A portable satellite radio uses a satellite connection to allow consumers to access radio stations. Satellite radio stations are available with a paid subscription to a satellite radio service. A portable satellite radio receives hundreds of radio stations that are not available without a subscription.
Satellite radio is a digital signal transmitted on specific radio frequencies, which can only be accessed from a satellite radio receiver. The signal itself is distributed from a communication satellite. There are several satellite radio companies available in Europe, Asia and North America.
A built-in automobile receiver, transferable tuner and a portable satellite radio receiver are all methods of accessing satellite radio service. In an automobile receiver, the receiver can be installed into the roof of the vehicle and the tuner is built into the dashboard stereo. With a transferable satellite receiver, a kit can be purchased at an electronics store for easy installation.
Portable satellite kits come with a tuner, receiver and car dash mount. Instructions are provided to allow consumers to install these units themselves. A home kit can also be purchased to allow the satellite receiver to be attached to your home stereo system.
For a home installation, the receiver provided in the satellite radio kit must be placed in a window. The radio tuner is connected to the stereo system with an auxiliary cable. Each kit comes with a separate receiver and radio tuner stand to allow users to transfer the same satellite radio tuner to multiple locations.
A portable satellite radio is a single unit with a built-in receiver and tuner and an improvement over the transferable satellite kit. These units can be used inside the home, in the car, or while exercising outside. The hand held units have a enhanced signal receiver to overcome the limitation of signal reception from a satellite.
There are two types of satellite services available: mobile and fixed location. Mobile systems, such as XM Satellite™ and Worldspace™ are designed for users who want to access the service while moving anywhere on the continent. Fixed location services, such as Music Choice™ or Muzak™ provide background music to retail stores, hotel lobbies and other fixed locations.
Satellite receivers are all issued an electronic serial number radio ID, which is used to validate the device against the service subscription database. This ID number ensures that only paid subscribers are able to access satellite radio programming. The radio ID number can be located within the satellite radio tuner as required.