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The use of Satellite radio systems is growing exponentially. The truth
is that no one should be surprised by the amazing numbers XM and
Sirius present. Beamed from satellites that move in high-angle
elliptical orbits over the U.S., satellite radio systems provide crisp
digital-quality sound to your home, office, boat, or car. You have lots
of programs to choose from, you don't need to change stations while
you travel and there are no interruptions.
Satellite radio continues to rack up new subscribers as it gives
listeners more choices in music streams, sports channels, equipment,
and transportability. To receive satellite radio you need a special
receiver and a subscription to Sirius or XM satellite services. At this
time, each has proprietary equipment, so that you'll have to choose
the equipment and service they want. You cannot change to the
other company without repurchasing new equipment.
Obviously, you can buy your new car with a built in satellite radio.
Only that these days you have more options, like portable satellite
radios. Let's have a look at the Sirius products. Sirius portable
satellite radio systems are made by Audiovox. The package includes
a portable radio tuner called a shuttle, a vehicle docking kit and a
home docking kit. This covers your whole daily spectrum, allowing
you to listen to satellite radio in your home or office as well as in
your automobile. You can also purchase docking kits for additional
cars or locations. Then, you simply take the shuttle with you, plug it
into the docking station and listen to satellite radio wherever you go.
The installation of the Sirius portable satellite radio is fairly easy. For
the car, the sticky backing of the shuttle base attaches to the
dashboard with simple pressure. The small magnetic satellite
antenna is made for placement on the outside of the roof of the car.
You can run the cable through the sunroof or a window or you can
perform a more professional installation. The antenna works fine
inside the back window of the car, so you can simply ran the wire
along the floor and over the back seat. The vehicle docking kit comes
with a power cable that fits into the cigarette lighter. You simply plug
the unit in, and find an unused FM frequency to broadcast the signal
out through your car speakers. If your car radio has a line-in jack,
you can connect the unit to that. The unit works well under either
The home docking kit includes a docking station to hold the shuttle,
an indoor/outdoor antenna, a power supply, and stereo cables. You
hook docking up to a radio with the included cables, plug in the
power supply, and place the antenna in a window or outside. You
will have to experiment with the antenna to get the best signal. If
there is a clear view of the sky from inside a window, the antenna
can simply sit on the windowsill. Run the antenna cable out a
window and place the antenna on your patio. The antenna is
weatherproof and can also be mounted to your house, if you prefer.
Once you have your equipment in place, you call Sirius to start your
service and you are on your way. Sirius has 65 channels of
commercial-free music and 50 channels of sports, news, and
entertainment. The stations are divided into categories so you can
easily find jazz, news, rock, classic, comedy, etc. Sirius has made
great inroads into the sporting world. Sirius is the official satellite
radio partner of both the NFL and the NHL, broadcasting regular
season games and post-season play. Sirius also has many choices
of customized programming. They are the exclusive satellite radio
carrier of NPR and Public Radio International. SIRIUS OutQ is a
stream of news, information, and entertainment specifically for the
Gay/Lesbian Bisexual/Transgender community. Sirius also has EWTN
and The Word for religious programming and they recently
announced an Eminem station and an All Elvis Channel.
The shuttle has a six-line display that shows the name of the channel
(called stream in satellite terminology), the stream number, category,
artist, song, title, and time. It has a large master control knob that
allows you to look at other streams while listening to any stream.
There are also 10 buttons for your favorite channels, a parental lock
out feature, and a wireless remote control.
Sirius charges $12.95 a month for their service. In order to compete
with XM radio, which charges $9.95 a month, they have recently
added other payment options. You can now get the service for $9.99
a month with a 12-month prepaid subscription. There is also a
$499.99 lifetime plan. One other recent change in the Sirius service
allows subscribers to listen to the 60+ commercial-free music
channels over the Internet. This is a big plus for many subscribers.
It's true, the monthly subscription fee is another bill, but if you love
to listen to the radio, satellite radio may be worthwhile for you.