A satellite radio is a special radio that receives signals broadcast by satellite. This allows the listener to follow a single channel no matter where they are because the signal's reach is not limited by station power and curvature of the Earth. Satellite radio, also called digital radio, offers commercial and distortion free, CD quality music beamed to your car radio or home stereo from space.
We all have our favorite radio stations that we preset into our car radios or home stereos, flipping between stations as we drive to and from work, on errands and around town. But when you travel too far away from the source station, the signal breaks up and fades into static. Most radio signals can only travel about 30 or 40 miles from their source. On long trips passing through different cities, you might have to change radio stations every hour or so as the signals fade in and out. Obviously, it's not much fun scanning through static trying to find something to listen to.
Imagine a radio station that can broadcast its signal from more than 22,000 miles away, and then come through on your car radio or home stereo with complete clarity. You could drive from Anchorage, Alaska to Miami, Florida, without ever having to change the radio station! Not only would you ever hear static interfering with your favorite tunes, but the music would be interrupted by no commercials. Welcome to the world of satellite radio....commercial and distortion free listening from coast to coast!
Car manufacturers have installed satellite radio receivers in some of the latest model automobiles, and electronics companies have launched several models of portable satellite radio receivers. Satellite radio is also available for the home for commercial and distortion free listening enjoyment!
What are the two types of satellite radio?
In the United States, there are XM and Sirius.
XM is a service in the United States that provides digital programming directly from two satellites (nicknamed "Rock" and "Roll") in geostationary orbit above the equator, and a network of ground-based repeaters. It is based in Washington, DC.
XM's business model is to provide pay-for-service radio, with commercial-free music channels, analogous to the business model for premium cable television channels. They also provide other data services such as weather information for pilots and weather spotters. In addition, they transmit coded traffic information directly to navigation systems using TMC technology. Their service includes music channels, news, sports, talk and entertainment channels, premium channels, regional traffic and weather channels. The XM signal uses 12.5 MHz of the S band: 2332.5 to 2345.0 MHz. XM's competitor in the U.S. is Sirius.
Sirius is a (DARS) service in the United States that provides streams of music, sports, news and entertainment. The streams are broadcast from three satellites in an elliptical geosynchronous orbit above North America. Sirius is based in New York City. Its business model is to provide pay-for-service radio, free of commercials, analogous to the business model for cable television.
Sirius' spacecraft Sirius 1 through Sirius 4 was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral. The first three of the series were orbited in 2000 by Proton-K Block-DM3 launch vehicles. Sirius 4 is a ground spare, in storage at SS/Loral's facility in Palo Alto, California. Sirius was previously known as CD Radio. The dog in the Sirius logo is unofficially named "Mongo."