XM on DirecTV!!

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Ronald Epstein, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    XM on Directv!!!
    Satellite Entertainment Pioneers DIRECTV and XM Satellite Radio
    Join Forces to Deliver 72 Channels of XM's Acclaimed Programming
    to DIRECTV Customers Nationwide

    Number of Audio Channels Available on DIRECTV Will Nearly Double
    at No Additional Cost

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. and WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- An
    agreement between DIRECTV and XM Satellite Radio, the nation's leading
    providers of digital satellite entertainment programming, will be much more
    than just music to the ears of more than 14.6 million DIRECTV customers
    nationwide.
    (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000724/XMSATLOGO )
    As part of DIRECTV's dedication to offering the best in entertainment to
    its customers, beginning Nov. 15, 2005, 72 channels of XM's quality music,
    children's, and talk programming will be available via DIRECTV, nearly
    doubling its current audio programming lineup at no additional cost. In
    addition to music channels and children's programming, XM will provide XM's
    Major League Baseball "Home Plate" talk radio channel, and its High Voltage
    channel, featuring talk radio stars Opie and Anthony.
    "DIRECTV is making a major commitment in the world of music, and this
    alliance with XM Satellite Radio will leave a lasting imprint on not only our
    more than 14.6 million customers nationwide, but on the pay television
    industry as a whole," said Dan Fawcett, executive vice president, Programming
    Acquisitions, DIRECTV, Inc. "By partnering with fellow satellite innovator XM
    to deliver an unrivaled lineup of quality audio channels, we will continue to
    provide our customers with more entertainment choices, more value and the best
    service available."
    "This marks the beginning of a natural partnership between the nation's
    leading satellite radio company and the leading satellite television company,"
    said Patricia Kesling, senior vice president, Marketing and Operations, XM
    Satellite Radio. "DIRECTV offers a fantastic platform for people to
    experience some of the amazing content we offer on XM. We know from
    experience that when people get to sample XM, they want to become XM
    subscribers. Part of XM's appeal is that we have an extraordinary group of
    music experts who handpick the songs from XM's enormous music library, and
    they work directly with artists to create original music specials and live
    performances. Our talk radio programmers share that same spirit of creativity
    and freedom. It's what separates XM Satellite Radio from everyone else."
    Customers subscribing to the DIRECTV TOTAL CHOICE(R) programming package
    will have access to 50 XM Satellite Radio music channels and customers
    subscribing to the DIRECTV TOTAL CHOICE(R) Plus programming package and above
    will have access to more than 65 channels. DIRECTV PARA TODOS(R) customers
    will also have access to the same XM channels, as well as five additional
    Latin music channels.
    _________________
     
  2. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I posted on this yesterday in the "Questions on XM" thread (http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=238036), but I would have to say this does deserve its own thread!

    Being an XM subscriber for several years, this is great news. But I do wonder what the sound quality will be like.

    In my experience with the music channels I most often frequent, the sound quality on XM varies from good MP3 to really bad MP3. Putting aside the marketing hype, near CD quality it isn't.

    So, how is D* getting the feed? I sure hope they are getting it before it gets all compressed to hell. Otherwise, I don't see how their having to take a heavily compressed feed, and compress it again is going to be helpful from a sound quality perspective.

    Brian
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Brian,

    Additionally, I always thought the music feeds
    DirecTV have been carrying all these years were
    sonically superior to XM.
     
  4. Jim Skripchuk

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    Ron,

    That is what is really scaring me about this change. I pipe Music Choice via D* out on my pool deck during the summer with an old retired Kenwood pro-logic receiver and some Stereostone speakers (best outdoor speakers,IMHO). I have had both Sirius and XM users rave about the sound quality and ask what service I'm using.

    I hope XM and D* do this right!

    Jim
     
  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Jim,

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news.

    XM and Sirius offer compressed music at
    MP3 quality.

    What they broadcast is what they broadcast
    and it will sound inferior to what you have
    now.
     
  6. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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    Plus, I can dump my XM subscription and sell my hardware because I mainly have been using XM in the house anyway.

    I'm fairly disappointed by this news. To my mind, it indicates that XM identifies in-car installations as its primary cash source -- since I'm sure that they aren't getting THAT much from DirecTV for the deal and with this arrangement they seem to be pretty much "giving away" the home audio market.

    As such, I would guess that those of us who have been hoping for an improvement in audio quality can forget it. As long as it works for the car, I assume that the XM management believes their product is good enough.

    I also hope this doesn't mean the end of MusicChoice on DTV, which has significantly superior sound -- though significantly inferior programming.
     
  7. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Ron,

    Do we know for sure how D* will get their feed?

    I can't imagine that D* will be pulling a feed off of a SkyFi! Surely there are mechanisms in place that will allow for a better quality signal. I would have to think that somehow XM can get an uncompressed feed over to D*.

    Well, I would HOPE that were the case anyway. Otherwise, this is going to sound like crapola.

    Brian
     
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Brian,

    I can't give you a 100% accurate answer
    in this situation.

    However....

    Because both XM and Sirius operate on limited
    bandwidth, their music and talk channels are
    compressed. It is actually compressed at the
    source before leaving the studios and broadcast
    through a dish antenna.

    It seems obvious that this is the signal that
    DirecTV will be downloading through their antenna,
    into their system, for broadcast to subscribers.

    I can't see any sort of direct feed that would
    improve overall sound quality significantly. In
    fact, it would not be to XM or Sirius' advantage
    to even attempt to improve quality through a
    FREE TO SUBSCRIBER DirecTV/Dish Network feed,
    as it would only entice listeners to cancel
    their normal subscriptions as you can see is
    already being discussed in this thread.
     
  9. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Thanks Ron.

    I guess at the end of the day, the ears will have to be the final arbiter of XM's sound quality via D*, but it sure doesn't bode well if all they have to work with is the same signal we all have to use.

    FWIW, the music that they are playing on channel 800 (the XM overview channel) sounded pretty good when I had it on yesterday, but I am pretty sure it's NOT XM.

    Brian
     
  10. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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    The feed on 800 confirms that XM Radio will be replacing MusicChoice.
     
  11. Blain

    Blain Auditioning

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    Interesting move, especially since all the AVR manufacturers are marketing receivers XM Ready (with subscription).
     

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