Where are the updates???

j_mact

New Member
Dec 4, 2008
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Is it just me, or is SiriusXM been somewhat stagnant when it comes to New Channels / Channel Updates?? It's been over a year since the merger, yet I still feel like the lineup is not quite right:

Backspin it still listed as POP2K

Strobe is still listed as Cinemagic

The original Cinemagic, POP2K and the Groove are still not on the Sirius side (radio-wise)

There is an over abundance of Rock channels, and slim pickings for everything else (save sports)

I was hoping that with the merger, we would be allowed to choose certain packages, almost like cable. If I wanted the basic setup, plus the rock from Sirius or Xm, I would pay an extra fee... or the same with any other genre of music.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that 2010 will be a better year for satellite radio.
 

kryptonite

Well-Known Member
Oct 21, 2008
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Cinemagic was supposed to be on the Sirius satellites. During last "holiday-time" it became one of the holiday-themed channels. Then, at listener request, it became The Strobe.

If you have a SL100 or SL2, you can get Cinemagic as part of the internet connectivity.

I don't think there's enough space on the satellites for all of the various channels. I think even XM has a few channels which are exclusively online.

I do agree that Sirius needs an update to correct the logos. In terms of "matching" the Sirius channels with the XM channels, i'd almost rather have that happen over on the XM side, since they can update much more easier than Sirius can.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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This has been an ongoing long problem that Sirius never updates their music channel markers because it requires a downloaded channel mapping update. On the XM side they can do this on the fly without interruption or consequences to their tuners.

I know people get sick of hearing me say this, but it is one of the reasons I deem the XM system to be better than the Sirius one because it is crazy that they can't make channel changes on the fly. Also XM's codec is much more efficient which is why they have more channels.
 
Nov 12, 2008
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This has been an ongoing long problem that Sirius never updates their music channel markers because it requires a downloaded channel mapping update. On the XM side they can do this on the fly without interruption or consequences to their tuners.

I know people get sick of hearing me say this, but it is one of the reasons I deem the XM system to be better than the Sirius one because it is crazy that they can't make channel changes on the fly. Also XM's codec is much more efficient which is why they have more channels.

I think even Sirius XM deems it better. In terms of hardware, they seem to be concentrating more on the XM side, to the point where they filed an FCC application to permit XM's birds to broadcast onto the Sirius frequencies.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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I think even Sirius XM deems it better. In terms of hardware, they seem to be concentrating more on the XM side, to the point where they filed an FCC application to permit XM's birds to broadcast onto the Sirius frequencies.

Indeed and this is another reason that I keep saying that at some point if and when they do combine spectrum it will be on the XM system because it is a superior system. The mere fact that they've taken this step with XM's birds to use the Sirius frequencies would also mean that those Sirius radios could continue to be used.
 

kryptonite

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Oct 21, 2008
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Indeed and this is another reason that I keep saying that at some point if and when they do combine spectrum it will be on the XM system because it is a superior system. The mere fact that they've taken this step with XM's birds to use the Sirius frequencies would also mean that those Sirius radios could continue to be used.

So, in theory, a Stiletto, Starmate, Sportster, whatever, could receive XM programming as an XM radio? (It would be an XM radio, but have a Sirius logo on it?)

:)
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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XM needs to correct the quirks in their sound quality if there's is the technology that wins out.

I hear no issues with XM SQ, then again it is very subjective. For everyone that says XM sounds bad, I can give you another that say the same about Sirius. Go figure!

So, in theory, a Stiletto, Starmate, Sportster, whatever, could receive XM programming as an XM radio? (It would be an XM radio, but have a Sirius logo on it?)

:)

If the XM sats have the ability to broadcast on Sirius's frequency range then Sirius Radios could basically pick up the XM systems broadcast on Sirius Radios. Lots of other things to consider here, but that is the just of it.
 

wickerbill

Active Member
Jan 20, 2009
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I don't see how a sirius radio could pick up an XM broadcast just because it's moved to the sirius frequency. It's a totally different codec and format.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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I don't see how a sirius radio could pick up an XM broadcast just because it's moved to the sirius frequency. It's a totally different codec and format.

Actually the XM codec is a more advanced version of the Sirius Codec or vice versa I can't really remember. I don't really know all the intricate details. Clearly there are some barriers to overcome and I think the codec is the least of it.
 
Nov 12, 2008
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I don't see how a sirius radio could pick up an XM broadcast just because it's moved to the sirius frequency. It's a totally different codec and format.

Right. It can't pick up XM broadcasts. I just figured that application was something Sirius XM wanted to secure now to implement years down the road.
 
Nov 12, 2008
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Actually the XM codec is a more advanced version of the Sirius Codec or vice versa I can't really remember. I don't really know all the intricate details. Clearly there are some barriers to overcome and I think the codec is the least of it.

XM and Sirius' codecs are unrelated. Sirius uses a codec called ePAC. PAC stands for Perceptual Audio Coding. XM uses a more common codec called aacPlus. You may be familiar with AAC. It's what iTunes uses. The down side is XM uses the first version of aacPlus. If they upgraded to aacPlus v2, they could get more quality out of the same bitrates, because aacPlus v2 has something called Parametric Stereo*. Unfortunately, v2 is not backwards compatible with v1, and any radios that could not receive codec update would be cursed with monaural audio on all channels.


*Parametric Stereo is a technique created where a stereo source is encoded in mono and then regenerated by the decoder into stereo sound. Before being encoded into mono, a data file is created within the audio to instruct the decoder how to regenerate the stereo. So now, instead of a 32kbps stereo file which is 16kbps on each channel, you have one channel of 32kbps audio, which the decoder then recreates into stereo AFTER it has been compressed.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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XM and Sirius' codecs are unrelated. Sirius uses a codec called ePAC. PAC stands for Perceptual Audio Coding. XM uses a more common codec called aacPlus. You may be familiar with AAC. It's what iTunes uses. The down side is XM uses the first version of aacPlus. If they upgraded to aacPlus v2, they could get more quality out of the same bitrates, because aacPlus v2 has something called Parametric Stereo*. Unfortunately, v2 is not backwards compatible with v1, and any radios that could not receive codec update would be cursed with monaural audio on all channels.

Admittedly I've done very little research, but I do know that I did read somewhere early on that while the codecs as you've pointed out are different that they have some like aspects that are compatible. Now rather that means they can make their system compatible with both radios or not I have no idea, from what you are saying it seems doubtful, but again I just don't know enough about it to say other than what I've read in regards to some of the common aspects of both codecs. I'll defer to the experts on this.

However, I do think in all this that Sirius XM is doing is not something we'll see implemented anytime soon. So by then I don't think the codec will even be an issue for them to be concerned with. In my opinion they are slowly going to push everyone to XM radios over time, but the newer radios will be able to use the full frequency range of the combined spectrum. Then again all that is speculation too, so who knows!

In regards to the FCC request, I think this is mainly going to be so that they can make use of the Sirius Sat's to blast the XM service if they choose it to be the primary system they go with in the very distant future.
 

geosync

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2008
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Portland, Or
To me all the talk programming sounds vastly better on Sirius. XM talk channels, unless directly plugged into the player sound like crap. It's barely better than AM radio. The only reasons I use XM on a daily basis is the repeater coverage, and the music channels do have a more vivid sound than Sirius. But if they went strictly to XM one day, I'm not sure I could justify the cost to listen to the XM talk channels every day.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
9,434
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Louisiana
To me all the talk programming sounds vastly better on Sirius. XM talk channels, unless directly plugged into the player sound like crap. It's barely better than AM radio. The only reasons I use XM on a daily basis is the repeater coverage, and the music channels do have a more vivid sound than Sirius. But if they went strictly to XM one day, I'm not sure I could justify the cost to listen to the XM talk channels every day.

I don't really notice is so much on Talk as I do on their emergency and weather, traffic channels. The SQ on those are absolutely terrible. This is what happens though when you are doing 170 channels vs 130 on the other side. I listen to talk a great deal and I'd much rather the music sound better than the talk.
 
Nov 12, 2008
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I don't really notice is so much on Talk as I do on their emergency and weather, traffic channels. The SQ on those are absolutely terrible. This is what happens though when you are doing 170 channels vs 130 on the other side. I listen to talk a great deal and I'd much rather the music sound better than the talk.

It's actually more like 220 vs. 150 now.
 
Nov 12, 2008
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To me all the talk programming sounds vastly better on Sirius. XM talk channels, unless directly plugged into the player sound like crap. It's barely better than AM radio. The only reasons I use XM on a daily basis is the repeater coverage, and the music channels do have a more vivid sound than Sirius. But if they went strictly to XM one day, I'm not sure I could justify the cost to listen to the XM talk channels every day.

If they switched everything over to XM they would have 8.2 Mbps of bandwidth to work with, so they could increase the sound quality and have plenty of space left over.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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Louisiana
It's actually more like 220 vs. 150 now.

Wow, I've not kept up! :)

If they switched everything over to XM they would have 8.2 Mbps of bandwidth to work with, so they could increase the sound quality and have plenty of space left over.

That is what I am talking about. I don't understand why anyone would resist this change when in reality I think it would not only allow them to improve sound quality because they wouldn't be using all that bandwidth multi-casting across both networks. We'd likely even get more music channels overall. I can't wait till this happens!
 

geosync

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Oct 13, 2008
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Portland, Or
To leave SQ off the table for a second, we're into the second week of the free XM preview and we have a few ground repeaters down here in Portland. Little to no portable reception around town now, barely any home reception unless the antenna is outside, car reception drops out in strange places. The antenna setup on the north side of my house this morning couldn't get any reception, had to turn my Sirius radio on, the one with the antenna facing a wall inside the house. XM's signal with loss of repeater coverage is as weak as their talk channel SQ.:(
 
Nov 12, 2008
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Wow, I've not kept up! :)

That is what I am talking about. I don't understand why anyone would resist this change when in reality I think it would not only allow them to improve sound quality because they wouldn't be using all that bandwidth multi-casting across both networks. We'd likely even get more music channels overall. I can't wait till this happens!

Right now it's all the technical costs. Clearly you can't just render millions of units useless. If Sirius XM eventually wants to switch to one constellation to use all 25 Mhz on, they have to find a way to do it as seamlessly and as cost-effective as possible.