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Old 01-04-2007, 09:07 PM   #31
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Default Why do people accept it? Because they don't know any better

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockmusicfan
Let's cut to the chase. No matter how you install your unit (FM, Aux, Home, Car, Headphone, etc. ), if you compare Channel 1 vs. Channel 2 you can immediately see a major difference in sound quality. One can argue about the sound quality of Channel 1 vs. FM, MP3 or CD. However, everyone can easily hear that Channel 2 is has virtually no bass or treble or stereo effect as compared to Channel 1. Even worse, if you listen to a news channel like CNN you get the worst quality. How is this acceptable to everyone? What if your favorite muisc channel has the Channel 2 quality instead of the Channel 1 quality. How would you feel if your cable company started broadcasting your favorite TV Show in mono or changed the news channels to black & white? Please help me understand why everyone excepts this.
Let's face it, the vast majority of people will settle for mediocrity. You can call it being not observant, lacking a "golden ear" or being just plain unenlightened. If you don't believe me, just take a look around you in society and notice how many things could really be improved it someone just simply cared to not settle for "good enough" results.

Look, we all know that the FM modulator sucks, let's stop blaming that because enough of us know to use a hardwire (read: use the line level output) installation if we want the best results. We should also understand that FM in its present form, with even the most state-of-the-art broadcast equipment, could never parallel CD quality. It's just phyiscally impossible.

Now, what the people with the "good ears" are noticing is that the stream rate of many channels is just too low to be satisfying to their liking (myself included). Yes, some channels sound reasonably good, others leave much to be desired. The only way to fix this is more bandwidth allocated to offending channel, or a new codec that can better convey the audio information in the alloted stream. Drop the bit rate, and the higher frequency components get clipped. Thus what should be crisp, high treble frequencies sound distorted or even end up missing in severe cases. Just listen closely when the DJ's talk...it sounds like they set their mic up in the shower...that effect is the distortion of the upper frequencies.

Do you need a working example? Just go pull up Shoutcast Radio on Winamp and bring up a list of stations. Sort them by bit rate (decending order) and start trying them. 128kbps is still quite good. 96kbps and now something's a little amiss, the music starts sounding flat, without presence (much like a lot of channels on Sirius, unfortunately). Keep going down in bit rate and even the most uninitiated will start to notice the difference.

Why do most people simply not notice this on Sirius or care? The quality is "good enough" for them. Whether they have a crummy car stereo, loud "fart pipe" in place of where their legal muffler should be on their rice-grinder, or they're simply deaf in one ear and can't hear out the other, they simply can't pick up on the difference.

For those who can tell, perhaps the reason is that satellite radio still offers an excellent programming alternative to the crap that Clear Channel likes to push as radio.

I, like many others, am a little disappointed in the sound quality, but still feel at this point, it's a lot better than what the FM market has to offer for content.

Last edited by radon; 01-04-2007 at 09:11 PM..
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:59 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergz99
I don't listen to channel 2 and the channels I like sound fine to me and most important content is king. I could listen to better sounding free radio that plays nothing I want to hear or I can pay for a service that has issues based on the amount of bandwith available that has stuff I want to hear, it just might not sound clear as crystal.

It would be great if Sirius sounded better then cds or whatever the best quality benchmark is atm, but unless they get a huge increase of bandwith they are stuck.

I would not be willing to lose up to half the amount of stations we get just so the letter s would sound better.
Gosh darn it my friend Fergz that is a GREAT Post! I LIKE IT! Good Job! I agree with you. No wonder it is storming and raining here. LOL

We don't always in fact it seems rarely agree, though I suspect we agree more than either one of us realizes, but when you are right, you are RIGHT!
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:10 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergz99
I could listen to better sounding free radio that plays nothing I want to hear
This is funny to me, that "free" radio has better sound than "pay" radio.

I don't think it's that unreasonable that if we pay $13 a month it should sound better than the free stuff! I have a very clear understanding of why it happens technically, but the concept in it's simplest form is absurd.
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:15 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by undermind
I don't think it's that unreasonable that if we pay $13 a month it should sound better than the free stuff! I have a very clear understanding of why it happens technically, but the concept in it's simplest form is absurd.
I disagree and guess what you have an option! You can go back and listen to free radio and cancel your pay subscription! There is nothing absurd about it, the fact is that the majority of subscribers are okay with the SQ. SIRIUS and XM will at this point always program to make the majority of subscribers happy. This means more channels and less SQ. I don't see either of them changing direction in the name of SQ.

I can't take 2 minutes of FM today and for what Sat Radio provides us in the way of variety and entertainment, most seem ok with the SQ. $12.95 less than the cost of one CD, could SQ be better absolutely... absurd... ridiculous.
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:41 PM   #35
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You can implement a DSP in hardware, write code for it to take the high frequency portion of the audio and pitch them up when a drop in pitch is detected, and hope that it works the best. Do the same for the bass, but make sure you buffer it long enough, and look for changes in amplitude (lower levels in the beginning), not pitch. Cross your fingers, and hope it works.

Or... if you're using any dynamic range emphasis on your audio, (like LOUD[NESS]), crank it down "LOW" or shut it off. That will help a LOT. Sirius does better on midrange stuff in music than low or high extremes, especially at lower bitrates.
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Old 01-04-2007, 11:32 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undermind
This is funny to me, that "free" radio has better sound than "pay" radio.

I don't think it's that unreasonable that if we pay $13 a month it should sound better than the free stuff! I have a very clear understanding of why it happens technically, but the concept in it's simplest form is absurd.
I kind of agree with what you are saying but I also understand the limits of this pay service. Free radio doesn't have bandwith limits, but it has other kinds of limits (content, distance, commercials, THE FCC,etc)

I guess it does sound weird that we are paying for something that isn't 100% perfect, but i understand in order to have access to Stern, the NFL, 60 music channels, most of the major news outlets, English Premier League, NBA, Playboy, Nascar, 4 comdey channels, talk channels that cover almost any kind of topic, etc and the ability to hear the same channels anywhere in the US and Canada is a fair trade off for a slightly lower, imo, sound quality.

And DAB we don't need to agree on everything, thats what keeps these boards interesting. If everyone always had the same opinions as everyone else, life would boring.
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Old 01-04-2007, 11:35 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHTracker
Something told me you hailed from XMFan.com....

We know that Sirius isn't FM, and we certainly don't want it to be. But that said, many of us have expectations that the SQ should be at least FM quality, not less.

So what your implying is that we should all go back to FM because we shouldn't expect the SQ to sound anywhere near that of FM? That's setting the bar pretty low IMO.
ok so i am from xmfan? i am not a troll i am a siriusfan also! the problem isnt sirius or xm. its the fcc. they were originally suppose to have double the bandwith they have now but the NAB steeped in and paid off the fcc and stopped it. the NAB was scared it was going to hurt their business. which btw IT IS! i also wish it was better than it is. but i know it cant happen! and i cant hear slayer, deicide and slipknot locally on the radio.
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Old 01-05-2007, 01:05 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyfever78
they were originally suppose to have double the bandwith they have now but the NAB steeped in and paid off the fcc and stopped it. the NAB was scared it was going to hurt their business.
Johnny isn't a troll, I don't understand why when folks disagree that is what always comes up. GEEZ, can't we get beyond this sort of BS.

By the way johnny in all my years around these forums I have never seen this information? You care to provide where you got this information?
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Old 01-05-2007, 01:05 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergz99
I kind of agree with what you are saying but I also understand the limits of this pay service. Free radio doesn't have bandwith limits, but it has other kinds of limits (content, distance, commercials, THE FCC,etc)

I guess it does sound weird that we are paying for something that isn't 100% perfect, but i understand in order to have access to Stern, the NFL, 60 music channels, most of the major news outlets, English Premier League, NBA, Playboy, Nascar, 4 comdey channels, talk channels that cover almost any kind of topic, etc and the ability to hear the same channels anywhere in the US and Canada is a fair trade off for a slightly lower, imo, sound quality.

And DAB we don't need to agree on everything, thats what keeps these boards interesting. If everyone always had the same opinions as everyone else, life would boring.
I have absolutely no problem with the price of the service vs what is delivered. In fact I've been thinking over the last few days how amazing it is that they are able to provide what is provided for $13 a month! The number of channels and content is amazing. I know a lot of it is all automated, but the amount of live on air talk with basically no advertising is astounding to me. But since this thread is based upon sound quality, I just find the statement earlier about "going to free radio if you want better sound quality" quite funny.
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Old 01-05-2007, 01:07 AM   #40
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Quote:
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But since this thread is based upon sound quality, I just find the statement earlier about "going to free radio if you want better sound quality" quite funny.
Ahh, I see what you are saying, I apologize for misunderstanding. Thanks for the clarification!
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:44 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAB
Johnny isn't a troll, I don't understand why when folks disagree that is what always comes up. GEEZ, can't we get beyond this sort of BS.

By the way johnny in all my years around these forums I have never seen this information? You care to provide where you got this information?
i was in radio when the subject of sat radio first came up. i think it was 1998 when the fcc decided to cut the bandwith for both services. both services were suppose to have the same bandwith. then the nab stepped in and made the two companies split the bandwith. cutting the banwith in half. i will reserch and try and find the original info tomorrow. i got to go to bed. got to work early
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:53 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyfever78
i was in radio when the subject of sat radio first came up. i think it was 1998 when the fcc decided to cut the bandwith for both services. both services were suppose to have the same bandwith. then the nab stepped in and made the two companies split the bandwith. cutting the banwith in half. i will reserch and try and find the original info tomorrow. i got to go to bed. got to work early
That's not correct. Both CD Radio (Sirius) and American Mobile Radio (XM) paid about $90 million each for 12.5MHz blocks of the 50MHz specturm that was allocated in 1994 for SDARS. With no other SDARS startups making bids, members of Congress quickly determined that the remaining 25MHz wasn't going to be used in the near term. If the spectrum could be put to immediate use, it would help generate additional revenue. In 1996 Congress mandated the remaining spectrum be converted to a new terrestrial service, WCS. I don't believe the NAB became all that involved until additional details of the satellite services became available in the latter 90s.

Anyway, the 25MHz block is history and is not likely to ever to revert to SDARS. While those companies owning WCS licenses have been slow to use the spectrum, expect that to change over the next few years.
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Old 01-05-2007, 10:39 PM   #43
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QUIT GETTING TECHNICAL PEOPLE...

You want the best SQ, go buy a fregging CD or whatever else floats your boat.

You want great programming, a great assortment of tunes, great talk, commercial free music, stearn, bubba, raw dog, traffic weather, football, nascar, with quality that I (and Im a typical listener... no aidiophile) feel was just as good as regular radio, you get SIRIUS!

I cant even get into a car that does not have Sirius and have not listened to regular radio for more than 2 minutes.

LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!
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Old 01-06-2007, 12:47 AM   #44
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I think you probably speak for the mass majority of subscribers!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jb3t
QUIT GETTING TECHNICAL PEOPLE...

You want the best SQ, go buy a fregging CD or whatever else floats your boat.

You want great programming, a great assortment of tunes, great talk, commercial free music, stearn, bubba, raw dog, traffic weather, football, nascar, with quality that I (and Im a typical listener... no aidiophile) feel was just as good as regular radio, you get SIRIUS!

I cant even get into a car that does not have Sirius and have not listened to regular radio for more than 2 minutes.

LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!
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Old 01-06-2007, 06:39 AM   #45
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Post Get a BOOMBOX

Quote:
Originally Posted by undermind
I got Sirius for the content, not the sound quality. I read extensively here on the subject before buying. I even went and listened at a store as suggested. It sounded fine (on a boombox at Radio Shack). But now that I've bought it and fired it up, I find the sound quality appaling!

I don't want to be the guy who starts the thread topics like "Sirius Sucks!". I WANT to enjoy Sirius. But the sound quality I've experienced is horrible. We're talking AM vs FM (Sirius being AM).

I am in the early stages of troubleshooting it, but I don't want to get in too deep in buying accessories if I'm not even going to keep the service. I got my Sportster 4 set up in my car tonight. I realize there are issues with the FM transmitters on these, and without a direct input connection to my car stereo, I'm not hearing the true quality. BUT, since I was dissapointed, I went and grabbed some headphones from my home recording studio and plugged directly into the Sportster 4's audio out and it was the same. Very hazy sound lacking any upper or lower frequencies. And I'm familiar with what these headphones sound like on many sources such as MP3 players and cd players.

I planned to use this receiver for my car and home. The problem is that the same audio out jack I used for the headphones will be used to send the audio into my home stereo.

Like I said before, I WANT to like Sirius. I'm willing to accept a little less than FM or CD quality. I'm hoping someone replies to this and says "oh you forgot to do this:" or "oh you're not doing that right". My next step is to grab an AC adapter and try it out in my house temporarily using the car antenna. I've got my fingers crossed, but don't have high hopes.
Go out and buy a boombox. When I got my sportster two years ago, I would spend time in my car to listen to sirius when I got home. My wife got me a boombox to enjoy my sirius inside. It is awesome. When she is watching the tube or our baby is sleeping, I hit the source button my on boombox, put my headphones on and set my walkman to the fm frequency set on my boombox and presto - I've got my sirius! I take my boombox all over. Its totally worth it.
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