Sirius Home Kit vs Online 128K iPod Touch App

wickerbill

Active Member
Jan 20, 2009
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Actually October 2001 for XM and one year later October 2002 for Sirius. Sirius actually did a regional roll out in 4 markets in Feb 2002, but didn't start the national service until July 2002.

I actually had to think about all this to remember, seems like its been 11 years, but will be 9 years in Oct. Doesn't change the point of my original message!

You guys happy now! LOL :whistle:

Just another tidbit for Sirius: The very first launch was supposed to be Dec 2000, then March, then December 2001 and finally the regional roll out in Feb 2002 with the national launch in July 2002. Ahh the memories! Many of you young whipper snappers didn't follow sat radio back then.

It will actually be eight years in October, not nine. I didn't want to spend the money on sirius back then, but I used to listen online when they did free streaming when they first went live back in 2002.
 

siriusfan

Member
Nov 5, 2008
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I think Sirius underestimates the importance of sound quality to those who listen to music channels. In turn, they underestimate how many potential subs will not subscribe for this reason. Sirius XM needs to sound as good as an Ipod or terrestrial FM on your home stereo to be competitive. Maybe they should consider dropping some channels in order to generate the bandwidth they need to make this happen. For example, how much bandwidth would be gained by dropping traffic channels?
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
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I think Sirius underestimates the importance of sound quality to those who listen to music channels. In turn, they underestimate how many potential subs will not subscribe for this reason. Sirius XM needs to sound as good as an Ipod or terrestrial FM on your home stereo to be competitive. Maybe they should consider dropping some channels in order to generate the bandwidth they need to make this happen. For example, how much bandwidth would be gained by dropping traffic channels?

Traffic channels cost almost no bandwidth. I personally do not think they sound bad. I think they will gain more subs because of increased channel selection than the few audiophiles they will lose because of aleged poor sound quality.
 

siriusfan

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Nov 5, 2008
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Sorry, but the sound quality is not alleged if you are listening with a descent sound system. It may be fine for listening in a car but still not as good as a CD, terrestrial FM, or Ipod.
 

limegrass69

Confused
Oct 12, 2008
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I agree with you IdRatherBeSkiing. A true "audiophile" won't be happy with FM either. They'll complain about processing or compression done by the broadcaster. Plus there is often static and hiss on FM stereo broadcasts. If you are on the go, sound quality becomes even less important once you factor in road and other noises in a car.

A true audiophile will prefer to listen to their own locally sourced material.

I think Sirius tries to walk the line between maintaining some semblance of decent sound quality, while at the same time providing as much variety as possible. But you can only fit so much data through the pipe at one time.

The 128k premium Internet stream has very good sound quality, IMHO. I run it through some pretty high end components at home using a Sonos set up, and enjoy it very much. Not the same as locally recorded content, but really good for Internet streaming.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
27,082
13,726
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Toronto, ON
Sorry, but the sound quality is not alleged if you are listening with a descent sound system. It may be fine for listening in a car but still not as good as a CD, terrestrial FM, or Ipod.

Oh the age old audiophile argument. If you do not agree with me ... your sound system must suck. I don't buy it.

EDIT: You are right it does not sound like a CD. But it doesn't have to sound like a CD to make it listenable. MP3s have proven that.
 

siriusfan

Member
Nov 5, 2008
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your sound system must suck. I don't buy it.
Pioneer Elite Amp powering Boston Acoustic Speakers. I don't think its my sound system but, if you are satisfied with the Sirius XM sound, good for you. I am just saying it could obviously be MUCH better and, IMO better sound would bring in more subs. I obviously don't expect audiophile quality from Sirius but think it should be better than it is.
 

macfanatic010

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Nov 8, 2008
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DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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Pioneer Elite Amp powering Boston Acoustic Speakers. I don't think its my sound system but, if you are satisfied with the Sirius XM sound, good for you. I am just saying it could obviously be MUCH better and, IMO better sound would bring in more subs. I obviously don't expect audiophile quality from Sirius but think it should be better than it is.

Especially when you compare Sirius to Slacker and Pandora, you quickly realize how poor the SQ really is. I am not a big audiophile guy, but when someone like me can tell a big difference it is real. The SQ that Sirius XM offers is just acceptable, but there is huge room for improvement, which we are likely to never see. I think as long as the bulk of subscribers are happy with the SQ this is as best as it gets!
 

limegrass69

Confused
Oct 12, 2008
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The SQ that Sirius XM offers is just acceptable, but there is huge room for improvement, which we are likely to never see. I think as long as the bulk of subscribers are happy with the SQ this is as best as it gets!

Better sound quality = less channels. Other than maybe a tweak to the codec, you can't beat physics.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
27,082
13,726
168
Toronto, ON
Better sound quality = less channels. Other than maybe a tweak to the codec, you can't beat physics.

Well, you can. Your satrad receiver could have CD quality songs stored in ROM. Then a channel with a fixed playlist like the 80s would just broadcast the song id and position which your receiver would just pick up and execute. The bandwith saved could be applied to other music channels which are broadcasting songs not in the ROM. This would require dynamic bandwidth like they have on the XM side and pretty expensive recievers but it could be done. It would not be backward compatible of course.
 

limegrass69

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Oct 12, 2008
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You could also get a Rhapsody to Go account and download some of their channels to a compatible MP3 player (or a Slacker Player) and off you go...
 

limegrass69

Confused
Oct 12, 2008
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No. None of the devices you mention work in Canada (except for the MP3 player).

That sucks. I love my Rhapsody to Go account. Always new stuff on my MP3 player. Yeah...I have to pay them every month, and if I stop paying , I lose my MP3s...but I can live with that. Plus the Rhapsody account also gets used on my Sonos system.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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Better sound quality = less channels. Other than maybe a tweak to the codec, you can't beat physics.

This is true and it is where competition between only two sat radio companies took us. Initially the both sound better than they do now because they both had less channels. But XM kept pushing and pushing to the point that Sirius had to try to keep up. Thus we have the barely acceptable SQ we do now.

I honestly think they would do well to eliminate some channels to improve SQ, but they won't do it. So what you hear is what you get at this point with very little chance of an improvement unless as you said they come up with something on the codec side.

I really wish they could just merge the freaking spectrum under one service and when doing so drop all those duplicate channels. You could then add a lot of stations and still keep the SQ very good. But this is years down the road!
 

siriusfan

Member
Nov 5, 2008
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This is true and it is where competition between only two sat radio companies took us. Initially the both sound better than they do now because they both had less channels. But XM kept pushing and pushing to the point that Sirius had to try to keep up. Thus we have the barely acceptable SQ we do now.
competion
I honestly think they would do well to eliminate some channels to improve SQ, but they won't do it. So what you hear is what you get at this point with very little chance of an improvement unless as you said they come up with something on the codec side.

I really wish they could just merge the freaking spectrum under one service and when doing so drop all those duplicate channels. You could then add a lot of stations and still keep the SQ very good. But this is years down the road!

I totally agree. Thanks for your post. The question is, can they wait 15-years to merge the spectrum (the timeline Mel mentioned I believe)? I don't think so, especially as competition from the internet heats up. Sure we can download the Sirius app for iPod touch but in the same vein, listeners can also access many other free internet music providers through iPod touch or other services. Sirius XM seem behind the curve on this and I don't think they can afford to be behind the curve on anything at the moment.
 

macfanatic010

Member
Nov 8, 2008
176
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Well, you can. Your satrad receiver could have CD quality songs stored in ROM. Then a channel with a fixed playlist like the 80s would just broadcast the song id and position which your receiver would just pick up and execute. The bandwith saved could be applied to other music channels which are broadcasting songs not in the ROM. This would require dynamic bandwidth like they have on the XM side and pretty expensive recievers but it could be done. It would not be backward compatible of course.

if you had the entire channel's selections in your car, wouldn't that defeat the purpose of having a radio in the first place?
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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I totally agree. Thanks for your post. The question is, can they wait 15-years to merge the spectrum (the timeline Mel mentioned I believe)? I don't think so, especially as competition from the internet heats up. Sure we can download the Sirius app for iPod touch but in the same vein, listeners can also access many other free internet music providers through iPod touch or other services. Sirius XM seem behind the curve on this and I don't think they can afford to be behind the curve on anything at the moment.

I agree in many ways they are behind the curve, the only real thing I feel they have going for them are the special music programs, talk, sports and other live programming that most of these other services don't have. However, with that said they also don't have the huge expense and operating cost that Sirius has either so they don't need nearly as much subs to break even or even make money.

Internet Radio right now is wide open! I am working on a review right now for a Grace Internet Radio, which we plan to roll out soon, but they boast over 16,000 internet radio stations available, which include Pandora, Sirius, Live 365, Rhapsody ... all on one device.

if you had the entire channel's selections in your car, wouldn't that defeat the purpose of having a radio in the first place?

Right much like an iPod or even better example Slacker Radio where you have from a 100 and possibly up to 500 songs in a given genre or even decade. Which can be customized with only artist and/or songs you like, you can make it as deep or mainstream as you want. Do that with Sat Radio? What they serve is what you get! Not everyone likes mainstream played over and over!
 

siriusfan

Member
Nov 5, 2008
74
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I am working on a review right now for a Grace Internet Radio, which we plan to roll out soon, but they boast over 16,000 internet radio stations available, which include Pandora, Sirius, Live 365, Rhapsody ... all on one device.

One wonders if Sirius XM will then just give up on the home listener market and focus on car subs? In future, how many subs will invest in Sirius XM sat equipment for the home when you can for example, acquire a Grace Internet Radio (I assume it will plug into a home Amp) that will play internet stations that at least approach CD sound quality.

Since they just put a state of the art sat in orbit for Sirius radios, they should speed up the timetable for putting the full spectrum to use. Perhaps they can find a way to convert XM radios to Sirius radios or something. Offering CD quality sound and a broader spectrum of genres would make sat radio more viable in the long run. Can Sirius XM survive a 15 year wait for this to happen? I wonder about the practicality of waiting for everyone to purchase a dual radio.
 
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