Home Theater Review

 

Satellite Radio

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Satellite radio is a pay service available from the Sirius-XM corporation. It is most common in cars, though many A/V receivers have it built-in, along with many stand-alone products.

Fans of satellite radio point to the medium's ability to micro-niche-program content as one of the main reasons why they are so enthusiastic about the system. For example, satellite radio subscribers (who normally pay about $10 to $12 per month) can enjoy both home and away broadcasts of NFL game coverage or in-car audio from many of the top drivers during a NASCAR race.

The impact of Howard Stern on satellite radio has been powerful. Since coming over from terrestrial radio, the morning host has met and surpassed the lofty goals set for him by his employer, Sirius Radio, resulting in major stock options and bonuses. Other famous talent with their own shows include Martha Stewart, Oprah, Bob Dylan, Tony Hawk, and more.

Satellite Radio in Home Theater Systems

More and more often, consumers are finding that their AV receivers are satellite radio-ready. While they ultimately need to subscribe to receive the service, this is a new entry to the technology for many consumers, who find the niche programming to be rewarding compared to playing albums on compact disc. Make no mistake, though - satellite radio is not audiophile-quality audio. It is much closer in resolution to the lowest-grade MP3 files.

Recently, Apps became available for Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone, though all stations are not always available on the portable devices.

The Merger

Sirius and XM were once staunch competitors, but market pressure forced the two together in 2008. Together the companies operate nine satellites.

Read a review of the Sirius-XM iPhone App.

See a preview of the Sirius-XM Android App.