Guide To Satellite Radios

By: Jim Johnson

Time and technology marches on and things that were considered impossible just a few years ago, are now almost routine. That applies to a lot of things in life, but certainly to the way that we are able to listen to radio broadcasting today.

Just a few years ago it was just accepted that if you tuned in to a particular radio station, you would lose reception and clarity if you were driving long distance and you would have to hunt around and find another station instead. It was also accepted that every broadcast would be filed with lots of ads that you didn't really want to hear, just so the radio station could turn a profit.

Well, now there are more choices to be ahd and technology has made a whole new way of broadcasting radio possible. It's called satellite radio and we will try to help you understand a few facts about it, because the more you know about it, the more you will no doubt appreciate what it can do for you.

First of all, conventional radio traditionally only travel around 30-50 miles with any clarity at all, and then they degrade rapidly. Much of that is due to the roundness of the earth and so as the signal goes out it can't follow the contour of the earth and so the signal is lost to the user. Satelliter radio has solved that issue altogether. As it's name implies, the signal is sent from satellites over 20,000 miles above the earth, so there is absolutely nothing that can obstruct the broadcast signal.

There are currently two major players in the US in this new field, Sirius and XM satellite radio. XM has two satellites in orbit and Sirius employs three. They are specifically timed and placed within orbit to maintain constant coverage of the US for about 16 hours at a time. What this means to you is that no matter where you go in the US and no matter what time of day or night, you will not lose reception, and can enjoy the programming that you like uninterrupted.

This feature alone of satellite radio is an incredible advantage over conventional ground-based radio stations. It comes in handy especially for folks who may live in rural areas that get very poor reception from standard radio, and for those that are long distance travelers. There is no hunting for stations as their reception fades. No having to listen to programming that you don't particularly like just because it's the only thing available in a particular area. Just crisp, clean programming all the time.

But there is lots more about satellite radio to be covered in Part 2 of this report.

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