Satellite Radio 101

Satellite Over Earth

The entertainment industry is dynamic and lucrative, and satellite radio has recently captured a large audience.

Audio entertainment products are highly popular today and there is a wide variety of choices when it comes to having good music in your car: kicking it old school with a CD player, MP3 player, iPod or the good ol’ radio. But, now there are so many more options available through streaming; Spotify, Apple Music, etc. and SiriusXM Streaming Radio.

The popularity of satellite radio broadcasting has taken off in the past few years mostly because it has some exciting benefits that commercial FM/AM programming simply cannot offer, along with competitive pricing and availability as compared to other streaming services.

How is Satellite Radio different than traditional Analog Radio?
Analog radio stations are limited in the full range of sounds and sound quality they are able to deliver, digital satellite radio is able to deliver much more data through streaming, which allows it to deliver very high quality music that is not compressed, it has a noticeable impact on sound quality.

Digital radio programs and music are broadcasted through satellites, this means that users do not have to switch radio stations every time they get out of a certain geographical area, as the signal is countrywide and sometimes International.

Traditional FM/AM broadcasts have different forms of noise disturbances like static, or the classic sounds of frequency modulation and weird AM tuning noises; satellite radio eliminates this problem as it transmits the original data digitally and you hear the track it is playing in it’s original form.

Technology and Content
Because satellite radio uses such high tech instruments (satellites, small portable receivers) many still perceive it as unapproachable and to complicated to get into, as the late adopters prefer to stick with traditional radio. However, many young people and early adopters, can’t wait to get their hands on the latest in technological advancements, so satellite radio is perfect for this demographic.

Some people initially laughed at the idea of paying for radio because for as long as we have known, radio programs were free. However, the satellite radio industry followed in the footsteps of cable TV, although all Americans can receive free programs with UHF and VHF antennas, over 80% are willing to pay monthly subscription fees. The price you had to pay for satellite radio a few years ago was a bit high for many who decide to enjoy traditional, commercial radio stations instead, as they are free. Today however, for a subscription of around $10 per month or lower, you can receive dozens of excellent news, sports, and music radio channels, and the best thing is that they are commercial free for the most part.

The truth is that satellite radios have proved, once again, that sometimes a consumer is ready to pay for something they used to get for free as long as the commercials are eliminated and the product is appealing. In many cases, out of an hour of radio broadcasting, around 12-15 minutes are commercials and people do not want so many interruptions in their radio programs. Both Sirius and XM Radio knew this when they launched their paid subscription services that people are willing to pay for superior products and they were right, as there are millions of subscribers today.

In many ways, satellite radio became popular following the idea of DirecTV’s success; the difference was made through superior broadcast quality, excellent geographical coverage and content. This is in fact the main issue satellite radio broadcasters and terrestrial radio stations are looking at creating more high quality content, as it is actually the most flexible field where subscribers or listeners can be won or lost.

As of recent many Automakers have partnered with SiriusXM to offer promotional “Free” satellite radio for a limited time with the purchase of a new vehicle. This has had a significant impact on the growth of satellite radio installations and subscriptions. Today almost all major auto manufacturers offer satellite radio receivers as standard or optional with each of their models. Many new vehicles now come standard with satellite radio instead of a CD player, this is a significant sign that the norms are now changing.

The Straight up Advantages of Satellite Radio
One of the great advantages of satellite radio is the fact that the programs are not interrupted by commercials. This is because the provider’s income comes from listeners and not from advertisers. Satellite radio services offer over 100 channels of programs and commercial free music, you have a great variety of choices, from mainstream rock, hip-hop and dance music to folk music, opera, blues, news, talk radio, etc.

Another great thing about satellite radio is the absence of static and unwanted noise, you can drive from the West Coast to the East Coast of the United States and you will not get any static at all along the way. The satellite radio signal is digital, which means that you will get crystal-clear sound wherever you go.

Satellite radio tuners receive, along with the actual radio programs, an influx of metadata that consists of information regarding song title, artist, radio program and radio channel. This means that your satellite radio receiver will display all the necessary information about what you are listening to. For instance, if you hear a great song and you want to know which artist is performing it, you just look at the receiver’s display.

Satellite radio offers programs that are uncensored; this is one of the reasons why artists like Howard Stern chose to move their shows to the digital platform. You can also listen to your favorite songs without the interruption of those annoying “beep” and censor sounds.

Satellite radio programs also offer information about local traffic and weather conditions; the information is very detailed especially for those who live in big cities. If there is a major national calamity and other terrestrial radio stations will not work, there is a good you can count on getting accurate information from satellite radio programs. You can also listen to satellite radio online on your computer, tablet, phone, and across all your devices.

If you still are not convinced on why you should pay money for something that you can get for free, think about how much time you have wasted listening to commercials and all kinds of other boring stuff on terrestrial radio programs.

Traditional radio is not free, despite the popular belief. It is time-consuming and irritating because you have to listen to five minutes or more of commercials so that you can finally hear a song you like, with satellite radio subscriptions you get exactly the programs you want, which you can listen to wherever you are, at the best sound quality.

Satellite radio is great if you travel a lot, if you are traveling across the United States of America, for example, you can listen to the channel or channels you want during your whole trip, without losing signal or getting static. If you have a traditional radio, you will have to keep changing channels every hundred miles, but if you are using satellite radio you do not have to do that because the geographically availability of programs is not a problem.

Satellite radio subscribers may soon get the chance to watch video programs as well. SiriusXM have announced their intention of introducing in the near future a variety of video satellite channels that will have some of the great advantages that are currently available to satellite radio: commercial free programs, great quality of sound and vast geographical availability.

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