJ has to listen to the tracks to make sure they are in proper condition and then simply lets the computer decode the original file. The same thing is repeated once the initial 20-30 minutes are exhausted and the music playing cycle repeats itself.

Sound encoding in satellite radio

Encoding is one of the key elements of digital radio. Each channel is handled by a different encoder. The encoder basically takes the analog file and turns it into a digital one. The digitalization process is made in real time and the music files are transformed into 1′s and 0′s. This process is carried out by powerful computers that analyze sound waves and frequency and break them into binary code. The encoding process is carried out at 128kb/s, 44.1Kh which is actually CD quality. After the song is encoded, it is transmitted to a multiplexer where other channels are also present – the multiplexer basically takes all the channels of the satellite radio provider and combines them into a single broadcast transmission. The data is then sent to a satellite modem device which modulates the data and sends it to the broadcaster’s satellites, using unique transmission frequencies.
What happens above the Earth
Here is where the satellites are located. They receive the transmission and transmit it to the receivers we have in our homes and cars. The satellites are located at 23,000 miles above us – both Sirius and XM Radio use satellites located at this distance from the Earth. The satellites are located in geo-sync, which means that hey orbit above the location they are designated to service at all times. When the satellite receives the transmission encoded at 128kb/s, 44.1 khz it rebroadcasts it to the geographical area it covers. Both Sirius and XM Radio use satellites that cover certain areas of the United states – mostly the East and West coasts. For example, one of XM Radio’s satellites covers the western part of USA, probably an area located roughly from Seattle to San Diego on the West and Minneapolis to Houston on the east. The increased sound quality is possible because the broadcasted data (music tracks, news, sports transmission) don’t get sliced up too many times in the decoding process.

The antenna

The antenna connected to your satellite radio receiver picks up the transmission on L-Band. The recent technological advances have allowed digital radio broadcasters to create receivers small enough to fit mobile locations. In the early days of satellite radio, a large parabolic dish would have to be mounted on the car in order to receive signal. Also, before the more compact receivers were created, the early satellite radio receivers needed electronic movements that directed the dish towards the satellite line of sight. Modern flat panel receivers have eliminated all the problems of their predecessors and can be fitted almost anywhere without taking up too much space.
The receiver and the output
The receiver is the device that decodes the data, basically doing the exact opposite of what the encoding process was like. After receiving the signal from the antenna it amplifies it and converts it to usable sound. The car or home audio system is then able to play the selected satellite radio channel. The rest of the process is exactly like analog broadcasts would work, with an amplifier and speakers outputting the sound.

PPPPP

(word count 659)

The success of satellite radio

The entertainment industry is one of the most dynamic and attractive ones, and satellite radio has recently captured a large share of it. Audio entertainment products are highly popular today and there is a wide variety of choices when it comes to having good music in your car: regular CD players, car CD players with storage space or MP3 players. When it comes to radio however, there is an even bigger divide – you can listen to or go with one of the new satellite radio offers. The popularity of satellite radio broadcasting has gone sky-high in the past years mostly because it has some exciting benefits that commercial FM/AM programming simply cannot offer. Analog radio stations are not able to broadcast the full range of sounds available through digital satellite radio and this has a noticeable impact on sound quality. Digital radio programs are broadcast through a satellite – this means that users don’t have to switch radio stations every time they get out of a certain geographical area, as the signal is countrywide. Traditional to FM and AM broadcasts have different forms of noise disturbances – satellite radio eliminates this problem as the quality is very close to that of the original tracks it is playing.

Technology and content

Because satellite radio uses such high tech instruments (satellites, small portable receivers) many still perceive it as unapproachable and prefer to stick with traditional radio. Most young people, however, can’t wait to get their hands on the latest in technological advancements, so satellite radio is perfect for this age group. The price you had to pay for satellite radio one or two years ago was a bit high for many who decide to enjoy traditional, commercial radio stations instead, as they are free. Today however, for a subscription of around $12 per month, you can receive dozens of excellent news, sports and music radio channels. And the best thing is that they are commercial free. In many ways, satellite radio became popular following the idea of DirecTV’s success – the difference was made through superior broadcast quality, excellent geographical coverage and content. This is in fact the main issue satellite radio broadcasters and terrestrial radio stations are looking at – high quality content is actually the most flexible field where subscribers or listeners can be won or lost. In order to get valuable radio content, many satellite radio offers were made to popular media topics. MLB broadcasts, for example, might be broadcast exclusively on satellite radio stations. Although this is still an assumption, chances are that more and more popular US topics will be exclusively available on different satellite radio programs, whether they are from Sirius, XM Radio or from some new broadcasters that will join the market.

It all comes down to what the consumer wants

And it’s true – it does come to that. Some laughed at the idea of paying for radio – for as long as we have known, radio programs were free. However, the satellite radio industry only followed in the footsteps of cable TV – although all Americans can receive free programs with UHF and VHF antennas, over 80% are willing to pay monthly subscription fees. With $9.95/month for XM and $12.95/month for Sirius, accessibility to satellite radio broadcasts is high and anyone can afford to subscribe. And the truth is that satellite radios have proved, once again, that sometimes a consumer is ready to pay for something they used to get for free as long as the commercials are eliminated. In many cases, out of an hour of radio broadcasting, around 12-15 minutes are commercials – people don’t want such interruptions in their radio programs. Both Sirius and XM Radio knew this when they launched their paid subscription services and they were right, as each company has millions of subscribers today. The satellite radio craze got even larger when it met the auto manufacturing industry – today almost all major manufacturers offer satellite radio receivers as standard or optional with each of their models.

PPPPP

(word count 668)

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.

PPPPP

(word count 669)

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.

PPPPP

(word count 653)

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.

PPPPP

(word count 727)

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.

PPPPP

(word count 518)

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.

PPPPP

(word count 697)

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.

PPPPP

(word count 526)