National, April 13, 2000 -- Five of the world's leading audio equipment manufacturers have joined forces to build XM Satellite Radio's state-of-the-art radio production facility, the largest of its kind in the United States and the first-ever, end-to-end digital radio complex, encompassing 60,000 square feet. Scheduled to commence operations in the fall of 2000, XM Satellite Radio Inc.'s (NASDAQ:XMSR) new Programming Center will contain a network of more than 80 inter-connected audio studios to provide the high-quality production required to create XM's cutting-edge formats. To achieve this, XM is drawing on the world's leading audio equipment manufacturers, including Klotz Digital, Northeastern Communications Concepts, Acoustic Systems, Radio Systems Inc. and Telos Systems.
"XM is building next generation studios for the next generation of radio in the heart of our nation's capital," said Hugh Panero, President and CEO of XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:XMSR). "XM's Programming Center will not only be the biggest facility of its kind in the country, it will also be the first wholly digital broadcast center. The mixing, editing, storing and transporting of our sound will be fully digital, enabling us to deliver our superior programming in the highest fidelity sound available," he said.
"End-to-end digital technology will allow us to seamlessly integrate innovative content from our many brand-name program providers with our XM Originals programming to produce a dynamic and exciting mix of music and entertainment for XM subscribers," continued Mr. Panero. "Moreover, XM's new world-class studios will allow musicians, for the first time, to broadcast live from a radio studio with the audio clarity of a world-class recording studio."
XM's 60,000-square-foot radio production facility will house more than 80 studios, including production, multi-format and voice-track studios; a two-story 2,300-square-foot performance studio large enough to accommodate a full orchestra; and more than a dozen stand-alone studios equipped to broadcast live performances.
"Floating" Studios and Internet Technologies
XM has awarded New York City-based Northeastern Communications Concepts and Austin, Texas-based Acoustic Systems the contract to engineer and build its individual studios. Four-inch thick steel-clad structural panels will seal out intrusive noise in the walls, floors and ceilings of each studio. The acoustic integrity of the structures will be safeguarded by Acoustic Systems SoundSecure doors and vision panels, integrated cable management raceways and a built-in ventilation silencing system. Each studio structure will "float" independently from the others on special vibration mounts, insuring that no extraneous sound either enters or leaves the studio.
"The beauty of this system is that it provides such good acoustic isolation that we can have classical music in one studio and chain-saw rock n' roll in the studio next door, yet the sound will not bleed into one another," said Tony Masiello, XM Satellite Radio's Vice President, Broadcast Operations. "The XM facility is being designed, built and operated differently from any other, even down to how the studios are wired together. XM has eliminated all traditional wiring and interconnections throughout the studios, using instead a new system of fiber optics and Ethernet LANs more common to computer and Internet technology systems."
Klotz Digital, a global leader in the manufacture of digital mixing consoles and audio master routers for the broadcast industry, was awarded the contract for the XM Programming Center's fiber-optic-based digital audio-media platform and audio mixing console surfaces. The backbone of XM's studios, Klotz's platform will provide an extremely flexible system that will allow any audio source that is tied into the network -- be it a CD player, hard-disk recorder, XM studios in other cities or other program suppliers -- to be used everywhere in the system. XM has chosen the award-winning StudioHub system from the Bridgeport, New Jersey-based Radio Systems Inc. to provide the cabling and connection system for its studios.
The facility's telecommunication system will be entirely digital, bypassing the traditional analog system and connecting directly to ISDN lines. Through a contract awarded to Telos Systems of Cleveland, Ohio, this system will provide the highest quality, digital caller connection possible. Listeners dialing into talk and music shows will be heard very clearly on the air, and callers will hear cleaner and louder audio from the studio.
The XM sound will combine leading brand-name channels with distinctive formats produced in XM Radio's fully digital Programming Center by some of the country's leading artists, producers, programmers and radio format designers. XM-ready radios will be manufactured by such household names as Sony, Alpine, Pioneer Electronics Corporation, Delphi Delco Electronics Systems, Audiovox, Clarion, Mitsubishi Electronic Automotive America, Motorola and the Sharp Corporation.
The service will be easy to order, with XM-Ready radios available at car dealerships and consumer electronics stores across the country. The company has a long-term distribution agreement with General Motors to integrate XM-Ready radios into its vehicles commencing in 2001. GM has ordered AM/FM/XM radios from Delphi Delco. XM's owners include American Mobile Satellite Corporation (NASDAQ:SKYC), which holds controlling interest in the company, General Motors, Clear Channel Communications and DIRECTV, respectively, the leading car, radio and satellite TV companies in the US.
About XM Satellite Radio
XM Satellite Radio is developing a new band of radio. Starting the first half of 2001, XM Radio will beam up 100 channels of digital quality music, news, sports, talk and children's programming directly from its two powerful satellites to vehicle, home and portable XM-Ready radios coast to coast. Listeners will be able to drive from New York to Los Angeles, Chicago to Corpus Christi while continuing to listen to their favorite XM channels without searching the dial as they travel through unfamiliar parts of the country.
The XM sound will combine leading brand-name channels with distinctive formats produced in XM Radio's fully digital Programming Center by some of the country's leading artists, producers, programmers and radio format designers. XM-ready radios will be manufactured by such household names as Sony, Alpine, Pioneer Electronics Corporation, Delphi Delco Electronic Systems, Audiovox, Clarion, Mitsubishi Electronic Automotive America, Motorola and the Sharp Corporation.
The service will be easy to order, with XM-Ready radios available at car dealerships and consumer electronics stores across the country. The company has a long-term distribution agreement with General Motors to integrate XM-Ready radios into its vehicles commencing in 2001. XM will be available to truckers, boaters and airplane passengers through deals with Freightliner and Pana-Pacific, Marine Audio, and LiveTV respectively.
American Mobile Satellite Corporation (NASDAQ:SKYC) holds a controlling interest in the company, which is also backed by General Motors, Clear Channel Communications and DIRECTV, respectively, the leading car, radio and satellite TV companies in the US.
First there was AM, then FM and soon ... XM Satellite Radio. For more information, please visit XM's new website: www.xmradio.com. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements in this press release include uncertainties associated with the launch of our satellites, the company's dependence on third party vendors, its continuing need for additional financing, as well as other risks described in XM Satellite Radio Inc.'s Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of the filing are available upon request from XM Radio' s Investor Relations Department.