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Old 12-01-2005, 02:37 PM   #1
05LGT
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Default Another Sound Quality Question (newb alert!!)

I hooked my Starmate Replay Sunday and I'm hooked. However I do have a sound quality issue. The issue is not static, I'm familiar with those issues due to my Ipod FM transmitter.

The sound is similar to that of a low bandwidth internet connection. Sounds like the sound comes through a tin can. When I checked the signal strength I have full bars for the SAT and 1/2 bars for TER. Should they be even?

Is this sound quality issue related to antenna location? Should I try another brand antenna?

If there is another thread on this just point me that direction. I searched a couple of different ways and received of 900 links each time.
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Old 12-01-2005, 02:49 PM   #2
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What station is this on? Some stations have more bandwidth available than others.
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Old 12-01-2005, 02:57 PM   #3
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Do a search for 'Sound Quality'. There is a lot of ongoing discussion about this issue.

No antenna will fix this. It is inherent in the compression/decompression protocols. As Sirius 'tweaks' the codec, the SQ will better and/or worsen. It is an issue that XM has also.

The only real improvement in SQ you will get is by upgrading to a Sirius Ready head unit and Sirius tuner. Chances are the improvement will be slight and barely noticeable.

FYI, the problem with SQ is due to the limited bandwidth allocated to Sirius and XM and the large number of channels they have. Even by giving the music channels the lions share of bw, there really just isn't enough bw for everything to sound 'CD Quality'. Ten channels for Canada were just shoehorned in, too.
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Old 12-01-2005, 03:56 PM   #4
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So if Channel 184 the emergency weather channel sounds very tinny, we shouldn't be too concerned that the other channels will sound the same? 184 is not full of static but it sounds like they are talking from inside a closet.
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Old 12-01-2005, 04:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danbo
So if Channel 184 the emergency weather channel sounds very tinny, we shouldn't be too concerned that the other channels will sound the same? 184 is not full of static but it sounds like they are talking from inside a closet.
Right. Ch. 184 gets the crap compressed out of it, compared to the music channels. Same with most or all of the news/sports/talk channels.

The music channels vary in how much compression they get. The only thing you can count on is that your favorite channel will sound bad.
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Old 12-01-2005, 05:11 PM   #6
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Thanks, I have been afraid to activate my Sirius unit and cancel my XM subscription based on how lousy channel 184 sounded. Guess I will finally take the plunge now!
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Old 12-01-2005, 06:21 PM   #7
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Sound Quality was the first search I performed, it resulted in 936 related topics or 20+ pages.

Your explanation about bandwidth makes sense. Soooo do all the music channels get the same allocation of bandwidth? What if I like some obsecure music station that does not play all the same Clear Channel crap?

When they (sirius) cut three channels shouldn't that free up some bandwidth and thus improve some sound quality? If so then I say go ahead and cut Fox news and the others. (Flame On)

Frankly I'm a little dissapointed and now have to decide if I want to listen to tin can music. I wouldn't have this issue if ryhmes with Shmear Shmannel didn't suck so bad.

Guess I'll get used to the tin can effect.
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Old 12-01-2005, 10:53 PM   #8
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I listen to Hard Attack and 1st Wave most often, and I don't really notice that much compression on them compared to something like Radio Classics or the Traffic/Weather channels. And I'd actually have to say that since I started listening in July, SQ has actually improved a bit.

While it isn't perfect quality - to my ears, it isn't any worse than FM, AND has the added bonus of being music that I actually care to listen to. Maybe that makes me a bit more lenient toward the quality? I don't know - but I'm not disappointed in the SQ at all.
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Old 12-11-2005, 08:50 PM   #9
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Sirius < FM < Cassette < 128kbps mp3 < CD

In my opinion, it is worse than FM. I am very disappointed. A strong FM station sounds hi-fi compared to sirius. I get no stereo separation and the compression on music stations is so lossy it's embarassing. I have the best possible hookup - direct connect to my h/u.

I will NOT be recommending satellite to anyone until they cull some of the most unpopular channels (and there are a lot of crap channels taking up space) or increase bandwidth so they dont have to use super compression, resulting in the flat, monotone sound so badly lacking dynamics that no amount of EQ tweaking can compensate for.
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Old 12-12-2005, 11:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassthrive
Sirius < FM < Cassette < 128kbps mp3 < CD
I have to agree. I recently signed up and installed my Starmate Replay in my car (…hooked up to my HU’s aux. input)

The audio is without a doubt lower quality than FM. It's a great deal more compressed, flat and monotone. Kind of a bummer since I've got a decent aftermarket system in my car and it sounds kind of crappy when I try to play something loud even after trying to compensate with my EQ.

I'd be a lot more aggravated if I didn't primarily sign up for Stern whose talk channels seem to have enough bandwidth/quality to make it work. Sirius’ channel lineup is great and the stuff they play is a hundred times better than what’s available over FM but right now the SQ is terrible. Once they find a way to push out better quality audio (codec/bandwidth/etc.) and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time, the service will be flawless.
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