Digital Radio Central - Sponsored by TSS Radio
  DRC Home Page DRC Forums Contact Us  
 
SIRIUS Backstage Forum
 
 
 
  Sirius Satellite Radio XM Satellite Radio iTunes/iPod Slacker Pandora  
 
 
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read  
Go Back   SIRIUS Backstage Forum > >
Visit Digital Radio Central

Notices

SIRIUS Dogstar Cafe Crank up the music on your SIRIUS radio, grab a seat at the bar and let's talk SIRIUS.

 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
 
Old 09-05-2006, 12:24 PM   #1
SiriusChic
Sirius Star
 
SiriusChic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 31, 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,250
SiriusChic is an unknown quantity at this point
Post Sirius Coming to Alaska via TERR Towers (Anchorage Dail News Newspaper)

http://www.adn.com/life/story/8153277p-8046030c.html

Satellite radio is just over the horizon
Satellite radio is just over the horizon for all but the most southern Alaskans

By SARAH HENNING
Anchorage Daily News

(Published: September 3, 2006)
Satellite radio is almost an urban legend in Alaska. Everybody seems to know somebody who knows somebody with the service, but first-person accounts are rare as sasquatch sightings.

Although the satellite radio industry's official line is that it's not available here, the truth is that some Alaskans happily subscribe. But the geographic areas where it works are largely undefined, and reception wavers from one milepost to the next.

For those who can get it consistently -- such as rural Alaskan Dave Stevens -- satellite radio is a 24-hour blast of pop culture, news and talk.

Stevens is a 23-year resident of Hyder (population 97), which butts up against British Columbia about 180 miles southeast of Juneau. Stevens said that for years, all he could tune in was one Canadian station. Then he subscribed to satellite radio four years ago.

"It's been a magnificent change to our days here. It's like being in America again," said the manager of the city-owned bottled-water factory. "It's nice to hear news and stuff from your own country."

When Stevens is home, he listens mainly to '60s music, propping the portable satellite radio receiver in the window to keep the bears away. When he goes salmon fishing, he sets the radio on the bank and keeps an ear on baseball games.

"Most Americans grew up with radio playing in the background. When you live in a place without it, you sure miss it," he said. "Satellite radio is pretty amazing."


AURAL BALM
Since 2001, satellite radio has been doing for the radio industry what cable did for TV. Customers pay a monthly subscription fee to a provider -- either XM Satellite Radio or Sirius Satellite Radio -- and in return get more than 100 stations.

Sat radio has become aural balm for 13 million North American truckers, commuters, frequent travelers and those fed up with homogenized FM radio from a handful of ginormous media companies such as Clear Channel Communications (which owns six of Anchorage's radio stations).

Music options include genre-specific channels such as electronica and outlaw country and oddities such as 24/7 Elvis Radio or Radio Margaritaville, which broadcasts all of Jimmy Buffet's concerts live. You know, in case "Cheeseburger in Paradise" sounds different coming from Berlin.

Besides music, satellite radio is larded with channels dedicated to professional and college sports, talk, news, lifestyle and comedy, often presented or programmed by celebrities like Martha Stewart and Eminem.

It is showered on the masses who patronize Starbucks, included in most new vehicles and considered a common feature in car rentals.

Yet satellite radio is technically not offered in Alaska and Hawaii.

The word "technically" is important, and here's why: Although the official line at both XM and Sirius is that they don't offer service in Alaska, both companies' spokespeople acknowledge they have Alaska customers.

The companies don't advertise their service here because reception is so spotty. But in some areas, especially in Southeast, customers say the service works just as well as in the Lower 48.

Attorney Paul Hoffman of Juneau, 60, has been an XM devotee for a year. He owns a mobile satellite radio receiver, letting him shunt the radio from home to car to boat. Hoffman characterized reception as "very good."

"I tried sat radio in rental cars in various locations down south," he said. "I do not notice reception being degraded here at all."

Not so in Anchorage. In 2004, automotive accessory shop Safe & Sound tested both satellite radio companies.

"It's very, very inconsistent in Anchorage," said store manager Shannon Johnston. "XM worked, but it was intermittent service, and with Sirius, every time you'd drive around, it would cut out."

Former XM subscriber Joe Martinez of Anchorage had better luck, but the service still wasn't consistent enough for him to keep it. Martinez said he subscribed to XM from January to June this year partly because his CDs had been stolen and partly because "normal radio sucks."

"When I came into Anchorage, the signal was not so bad. But I was working in Seward, and it didn't work there. So I'd come into town and record XM as MP3s, then play the recordings when I was in Seward," Martinez said. "It (satellite radio) was really good when you could get it."


ENORMOUS CHALLENGES
If you're still confused about Alaskans' ability to get satellite radio, you're not the only one. Even Sirius' senior vice president of communications stumbled on the issue.

"Here, on our Web site, it says we offer service to the contiguous United States and Canada," Patrick Reilly said triumphantly.

When reminded that Alaska isn't part of the contiguous United States, he paused.

"Right. I think I remember that from eighth-grade geography."

As can be deduced from their names, XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio own satellites. They beam Christina Aguilera's warbling and Lance Armstrong's affirmations into outer space, and the satellites shoot the signals back down into satellite radio receivers in the Lower 48 and southern Canada.

From where the satellites are positioned, the signals struggle to navigate the steep curvature of the Earth to reach this far north. Alaska's forests and mountains also meddle with satellite signals.

"There are enormous challenges in terms of providing reliable service to the area," said David Butler, XM's director of corporate communications.

So, how does satellite radio work in other topographically challenging cities, such as hilly San Francisco and skyscraper-filled New York City? Thank two features: Satellite radio providers build in four seconds of delay, meaning the listener doesn't hear brief signal interferences. Sat radio providers also install ground repeaters so signals can work around obstacles such as tall buildings and mountains.

Neither XM nor Sirius has ground repeaters in Alaska. But a satellite signal doesn't stop dead at a state line. Signals bleed into some parts of Alaska, resulting in an unpredictable patchwork of areas with sat radio reception.

Butler and Reilly both said their companies are reluctant to promise something they may or may not be able to deliver.

"If we can't reach the whole state, it really behooves us to maybe not play the card that 'Hey, we can reach Alaska' until we can reach all of Alaska, and I don't know if that would ever be possible," Reilly said.


WASTED FEATURE
As the popularity of satellite radio continues to mushroom in the Lower 48, it seeps into the way Alaskans do business.

The verb "mushroom" isn't an exaggeration. Sirius' second-quarter subscriber numbers were 64 percent over the same period in 2005. XM's increased 56 percent. Car rental companies such as Avis and Hertz offer sat radio in their vehicles. XM and Sirius have partnered with most major automobile manufacturers so new vehicles come satellite-radio-ready.

This is causing some confusion and annoyance at Alaska car dealerships and stereo equipment retailers.

Daniel Fellers, a sales rep at Perfectionist Auto Sound Security, said the majority of the stereo receivers in the store have satellite radio receivers. He said customers planning to move to the Lower 48 are interested in the function. For the rest of their customers, it's just a wasted feature.

At Best Buy, about half a dozen of the car stereo receivers for sale are satellite-radio-compatible. Shaii McKay, a sales rep at Best Buy, said he hasn't had a customer yet who got satellite radio to work consistently.

"In the Anchorage Bowl, one day it'll work all day, one day it'll work for four hours, one day it won't work at all," McKay said.

Because so many new vehicles come with satellite radio receivers, local car dealers either have to pass on the expense to customers or work to keep the upgrades out of Alaska-bound vehicles.

Bill Little, a sales rep at Alaska Sales and Service, which sells General Motors vehicles, said when his dealership orders vehicles, the satellite radio receiver is deleted in the factory order. Then customers are offered a $375 credit.

"Most people don't want these upgraded stereos if they can't use them," Little said.

But it's not always possible to avoid them. Gary Becker, a sales representative at Morrison Auto Group, said manufacturers are lumping satellite radio with other options, forcing customers' hands. For instance, if you want a Volkswagen with a sunroof, that options package automatically includes sat radio.


STILL DREAMING
So when, if ever, will Alaskans be able to order satellite radio with confidence?

Before that could happen, a series of repeaters would have to be installed throughout the state.

Reilly said Sirius expects to file for permission from the FCC to install a small number of repeaters in Alaska but didn't relay more specifics. Butler said XM has no plans to install Alaska repeaters.

Until repeaters land here, Alaskans do have a couple of options.

One is to get an Internet-only subscription. Or Alaskans can take a chance on satellite radio, finding out for themselves if they live in a sat-radio sweet spot. Most people, however, will simply have to wait until ground repeaters or additional satellites make coverage more consistent.

Over at Safe & Sound, Johnston said he and his customers eagerly anticipate a day when they can stuff their ears with nearly 200 satellite channels. "Hopefully they'll put something up for us one day."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Reporter Sarah Henning can be reached at shenning@adn.com or 257-4450.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Satellite radio FAQ

Q. What is satellite radio, anyway?

A. Satellite radio providers XM and Sirius own satellites. At XM, one satellite is named Rock, the other Roll. Har, har.

Programs are beamed to the satellites, which then send the signals back down. Your satellite radio receiver takes it from there.

Providers build in a time delay of a few seconds to prevent interruption of service while you're driving past tall buildings, through tunnels or near mountains and forests. Ground repeaters in urban areas do the same.

Most FM radio stations have a range of only 30 or 40 miles. But with satellite radio, you can literally listen to the same station while driving from New York City to Los Angeles.

Q. What's the difference between listening to satellite radio and FM radio?

A. One word: Variety. XM and Sirius offer well over 100 channels each, including myriad music genres, sports, talk, news, comedy, lifestyle, weather and traffic channels. Other perks include:

• No FCC regulation. That means reruns of Richard Pryor, f-bombs intact, and bleep-free rap.

• Commercial-free (most channels).

• Sound quality. How much better is it? Flick from AM to FM on your radio. Satellite radio is a similar upgrade.

Q. What sort of gear do you need?

A. For car service, you need a satellite receiver, tuner and antenna or an FM adapter to listen through your current radio. Many new cars now come "satellite radio ready," which means they have a built-in receiver but may still need the tuner and/or antenna.

Q. How much does it cost?

A. Just like a cell phone, there's a one-time cost for equipment, an activation fee and a monthly membership fee. The subscription fee at both XM and Sirius is $12.95 a month, with price breaks available for family accounts or longer subscription commitments.

Prices range wildly on equipment, depending on the sort of features you want. You can spend $100 or $500. Plus installation, of course.

Q. Is it only for the car?

A. Nope. With various adapter kits, you can get sat radio on your home stereo, even in your boat. Portable systems are also available.

Q. How can I get sat radio?

A. The only way to guarantee reception in Alaska is to get Web delivery. XM offers an Internet-only subscription for $7.99 a month that includes 80 of the company's 170 channels. Sirius offers the bulk of its 125 channels online as a component of its regular subscription, starting at $12.95 a month.

If you want to take the risk and try to get satellite radio in your car or boat, here's advice from those who have tried.

Subscribe online, since the phone operators sometimes are reluctant to connect service in Alaska. Plus, the activation fee costs less online.

There are plenty of places locally to buy a satellite radio receiver. However, sat radio antennas can be harder to find, so you may have to go online for those.

Sources: howstuffworks.com, Crutchfield, Sirius, XM





Copyright © 2006 The Anchorage Daily News (www.adn.com)
SiriusChic is offline  
 
 
Old 09-05-2006, 07:43 PM   #2
Corey140
Rocket Scientist
 
Join Date: Oct 19, 2003
Location: Conyers, GA
Posts: 675
Corey140 is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to Corey140
Default

Quote:
When reminded that Alaska isn't part of the contiguous United States, he paused.

"Right. I think I remember that from eighth-grade geography."
LMAO....
Corey140 is offline  
 
 
Old 09-05-2006, 08:52 PM   #3
SISO
Sirius Star
 
SISO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 20, 2004
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 7,591
SISO will become famous soon enoughSISO will become famous soon enough
Send a message via AIM to SISO Send a message via MSN to SISO Send a message via Yahoo to SISO
Default

LOL! That's your management team!
__________________
SISO is offline  
 
 
Old 09-05-2006, 10:16 PM   #4
AZJoe
Top Dog Member
 
AZJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 29, 2002
Location: Phoenix, Arizona / Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 3,720
AZJoe will become famous soon enoughAZJoe will become famous soon enough
Send a message via AIM to AZJoe Send a message via MSN to AZJoe Send a message via Yahoo to AZJoe
Default

I have been getting Sirius in Anchorage for over 4 years.. look back at my posts from years ago. Repeaters have been mentioned many times. With the new Sirius geostationary bird coming online, it can only help to improve the signal. Also, a higher gain antenna could help.
__________________
Sirius Coming to Alaska via TERR Towers (Anchorage Dail News Newspaper)
AZJoe is offline  
 
 
Old 09-06-2006, 12:20 PM   #5
dogfan20
Loyal Listener
 
Join Date: Jan 16, 2005
Location: Philly / Seattle
Posts: 141
dogfan20 is on a distinguished road
Default

the title of this thread is totally misleading. i thought you meant they were installing repeaters in alaska.
__________________
OCTANE 20 / HOWARD 100 / 101
dogfan20 is offline  
 
 
Old 09-06-2006, 10:33 PM   #6
AZJoe
Top Dog Member
 
AZJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 29, 2002
Location: Phoenix, Arizona / Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 3,720
AZJoe will become famous soon enoughAZJoe will become famous soon enough
Send a message via AIM to AZJoe Send a message via MSN to AZJoe Send a message via Yahoo to AZJoe
Default

Not really misleading...I've known for some time Sirius has been interested in setting up repeaters in certain Alaskan locations (mainly Anchorage), and the sites they are looking at in the area. Its the only way to get limited coverage to Alaska and since 50% of the state live in the Anchorage area, this is a good idea. Alaska is just too vast and far away to ever offer total statewide coverage, unless they had their own sat, and thats not going to happen. The story does say Sirius is going to file for repeater coverage in certain locations.
__________________
Sirius Coming to Alaska via TERR Towers (Anchorage Dail News Newspaper)
AZJoe is offline  
 
 
Old 09-06-2006, 11:50 PM   #7
dogfan20
Loyal Listener
 
Join Date: Jan 16, 2005
Location: Philly / Seattle
Posts: 141
dogfan20 is on a distinguished road
Default

i know its just vague. when i saw the title i thought they were moving ahead with the installation process. and with sirius, "soon" might be in 3 years.
__________________
OCTANE 20 / HOWARD 100 / 101
dogfan20 is offline  
 
 
Old 09-12-2006, 12:58 PM   #8
jojopuppyfish
Channel Surfer
 
Join Date: Sep 11, 2006
Posts: 57
jojopuppyfish is on a distinguished road
Default

Depending on the cost of repeaters, it might be a good idea to try and grab the whole state.
You would have a monopoly on Alaska. The people have zero radio stations. If they could get satellite, you'd have a customer forever.
jojopuppyfish is offline  
 
 
Old 09-12-2006, 01:43 PM   #9
dogfan20
Loyal Listener
 
Join Date: Jan 16, 2005
Location: Philly / Seattle
Posts: 141
dogfan20 is on a distinguished road
Default

i think so too. i think an alaska monopoly would be a fantastic idea. especially since xm said they are not considering putting in repeaters, sirius could spin it to make it seem as if they are the only ones who believe in alaskans
__________________
OCTANE 20 / HOWARD 100 / 101
dogfan20 is offline  
 
 
Old 09-13-2006, 10:28 AM   #10
jnorth51
Mixologist
 
jnorth51's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 25, 2006
Location: St. John's, NL
Posts: 480
jnorth51 is on a distinguished road
Default

I think she should of interviewed AZJoe for her article!! He could of shed some light on the topic...
jnorth51 is offline  
 
 
Old 09-13-2006, 11:41 PM   #11
alaska_scanner
Just Tuned In
 
Join Date: Aug 01, 2005
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5
alaska_scanner is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jojopuppyfish
Depending on the cost of repeaters, it might be a good idea to try and grab the whole state.
You would have a monopoly on Alaska. The people have zero radio stations. If they could get satellite, you'd have a customer forever.

Man I hope Sirius is not lying when they say they are going to be putting some repeaters up here. I am in the Anchorage Bowl and can see this part of Alaska being a very economical place for sirius to do buisness.

The priority for repeaters should be the large population centers first. Anchorage, the Valley [Palmer, Wasilla], and Fairbanks.

After getting services in Alaska 's Largest and Second Largest cities (Anchorage & Fairbanks) then start on the highway system. Basically all we have is:

1. The Parks highway (North-South 360 miles) connecting Anchorage and Fairbanks

2. The Richardson Highway [Extension of the Al-can Highway] (203 miles) connecting Fairbanks to Tok Junction and Alaska Canada Border

2. The Glenn Highway (East-West 320 miles) connecting Anchorage to Tok Junction on the east of the state.

3. The Seward Highway (North-south 127 miles) connecting Anchorage to Seward and also Kenai and Homer via the sterling highway (75 miles).

Please note that the majority of the state population lives along the road system. About half the state populations lives in the Anchorage and Valley, and about a quarter live in Fairbanks.

I have flown many flights out of Fairbanks and Anchorage (I am a pilot) and I can tell you that when you fly from Fairbanks that just 15 minutes [in a Cessna 172] into the flight you are in no-man's land. That no-man's land seems to continue for ever, and when you do end up encountering a village it may have as little as 30 or less and usually no more than 100 to 200 people.

The only way that sirius could provide coverage to the whole state is via satellite.

In comparison to the cell phone companies they provide coverage to mainly the road system and parts of southeast. [They have to let the legislature have their cell phones in Juneau. We are the only state that has its state capital in a town that is only accessible by boat and plane (but thats another topic).]


Personally, I really want sirius satellite radio. I know some up here already have it but I want something that I can listen to at anytime of the day and not have to worry about if the satellites are in the right place or not. I also could careless about an internet feed because I can't get that in my car and there are many free choices on the net.

Even though I hope and wish that sirius will come up here I don't have much confidence that they will. It will probably be two to three years till they even really think about Alaska. I hope I am wrong.

Alaska_Scanner

Oh for your interest here is how big Alaska Really is. We aren't that tiny state below California and next to Hawaii.


Last edited by alaska_scanner; 09-14-2006 at 12:15 AM..
alaska_scanner is offline  
 
 
Old 09-13-2006, 11:58 PM   #12
AZJoe
Top Dog Member
 
AZJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 29, 2002
Location: Phoenix, Arizona / Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 3,720
AZJoe will become famous soon enoughAZJoe will become famous soon enough
Send a message via AIM to AZJoe Send a message via MSN to AZJoe Send a message via Yahoo to AZJoe
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jojopuppyfish
Depending on the cost of repeaters, it might be a good idea to try and grab the whole state.
You would have a monopoly on Alaska. The people have zero radio stations. If they could get satellite, you'd have a customer forever.
Actually here in Anchorage we have quite a few stations, 34 to be exact(26 FM 8 AM from hip hop to classical)- not bad for a population of 360,000.
__________________
Sirius Coming to Alaska via TERR Towers (Anchorage Dail News Newspaper)

Last edited by AZJoe; 09-14-2006 at 12:03 AM..
AZJoe is offline  
 
 
Old 09-14-2006, 12:07 AM   #13
alaska_scanner
Just Tuned In
 
Join Date: Aug 01, 2005
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5
alaska_scanner is on a distinguished road
Default

Here is a crappy hand made map of the highways I am talking about in my post above

alaska_scanner is offline  
 
 
 

Go Back   SIRIUS Backstage Forum > >


Digitalradiocentral.com




Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
XM Canada fumbles the ball...Sirius gets the CFL perogy SIRIUS Canada 1 04-24-2006 07:08 PM
OFFICIAL: Sirius Announces New Lineup Effective March 14th Scott Greczkowski SIRIUS Dogstar Cafe 1 03-09-2006 10:19 AM
3rd Quarter Results RUFUSBIGBUCKS The Street 15 11-02-2005 02:37 PM
Finally a official list of Sirius repeaters styckx SIRIUS Dogstar Cafe 9 12-14-2004 12:20 PM
Boater's World Hooks Up With Sirius Satellite Radio.... BuggyBoyVT SIRIUS Dogstar Cafe 0 11-03-2002 10:49 PM

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:46 PM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.39 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
All Content Copyright SIRIUS Backstage. All Rights Reserved. SIRIUS and registered trademarks are the property of SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Inc. The opinions posted on SIRIUS Backstage website and forums are those of the individual posters and/or this website and are not necessarily the opinions or positions of SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Inc.