Satellite radio

The various services are proprietary signals, requiring specialized hardware for decoding and playback. It is a type of direct broadcast satellite and is strong enough that it requires no satellite dish to receive.

A satellite radio or subscription radio (SR) is a digital radio signal that is broadcast by a communications satellite, which covers a much wider geographical range than terrestrial radio signals. Satellite radio offers a meaningful alternative to ground-based radio services in some countries, notably the United States. The applicants had until 13 November 2005, to notify the CRTC of their decision.

As of 2008, the following manufacturers offer satellite radio as original equipment: Sirius has an exclusive contract for VW and Audi vehicles from 2007 through 2012 One of the challenges for satellite radio has been to move away from cars and into the homes of consumers. Since only a certain amount of bandwidth is available within the licenses available, adding more channels means that the quality on some channels must be reduced.

Lobbyists complained that the CRTC decision did not require enough Canadian content from the broadcasters. The CHUM service is all-Canadian; the other two applications propose to offer a mix of Canadian-produced channels and existing channels from their American partner services. A small grey market already exists for Sirius and XM receivers in Canada in which a Canadian would have an American order their receiver and setup. On June 16, 2005, the CRTC approved all three services. In its decision, the CRTC required the following conditions from the satellite radio licensees: These conditions were an extension of the existing Canadian content rules applicable to all broadcasters in Canada.

The Pioneer Inno and Samsung Helix for XM were among the first portable receivers to offer the ability of recording live content for playback later. Curvature of the earth limits the reach of the signal, but due to the high orbit of the satellites, two or three are usually sufficient to provide coverage for an entire continent. Local repeaters similar to broadcast translator boosters enable signals to be available even if the view of the satellite is blocked, for example, by skyscrapers in a large town.

This required Sirius and XM to pull several of their models off the shelf and fix the problem. However, the FCC has tried in the past to expand its reach to regulate content to satellite radio and cable television, and its options are still open to attempt such in the future.

With these changes any customer buying a new satellite radio receiver doesn t achieve nearly the broadcast distance as the old models. Three applications were filed: one by Standard Broadcasting and the CBC in partnership with Sirius, one by Canadian Satellite Radio in partnership with XM, and one at the last minute by CHUM Limited and Astral Media. The first two would use the same systems already set up for the U.S., while CHUM s application was for a subscription radio service delivered through existing terrestrial DAB transmitters rather than directly by satellite (although satellites would be used to deliver programming to the transmitters).

However, the best reception will be received outdoors in the open. In the United States and Canada, one holding company, Sirius XM Radio, operates the two satellite radio services, after a merger (technically the acquisition of XM by Sirius) in July 2008. The net difference is that the Sirius signal comes from a higher elevation angle in the northern part of the U.S.

and even more so in Canada. Some channels have near CD-quality audio, and others use low-bandwidth audio suitable only for speech.

In areas where tall buildings, bridges, or even parking garages obscure the signal, repeaters can be placed to make the signal available to listeners. Radio services are usually provided by commercial ventures and are subscription-based. The broadcasters responded by promising to add additional Canadian and French content. After vigorous lobbying from both sides, the federal cabinet officially accepted the CRTC decision on September 10, 2005. XM satellite radio was launched in Canada on November 29, 2005.

Both the frequency response and the dynamic range of satellite channels can be superior to most, but not all AM or FM radio stations, as most AM and FM stations clip the audio peaks to sound louder; even the worst channels are still superior to most AM radios, but a very few AM tuners are equal to or better than the best FM or satellite broadcasts when tuned to a local station, even if not capable of stereo. Thus in the UK and some other countries, the contemporary evolution of radio services is focused on Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) services or HD Radio, rather than satellite radio. Satellite radio, particularly in the United States, has become a major provider of background music to businesses such as hotels, retail chains, and restaurants.

Compared to old-line competitors such as Muzak, satellite radio s significantly lower price, commercial-free channel variety, and more reliable technology make it a very attractive option. Satellite radio uses the 2.3 GHz S band in North America and generally shares the 1.4 GHz L band with local Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) stations elsewhere. Some XM music channels have commercials, while Sirius is commercial-free.

In addition, both XM and Sirius carry programming that is simply not feasible on commercial radio stations. These however, feature built-in antennas that receive the satellite signal, and come with rechargeable batteries.

(This higher angle makes Sirius signal less likely to drop out on cities, but more likely to drop out in parking garages, gas stations, tunnels, and other covered spaces.) Both services are available mainly via portable receivers in automobiles, but both have many accessories so one can listen at home through a home stereo, with a portable boombox, or online through a personal computer. Since these external FM Transmitters are Part 15 compliant they can broadcast the signal further than the new internal FM Transmitters now included in the satellite radios and still be legal.

Mobile services, such as Sirius, XM, and Worldspace, allow listeners to roam across an entire continent, listening to the same audio programming anywhere they go. This method also allows local programming to be transmitted such as traffic and weather in most major metropolitan areas, as of March 2004. Each receiver has an Electronic Serial Number (ESN) Radio ID to identify it.

The FCC does issue licenses to both satellite radio providers (XM and Sirius) and controls who holds these licenses to broadcast. 6 Degree of content regulation varies by country; however, the majority of industrialized nations have regulations regarding obscene and/or objectionable content. Portable satellite radios let you listen to satellite radio just about anywhere you go. Sirius XM has attempted to convince automakers to equip vehicles with their receiver.

XM uses fixed-location geostationary satellites in two positions, and Sirius uses three geosynchronous satellites in highly elliptical orbits passing over North and South America, to transmit the digital streams. The FCC was claiming that the emissions of the internal FM Transmitters were too powerful and needed to be lowered.

Specialty stations cover things such as family talk, radio drama, classical music, and live events. The footprint of both Sirius and XM is only the United States (not including Alaska), Canada, and the upper third of Mexico; it does not cover Hawaii as satellite TV does. As of July 29, 2008 Sirius XM claims over 18.5 million subscribers. Canadian Satellite Radio and Sirius Canada countered that CHUM was simply trying to create a monopoly in the Canadian market. In late August 2005, Heritage Minister Liza Frulla asked the Federal Cabinet to review the CRTC decision and possibly send it back to the CRTC for further review.

Reception can be tricky however, being blocked by buildings and tall trees, and sometimes by your own body depending you the way you are facing and how you are carrying it. One critical factor for the success of satellite radio is the deployment of in-car receivers.

When a unit is activated with a subscription, an authorization code is sent in the digital stream telling the receiver to allow access to the blocked channels. The table applies primarily to the United States. ² The sound quality with both satellite radio providers and DTR providers varies with each channel.

A stop at any truck stop will demonstrate the popularity of XM among long-haul drivers. They are very similar to standard portable music players, designed for music on the go.

In the US, all stations are required to have periodic station identifications and public service announcements. 5 In the United States, the FCC regulates technical broadcast spectrum only. One bump in the road to becoming more widely used in the home was both Sirius and XM running into legal issues in early 2006 with the FCC about their internal FM Transmitters.

Thus allowing for satellite radio to compete more fully with MP3 players. While key agreements with automobile manufacturers are still being made, both companies have made the leap away from satellite radio only in the car and into the homes of consumers. by taking the signal received and then broadcasting it to multiple points throughout the home at the same time and avoid having to bring the satellite radio with them as they move around the home) it has led many subscribers to use an external Personal FM transmitter like the Whole House FM Transmitter, C.

Most services have at least one free to air or in the clear (ITC) channel as a test. AM does not suffer from multipath distortion or flutter in a moving vehicle like FM, nor does it become silent as you go behind a big hill like satellite radio. ³ Some satellite radio services and DTR services act as in situ repeaters for local AM/FM stations and thus feature a high frequency of interruption. 4 Nonprofit stations and public radio networks such as CBC/Radio-Canada, NPR, and PRI-affiliated stations and the BBC are commercial-free.

Providers usually carry a variety of news, weather, sports, and music channels, with the music channels generally being commercial-free. In areas with a relatively high population density, it is easier and less expensive to reach the bulk of the population with terrestrial broadcasts. A monthly fee is charged for both services (as of 2005, Sirius also offers a one-time fee of nearly $500 valid for the lifetime of the equipment; however, there is a $70.00 USD fee for switching receiver, and this may be done only three times ever).

Both services have commercial-free music stations, as well as talk and news stations, some of which include commercials. (All prices are in Canadian dollars.) The CHUM/Astral service never launched, and its license expired on June 16, 2007. Eutelsat W2A satellite carrying a Solaris Mobile ( an Eutelsat and SES Astra joint venture) DVB-SH S band payload was launched on 3 April 2009. WorldSpace Europe () will use ETSI SDR for their new networks covering Europe. .

These external FM transmitters may prevent a slow down in the progress already made into the home consumer market for Sirius and XM satellite radio. Satellite radio technology was inducted into the Space Foundation Space Technology Hall of Fame in 2002. On November 1, 2004, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) began hearing applications for Canada s first satellite radio operations. Both services now have some form of receiver that is completely portable. Satellite radio s chief asset is the fact that it is not localized: drivers can receive the same programming anywhere in the footprint of the service.

Since this is a key point in the ability to use a satellite radio in the home (i.e. Crane Company, Griffin Technology, etc.

Other services, such as Music Choice or Muzak s satellite-delivered content, require a fixed-location receiver and a dish antenna. Program content is unregulated.

In all cases, the antenna must have a clear view to the satellites. to replace the lower powered internal FM Transmitter.

Sirius followed later on December 1, 2005. Also, XM Canada succeeded in getting an extra five channels of National Hockey League Play-by-Play onto their platform, without an additional channel creation, by agreeing to cover every Canadian team s game during the season. CHUM appealed the decision, claiming they would not survive if Sirius and XM both were allowed in the Canadian market, and that the licence conditions regarding Canadian content imposed on Canadian Satellite Radio and Sirius Canada were too lax.

In fact, all you have to do is plug in headphones, and you can easily listen to and carry them around easily. Major tunnels can also have repeaters.

Both companies managed to negotiate the standards a little to their favor, and in return, they would instead play 50% French content as opposed to 25%. For example, Sirius uses channel 184, Sirius Weather & Emergency. Most (if not all) of the systems in use now are proprietary, using different codecs for audio data compression, different modulation techniques, and/or different methods for encryption and conditional access. Like other radio services, satellite radio also transmits program-associated data (PAD or metadata), with the artist and title of each song or program and possibly the name of the channel. Satellite radio differs from AM or FM radio and digital television radio (or DTR) in the following ways.

Monthly subscription rates are $12.99 for XM (85 channels) with a one-time activation fee of $19.99 and $14.99 for Sirius with a one-time activation fee of $19.99 (100 channels).