Sirius and XM on an A/B Switch, and frequent audio drops

JJS

Member
Oct 13, 2008
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I'm running XM and Sirius receivers side-by-side for audio comparison. XM unit is an XMPCR; Sirius is an Audiovox PNP1. Both of late 2003-early 2004 vintage. Here's the scoop:

1) XM runs about five seconds ahead of Sirius for the equivalent channel. This makes A/B comparison of the same passages easy.

2) For these particular units, the PNP1 is the clear winner in audio quality, with superior crispness and separation.

3) Those frequent pauses in the music, fr..equent p..auses, come through on both signals at the same point in the track. Not at the same moment in the receivers. So they aren't caused by weather or antenna placement, by interference or by any problem at the satellite uplink or downlink. They're more likely related to a problem with the massive servers that process the music. The audio isn't truncated when the receiver goes silent; it picks up right where it left off, mid note or mid syllable.

Any thoughts or experiences on either of these two topics: Sirius vs. XM on an A/B switch, or the frequent stutters and pauses in the audio, particularly bad since the channels merged. Has everyone heard the pauses? Do they turn up on talk programming, or when the jock is speaking, or only during music passages? I'm finding them intolerable after years a subscriber to both services.
 
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JoeTan

Well-Known Member
Oct 14, 2008
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The drops today have been very few. Yesterday was horrible. I also notice that the song picks up where it left off.

(s50 user)
 

HCLogo

Member
Dec 28, 2008
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GTA, Ontario, Canada
I Has everyone heard the pauses? Do they turn up on talk programming, or when the jock is speaking, or only during music passages?
I've had them happen in the middle of the Jason Ellis show on Faction (Sirius). Antenna didn't lose sync or anything and is still receiving a clean signal.

Great experiment!
 

JJS

Member
Oct 13, 2008
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OK, the audio skips have been much better this late afternoon; in fact, I've heard only one. At 1pm ET they were unbearable. Remember, this isn't signal loss, which silences a bit of the track. It's a momentary stop, then resume, at a single point in the track.

Perhaps the improvement comes from moving more production to the Eck in D.C., saving overhead and balancing the load on the production servers. Here's the Orbitcast story. Comments there are also lamenting the earlier audio breaks.

More channel changes lie ahead for Sirius XM - Orbitcast
 

joe2k4

Member
Nov 12, 2008
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My friend and I were listening to the heat and pop 2k him on XM and me on Sirius. Same issues. All though the heat all most was dropping out and then moving forward a tad bit. Pop2k just seems to pause for a second then resume. Hopefully they fix this soon I thought I was having signal issues.
 

joe2k4

Member
Nov 12, 2008
187
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Also not noticing any issues during talk programming. My sports games are doing fine as usual. I was listening to Jay Thomas yesterday and he was talking about how he could hear drop outs and I also noticed some skips. That was on my xm xpress. On my sl2 today I didn't notice any problems.
 

JJS

Member
Oct 13, 2008
90
7
8
While it was fine in the late afternoon, the audio hiccup phenomenon returned in a major way on Wednesday evening. Some server is overloaded and can't quite perform in real time. I wonder whether these gaps are introduced in production (as audio tracks are merged with voice tracks and an hour of programming is created), or at the moment of broadcast. Because Sirius and XM streams go through different signal processing and codecs; how would they have the same hiccups? But they do.