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Prices, Streams (Channels) and Service.
Do you love all kinds of music? Do you want to know the latest news? Do you lose your radio signal while you are driving? Do you live in a rural area with poor radio reception? Do you want to listen to what you want, when you want it?
Then satallite radio is for you.
Two companies provide satallite radio in the US - Sirrus Satellite Radio and XM Radio. Both companies offer well over 100 channels (SIRUS Radio calls them 'streams') of sports, music, talk, news and entertainment.
Satellite Radio - The Next Generation
Satellite Radio or Digital Audio Radio Service (DARS) is subscriber based radio.
Satallites are used to broadcast the signals. When you subscriber to either XM satalite radio or Sirius satelite digital radio, you can receive more than 100 radio channels featuring CD digital quality music (with few or no commercial), weather, news, sports, talk radio and other entertainment channels.
Video and TV
Both XM Radio and Sirius Staellite Radio also offer a limited number of movie and TV channels. This feature is helps the busy mom ferrying kids around town.
Static-Free Countrywide Reception
Most radio signals can travel only about thirty to forty miles from their source. But satallite radio broadcasts its signal from more than 22,000 miles away and it comes through on your car radio with complete clarity. You can drive from New York to Los Angeles without changing the radio station! You won't even lose the signal in the deserts of Arizona where there is little quality radio entertainment! Just think - few or even no commercials, no static interference - only the tunes you love - one after another with no interruption.
Little or No Advertising
Most music stations have no advertisements! The other channels have some, but they are far less frequent than on conventional radio.
Satallite Car Radio
For the past several years, car manufacturers have been installing satallite radio receivers in some models. SERIUS Satellite Radio is available as a feature in nearly 80 different car models, including Chrysler and Ford. XM satallite radio is available in 120 different models, including GM and Honda. Our satallite car radio guide shows which car makes offer XM radio and which offer SERIUS radio.
A variety of companies offer several different models of portable satallite radio and TV receivers. You can get a receiver which allows you to listen in you boat, on your motorcycle or car, at home, while exercising, walking on the beach or wherever.
Types of Music Available
You name it, they have it. Any kind of music you can think of - Top 40, Easy Listening, Soft Rock, Hard Rock, Jazz, Country, Christian, Love Songs, All Elvis, Garage Bands, Heavy Metal, R & B, Sole, Disco, Acoustic Rock, Hits or Classic Rock from the 60's. 70's, 80's or 90's and much more.
Sirius satallite radio broadcasts NBA, NFL, NHL, English Soccer and Horse Racing. XM satallite radio broadcasts Major League Baseball, Hockey - Including the Stanley Cup Playoffs, World Cup Soccer and NASCAR. Both stations broadcast college sports and sports talk.
Sports are broadcast live or you can catch up on games you missed. With some tuners you can enter your favorite sports team into memory. The receiver will automatically alert you when a game is on. Then you can choose to listen or not.
Whether you are liberal or conservative, you'll find interesting talk on your satellite radio. You'll also find Oprah Winfrey and Friends, Wisdom Radio, Court TV, Howard Stern and many spirituality channels.
You'll find stations that talk about books and plenty of other interesting talk radio stations, including Discovery Radio. And would you believe, there is even a truckers channel!
Entertainment and Comedy
You'll find the old time radio shows like Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Burns and Allen and Fibber McGee and Molly. You also find the other end of the spectrum with shows like Cheech and Chong, Maragret Cho, George Carlin, Chris Rock and Eddie Murphy.
You'll fine E! Entertainment Radio with True Hollywood story and celebrity profiles. You'll even find the real classic radio shows like The Shadow, The Lone Ranger and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.
Satallite Radio Companies
At this time, there are two satallite radio broadcasters - Sirius and XM Satalite Radio.
For a comparison of the two US companies, see our Sirius - XM comparison.
In September of 2001, XM Satalite Radio, based in Washington, D.C., launched the first digital satallite radio service in the United States. They called it "Radio to the Power of X." It featured 100 digital channels of music and information.
Sirius Satalite Radio, based in New York City, was originally called CD Radio. They launched their service on July 1, 2002.
WorldSpace was offering satallite service before either XM Radio or Sirius Radio. They have a far-reaching international presence with AfriStar, AsiaStar and AmeriStar.
Satellite Radio Equipment
To have access to satallite radio you need to subscribe and to purchase a special receiver, a radio tuner and an antenna. Many options for equipment are available. The basics will cost about $150 at retailers such as Sears, Wal-Mart, Circuit City or Best Buy.
Receivers can be either a device that hooks up to you stereo system or a dedicated receiver which is installed in your boat or car. The cost varies between $70 and $300 depending on who made it, what the installation cost is and what options you choose.
It is important to remember that XM Radio and Sirius Radio cannot receive each others broadcasts.
Read more about satallite radio equipment.
In addition to the cost of the equipment, there is a monthly subscription fee. Currently both companies charge about $12.95 per month.
Satallite Radio Feature Rich Tuners
Satallite radio tuners display information about what is playing. They also have several way of finding the program you want. All tuners allow you to customize the content on the screen. Usually what you will see is the channel number and name and if it is a song, the title and artist. There are many more channel presets than conventional radios. And there are category search functions where you can scroll through the channels for a particular type of music. You can also see what is playing on other stations without tuning out of the station you are on.
You can do a search by artist or song title. Artist and song titles are displayed which helps you remember them. You can flag a song you want to buy later or have the radio alert you when it is playing on a different channel.
If you want to you can record a song or repeat a segment of it. If you are interrupted, usually you can pick it up again when you return. All very amazing!
You can record satallite radio programming as MP3 files. Record only the songs and artists you want. Even if the song has started, you can still record it from the beginning.
You can hook up your satellite radio to your computer. The computer will act as the tuner. It will not bog down your processor because it is not an Internet connection. You can even hook up your stereo or CD player to your satellite radio.
Want To Know More?
Sirius XM Radio comparison.
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