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Click to Compare XM and SIRIUS Satellite Radio prices, streams (channels) and service.
Are you a music lover with wide-ranging tastes? Do you want to stay up to date with the latest news and new music? Do you spend a lot of time driving and get irritated when the signal breaks up or you lose the station altogether? Are you a resident of a rural area with no satisfactory radio options? Do you want to listen to what you want, when you want? Satellite radio can make your dreams come true.
There are two companies providing satellite radio - Sirius Radio and XM Radio. Both Sirius and XM Radio offer over 100 channels (Sirius calls them 'streams') of music, news, sports, talk and entertainment.
The next generation of radio is here
Satellite Radio or Digital Audio Radio Service (DARS) is a subscriber based radio service that broadcasts its signal from satellites. Subscribers can receive more than 100 radio channels featuring CD digital quality music, news, weather, sports, talk radio and other entertainment channels.
TV and Video
Both Sirius Radio and XM Radio also offer a limited number of television and movie channels. This feature is especially great for the busy mom ferrying kids around town.
Countrywide Reception with No Static
Most radio signals can only travel about 30 to 40 miles from their broadcasting source. Now, there is radio that can broadcast its signal from more than 22,000 miles away and come through on your car radio with complete clarity. You could drive from Los Angeles to New York without ever having to change the radio station! This includes the deserts of Arizona, a section of road known for its lack of quality radio entertainment! Just think - few or no commercials, no static - only your favorite tunes - one after another for as long as you want.
There are no ads on music channels!. Although there are some on the sports, news, talk and entertainment channels, they are less frequent than on conventional radio.
Get It In Your Car
Car manufacturers have been installing satellite radio receivers in some models for years. Sirius comes in nearly 80 different car models, including Ford and Chrysler. XM is offered in 120 different models, including those of Honda and GM. Our satellite car radio chart lists which car makes offer which service.
It's Portable - Carry It With You
Several models of portable satellite radio and TV receivers are available from a variety of electronics companies. So you can get it on your motorcycle, in your home, on your boat, or you can listen at work, as you exercise or walk on the beach, where ever you are.
Types of Music
Easy Listening, Top 40, Soft Rock, Jazz, Hard Rock, All Elvis, Country, Christian, Garage Bands, Love Songs, Disco, Heavy Metal, Acoustic Rock, R & B, Sole, Hits or Classic Rock from the 60's. 70's, 80's or 90's and much more can all be found on satellite radio. There are even a few stations broadcast all en Español.
Receive the NFL, NBA, NHL, college sports, NASCAR races and even English soccer. Get your favorite sports live or catch up on games you missed. Some tuners allow you to enter your favorite sports team into memory. The radio will automatically alert you when they're playing and give you the option of tuning to the appropriate channel.
Choose your own point of view or topic. From the liberal network Air America to the more conservative, satellite radio has it. Also Court TV, Wisdom Radio, Howard Stern, Oprah Winfrey and Friends or a myriad of spirituality channels. Other stations talk about books plus there are plenty of other interesting talk stations, including Discovery Radio and get this - there is even a truckers channel!
Need a good laugh? Comedy is available - like the old time shows of Jack Benny, Burns & Allen, Bob Hope, Fibber McGee and Molly - to uncensored comedy from the likes of George Carlin, Margaret Cho, Cheech and Chong, Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock. There is also E! Entertainment Radio - E! True Hollywood Story and Celebrity Profile. You can even get classic radio shows like the Lone Ranger, The Shadow and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.
Who Offers Satellite Radio?
At this time, there are two space-based radio broadcasters:
In September 2001, XM Satellite Radio, based in Washington, D.C., officially launched the first U.S. digital satellite radio service - "Radio to the Power of X" - featuring 100 coast-to-coast, digital channels of music and information.
Sirius Satellite Radio is based out of New York City and was initially called CD Radio. The official launch date for Sirius was July 1, 2002.
Outside of the United States there is a third company with a far-reaching international presence. WorldSpace, which was up and running before the U.S. companies got their services underway, operates AfriStar and AsiaStar and AmeriStar with service to South America and parts of Mexico.
Decide on the Equipment
Subscribers need to purchase a special receiver, a radio tuner and an antenna. The sky's the limit for fancy gear, nifty features and the latest options. But to get you started with the basics, it will cost about $150 at retailers such as Wal-Mart, Sears, Best Buy or Circuit City.
The receiver can either be a small device that hooks up to your home stereo or it can be a dedicated radio that's installed in your car or boat. Most receivers cost between $70 and $300, depending on the manufacturer, installation costs and optional extras.
Note that neither broadcaster (Sirius or XM) can receive the other companies programs.
Read more about satellite radio equipment.
On top of the cost of the receiver, you need pay a monthly subscription fee. The current broadcasters charge about $12.95 per month.
Feature Rich Tuners
Since so many channels are available, the satellite radio tuners display essential information about what's playing plus they have a variety of ways to find the programming you are looking for. All tuners have multiple display settings that allow you to customize your screen content. Typically what you see is the channel name and number, the artist's name and the song title. They also have plenty of channel presets and, at minimum, a category search function that allows you to scroll through the channels under a particular genre. You can check what's playing on other channels without tuning away from the one you are currently listening to - a great advantage over conventional analog radio.
You can also search by artist or song title and they help you memorize the artist and titles. You can use this information for reference ("I want to remember or buy that new song I liked so much?") or to have the radio alert you when one of those songs is playing on a different channel. Very cool.
You can also record a song, repeat the segment or, in many cases, pick up where you left off if you were interrupted. All in all, it's radio entertainment and listening features you've always wanted but never realized.
Record Satellite Radio programming as MP3 files. You can record only those songs and artists you want. You can also record songs in their entirety even if you hit record after the song has started.
Hook it up to your computer. It uses the computer as the tuner but it doesn't bog down your processor because it isn't an Internet connection. You can even hook it up to your stereo or CD player.
What are you Waiting For?
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