What Is Satellite Radio And How Does It Work?

Satellite radio is the latest trend in the world of radio entertainment. It is also known as subscription radio and pay radio. This is due to the fact that a paid subscription is required in order to access it. The reason for the paid subscription is because it has programs that are not offered by traditional AM and FM stations.

How Does Satellite Radio Work?

As the name implies, satellite radio uses satellites to send the programs to listeners. The radio signal goes from the earth-based stations to the space satellites, then back down to the radio receivers. The signals reach a much larger area than regular radio antennas. Satellite radio is now available to most of the world.

What is Needed to Listen to Satellite Radio?

To begin enjoying this service, you will need the actual satellite radio. This is also known as a receiver or tuner. An antenna is also required. You will need a subscription to one of the providers in order to get the programming on your receiver. Three such providers are:

WorldSpace-available in Europe, Asia and Africa.
XM Radio-available in North America.
Sirius-also available in North America.

Because the providers have exclusive rights to the individual radio signals that they send out, each has different hardware that pick up these individual signals. Each receiver has a Radio ID, or serial number. Once you have a subscription, you will get an activation code that will allow you to begin receiving the radio signals.

What Types of Satellite Radios are there?

There are three types of satellite radios to choose from. They are:

Dedicated car or home radio. As the names imply, the signal is picked up by your car or home stereo systems.

Plug and Play Radio. With this system you can listen to the radio in either your home or your car, with just one subscription.

Portable radio. This radio features a rechargeable battery. The antenna is built in and you can listen to it with headphones. You can take this type of radio wherever you go.

What are the Benefits of Satellite Radio?

The benefits of satellite radio are many. These include:

Clear, static free reception
It's almost totally commercial free.
More than 100 programs that span different types of music.
Exclusive talk shows, news, sports, cultural and educational programs. From Howard Stern to Martha Stewart, there's something for everyone.
The data transmitted includes the name and artist of songs and programs, as well as the channel. With this feature you can easily choose what you want to listen to.

Although some may question why they should pay for radio when they can listen to free FM and AM stations, more and more people are choosing satellite radio subscriptions. With so many choices of music and programs to listen to and the virtual commercial free environment, they consider it well worth the price.


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