Your Options for Buying a Satellite Radio Player

Americans are slowly changing the way that they listen to music. Instead of listening to limited radio stations that are sometimes filled with commercials, people are now getting their music through satellite radio.

Sirius and XM are the top suppliers of satellite radio. To listen to this amazing, commercial free programming all listeners will need a satellite radio player. If you are interested in making the switch from traditional radio programming to satellite radio then you have four options when it comes to selecting a player.

(1) Satellite Radio Players for the Car

When you are in your car, how often do you turn the radio on? Since the majority of Americans listen to music when they are in their vehicle, satellite radio players for the car are always in demand. Satellite radio players that are designed for cars often come in two varieties. There are some players that can be inserted where a traditional car radio goes. These players would require a mounting plate. Circle or other shaped players can be mounted on the dashboard or the ceiling of vehicle.

The average price for satellite radio players designed for the car is between $70 and $150.

(2) Portable Satellite Radio Players

In addition to satellite radio, other advancements in music include Ipods and MP3 players. These products are popular because they are portable. One thing that many individuals, maybe even yourself included, do not know about satellite radios is that some of them are also portable. These portable players are most commonly used when exercising or traveling on foot.

The average price for a portable satellite radio is between $200 and $350.

(3) Home-based Satellite Radio Players

Satellite radio players that are designed for home are similar to the above mentioned players; however, they are often stationary. Home-based satellite radios come in a wide variety of different designs. The different design options make it possible to match a player with a particular home d├ęcor color or style. Due to the size of most home satellite radios, they are often unable to be used in vehicles or as portable players.

The average price for a home-based satellite radio player is between $100 and $400.

(4) AllinOne Satellite Radios

If you are music lover then it is likely that the above mentioned satellite radio players appealed to you, but what if all of them did? Purchasing a satellite radio player for the home, vehicle, and another one to take with wherever you go can get fairly expensive. All-in-one satellite radios are a solution to that potentially expensive problem. All-in-one satellite radios are small enough so they can be transported whenever you go and they can also be used in the home or in your car.

The average price of an all-in-one satellite player is between $150 and $350.

The features found on a satellite radio player will all depend on the manufacturer; however, there are some common product features. The majority of satellite radio players come with rechargeable batteries, full color displays, channel presents, a remote control, and song storage. Portable players are likely to come with headphones and a belt clip. Satellite radios that are designed for the vehicle are likely to come with stands, suction cups, and other dashboard accessories.

If you are interested in subscribing to a commercial-free satellite radio service then you will need at least one of the above mentioned satellite radio players. Of course, you have the final decision when it comes to selecting a particular player, but you should know that all-in-one satellite radio players are now the most popular. All-in-one satellite radios give you the ability to hook the player up to your car speakers, your speakers at home, or your headphones. To most Americans, the features are well worth the price.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

The History Of Portable Satellite Radios

The history of portable satellite radios is short compared to traditional over-the-air radio, but it has rapidly changed the face of radio listening like no other technology in recent memory. The two major satellite radio services, XM Satellite Radio and SIRIUS Satellite Radio, offer a stunning array of programming and compete fiercely for customers.

Their popularity has stunned many in the radio industry and with the advent of new, smaller, more convenient portable satellite radios, some industry veterans worry about the future viability of traditional broadcast radio.

How did satellite radio get started and what is its future? Let’s take a look.

The Beginnings of Satellite Radio

The history of satellite radio begins in 1992, when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to set aside a portion of spectrum to be devoted to nationwide distribution of digital radio service via satellite. SIRIUS Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio bid huge amounts of money (at least $80 million each) for licenses to use this new allocation of spectrum, which were eventually awarded to them by the FCC.

Owning the right to use the spectrum, though, was only the first step. Even if they could start delivering satellite radio signals right away, there were no consumer-accessible portable satellite radios to receive the signal. Additionally, there was substantial debate within the radio industry about whether consumers would be willing to pay for new hardware and then pay a monthly subscription fee for radio service. After all, AM and FM radio broadcasts were available free all over the country.

Making a Business out of Satellite Radio

XM Satellite Radio and SIRIUS Satellite Radio set out to overcome these obstacles and make a real business out of portable satellite radios and satellite radio programming. They knew that to attract the most consumers they needed to offer a variety of hardware components that could be used in a variety of locations – home, work, and especially the car, where most radio listening occurs.

Working with electronics manufacturers already trusted and recognized by consumers (Sanyo, Panasonic, JVC, Kenwood, etc.), hardware development got underway. The results included portable satellite radios, receivers, and “plug and play” components for nearly every consumer application. Manufacturers built satellite radio receivers for cars, homes, offices, trucks, RVs, boats, and even airplanes.

On the programming side, XM and SIRUS put together an assortment of niche music stations that would have something to offer consumers with nearly any musical taste. Each station was programmed to appeal to a specific type of listener, and most were commercial-free. Programming originated primarily from New York, but also from other locations, plus XM and SIRIUS entered into collaborative agreements that would allow popular musicians, entertainers, personalities and others to perform live from the originating locations. This would give the services another unique selling point to attract consumers.

Dealing with resistance to a monthly fee, though, required a broader array of marketing, public relations, and strategies to communicate the benefits and advantages of portable satellite radios. XM and SIRIUS knew that the key to their success would lie in convincing consumers of the value they would receive while making the hardware widely available and affordable.

Spreading the Word

Portable satellite radios began to show up in a variety of places where consumers would find it easy to use them. One of the most important places for XM and SIRIUS to gain entry for the hardware was in cars and trucks, where consumers do the vast majority of their radio listening.

They collaborated with car and truck manufacturers to make portable satellite radios standard on many high-end luxury vehicles, and an affordable option on most other mid-range vehicles. For most of these consumers, the cost of a monthly subscription would not be prohibitive and by making it easy for them to access their services, XM and SIRIUS could entice consumers to try it out and start spreading the word about its value.

Portable satellite radios were also placed in boats and RVs, and standard receivers were heavily marketed for use in homes and businesses. Another innovation, introduced in November 2004, is the handheld version of XM Radio and SIRIUS Satellite Radio receivers. These devices were designed to appeal to people who want access to satellite radio services while running, walking, or otherwise moving out and about in locations other than their cars, trucks, homes or offices.

Another important component of spreading the word was establishing partnerships and marketing agreements with electronics retailers such as Circuit City, Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, and other well-known names. Working closely with retailers, XM and SIRIUS have greatly increased their presence with consumers and sales have steadily increased.

Why Pay for Radio?

Still, the bottom line question for most people is why pay for radio? The answer is in the benefits received with a subscription to satellite radio. Some of the most popular benefits include:

More channel choices (up to 150)
Commercial-free (music channels)
Live audio streaming of sporting events
Weather and traffic information (in major markets)
Clear, crisp digital signal
Signal available with no fading when driving long distances
Niche music stations to suit any musical taste
Assortment of sports, talk, and news stations

Coming Soon

Satellite radio service is in its infancy so it is inevitable that the technology and the features will continue to develop. XM Radio and SIRIUS Satellite Radio will have to devote resources to such innovations if they are to attract enough subscribers to become profitable.

For example, one feature that will soon be available in some areas real time traffic information delivered via satellite directly to the navigation system in the car. This information will appear as color-coded displays of the average speed of vehicles on specific roads, allowing the driver to select the travel route that is least congested at any particular time.

Other new options and ideas are inevitable over the next few years, so it is likely that portable satellite radios will continue to grow in popularity and become more common in vehicles, homes, offices, boats, RVs, and just about any other location that can be imagined.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off