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What Is Satellite Radio?

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Chapter #1-What is Satellite Radio?

People all around the world have their favorite radio stations that are preset into car radios, flipping between them driving to and from work, on errands and around town. The only problem is, when traveling too far away from the source station, the signal breaks up and fades into static. Most radio signals can only travel about 30 or 40 miles from their source, in big market areas. Looking around Canada, there are many areas where terrestrial radio is just not available. On long trips, passing through different cities, radio stations may have to be changed every hour or so as the signals fade in and out. It's not much fun scanning through static trying to find something to listen to. Now, imagine a radio station that can broadcast its signal from more than 22,000 miles away and then come through on your car radio with complete clarity. Not only would you never hear static interfering with the music, but the music would be interrupted by few or no commercials---Satellite radio is here.

Satellite radio, also called digital radio, offers uninterrupted, near CD-quality music beamed to your radio from space. It may even be considered the greatest improvement since the dawn of the FM band. It's often referred to as satellite radio, but it's more precisely called subscription radio or pay-radio, as it isn't always delivered by satellite. It is always digital, though, and it allows listeners access to crystal-clear, CD-quality music, 24 hours a day, and it's mostly commercial-free. Most music stations are commercial free, where as the talk stations do advertise, quite a bit. Car manufacturers have been installing satellite radio receivers in some models for a few years now, and several models of portable satellite radio receivers are available from a variety of electronics companies.

Subscription radio is a digital radio that receives signals broadcast by communications satellite, which covers a much wider geographical range than terrestrial or traditional radio signals. Satellite radio functions any place there is line of sight between the antenna and the satellite, given there are no major obstructions, such as tunnels or buildings. Satellite radio audiences can follow a single channel regardless of location within a given range, because the technology requires access to a commercial satellite for signal



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