Satellite Radio for Home

XM onyX Satellite Radio Receiver, Car Kit, Home Kit Bundle

By Steve Guttenberg and Matthew Moskovciak
(updated March 1, 2005)

The two satellite radio companies, Sirius Radio and XM Satellite Radio, are on a roll. They're attracting top-drawer on-air talent while offering gobs of new music, news channels, and new services. If you're tired of AM and FM radio's unrelenting blitz of commercials and pitifully lame music programming, check out satellite radio.

The satellite moniker isn't just a high-tech affectation. XM maintains two satellites nicknamed Rock and Roll, and Sirius has three satellites of its own hovering over the United States. Sirius's original programming originates from its studios in New York, while XM Radio's studios are based in Washington, D.C.

What's so special about satellite radio?
No commercials on music stations. Since satellite radio's business model is based on subscriptions, the bulk of the income comes from listeners, not advertisers. Each satellite service offers close to 70 commercial-free music channels, so there's plenty of opportunity to sample mainstream and far-flung musical tastes. There are dedicated channels for rock, pop, rap, hip-hop, show tunes, opera, classical, country and western, jazz, electronica/dance, folk music, blues, latin, world music--it's all there.

No static. Poor AM/FM reception just plain sounds bad, but satellite reception is a strictly go/no-go deal. Although the sound quality isn't affected by the strength of the signal, weak signal strength increases the likelihood of sound dropouts. Once you have the signal, it's always quiet and static-free.

Artist/title readout. Satellite radio receivers continuously display the artist's name and the song title. It's a great convenience never to have to wait to hear a DJ announce a tune--and while that may not sound like a big deal, we found ourselves constantly checking the display to see what we were listening to.

Uncensored. In this post-Janet Jackson boob-paranoia age, broadcast radio will be more uptight than it has been in years. At least for now, Sirius and XM are offering completely uncensored stand-up comedy and hip-hop programming! Get it while you can.

Local traffic and weather. Sure, it's not as local as your "Traffic on the Fives" commuter station, but nationwide broadcasters Sirius and XM do manage to offer weather and traffic reports in selected major markets. If you live in a major U.S. city, chances are you can tune in to one of these channels and hear updates every five minutes or so on local traffic and weather conditions.


2011-12-04 16:44:18 by CLisDaBest

What are options for home radio listening?

I currently have a Sony stereo at home which I use for listening to the radio. I like alot of local/college stations.
I also use my stereo for playing CDs, the occasional cassette tape (from my old school radio recording days!), and I also have a cable connected to my stereo that I use for playing my MP3 player through my stereo, as well as for watching DVDs so that the sound comes through the stereo.
I think it's about time I get a new system, but I have no understanding of all the new options out there. I know there's something called Sirius radio or something....? satellite radio

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