What is Satellite Radio and SiriusXM for your car?

SiriusXM Satellite Radio at Audiosport Escondido.

Communication technology has exploded into amazing new realms of innovation since radios were popularized in the early 20th century, but overall, radio broadcasting has remained virtually unchanged. Local radio stations across the country still provide music, news, talk shows, and other entertainment to a limited geographic area, free of charge to the public. But since the dawn of the 21st century, a new type of radio broadcasting has experienced its own explosion of popularity and prominence, and while it might not spell the end of the traditional radio, satellite radio is certainly giving it a run for its money.  

What is satellite radio?

Traditional, or terrestrial, radio uses tall towers to transmit radio signals within a limited area, but satellite radio has a significantly wider reach by using satellites in space. As the satellites orbit the planet, broadcasting stations on the surface beam up their programming, which is then transmitted to specialized antennas on homes, cars, and portable radios. There are also several terrestrial “repeaters” stationed across the country to ensure the signal can get past tall buildings and other signal obstacles.

What are the benefits of satellite radio?

The biggest selling point of satellite radio is the range—instead of being limited to a small geographic area like local radio stations, satellite radio service spans the entire US and parts of Canada and Mexico, as well as a few hundred miles off the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico. And in addition to uninterrupted service coast-to-coast and hundreds of music, news, sports, talk and entertainment channels to choose from, satellite radio also boasts complete freedom from commercials—the primary source of revenue for local radio stations.

Who was the first satellite radio provider?

In 1992, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated a satellite spectrum for the broadcasting of satellite-based digital radio service. A few years later, the FCC granted two licenses, one to Sirius Satellite Radio and one to XM Satellite Radio. XM radio was the first to launch a satellite into space in March 2001, with its first broadcast premiering in September that year. Sirius radio programming premiered in February 2002.

Why did Sirius and XM satellite radio merge?

Most industries benefit from a little healthy competition, but less than a decade into operation, XM and Sirius discovered that competing against each other was actually doing more harm than good. Overlapping stations and duplicated marketing expenditures were driving up programming costs for both, so executives at the two companies decided that a merger was the best way forward. After a 57-week review process, the US Department of Justice approved the SiriusXM radio merger in March 2008.

What kind of programming is available at SiriusXM?

SiriusXM offers over 175 channels with its all-access package, including 72 commercial-free music stations, 22 talk radio and entertainment show channels, 15 news stations, 11 sports talk and play-by-play channels, plus comedy, traffic and weather, and several Spanish language channels. The most popular channels include Classic Vinyl, 90s on 9, Soul Town, NPR Now, and of course, the most famous terrestrial-to-satellite radio transplant, Howard Stern.

Ready to expand your radio horizons while driving your car in Escondido?

If you want to upgrade your car’s radio capabilities and enjoy uninterrupted music, talk and sports radio with coast-to-coast coverage, Audiosport can help you select the right satellite radio equipment for your needs and budget. We have a wide variety of SiriusXM players to choose from, and our professional installation services guarantee that everything works as it should from the moment you turn it on.

Give us a call or stop by our Escondido location today. Call (760) 743-2333.