Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Beginning in the early 1990‚Äôs, the Federal Communications Commission began with a new class of radio service providers: SDARS (satellite digital audio radio service). The first, XM, was begun in 1992 and began delivering services in 2001, and Sirius was second coming soon afterwards.
The primary difference in services from standard radio was that satellite radio providers services was transmitted from satellites in orbit around the world in the same manner as television providers do, and the signals are a higher quality than regular radio. Special receivers are used to decode the digital signals. A wider selection of services is available to subscribers than with traditional radio, and the content is commercial-free. Satellite providers are not restricted by the Federal Communications Commission. Consumers who desire this excellent service may subscribe to either XM Satellite or Sirius Satellite or both. Digital channels may also be streamed via the internet for subscribers. There are millions of satisfied consumers all over the United States. Satellite radio gives the consumer the power to choose what he or she wants to hear ‚Äì whenever and wherever you want to listen. XM is the leading provider offering 160 digital channels with 100 percent commercial-free music. There are over 30 channels of news, sports, talk and entertainment programming, and over 20 channels of instant traffic and weather updates. The play list is astronomical with access to over 2 million song titles. XM services are transmitted by 2 Boeing Geostationary satellites, and Sirius services are transmitted by 3 Loral Geosynchronous orbit satellites. Their signal strength is limited to XM being heard in the entire continental United States and Canada, and Sirius being heard in all of North America, including Canada and Alaska. Pricing is the same with both the monthly charges being $12.95. XM offers a savings of $8.00 per month for a 2-year prepaid account and $6.99 per month for a family account for 2 to 5 radios. Sirius offers a discount of $10.00 per month with 1-year prepaid accounts and $6.99 per month for a family account of up to 4 radios. Activation charges differ by 1 penny ‚Äì $9.99 charged by XM and $10.00 charged by Sirius ‚Äì both if done online. Sirius also offers an additional $5.00 saving if service is activated online. There is a nickel difference if activated by phone with XM charging $14.95 and Sirius charging $15.00. XM offers to mail a monthly statement for a charge of $2 per month, and they have a $50 equipment charge for ‚ÄòPCR‚Äô equipment. Both provide free internet music for subscribers, and XM offers music to non subscribers for $7.99 per month. Both have easy installation of Plug and Play, and with very little difference in the equipment offered. Both have more than 120 channels of radio listening pleasure with XM having 65 streams and Sirius having 68 streams of music. Sirius is commercial free and XM has few commercials. Sirius has exclusives of NBA, NFL, and NHL where XM has exclusives of NASCAR, MLB, and PGA Tour Network. Both have ESPN Radio and News streams as well as additional sports streams. Both have wonderful Entertainment talk programming with Sirius hosting Howard Stern and Martha Stewart, and XM hosting Opie & Anthony. XM and Sirius have news channels, children‚Äôs programming of Radio Disney and more. Both feature Traffic & Weather programs and both are partnered with popular automobile producers and some airline companies and both have promotional programs designed to save money for the consumer. The Support Service is notably different with XM having support and service available Monday ‚Äì Saturday from 6 AM ‚Äì 2 AM ET, and Sundays from 8 AM to 8 PM ET. Sirius has support and service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This feature alone can be worth a lot to many consumers. And last but by no means least, both have online ordering information. If you are considering joining the millions of happy listeners, click on XM or Sirius to read more about these services and place your order today.