Sirius radio, or more generally satellite radio, came out just a few years ago. If youíve never listened to satellite radio or heard about it, this article is your lucky break. In this article youíll find out what satellite radio is and how it works. What Is Satellite Radio?
Just like name indicates, satellite radio uses satellites and related equipment to broadcast radio channels to car or home radios. The concept really received its impetus in 1992 when FCC set aside a chunk of radio frequency for what they called Digital Audio Radio Service (DARS). Five years later, Sirius Radio and XM Satellite Radio purchased licenses from FCC, and both companies started putting pieces into place to be able to start broadcasting.
Conventional radio waves can only travel 35 to 45 miles before they die out. The signal for satellite radio services is broadcast more than 20,000 miles above Earthís surface. Programming on satellite radio is subscriber based, meaning you pay a monthly fee to descramble signal from satellites. But, most satellite radio service comes commercial free, so you donít have to worry about channel hopping. Channels include music, talk radio, sporting events, kids programs, and news. The Whoís Who of Satellite Radio
There are currently three major players in satellite radio game: Sirius radio, XM satellite radio, and WorldSpace. Sirius radio covers North America, including continental U.S., Canada, and Alaska. XM provides service in continental U.S. WorldSpace is developing coverage in other parts of world (Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America) and are definitely most ambitious in terms of client coverage (a potential of 4.6 billion clients covered on 5 different continents). Each company uses different satellite technology and methods to provide service in their respective areas.
Satellite radio equipment, such as car receivers and home stereos, are sold at a variety of consumer electronic stores, and are starting to become standard installations in new cars. Conventional radios cannot receive satellite radio transmissions, so picking up service usually entails purchasing a receiver, though some kits are available to make conventional radios satellite-radio compatible.