European Space Agency to test Satellite Radio

Conventional satellite radio, such as services offered by XM and Sirius, uses new satellites and networks of ground-based transmitters. This new European system, which has been in development for three years, uses existing communications satellites to send its radio or television signal. A group led by the European Space Agency (ESA) will demonstrate on Thursday what it calls "the multimedia car radio of the future" at the Noordwijk Space Expo in the Netherlands.

The key to the system was developing a specially designed, flat mobile antenna that could capture the signal from satellites built to broadcast to fixed dishes. The system consists of the new antenna and a hard drive built into a given car. Received signals are recorded, preventing audio or video playback from being interrupted and letting travelers pause/rewind/fast-forward through a program. Companies and organizations involved in the project include satellite TV company SES Astra, BMW, Deutsche Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Dornier Consulting, Deutsche Welle, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Institut fur Rundfunktechnik, Technische Universitat Braunschweig, and TriaGnoSys.

News source: CBC News

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HD-Radio is nowhere to be found in Canada.... And their is no plan for it. So we only have XM or Sirius or better, plain FM radio.

satellite music/talk is a stupid idea anyway. now, actual digital RADIO, like hd radio, is a good idea. it generally sounds much better, has no monthly fee, and doesn't eliminate local stations.

Yeah well, what they are going to have will probably be better than the crap we have with XM and Sirius. It's not that they don't give huge amount of choice, it's the VERY poor quality of the stream that kills it.

XM and Sirius are like low quality MP3 encoded at 48kbps or lower. Most of the time, my FM radio sound much better. We are FAR from near-CD quality.

Most of Europe, along with Africa, most of South Asia, and soon South America, does already have a satellite radio service avalable called Worldspace.

Edit: I guess they are taking North Africa and Europe offline for a while for upgrades and they are not accepting anymore subscriptions in that area.