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How Does Satellite Radio Work
Author: Gray Rollins

It looks like satellite radio is here to stay. With the availability of equipment and the benefits the service has to offer, it seems more and more people are choosing to use satellite radio. If you are wondering how satellite radio works, read on.

Satellite radio offers you commercial free radio. No more static, no more interrupted broadcasts; just hour after hour of uninterrupted music. And you wonít lose your favorite radio station as you cross the state. But you will have to pay for all this convenience.

Your dependable traditional radio wonít work for satellite radio, so youíll need to purchase a new radio and you will need to have it installed (unless you are purchase a portable system). The price of the new radio varies depending on the model you choose. Youíll also need to pay an activation fee and a monthly fee.

Think of satellite radio as an extension of cable. For your monthly fee youíll get edgier and less censored programming, innovative programming, more channels, and specialty channels. As an added convenience, while youíre listening to the music youíll see the name of the song and the artist name displayed which means no more confusion about whose song is playing.

Back in 1992 the FCC allocated the 2.3 GHz or S band for nationwide broadcasting of satellite based DARS. Four companies applied for licensing and two were granted licenses. The two that were granted licenses were Sirius and XM. Both already had satellites in orbit.

They operate by beaming their programming to their satellite, which then transmits the signal to the ground. Your satellite radio then picks up the channel you have selected to listen to.

For listeners that live in urban areas satellite signals can become interrupted, so the satellite providers also beam the signal to ground repeaters to ensure that doesnít happen.

Sirius was the first to offer commercial free programming on its music channels, but both Siruis and XM now have commercial free programming. Both are competitively priced. Currently, XM offers over 160 commercial free channels. Sirius has over 125 commercial free channels.

The special programming that Siruis and XM carry is the deciding factor of which service to choose for many people. Sirius carries NFL football games; XM carries college games. XM carries NASCAR races; Siruis has a Playboy channel. Sirius carries Howard Stern; XM carries Oprah.

Satellite radio is no longer the radio of the future. Itís the radio of today, and is being chosen over traditional radio programming by more and more people every day.

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Gray Rollins is a featured writer for SatelliteCritique.com. For our satellite radio guide and for satellite radio reviews, visit us.

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