For a fee, subscribers can receive a digital satellite radio. These radios can be connected to a computer with a simple adapter cable. They can then be used to listen to SiriusXM content through their personal computers. A software application resides on the computer and acts as the radio display and controls.
The XM Satellite Radio service is owned by Sirius XM Holdings Inc., a corporation based in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. This company was formed in 2008. Originally, the company was called American Mobile Satellite Corporation, and was created to broadcast fax and telephone signals via satellite. The company"s name was changed to XM in 1997.
On November 29, 1999, XM launched its service in Canada. XM began by offering 80 to 100 terrestrial repeater stations in the country, depending on signal quality. However, the number of repeater sites has decreased since the launch of the service.
In January 2003, XM underwent a re-capitalization plan. At the same time, the company issued $300 million in 10% convertible bonds to a group of private investors. Additionally, XM restructured payment obligations on its installation agreement with General Motors.
The company is also in the process of creating new, commercial-free music channels. Some of the channels already available include Comedy Central Radio, Raw Dog Comedy, Entertainment Weekly Radio, Joel Osteen Radio and Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School. Another major change is the addition of a 24/7 MLB channel.
To make it easier for consumers to use SiriusXM, the company has released software applications for Apple devices. This software enables XM customers to receive programming from their radios through Apple iPod, iPhone and iPad. XM also provides a separate software application that can be downloaded onto a computer to stream the same programming.
The XM Satellite Radio service includes 73 music channels. There are also 21 regional traffic and weather channels. Users can also access live college sports coverage and news and weather analysis. XM"s broadcasts are digitally compressed, and pre-processed with Neural Audio processors.
XM and Sirius both agreed to concessions in order to prevent price increases. Clear Channel and XM agreed to certain programming arrangements and director designations. The two companies also entered into an agreement where XM would broadcast Clear Channel"s talk channel programs inside Clear Channel"s bandwidth. XM had the right to program 409.6 kbit/s of Clear Channel"s bandwidth.
Despite these concessions, some customers have complained about the lack of customer support and long wait times when calling the XM customer service line. However, this has been the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray.