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Old 11-29-2006, 01:11 AM   #61
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I still feel that the recently drop is SQ is temporary and is in relation to some technical changes they are making
what kinds of changes do you think are maybe happening to cause this?
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Old 11-29-2006, 05:53 AM   #62
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DAB you are making a dangerous generalization here. Sirius is dealing with compression issues because of their business model, not because of technology. They are trying to jam too many streams over a small pipe. You've been around Sirius long enough to know things used to be much better with less streams.

Sirius and XM are bleeding money. That is a given. They both seem to be chasing the quantity over quality model. I wonder what would happen is Sirius decided to promote quality. There are many brands that do well using quality as their main sales point.

With this recent SQ drop, I can guarantee my three subs will be cancelled as they come up for their annual renewal. I would much rather listen to traditional FM and flip during commercials. Sirius has way too many specialized streams. They could easily toss The Who stream, Stones Stream, a few of the rock streams, etc. Our local Jack-FM programming destroys any stream that Sirius has right now.

For those that think this is a technical hick up (with the recent SQ drop) I disagree. I guarantee that Sirius has a lab to test all stream compression changes. With their video plans I am positive they threw this out there to see what reaction they got. They can EASILY simulate and test this in a lab without subjecting millions of customers to it. They are checking to see if people will tolerate yet another drop in SQ.

Sorry for the rant and I do appreciate folks like DAB who have been around here for a long time. As a long time sub, I've just had it with Sirius. They have drifted from their original mission. Now they are the Walmart of radio and will prostitute themselves in any way to sell more subscriptions.
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:41 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by hipreck
Now they are the Walmart of radio and will prostitute themselves in any way to sell more subscriptions.
Don't think it is any different with XM right now either. It isn't. I just got a standalone XM sub because I love to listen to them over DirecTV. I love the variety and the music, but I can't stand the SQ of either right this very moment.

I have hated the XM SQ since I installed the radio on Friday. I have grown to hate the Sirius SQ in just the last day or so. XM loses me they lose one radio. Sirius? 4.
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Old 11-29-2006, 02:01 PM   #64
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DAB you are making a dangerous generalization here. Sirius is dealing with compression issues because of their business model, not because of technology.

Our local Jack-FM programming destroys any stream that Sirius has right now.

For those that think this is a technical hick up (with the recent SQ drop) I disagree.
Initially Sirius only planned to offer 60 channels, but after XM kept bumping up the number of channels they felt they had no choice. I guess you could say that is because of the business model. But lets not forget that the FCC boxed them into a corner by giving them this limited bandwidth that didn't leave them ANY room whatsoever for growth. So, I think this is just a natural evolution of this technology.

In my years of being a subcriber I've heard the SQ worse and I've heard it better. I think over the years they have improved the codec and technology to offer a balance between the number of channels, the SQ of those channels and staying competitive. How many folks would truly pick SIRIUS over XM if SIRIUS had 60 channels and XM had 170 channels? I don't think even Stern could help them overcome this gap. The question is would SQ by itself win out over variety and the number of channels?

You local Jack station if that is the case is certain the exception rather than the rule and you must not mind commercials either. There is nothing in my local market that even remotely compares to the variety that I get on SIRIUS and XM... I mean NOTHING!!!!

I am sure that SIRIUS does a certain amount of inhouse testing before they roll out updates in technology. However, like most things often times inhouse testing doesn't always show hick-ups that come up during a live implimentation. We've seen many technolgies where they've implimented a change only to have to back it out due to unforseen problems. I am sure those were tested prior too, but only after going live did they discover things that never came up in their inhouse testing. The bottom line is none of us know exactly what is going on and our discussions are nothing more the speculation. I do not believe they've dropped the SQ during the Christmas selling season to see just how crappy they could get SQ. Now would be the worse possible time to pull something like this, so I don't buy that scenario. I still think they is something going on in the system and eventually it will shake out. Today the SQ has been better, but in all fairness I've not listened as much today via "LIVE" sat because I am stuck in an office today.
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Old 11-29-2006, 04:07 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAB
Initially Sirius only planned to offer 60 channels, but after XM kept bumping up the number of channels they felt they had no choice. I guess you could say that is because of the business model. But lets not forget that the FCC boxed them into a corner by giving them this limited bandwidth that didn't leave them ANY room whatsoever for growth. So, I think this is just a natural evolution of this technology.
This isn’t directly related to the SQ issues currently being discussed in this thread, but I wanted to comment on this type of remark and similar ones I’ve seen made in other threads over the years.

Wireless spectrum is an extremely valuable commodity. It’s limited and very desirable, particularly in the 2 Ghz range. So much so that Sprint Nextel is currently in the process of orchestrating the relocation of traditional ENG operations of TV stations (the live microwave vans you see running around town for news operations) to a smaller overall band and with digital equipment, replacing analog gear. They will pay for everything involved – new transmitters and receivers, replacing spare equipment if any, costs of inventorying beforehand and installation costs (tower climbers, etc). We’re talking a multi-billion dollar deal. All this to move 800 MHz operations into a new band.

The FCC carved out a limited amount of the band for SDARS and I have to believe the bandwidth was based on estimates the bidders said they would need. That was it. There was no going back to the well for more spectrum. If Sirius or XM thought they would get more for future expansion they were horribly naïve. They had to play by the rules set down. If we get upset by the FCC’s actions, perhaps we could direct some of the anger toward the winning bidders. They should have known that what they got was all they were going to get.

I have limited needs. The original 60 channels would have been more than enough to satisfy me, and I suppose a lot of people. It’s unfortunate that the companies had to escalate because it directly led to the mess we’re experiencing now.

Who knows about future developments? I have to believe that technology will win out and audio will get better, but most likely not compatible with current receiving equipment. But then again, when it improves, will the temptation be there to cram more into the proverbial 5 pound sack and maintain mediocre quality?

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Old 11-29-2006, 04:22 PM   #66
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I have limited needs. The original 60 channels would have been more than enough to satisfy me, and I suppose a lot of people. It’s unfortunate that the companies had to escalate because it directly led to the mess we’re experiencing now.

But then again, when it improves, will the temptation be there to cram more into the proverbial 5 pound sack and maintain mediocre quality?
Good Post Dennis... Like you I feel I would have been happier with better SQ and less channels, but unfortunately at roll out XM was going to roll out with over a hundred channels for $9.99 per month. Sirius was going to roll out with 60 channels for $12.95 per month. Eventually SIRIUS decided to go with lesser SQ and more channels to be able to compete. SIRIUS out the gate on music channel was commercial free on all channels. XM had commercials on about half the channels. Somewhere in all this though content became king and adding more and more is what has brought us to this place as you said.

I do think SQ or let me say the technology will probably be in place to improve SQ or be used to add more channels. If their current history dictates the future, we already know they will opt to add more channels and keep SQ as it is. I am no fool, I very well realize they have SQ right at the brink of acceptability. This is why the majority are okay with SQ while there is a certain number in our mist that already find it unacceptable. The only thing XM or SIRIUS is going to listen too is churn rates. If they start losing more than they are gaining or they cross each other out, they will have to take notice and try to figure out what is causing folks to leave. Then and ONLY then will they possible back off this mad dash for more content and channels in order to improve SQ.
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Old 11-29-2006, 04:28 PM   #67
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Nothing is impossible. There is, somehow, a way for SDARS to increase bandwidth for SQ without removing channels, but nobody knows how.
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Old 11-29-2006, 04:42 PM   #68
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Initially Sirius only planned to offer 60 channels, but after XM kept bumping up the number of channels they felt they had no choice.
so i guess it is xmsrs fault.

it has been brought up often by others but do you agree that by choosing pac as its codec rather than aacplus -- which is the de-facto standard -- siri blew it? xmsr can push their bandwidth much harder because aacplus will tolerate it without the sq going to crap.

in the end xmsrs ability to have more decent soundng channels is a competitive problem that siri is going to have to deal with. whether they chooose to reduce sq or # of channels or both is a business decision.

siri and xmsr must find some middle ground but xmsr seems to have a pretty big advantage in this area.
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Old 11-29-2006, 04:46 PM   #69
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There is, somehow, a way for SDARS to increase bandwidth for SQ without removing channels, but nobody knows how.
in this business right now the scarce resource is spectrum. the guy that uses what is available more effectively is bound to have a competitive advantage.
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Old 11-29-2006, 04:55 PM   #70
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so i guess it is xmsrs fault.

it has been brought up often by others but do you agree that by choosing pac as its codec rather than aacplus -- which is the de-facto standard -- siri blew it? xmsr can push their bandwidth much harder because aacplus will tolerate it without the sq going to crap.
You never read me say it was XM's fault. If XM's technology allowed them to roll out more channels and have decent SQ that is exactly what they should have done. Why are you always so XM defensive, can you explain that?

I think SIRIUS made a lot of technology decisions that were in my opinion wrong. pac vs aacplus that could have been one of them. But one of the biggest I feel was that they opted at the last minute to change from stationary sats to the elliptical orbit (roving sats) and I think this was their biggest mistake. Today we are paying for it with poor home reception and since they have a much smaller repeater network it now hurts them with portables.

One thing you won't see me doing is wearing the SIRIUS flag in every post. I wish you didn't always find it necessary to wear the XM one.

I do agree 100% the company that can use the spectrum to their advantage by offering more channels and yet be able to maintain decent SQ in the long term will probably win out. MAYBE!!! Because folks aren't as anal about SQ as many of the type folks that post on forums are. I have family that think SIRIUS sounds like a CD. They don't pay any attention to it and they just love the content. Many folks do get Sat Radio for content and not necessary the SQ as long as the SQ is at an acceptable level.

The thing is that I see almost as many SQ complaints on XM forums as I do this one. So overall do they actually sound better than SIRIUS? I think that question is in the ears of the listener. I have always felt overall XM had a tad bit better SQ, but I am not so sure anymore. They are really, really pushing it now too.

By the way as of today, I think SIRIUS's SQ sounds better than XM's. Not sure exactly what they did, but that is my opinion right this moment.
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Old 11-29-2006, 05:11 PM   #71
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I think SIRIUS made a lot of technology decisions that were in my opinion wrong. pac vs aacplus that could have been one of them. But one of the biggest I feel was that they opted at the last minute to change from stationary sats to the elliptical orbit (roving sats) and I think this was their biggest mistake. Today we are paying for it with poor home reception and since they have a much smaller repeater network it now hurts them with portables.
You are so right on the satellites. Notice how many receivers have built in XM now. Sirius is very hard to get working reliably in a house compared to XM. And you are also correct that Sirius is tougher to get in many cities (I'm in Minneapolis) it's common to lose the signal on interstate overpasses here.

I don't think the codec choice is a huge deal. They are pushing the bitrates down so much that anything would be challenged.

You are right, we have it good here for local radio. Once Jack-FM landed (and is programmed locally) other stations expanded their playlists. Our FM playlists now have less repetition that Sirius does.

I know, I'm the conspiracy guy here, but I do think they are testing something right now. My guess is video testing, but they obviously know something is wrong. Why they don't fix it is a mystery to me.
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:11 PM   #72
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I don't think the codec choice is a huge deal. They are pushing the bitrates down so much that anything would be challenged.
no, it is huge because it limits siri to at best 75-80% of what xmsr can broadcast. thats a big deal.
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:32 PM   #73
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I think the biggest deal is that NOTHING is "cd quality" when it's converted to FM and broadcast at .005WATT.

Take a CD then record it to tape then use a FM relay thingee to send it to your radio.

Not going to sound too good EVEN THOUGH it's still "CD QUALITY"
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:43 PM   #74
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I know, I'm the conspiracy guy here, but I do think they are testing something right now. My guess is video testing, but they obviously know something is wrong. Why they don't fix it is a mystery to me.
I think they have always done video testing here and there, so I don't agree that was the issue over the last week. But when you say why don't they fix it. From what I've heard today, I think they have! I was very pleased listening to about half dozen different channels this afternoon. I think the poor quality for the few days was them working on whatever they finalized last night that is providing better sound today.

I also think there is a segment of subcribers that even if SIRIUS had only 60 channels would have issues with the SQ. There are just some folks you can't and will never be able to satisfy.
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:52 PM   #75
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"I know, I'm the conspiracy guy here, but I do think they are testing something right now. My guess is video testing, but they obviously know something is wrong. Why they don't fix it is a mystery to me."

What conspiracy? That they are constantly doing things and not telling you? Are you kidding? OF COURSE THEY ARE!

So when I worked for a digital camera tech support and people would call with the camera that EVERYONE KNEW WAS GARBAGE CAUSE THEY ARE GOING TO DIE REGARDLESS, you told them to send it in like you have NO IDEA and go through the procedure. You really think you are going to get a OH I'M SORRY THOSE ALL ARE JUNK LET ME SEND YOU SOME GOLD BARS FOR YOUR TROUBLE.

IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT THEY TELL YOU. Unless you work directly for them in the tech support then whatever you ASSume will be just that. Assumption.

Sony INVENTED the CD PLAYER in 1980. In 1993, for $250, my CD WALKMAN couldn't play a full CD without killing the battery, couldn't walk with it cause the eye would JUMP all over and not even keep track of the song and 2X OVERSAMPLING (I believe it was just 2 speed read) was TO DIE FOR.

Yeah, it takes a few years to get out the kinks is what I'm trying to get at...and I don't know about you but I wouldn't touch a Sony CD player 25 years after they invented it as they usually SUCK HARD.
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