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Guest Message by DevFuse

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XM / Sirius merger approved by FCC Chairman- With conditions.


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61 replies to this topic

#26 OFFLINE   CopyCat

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:41 PM

The big shame in all this is that they (FCC) can let anyone receive remote stations on satellite radio, but thanks to those in Congress not understanding the bill they passed and listening to the hired lobby for local TV stations we can not receive remote (distant) TV networks via satellite.

Shame on those sheep following the party line.

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#27 OFFLINE   Steve Mehs

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 07:05 PM

Just a thought, but don't they have 24+ redundant channels right now? e.g. ESPN Radio, CNN, etc. So they should just be able to remove the redundancy and give the bandwidth to public interestest without affecting any unique channels.

Of course, they may also determine that some music channels of the same genre are redundant, whereas you (or others) find them unique.



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#28 OFFLINE   waynenm

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 08:31 PM

Which means 15 channels are at risk? If we lose XM 40, 45, 50, 70 and some of my other favorites. I'll be going back to MP3s in the car..
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#29 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 08:43 PM

Why is there an assumption that channels will be dropped? Is each provider maxed out on bandwidth? If they're not, I would expect with the combined might of the two companies they could figure out a way to add 15+ new channels to meet the FCC requirements for public service channels (assuming the 9 redundant channels identified by Steve are re-purposed to the same end) so that no existing unique channels are dropped.

#30 OFFLINE   waynenm

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 09:34 PM

I hope you're right Drew. I really like XM, and it would be like the many times I've lost favorite FM stations over the years if channels are dropped for no reason. If you're willing to pay for a subscription, and that includes commercial free content, it's a bit daunting to have the provider start screwing with your programming. I guess we'll all see what happens next.
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#31 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 12:16 AM

Why is there an assumption that channels will be dropped? Is each provider maxed out on bandwidth?

How many channels were 'borrowed' for sports coverage? If they don't have space for seven or eight channels free for the overflowing sports where are they going to the the space for new permanent channels?

If this deal is accepted it's either lost channels or more compression.

#32 OFFLINE   ajc68

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 12:49 AM

So why not get new satellites up there to alleviate the space issues?

#33 OFFLINE   paulman182

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 04:05 AM

The big shame in all this is that they (FCC) can let anyone receive remote stations on satellite radio, but thanks to those in Congress not understanding the bill they passed and listening to the hired lobby for local TV stations we can not receive remote (distant) TV networks via satellite.


The difference is that the TV stations do not want to be received by distant viewers, but the radio stations do want to be on satellite.

Equipment includes a buncha stuff that I no longer have interest in detailing


#34 OFFLINE   Teagore

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 06:43 AM

i just want to get a few things straight here, it's really annoying reading people speculate about some of this when i know some of the answers because i pay attention to a service that i am paying for. first, the radios. Mel Karmazin, the ceo of sirius, who would also be the ceo of the new combined company, has stated on Howards show several times that new radios are not necessary right away because they can simulcast stations across the radios. picking up xm stations on sirius radios and vice-versa. it has to do with cost and convenience. imagine microsoft buying nintendo, do you think both companies would still make their own game systems? same thing here. second, as far as who is bailing who out. It has been stated by several people (including Mel) that if the merger didn't go through, one of the companies would more then likely declare bankruptcy, and then be bought by the surviving company anyway. but going that route has drawbacks for the bankrupt company. so yes, it is needed by both companies, but more then likely one of them was going to go bye-bye anyway. but it's funny how the company who'[s doing the buying (sirius) has a stock price of $2.62 and xm as a stock price of $11.30. who's bailing out who? third, tcusta00, i don't know where you get your numbers from, but if you check http:///www.orbitcas...is-closing.html you will see just how close in the numbers the two companies really are. the reason the merger has taken soooo long is because of the free radio lobbyists putting $$ in the pockets of the people who vote on these things. they are a big group with a lot of influence. you think taking this long is normal? they have been against the merger from the beginning. lastly, as far as the bandwidth issue goes, i fully expect dozens of music channels to go bye-bye. using up all that bandwidth for duplicates of the same music "categories" would be a waste. 2 70's channels, 2 90's channels, ect. the only real issue is the 2 companies deciding what channels to keep from each others programming when they consolidate. btw, sorry if this came off as a bullish rant :hurah:
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#35 OFFLINE   Lee L

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 07:03 AM

For some info not straight from the company, the services are both maxed out right now and they want to do video. If they have to give services to public intrest channels, they have to either drop some they have now or starve them for bit rate. This will have a massive impact on quality as the current sound quality suffers at times.

As far as not needing a radio, how will they give me the simulcast channels considering the bandwidth crunch? They can;t. So, I guess they are just going to kill the quality to give me some Sirius channels that I do not want, since if I did want them, I am free to get Sirius tomorrow. If they would bring out a new radio, then I could at least getboth.

Then, how can they say that they only needed to develop a dual band radio but not sell, it, that is marketing BS straight from the Sat Radio companies. Why would they Feds have that requirement in the original deal if they did not mean for the radio to be sold? It was widely reported when the services debuted that they would be coming out with dual band radios soon and both companies never said a thing to deny it, while basking in all the free publicity the news stories gave them. Of course, the original license also said no merger, but why let those silly little things stop us?


Yes there is some duplication, but again, how can that save bandwidth if I have no radio to pick up and decode the Sirus frequencies? Sure, they could take all the decades channels on the 2 services and save 7 channels, but since Mel does not think I need a new radio, they still have to send out the same thing twice. THe best thing they can do is leave everythign alone until they can change out radios for people and then make the changes.


I would love to be proven wrong, but this is not a good deal for the consumers of Satellite radio. Maybe one or both would have gone out, but what we will get out of this is no better IMO. At least if one went out, another company migh have decided to give it a try.


DirecTV, please don't make me have to go back to watching March Madness in standard Def! Oh, and the usual begging for AMC and BBC America. You are so close to actually being the HD Leader.

#36 OFFLINE   itguy05

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 08:30 AM

Why is there an assumption that channels will be dropped? Is each provider maxed out on bandwidth?


Have you heard XM from the satellites lately? Compresssssed to the maxxxxxx. They are treading on being out of bandwidth based on the latest lack of SQ.

#37 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 09:12 AM

The difference is that the TV stations do not want to be received by distant viewers, but the radio stations do want to be on satellite.

There is also a rights difference. Any TV station can be aired in any market that the station wants ... all they have to do is sign an agreement with a satellite carrier and have the rights to air their programs in that "foreign" market. The first part is pointless without the second ... who wants to watch WNBC out of NY with all the NBC, syndicated and regional rights content blacked out?

There are market exclusives in radio ... perhaps if satellite radio grows it will go the same way as satellite TV ... with rights owners protecting the local station contracts by not allowing a satellite competitor. Then again perhaps satellite radio will be allowed to continue being above exclusive rights. It's all up to the industry.

#38 OFFLINE   satwood

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 10:03 AM

Here is an interesting commentary on this subject from some colleagues of mine.

http://displaydaily....video-services/

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#39 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 07:37 PM

Have you heard XM from the satellites lately? Compresssssed to the maxxxxxx. They are treading on being out of bandwidth based on the latest lack of SQ.

As opposed to XM from ....?

Yes, I have heard XM from the satellite lately - every day in fact, as it's in the car - and it sounds great to me.

#40 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 07:39 PM

Mel Karmazin, the ceo of sirius, who would also be the ceo of the new combined company, has stated on Howards show several times that new radios are not necessary right away because they can simulcast stations across the radios. picking up xm stations on sirius radios and vice-versa.

So you're saying they each have the bandwidth to simulcast the alternate service? Hmmm ...

Compresssssed to the maxxxxxx. They are treading on being out of bandwidth based on the latest lack of SQ.


Others here think they're already overcompressed as it is, implying that there is NO bandwidth ...

#41 OFFLINE   Lee L

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 06:34 AM

Don;t beleive the hype. Once the combination is done, they will absolutely have to reduce choices and increase compression drastically to do what Mel is saying.

For proof that XM is to the max. Each year when they add their 4 or 5 holiday channels, they have to get rid of the same number of channels temporarily. People complain about it every year, so you know that they would not do it if they had the extra bandwidth.


DirecTV, please don't make me have to go back to watching March Madness in standard Def! Oh, and the usual begging for AMC and BBC America. You are so close to actually being the HD Leader.

#42 OFFLINE   n-spring

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 08:26 AM

As opposed to XM from ....?

Yes, I have heard XM from the satellite lately - every day in fact, as it's in the car - and it sounds great to me.


Drew, I agree with you. The music channels to me sound great. But other channels have always sounded like crap. Take the XL Comedy channel. It's always sounded like AM radio to me.
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#43 OFFLINE   tcusta00

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 08:29 AM

Drew, I agree with you. The music channels to me sound great. But other channels have always sounded like crap. Take the XL Comedy channel. It's always sounded like AM radio to me.


I listen to that channel almost every day and it sounds fine to me... The problem with that channel in particular is that the recordings are made from comedy clubs across the country with different quality soundboards (if it's a soundboard recording at all) so you have serious variations in quality. When Sonny Fox does his in-between bit commentaries and interviews the quality is always fine to me.

#44 OFFLINE   n-spring

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 08:31 AM

Why is there an assumption that channels will be dropped?


I realize this is (very) old data, but when the idea of merged satellite services cropped up, a proposed line-up was leaked to the Internet.

http://dbstalk.com/s...ad.php?t=100820

One of the channels to be dropped was XM 82. I voiced my displeasure way back then to XM.
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#45 OFFLINE   n-spring

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 08:41 AM

I listen to that channel almost every day and it sounds fine to me... The problem with that channel in particular is that the recordings are made from comedy clubs across the country with different quality soundboards (if it's a soundboard recording at all) so you have serious variations in quality. When Sonny Fox does his in-between bit commentaries and interviews the quality is always fine to me.


You must have tin ears. There's no comparison between XM 150 and any of the other music channels. Listen to the same comedy recording from somewhere like iTunes or Rhapsody. It's full fidelity stereo. XM compresses the crap out of their "voice only" channels, except for XM 202 where O&A are.
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#46 OFFLINE   tcusta00

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 08:50 AM

You must have tin ears. There's no comparison between XM 150 and any of the other music channels. Listen to the same comedy recording from somewhere like iTunes or Rhapsody. It's full fidelity stereo. XM compresses the crap out of their "voice only" channels, except for XM 202 where O&A are.


I guess I have tin ears then. :rolleyes:

#47 OFFLINE   itguy05

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 05:05 PM

As opposed to XM from ....?


DirecTV or online.

Yes, I have heard XM from the satellite lately - every day in fact, as it's in the car - and it sounds great to me.


I used to think XM sounded OK. Then I tried the competition and found that, while neither is CD quality the dog sounds a little better with less harsh SSSHHH sounds and just sounds more "natural". However, the XMHD Channels sound fantastic, both of them.

#48 OFFLINE   Richard King

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 06:00 PM

It's full fidelity stereo. XM compresses the crap out of their "voice only" channels, except for XM 202 where O&A are.

That's too bad. Talk about material in need of huge amounts of compression. ;)
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#49 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 06:54 PM

DirecTV or online.

I would think if XM was bit-starved for transmissions direct from their birds to their receivers, then XM would also be bit-starved from their birds to DIRECTV's uplink centers back down to DIRECTV receivers ...

#50 OFFLINE   itguy05

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 07:15 PM

I would think if XM was bit-starved for transmissions direct from their birds to their receivers, then XM would also be bit-starved from their birds to DIRECTV's uplink centers back down to DIRECTV receivers ...


From what they were saying on the XMfan.com forums, the feed from XM to DTV is pretty much full bandwidth and then DTV compresses them for the birds. The only reason XM and Sirius are bit starved from the sats is because they both have a very limited bandwidth - similar to the situation on DTV's non-HD channels.

I do know that the sound out of the DTV receiver is much better than what I get off the satellites.




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