Sirius Satellite Radio


Sirius Satellite Radio

Infobox_Company
company_name = Sirius Satellite Radio
company_
company_type = Division of Sirius XM Radio
company_slogan = The Best Radio on Radio
foundation = May 17, 1990 (as Satellite CD Radio, Inc.)
location = New York City, New York, United States
key_people =
num_employees = 900 (2007)
industry = Broadcasting - Radio
products = Satellite radio
revenue = profitUS$922.07 million (2007)
net_income = lossUS$-565.25 million (2007)
parent = Sirius XM Radio
homepage = [http://www.sirius.com/ www.sirius.com]

Sirius Satellite Radio is a satellite radio (SDARS) service operating in the United States and Canada, owned by Sirius XM Radio. Headquartered in New York City, with smaller studios in Los Angeles and Memphis, Sirius was officially launched on July 1, 2002 and currently provides 69 streams (channels) of music and 65 streams of sports, news and entertainment to listeners. Music streams on Sirius carry a wide variety of genres, broadcasting 24 hours daily, commercial-free, and uncensored. A subset of Sirius music channels is included as part of the Dish Network satellite television service. Sirius channels are identified by Arbitron with the label "SR" (e.g. "SR120", "SR9", "SR17").

Its business model is to provide pay-for-service radio, analogous to the business model for premium cable television, in which music channels are free of commercials. Talk channels such as Howard Stern's "Howard 100" and "Howard 101" do have regular commercials, approximately 6 minutes per hour. Subscriptions are prepaid and range in price from US$12.95 monthly (US$6.99 for each additional receiver) to US$499.99 for lifetime subscription. There is a US$15 activation fee for every radio activated. Sirius announced it had achieved its first positive cash flow quarter for the period ending December 2006.cite press release |url=http://investor.sirius.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=224031 |title=Sirius Exceeds 6 Million Subscribers and Achieves First Cash Flow Positive Quarter |publisher=PR Newswire "via Sirius Satellite Radio" |date=2007-01-02 |accessdate=2007-02-21]

Sirius was founded as Satellite CD Radio, Inc., which it was known by until the change to its former designation on November 18, 1999. The name is derived from Sirius, sometimes referred to as the "Dog Star", the brightest star in the night-time sky, and was developed by the company's founder David Margolese, and its Marketing Chief Ira Bahr [cite news | url=http://www.radioink.com/HeadlineEntry.asp?hid=28066&pt=archive | title=CD Radio Announced Name Change |accessdate=2008-02-25 ] The dog in the Sirius logo is unofficially named "Mongo", a name garnered from the debut of Sirius Satellite Radio’s sponsorship on Casey Atwood’s and later Jimmy Spencer’s NASCAR entry, when the announcing cast voted on names. "Mongo" later became NASCAR driver Spencer’s nickname with the NASCAR Broadcasters (mainly Darrell Waltrip) in the following races.

On October 16, 2006 Sirius announced that it would be launching Sirius Internet Radio with 78 of its 135 channels being available worldwide on the internet to any of its subscribers with a valid user name and password.

On July 29, 2008, Sirius formally completed their merger with former competitor XM Satellite Radio. The combined company began operating under the name Sirius XM Radio.cite news |url=http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10001299-94.html |title=Sirius And XM close merger |work=CNet.com |first=Dawn |last=Kawamoto |date=2008-07-29 |accessdate=2008-07-29]

XM Satellite merger

On February 19, 2007, Sirius announced a merger deal with XM Satellite Radio. Upon government approval, the merger will combine the two radio services and create a single satellite radio network in the United States, to be named SIRIUS XM Radio.cite press release |url=http://investor.sirius.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=230306 |title=Sirius and XM to Combine in US$13 Billion Merger of Equals |publisher=PR Newswire "via Sirius Satellite Radio" |date=2007-02-19 |accessdate=2007-02-21]

On March 24, 2008, the United States Justice Department approved the merger of Sirius and XM. The approval process for this merger was the longest in United States history."" Approval from the Federal Communications Commission cleared on July 25th 2008.

One of the issues that the FCC has been called to resolve is the fact that, 10 years after initiating operations, both Sirius and XM have kept the United States' outlying states and territories in the dark. Rep. José E. Serrano, several members of the Outlying Areas Senate Presidents Caucus, headed by Senate of Puerto Rico President Kenneth McClintock and a resolution of the Puerto Rico Senate have called upon the FCC to require the merged company to offer service to the outlying areas of the US within a given timeframe as a condition for the merger.

As a result of Serrano and McClintock's efforts, Sirius made a written commitment in the FCC docket to offer service in Puerto Rico within three months of the merger approval.

On July 25, 2008, after 17 months, the merger was approved in a 3–2 vote by the FCC. The companies voluntarily agreed to stipulations that include setting aside 8% of their channels for public interest and minority programming, 3 year price cap, as well as a A-La-Carte pricing available within 3 months of deal closure.

Content

Channels

*"List of Sirius Satellite Radio stations"According to a Spring 2007 Arbitron report, the five most listened to channels on Sirius based on their Average Quarterly Hour (AQH) Share are Howard 100, Howard 101, New Country (60), Sirius Hits (1) and Octane (20).cite web |url=http://www.allaccess.com/assets/editorial/raw/SP07_National_Satellite_P12.pdf |title=National Satellite Report, Spring 2007 |author=Arbitron |work=AllAccess.com |month=September |year=2007 |accessdate=2007-10-24|format=PDF]

Programming content

A major component of Sirius business strategy has been to execute far-reaching and exclusive deals with big-name entertainers and personalities to create and build broadcast streams, from the ground up. Sirius has reached extensive deals with domestic diva Martha Stewart, E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt, aka "Little Steven", Jimmy Buffett, and Eminem to executive-produce streams or entire channels on Sirius. Van Zandt was the first major musician recruited by Sirius or XM to create branded music channels and he has created two distinct stations for Sirius, the "Underground Garage" dedicated to garage rock, and "Outlaw Country" with its focus on alternative country music.

By far the largest of these deals was announced on October 6, 2004 when Sirius announced that it signed a five-year, US$100 million per year agreement with Howard Stern to move his radio show, The Howard Stern Show, to Sirius starting on January 9, 2006.cite news |url=http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=1393 |title=Sirius Satellite Radio and Howard Stern Go Ear to Ear with XM |work=UPenn.edu |author=Knowledge@Wharton |date=2006-02-22 |accessdate=2007-03-24] The deal, which gave Sirius exclusive rights to Stern’s radio show, also gave Stern the right to build three full-time programming channels. Currently, Stern has two operating channels on Sirius, but still retains the right to a third. Stern said his move was forced by the stringent regulations of the FCC whose enforcement was intensified following the Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show. Beginning with the announcement of his imminent departure, Stern complained Infinity Broadcasting was making his departure more acrimonious than was necessary.

Sirius presents an extensive array of programming on multiple channels that cover a wide variety of genres. The overall categories include: Music, News/Talk, Sports, Entertainment. Within each category there are multiple channels that present a wide variety of sub-genres. For example the Music category sub-divides into streams for Rock, Pop, Country, Hip-Hop/R&B, Jazz/Blues – and within each stream there are channels for various sub-sections. An example of the variety of music offerings available would be the 22 channels playing different sub-genres of rock.

The vast majority of its programming is self-produced exclusively for Sirius. However, there are some shows—especially in the Talk genre—that are syndicated programs originally created for terrestrial radio that now air on traditional radio and Sirius simultaneously, for example, the "Eternal Word Television Network" which broadcasts on channel 160.

Among the hosts who present shows heard on Sirius, there are many high-profile personalities:

*Sports figures such as seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton, sports show host Scott Ferrall, fantasy football experts John Hanson and Adam Caplan, notable skateboarder Tony Hawk, skateboarder/MTV personality Bam Margera, skateboarder Jason Ellis

*Musicians such as Joan Jett, Keith Morris of Black Flag, the B-52's lead singer Fred Schneider and New York Dolls singer David Johansen.

*Veteran deejays including: New York City DJ "Cousin Brucie", freeform radio pioneer Vin Scelsa, Richard Blade, Joe Causi and Kid Leo.

*Original MTV veejays Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, Alan Hunter and Martha Quinn.

*Hip Hop superstars including Eminem and 50 Cent along with legends like Grandmaster Flash, Kool DJ Red Alert, Kurtis Blow and DJ Premier.

*Popular dance music artists and DJs like Paul Oakenfold, Paul Van Dyk, Liquid Todd, Pete Tong, The Riddler and DJ Icey.

*Political commentators including Bill Press, Michael Reagan, Mike Church, Bill Bennett, Mike Malloy, Lynn Samuels and G. Gordon Liddy.

*Comedians and satirists include Harry Shearer, Duane Cahill, Mojo Nixon, and Jim Breuer.

*Entertainment such as Cosmo and Maxim Radio featuring The Covino & Rich Showand Stretch from L.A. Studios. On November 18, 2004 the former COO and President of Viacom, Mel Karmazin, was named the CEO of Sirius. Stern worked under Karmazin at Infinity Radio and the two appeared to always have a great deal of mutual respect. It was Karmazin who fiercely protected Stern in the wake of the Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show (produced by MTV and aired by CBS, both co-owned with Infinity-now CBS Radio-until CBS Corporation split off in 2006) and the FCC crackdown on shock jocks and obscenity, in general.

On October 25, 2005 Sirius announced that "E Street Radio", the exclusive channel of legendary artist Bruce Springsteen, would air from November 1, 2005 to January 31, 2006 on the Bridge - Channel 10. On September 14, 2006, The Bridge was replaced again, by The Who Channel. This special limited-run channel was moved to channel 98, replacing Rolling Stones Radio, and the Bridge restored, on January 1, 2007, But was turned back into E Street Radio again on October 5, 2007.

ports

Another cornerstone of Sirius’ business strategy has been to pursue exclusive sports content. Currently, Sirius has exclusive satellite radio broadcasting rights to all NFL, CFL and NBA games. Sirius also announced in December 2005 a multi-year deal with the NBA, which makes the satellite radio company the broadcaster of more live NBA games than any other radio outlet. Sirius airs Full Court Press, weekdays from 12 pm - 3 pm ET; FCP is the only all-NBA show on Sirius. The agreement also creates a 24-hour NBA Radio Channel, located on channel 127. NHL games were shared with XM for the 2005–2006 season, and XM now holds exclusive rights. Sirius currently has full NASCAR coverage, including, among other programs, a two hour weekly show hosted by NASCAR driver Tony Stewart.

Sirius also has rights to a number of major college sports teams, including teams in the Big East, Big Ten and Southeastern Conferences as well as The University of Notre Dame. Beginning in 2005 Sirius also has exclusive radio rights to cover the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. In August 2004, Sirius launched "Sirius NFL Radio", a 24-hour radio stream dedicated exclusively to covering the NFL. Sirius has also been aggressive in creating its own in-house produced studio sports radio content.

Sirius also has the only national horseracing talk show, "At the Races", hosted by noted racing handicapper,Steve Byk. The show which airs weekdays between 4 and 7, is unique in the horseracing world.

Sirius also broadcasts select English Premier League matches, in addition to airing "World Soccer Daily", a Monday–Friday two hour talk show dedicated to soccer, and has inked an exclusive deal with EPL team Chelsea. Continuing their major expansion of soccer coverage, Sirius announced a deal to add UEFA Champions League soccer to their lineup on September 27, 2006. As of recently Sirius also had exclusive radio rights to broadcast the ESPN television feed of the Euro 2008 championships. In addition, Sirius also has exclusive rights to broadcast Scottish Premier League Power Celtic FC. Rounding out their coverage Sirius also airs a two hour soccer talk show on Wednesday nights on channel 125 called "The Football Show" with former Metrostars GM Charlie Stillitano and former International Italian star Giorgio Chinaglia. On Saturdays and Sundays during premier league season, Sirius airs Radio 606, a classic radio call in show from the UK discussing all of the days top matches.

On September 15th, Chris Russo launched his own show on called Mad Dog Unleashed.

IRIUS Music for Business

In August 2003, Sirius partnered with Clearwater, Florida-based Applied Media Technologies Corporation, a provider of telephone "on hold" messaging.cite press release |url=http://investor.sirius.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=152755 |title=Sirius And Applied Media Technologies Corporation Launch Commercial-Free Business Music Service Over Satellite Radio |publisher=Sirius Satellite Radio |date=2003-08-06 |accessdate=2007-02-21] AMTC provides Sirius service in a package branded as "Sirius Music for Business". For US$24.95 per month, AMTC provides all of Sirius' streams of commercial-free music, and pays all performance royalties to ASCAP, Broadcast Music Incorporated, and SESAC, so that business owners may legally play Sirius' music in their establishments.

Unlike the music services Muzak, Music Choice, XM for Business, or DMX Music, the Sirius business music services use the same channels and SDARS delivery platform as the consumer Sirius service. The SDARS delivery platform, on the other hand, is more reliable than any of the other services in that it is not subject to satellite dish rain fade. Unfortunately, the highly elliptical orbit of the Sirius satellite constellation can pose difficulties for the reliable delivery of the signal to stationary antennas in certain parts of the country. To eliminate this potential problem, Sirius intends to launch a geostationary satellite to improve service to non-mobile customers such as those of Sirius Business. [cite press release |url=http://investor.sirius.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=199896 |title=SIRIUS to Augment Satellite Constellation |publisher=PR Newswire "via Sirius Satellite Radio" |date=2006-06-08 |accessdate=2007-02-21] The service can also be accessed online using Sirius' online streaming technology, allowing any business with a broadband Internet connection to overcome any potential reception issues. Additionally, Sirius is applying for repeaters in Hawaii and Alaska, the first satellite radio company to do so.

irius Backseat TV

In March 2007, Sirius announced the upcoming availability of its first video service called "Backseat TV". In August 2007, the company revealed details of the first receiver, the SVC1, was originally offered exclusively through Chrysler OEM factory units. The service includes streaming video from three "family" television channels: Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network Mobile. There will be a single screen (or a dual screen option in the Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan) for back seat passengers to watch while front seat passengers have the option of simultaneously listening to any normal Sirius radio channel. The service is reported to cost an additional US$6.99 per month on top of the standard Sirius subscription price.cite press release |url=http://www.sirius.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Sirius/Page&c=FlexContent&cid=1175095050573 |title=SIRIUS Satellite Radio’s Backseat TV Launches Only on Chrysler Group Vehicles |publisher=Sirius.com |accessdate=2007-08-19] cite news |url=http://www.engadget.com/2007/08/15/sirius-delights-the-kiddies-with-scv1-backseat-tv-tuner/ |title=Sirius delights the kiddies with SCV1 backseat TV tuner |work=Engadget.com |first=Joshua |last=Topolsky |date=2007-08-15 |accessdate=2007-08-19] The MSRP of the factory installed units is US$470 and the aftermarket unit has an MSRP of US$299.99. Both were made available in the fourth quarter of 2007.cite web |url=http://www.sirius.com/backseattv/faq#buyone |title=SIRIUS Backseat TV FAQs |work=Sirius.com |accessdate=2007-11-26]

Other content

In June 2005, Sirius signed an agreement with BBC Radio 1 in the UK to rebroadcast the station to an American audience. Sirius also has exclusive satellite radio rights to National Public Radio, carrying two separate streams (whereas XM's XM Public Radio channel carries only programming not produced by NPR, such as by PRI). The deal with NPR was the first high-profile deal entered into by Sirius. The Sirius NPR NOW programming does not include the popular programs All Things Considered and Morning Edition. cite web |url=http://www.sirius.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Sirius/Page&c=Channel&cid=1102975192867&s=sched |title=Sirius NPR NOW Schedule|accessdate=2007-10-29]

With the launch of Sirius Canada in December 2005, American listeners gained five Canadian-produced stations including CBC Radio One, CBC Radio Three and Iceberg Radio, and "Première Plus" and "Bande à part" for French listeners. Iceberg Radio is programmed by Standard Broadcasting, which also provides a number of additional channels exclusive to Canada; the other four come from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. After a delay and outcry from Canadian subscribers, Sirius Canada added Howard Stern's Channel 100 to their lineup in early 2006. Channel 101, Stern's other channel (featuring Bubba the Love Sponge, Scott Ferrall, and other personalities), were made available in late June 2006.

Talk radio content recently added onto Sirius Satellite Radio include the ABC News and Talk channel 143, including live feeds of Sean Hannity and Larry Elder's popular syndicated radio shows, Patriot Talk channel 144 (which includes Michael Reagan's well-known syndicated radio show) and Fox News Talk channel 145 (which includes syndicated radio hosts such as Alan Colmes and John Gibson).

On March 14, 2006, Sirius added Cosmopolitan Radio, Playboy Radio, and returned the audio simulcast of the Fox News Channel TV feed, which was previously removed during a contract dispute. The service also added Fox's satellite talk radio channel, Fox News Talk.

In April 2003 Sirius launched Sirius OutQ, the first ever 24/7 talk channel designed for the LGBT audience. Personalities associated with the channel include Frank DeCaro, Michelangelo Signorile, Derek Hartley, and Romaine Patterson.

In addition to the audio programming, the Sirius broadcast stream also carries a "Data Services" channel that is utilized by capable receivers and graphical display hardware. Some of the data services offered are traffic speed and flow, marine weather, and fuel prices to name just a few. Examples of capable hardware are the Raymarine SR100 Satellite Weather receiver and the Alpine NVE-N872A Satellite Traffic Ready navigation system.

Technology

The Sirius signal is separated into three carriers, one each for the two satellites, and the third for the terrestrial repeater network where available. Sirius receivers decode all three 4 MHz carrier signals at once to achieve signal diversity. This is in contrast to XM which uses six carriers and decodes three 2 MHz carriers to economize on receiver power consumption and complexity at the cost of channel-changing speed. There is an intentional four-second delay between the two satellite carrier signals. This enables the receiver to maintain a large buffer of the audio stream, which, along with forward error correction, helps keep the audio playing in the event that the signal is temporarily lost, such as when driving under an overpass or otherwise losing line-of-sight of any of the satellites or ground repeater stations.

A third, separate signal is uplinked to the AMC-6 Ku-band satellite and received by 36-inch satellite dishes for the ground repeater network. This third signal is broadcast on a third segment of the signal.

Receiver technology

At the heart of a Sirius receiver is a custom application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chip called the "Baseband Integrated Circuit" currently the STA240, which is produced by STMicroelectronics. The chip contains embedded ARM7TDMI and ARM946E-S microprocessors synthesized from IP cores. Every baseband has a unique Electronic Serial Number (or Sirius ID). Another major section of a Sirius receiver is the tuner. The tuner is also comprised of a custom ASIC, the STA210. The tuner connects to the antenna, and receives the incoming satellite and terrestrial signals at 2.315 GHz and downconverts them to intermediate frequency signals at around 75 MHz. The gain of the signals is approximately -50dBm in clear-sky conditions. The IF signals are fed to the STA240, which are digitized, demodulated, error-corrected, de-interleaved, and decrypted using specialized circuits on the chip. The baseband processor utilizes a 16 MB SDRAM memory to buffer four seconds of one of the satellite signals in order to bring it into time coincidence with the other for Maximal-ratio combining. On newer receivers that let you "pause" live radio, a dual-port PSRAM is employed to store up to 44 minutes of the selected channel. The baseband processor outputs digital audio over a Serial Peripheral Interface, which is fed to a D/A converter to produce the analog audio signal. The front-end of a Sirius receiver is called the "head unit", required to display descriptive text (such as the category, channel, artist, and song name) and provide controls to the user. This is implemented by the third-party designers of Sirius-ready receivers, using a microprocessor of their choice.

Sirius offers car radios and home entertainment systems, as well as car and home kits for portable use. The Sirius receiver includes two parts — the antenna module and the receiver module. The antenna module picks up signals from the ground repeaters or the satellite, amplifies the signal and filters out any interference. The signal is then passed on to the receiver module. Inside the receiver module is a chipset consisting of eight chips. The chipset converts the signals from 2.3 gigahertz (GHz) to a lower intermediate frequency. Sirius also offers an adapter that allows conventional car radios to receive satellite signals.

Sirius broadcasts using 12.5 MHz of the S band between 2320 and 2332.5 MHz. Audio channels are digitally compressed using a proprietary variant of Lucent's Perceptual audio coder compression algorithm and encrypted with a proprietary conditional access system. Sirius has announced that they intend to implement hierarchical modulation technology to economize on bandwidth up to 25%.cite press release |url=http://investor.sirius.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=165885 |title=SIRIUS to Increase Programming Capacity Over Its Existing Satellite Radio System |publisher=PR Newswire "via Sirius Satellite Radio" |date=2005-06-13 |accessdate=2007-02-21]

Each receiver must be connected to an external antenna, which is included with the receiver. Antenna placement is crucial to receiving a clear signal. In some locations users have experienced difficulty receiving the Sirius programming because the signal is not consistently strong. For best reception, antennas should be placed such that they have an unobstructed view of the sky (preferably on rooftops without overhanging eaves or trees). If this is not an option, the antenna should be placed on an exterior wall. When placing on an exterior wall, the antenna should be mounted to a wall which faces the center of the continental United States in order to minimize the likelihood of the building itself blocking the signal. [cite web |url=http://science.nasa.gov/programs/pagebuilding/trackmusicsats.asp |title=Science@NASA J-Track Digital Music Satellites |publisher=NASA |accessdate=2007-02-21] [cite web |url=http://www.sirius.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Sirius/Page&c=Page&cid=1071870446092 |title=Home Antenna Placement Tips |work=Sirius Satellite Radio |accessdate=2007-02-21]

atellite technology

Sirius' satellites are named Radiosat because there is already a fleet of satellites named Sirius, launched by Sweden's NSAB (Nordiska Satellitaktiebolaget, or Nordic Satellite AB, and known today as SES Sirius) and used for general telecommunications and satellite television throughout Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia.

The current, primary uplink facility for Sirius is located in Vernon, Sussex County, New Jersey. The original facility was located on the roof of the building housing the Sirius studios in Rockefeller Center in New York City but has since been decommissioned.

Sirius does not as yet use geostationary satellites, though plans to expand their network in 2008 will add one. Currently, its three satellites fly in geosynchronous highly elliptical orbit (Tundra orbit) in a 24-hour orbital period. Sirius claims the elliptical path of its satellite constellation ensures that each satellite spends about 16 hours a day over the continental United States, with at least one satellite over the country at all times. The orbit allows the satellites to broadcast from directly overhead the continental United States, avoiding the problem of large buildings or objects blocking the signal and requiring a much smaller terrestrial repeater network than does sister network XM. The locations of the Sirius Satellites can be viewed here: [http://www.heavens-above.com/orbitdisplay.asp?satid=26390 RadioSat 1] , [http://www.heavens-above.com/orbitdisplay.asp?satid=26483 RadioSat 2] , [http://www.heavens-above.com/orbitdisplay.asp?satid=26626 RadioSat 3] .

Current fleet

Sirius’ spacecraft Radiosat 1 through Radiosat 4 were manufactured by Space Systems/Loral. The first three of the series were orbited in 2000 by Proton-K Block-DM3 launch vehicles, with the final three-satellite constellation completed on November 30, 2000. Radiosat 4 is a ground spare, in storage at Space Systems/Loral’s facility in Palo Alto, California, ready to be launched if any of the three active satellites encounter transmission problems. The satellites are based on the Space Systems/Loral 1300 platform.

All three satellites broadcast directly to the consumer's receiver, but due to the highly elliptical orbit only two of them broadcast at any given time.

Future fleet

On June 8, 2006, Space Systems/Loral announced that it was awarded a contract for the fifth Sirius spacecraft.cite press release |url=http://www.ssloral.com/html/pressreleases/pr20060608.html |title=Space Systems/Loral to Build New, High-Power Satellite for Sirius Satellite Radio |publisher=Space Systems/Loral |date=2006-06-08 |accessdate=2007-02-21] The new spacecraft will feature a nine-meter unfurlable reflector. The first four Sirius spacecraft used more traditional parabolic reflectors. The new satellite has been designed for geostationary orbit, unlike the other satellites in the constellation; the different orbit has the stated purpose of allowing for more consistent reception for fixed location users (many subscribers have reported having to regularly reposition their antennas for optimal reception).

On February 29, 2008, the launch service provider International Launch Services (ILS) announced a contract which includes launch of the SIRIUS FM-6 satellite on a Proton Breeze M rocket. SIRIUS FM-6 is currently under construction at Space Systems/Loral. ILS anticipates the launch will take place in the fourth quarter of 2010.cite press release |url=http://www.ilslaunch.com/news-022908 |title=ILS Announces Contract to Launch Two SIRIUS Satellite Radio Spacecraft on Proton Breeze M |publisher=ILSlaunch.com |first=Fran |last=Slimmer |date=2008-02-29 |accessdate=2008-03-13]

Receivers

As of 2005, Sirius receivers are available for various new Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mercury, MINI, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Scion, Toyota (except Corolla), Porsche, Volkswagen, and Volvo vehicles, and the service plans on adding availability for portable use. Subaru offers Sirius on the Forester and Impreza. Starting in 2006, all Rolls-Royce vehicles sold in the United States come with a Sirius radio and lifetime subscription as standard equipment. Sirius has an exclusive contract for VW and Audi vehicles from 2007 through 2012, and with Kia from 2008 through 2014, with an optional extension to 2017. Beginning in the 2007 model year, Bentley vehicles will have Sirius as an option, and it will be standard equipment in several models beginning in 2008.cite press release |url=http://investor.sirius.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=216449 |title=SIRIUS Satellite Radio Exclusive in Bentley Vehicles |publisher=PR Newswire "via Sirius Satellite Radio" |date=2006-10-30 |accessdate=2007-02-21] Porsche switched to XM Satellite Radio on their vehicles beginning with the 2007 model year. Currently, only Toyota (including its Lexus and Scion divisions) and Subaru offer both Sirius and XM contracts.

Sirius also makes several receivers for aftermarket installations such as the Sportster4, Starmate Replay, Sirius S50 with built in 1 GB MP3 player, and the Sirius One.

Popular radios from Sirius:
*Sportster 5 - plug and play radio with a color screen and one hour of storage
*Sirius Stiletto 100 - the first portable Sirius radio that allows subscribers to listen to live Sirius programming. The Stiletto boasts a 2 gigabyte memory, which is roughly equivalent to 100 hours of recording time. The unit's batteries give the user approximately 30 hours of life. The unit also features Wi-Fi technology, which is used as a backup to stream music from the Internet when a clear signal strength is not readily available from the built-in antenna. Sirius' partnerships with Napster and Yahoo Music provide additional content for Stiletto users.
*Sirius Stiletto 10 -The "feature"-lite version to the Stiletto 100. The Stiletto 10 offers all that the Stiletto 100 offers but does not offer Wi-Fi, MP3/WMA playback and only offers 256 megabytes of storage space (about 10 hours of Sirius programming). The Stiletto 10 offers Artist and Song Seek - Not featured on the Stiletto 100 or Stiletto 2. This seek function will watch for your favorite artists and songs that you want to hear and will let you know when they are playing on any other station.
*Sirius Stiletto 2 - the newest portable Sirius radio. A slimmer, improved version of the Stilleto 100. Has microSD slot behind battery for storing MP3/WMA files and playlists (not Sirius content). Wi-Fi support expanded to handle WPA and WPA2 (non-Enterprise) with passcodes.
*Sportster 3 was the first radio to use the new universal dock station.
*Sirius S50 - the first portable Sirius radio - which is not a LIVE portable, it has to be plugged in to a home or car dock where content can be downloaded for later listening
*Sirius Starmate ST1 (note: ST1C is the Canadian version)
*Sirius Starmate Replay ST2
*Sirius Sportster Exec. Docking Station Package
*Sirius Sportster Radio with Boombox Package
*Tivoli Sirius Table Radio
*Kenwood H2EV Radio with Car and Home Kits
*Clarion Calypso Sirius Radio with Car Kit
*XACT XTR1 Radio with Car Kit
*SiriusConnect for Pioneer SIR-PNR1 which can be modified with kit from [http://www.rush2112.net MJS's Gadgets] to provide a Serial or USB Serial interface to control the radio. Useful for building Carputer user interfaces.

On-line media streaming options

Sirius subscribers are also able to access all of the proprietary music channels and most of the talk stations via streaming media through Sirius.com.

Attractive alternatives to the browser based player are available such as a Yahoo! Widget (designed to look like a miniature Sportster model), and SIRIUS Internet Radio Player (based on Windows Media Player and available as plug-in or standalone application). Both alternatives are gaining popularity with streaming listeners, and offer artist and track name information updated in real time, which is an improvement from the online Sirius player.

Sirius subscribers who use a Linux-based operating system can use Sipie to stream on-line channels. Neither Windows Media Player nor a web browser are needed.

In addition to being available through Sirius.com, Howard Stern's website offers a Java application that streams the two Stern-themed channels. The site also states that Stern-specific video and audio clips will be made available at a later date.cite web |url=http://www.howardstern.com/archive.hs?h=827 |title=Download The Howard Stern Audio Player!!! |work=HowardStern.com |accessdate=2007-07-09]

[http://www.starplayr.com StarPlayr] and [http://www.siriusmac.com SiriusMac] are Sirius Radio players designed specifically for Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard users. Both have become increasingly popular among Sirius Subscribers who own a Macintosh.

irius in Canada

In November 2004, a partnership between Sirius, Standard Broadcasting and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation filed an application with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to introduce Sirius in Canada. The application was approved on June 16, 2005. The decision was appealed to the Canadian federal cabinet by a number of broadcasting, labour, and arts and culture organizations, including the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, CHUM Limited, and the National Campus and Community Radio Association. The groups objected to Sirius’ approach to and reduced levels of Canadian content and French language programming, along with the exclusion of Canadian non-commercial broadcasting. After a lengthy debate, cabinet rejected the appeals on September 9, 2005. Sirius Canada was officially launched December 1, 2005.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has reported poor reception in northern Canada.cite news |url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2007/02/16/sirius-radio.html |title=Poor Sirius radio signals plague Inuvik customers |work=CBC News |date=2007-02-16 |accessdate=2007-02-21]

irius Internet Radio

In October 2006, Sirius announced that it was launching a new service named "Sirius Internet Radio" that offers approximately 75 of the 135 Sirius channels worldwide to people other than subscribers to its satellite radio service. Prior to this, Sirius subscribers who had a satellite radio were also able to access many of the Sirius channels via the internet, using a special password, but the service operated at 32kbit/s and was only available to those who purchased a satellite radio receiver. Sirius Internet Radio (SIR) is an internet-only subscription, allowing worldwide listeners to listen to the content without having to purchase a satellite radio receiver. The service also expands the number of channels that are available to Stiletto 100 users via WiFi.

ee also

*Applied Media Technologies Corporation - Primary distribution partner for SIRIUS commercial accounts
*Commercialization of space
*Dish Network
*Sirius Backstage
*WorldSpace
*Primosphere Limited Partnership, a SDARS license auction participant
*Digital Satellite Broadcasting Corporation, a SDARS license auction participant

References

External links

* Sirius Satellite Radio [http://www.sirius.com/ Official website] (United States)
* Sirius Satellite Radio [http://www.siriuscanada.ca/ Official website] (Canada)
* Sirius Satellite Radio [http://www.sirius.com/pdf/channelguide.pdf Official channel guide]


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