The development of Satellite radio in the United States
The satellite radio industry is dominated by two major players – Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio. Both companies charge a monthly fee for their services, but service payment plans often change to attract more customers. For example, starting in 2005 Sirius offers a $500 fee that is valid for the lifetime of the equipment. Sirius offers 65 music channels, without any commercials and traffic and weather reports for most of the major US cities. On the other hand, some of XM Radio’s channels did contain some commercials, but in much smaller quantities than those found on terrestrial radio channels. Today, XM has 67 commercial-free music channels, 21 channels with detailed traffic and weather information, 39 channels of news, entertainment and sports and an amazing number of 23 play-by-play sports channels. XM Satellite Radio Inc. owns the most impressive digital radio equipment and facilities, boasting over 82 end to end broadcasting studios. Sirius Satellite Radio is located in the heart of New York City with a huge recording studio. Sirius Satellite Radio has an impressive library of over 2 million music tracks.
Sirius Satellite Radio
Sirius Satellite Radio is one of the two main providers of digital radio broadcasting in the United States and it shares this important market with XM Radio. While you would think that XM and Sirius are 100% rivals, you will be surprised to find out that both companies are working together on a joint program in order to develop a receiver for both of their broadcast frequencies. Sirius uses three geosynchronous satellites that pass over the United States territory at regular time intervals and transmit the data alternatively. The Sirius satellite network is also located in a position that offers better line of sight – this means that transmission interruptions caused by trees, mountains or any other landscape form are less likely to happen. Sirius announced that the number of subscribers to their services goes beyond the 4 million count
XM Satellite Radio Inc
XM Satellite Radio Inc. began broadcasting in 2001 and has seen a continuous development ever since. The digital radio used by XM Satellite Radio Inc. is encoded using the CT-aacPlus technology which is broadcast in a 128kb/sec format that is high in fidelity and is similar to CD quality. XM Satellite Radio Inc uses two Boeing HS-702 satellites which are constantly orbiting the Earth at a height of 22 300 miles. IN order to minimize transmission ad reception loss, XM Satellite Radio installed terrestrial transmitters in most major cities in places where loss of signal is more likely to take place (tunnels, high building areas). XM radio claims to have an impressive number of over 6 million subscribers.
Working with the automobile industry
Both satellite radio providers saw a huge market in the car industry, so they began negotiating with al major car manufacturers to convince them to offer their services and equipment as standard or optional on the vehicles they produce. Some of the auto manufacturers that have either XM or Sirius satellite radio installed from the factory are: BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce, Chrysler, Dodge, Mercedes-Benz, Jeep, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar, Mazda ,GM, Cadillac, Buick, GMC, Vauxhall, Saab, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Infiniti, Porsche, Lexus, Scion and Audi – to name just a few. Sirius has managed to get exclusivity from major car manufacturers such as Audi or VW2007 through 2012. IT was a major success for Sirius as Audi and VW previously also offered XM radio services and equipment on their vehicles. After conquering the vehicle industry both manufacturers tried to move the success of satellite radio into the homes of consumers by creating some trendy portable satellite radio receivers. XM satellite radio created the XM2go™ line of “walkman-like” receivers and Sirius developed a variety of portable devices, such as the Kenwood Portable Satellite Radio Tuner, Here2Anywhere and the Sirius S50. More attempts are being made for introducing satellite radio in the homes of conservative media consumers.
Pieces Parts Components and Sound
If you are in the market for a surround sound system I’m sure you are trying to learn as much as possible about options before you reach the buying stage. One thing to keep in mind is that there are many options and most of them will come down to a matter of taste when all is said and done. There is no right or wrong component or process when it comes to buying a surround sound system only what does and doesn’t work for you and the space you have available.
You will find throughout the process that there are many parts, pieces, and components that you may purchase for your surround sound system and even more prices for those individual items. Ultimately the decision comes down to how much of a sound snob you are. Seriously. I must admit that my personal preference is for the most possible sound saturation and the most realistic possible sound as possible. For this reason I am more interested in buying the components as individuals rather than a simple AV receiver. This does not mean that an AV receiver wouldn’t be perfectly adequate (especially in relation to the size of my rather small media room) but that I prefer the added control over the sound that individual components provides.
Unfortunately, I cannot tell you which will work best for your situation as your tastes and requirements will also play heavily on which decision is best for you as will your budget. Some people do not place nearly as much emphasis on sound as I do and most people have budget constraints that make individual components seem like a bit of overkill. However, if you spend, as much time as I do submersing yourself in experiences that require sound, then you will find that the investment in these components may be well worth every penny. You will pay a few though and should understand that now.
If you want to build a fabulous surround sound system you will need to start with the preamp or processor. This will be the heart of your sound system and works as a surround processor, AM/FM radio, amplifier, and preamp in one. This piece of equipment receives the signals and then sends them on their merry way. Amazingly enough the information always seems to find its way where it should go-assuming of course that everything is plugged into its proper channel.
The tuner allows you to receive and process AM/FM radio signals, XM or Satellite Radio, and some High Definition signals as well. The amplifier adds power to the sound or as its name implies, amplifies it. This allows the sound to ‘reach’ across the room so that everyone in the room is touched by it.
These components each achieve functions individually that a good quality AV receiver can accomplish. The difference is always in degrees and depth. The AV receiver allows some of the functionality of each but doesn’t quite match the control and nuances that can be achieved with any one of the pieces individually. The average consumer doesn’t need that sizeable of an investment in equipment, money, time, or space in order to achieve excellent theater quality sound in their home theater system and that is the important thing to remember.
If you are hoping to imitate a ‘theater’ experience in an average size room, chances are you will never need anything more than a decent AV receiver and an excellent set of speakers. The more speakers you have in your surround sound system, the better the quality of the sound will be. However, better quality speakers will trump marginal quality equipment any day while marginal quality speakers can still ruin the sound of even the best quality AV equipment. The best advice I can give you when purchasing equipment for your surround sound system is to make sure you put your money in your speakers and sort the rest out afterwards.
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