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Broadcasting March Madness Across The Globe

March 20, 2023

There’s a Keystone in every great invention.


Satellite Radio and the Technology Behind It

NCAA® Division I Basketball is in full swing this week, with championship brackets being filled out in office pools and online tournaments across the country, hoping to perfectly predict which school will claim the title as Tournament Champion. Millions of alumni and fans are tuning in wherever and however possible, especially with several early-round games happening during typical business hours. 

Technology has played an enormous role in how live sporting events are recorded and displayed. From the multi-angled high-definition cameras to various microphones set all around the court, audiences can enjoy the game of basketball along without missing a single dribble or potentially blown foul call. One medium in particular, keeps you updated with all the play-by-play action and commentary whether you’re in the office, on-the-go, working from home, or at the game yourself: Satellite Radio. 


The History and Technology Behind Satellite Radio

In 1997, radio broadcasting companies XM and Sirius were granted licenses to provide satellite radio services. With monthly subscriptions, listeners could now listen to their music and talk shows without the threat of any commercial breaks. Digital advancement also allowed for radio displays to show the information of the song or show playing over the radio. 

XM got off the ground first in 2001, using two satellites that received transmissions from XM’s ground stations and bounced them back down to radio receivers on the ground. Radio receivers were programmed to receive and unscramble the digital data signal. Each receiver contains a proprietary chipset. 

Sirius followed XM in 2002, originally using three satellites to form an inclined elliptical satellite constellation. Programs are beamed to one of the satellites which transmits the signal to the ground, where the radio receiver picks up on of the channels within the signal. The Sirius receiver includes two parts: the antenna module and the receiver module. Inside the receiver module is a chipset consisting of eight chips that convert signals to a lower intermediate frequency. 

Sirius and XM joined forces in 2008, after both companies had acquired a combined 16 million subscribers. Popularity continued to grow as more channels were added, offering specific channels for virtually every genre of music, talk show, sports, and news. 

A variety of Keystone Electronics products can be found inside the satellites and receivers that make satellite radio possible, such as: Fuse Clips and HoldersMounting BracketsPins, Plugs, Jacks and SocketsTest Points, Tips, Probes, Jumpers and Clips, and Quick Fit Terminals.  Now, let’s get back to the action and all the madness March brings!