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How does E* receive the Sirius music channels?

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by Michael P, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. Apr 2, 2013 #1 of 26
    Michael P

    Michael P Hall Of Fame

    Oct 27, 2004
    I just bought a new car with a Sirius receiver. I was shocked at the poor quality (like a 64kbps MP3 file or worse in the case of the spoken word channels) on the car radio. I even compared the same song as it was playing on the "Classic Rewind" channel. It sounded metallic in the car but fine on my TV.

    I presumed that E* received the channels directly off the same satellites that Sirius uses but the difference in sound quality is striking. I know that some have complained about the lack of quality off E* however the car radio makes E* sound excellent by comparison.
  2. Apr 3, 2013 #2 of 26

    klang Hall Of Fame

    Oct 14, 2003
    Maybe it is the equipment in the car? I've had factory installed Sirius or XM in my cars for years and never noticed the sound quality being as bad as you describe.
  3. Apr 3, 2013 #3 of 26

    dishrich Hall Of Fame

    Apr 23, 2002
    Agree; on the contrary, at least in my car, SXM sounds a LOT better than it does on DISH...
  4. Apr 3, 2013 #4 of 26

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

    Jan 23, 2008
    via Improved IP over Avian Carriers per RFC 2549.
  5. Apr 3, 2013 #5 of 26
    Michael P

    Michael P Hall Of Fame

    Oct 27, 2004
    You are the first person to say anything good about Sirius in a car. On other forums where I posted a similar complaint I heard from Dodge owners who hear the same lo-rez sound.

    Actually it sounds better today then it did the day I brought the car home. So either my brain is filling in the blanks or the radio is somehow better. I did take it in for service but they could not do anything to resolve my problem.
  6. Apr 3, 2013 #6 of 26

    scooper Hall Of Fame

    Apr 22, 2002
    Youngsville NC
    If they are cutting too many bits off, the audio quality will suffer greatly. For my taste - I want at least 192kbps and would prefer 320kbps if I'm listening to MP3 type music - adjust as necessary depending on the codecs they're using. I find that Sirius on Dish is quite nice - even on the TV speakers.

    Also - "car audio" is definately an oxymoron - I have never heard a really great car audio system that compares to even a relatively low end home stereo.
  7. Apr 4, 2013 #7 of 26

    BillJ Icon

    May 5, 2005
    Car makers often off several levels of audio systems. In addition the interior design of the car has an impact. Sirius or any audio input in my Chyrsler Town & Country with the top audio system is excellent.
  8. Apr 4, 2013 #8 of 26
    Michael P

    Michael P Hall Of Fame

    Oct 27, 2004
    It sounds like the bit rates on Sirius are variable. Some channels sound acceptable others sound metallic or under water. While I have no interest in Howard Stern I listened for five minutes. That channel sounded 1000x better than other spoken word channels such as The Patriot channel and The Catholic Channel.
  9. Apr 4, 2013 #9 of 26

    eclipsetrb AllStar

    Jan 19, 2005
    most stock car stereo speakers suck
  10. Grippy

    Grippy Cool Member

    Oct 18, 2008
    da UP
    Much of it has to do with the station and the source file. I found that the 60's music sounds very bad but the classics sounds quite good.
  11. DaveM

    DaveM Mentor

    Feb 16, 2011

    I don't know if this is of any help, but just doing some quick, rough bitrate calculations of the "60s at 6" and the "70s at 7," and using my EHD, Sirius on Dish appears to be at around 192 kbps -- which I'd assume is sourced from some sort of unfettered backhaul feed vs. simple recompression.

    Thus, I'd honestly be surprised if Sirius was currently pumping out anything higher than 192 for the cars. Probably more like 128 these days for stereo music channels (though...this is just a guess on my part). :)
  12. Michael P

    Michael P Hall Of Fame

    Oct 27, 2004
    Since the crappy audio comes and goes, I wonder if the poor audio is caused by poor signal reception. I just wonder if there are better quality Sirius radios (better d/a converters or higher sensitivity RF receiver) that don't have that phasey comb-filtered sound on the spoken word channels.
  13. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    The only issues I've noticed with my Sirius car radio are reception based.
    There is a section of road with heavy trees (practically a canopy) where when the leaves are wet the signal bounces a little ... and I've had a bobble when going under some underpasses (depending on construction of the underpass).

    There have also been places where I expected to lose signal (places where AM or FM are lost) where Sirius keeps working. Sometimes RF is unpredictable.
  14. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    Our auto radio produces excellent Sirius sound. We also have dead spots as we are in the redwoods but we either get quality sound or no sound. In two years, I've never experienced poor quality sound. And we listen to the same "channels" through Dish at home.
  15. Volatility

    Volatility Legend

    May 22, 2010
    Maybe it is your car speakers? Or the reception? I never had a sound problem when i had Sirius.
  16. Paul Secic

    Paul Secic Hall Of Fame

    Dec 16, 2003
    On my 37" SHARP AQUS set SirusXM sounds great, but on my Magnavox 19" set its crappy.
  17. Michael P

    Michael P Hall Of Fame

    Oct 27, 2004
    The same speakers sound fine for FM & Digital media (CD's and jump drive audio files).
  18. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    Dec 2, 2010
    I side with those who find Sirius satellite feeds very thin. I suspect less than 50 kbps a lot of the time. I'd like it if they'd halve the number of stations and double the bandwidth.

    My car stereo plays several other formats at much higher Q than Sirius.
  19. JWKessler

    JWKessler Legend

    Jun 2, 2004
    I've had both Sirius and XM in cars. My Nissan Cube has a pretty decent stereo system with a factory XM radio. I found the XM to sound a bit better than the Sirius. In fact, I dropped the XM for a time and installed a Sirius radio, with direct connection to the cars receiver. The XM definitely has marginally better sound.

    I find the quality of satellite radio to be ok, but not great, but when I hook up my iPod in the car and crank it up, wow! The difference is amazing. The limitation isn't in the speakers and amp. Satellite radio is just barely good enough for use in a noisy car with crummy acrostics.

    I do find the Sirius/XM channels sound much better on Dish. I play them through a pretty decent A/V system. They are nowhere close to CD quality, but for general background listening they are acceptable.

    I only wish Dish would offer a package that included all the Sirius/XM channels so I could drop my boom box radio in the house.
  20. dmspen

    dmspen Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Dec 1, 2006
    Los Gatos,...
    I have two cars with Sirius/XM - a 2010 Honda Odyssey and a 2012 Ford Focus. When sitting in the driveway, cars next to each other, same channel on both, the Focus sounds thin and garbled comared to the Odyssey.

    This makes me suspect the quality of the receiver in the vehicles are the determining factor. I've heard talk shows where I couldn't understand what was being said (in the Focus).

    Another tidbit...the Focus drops signals MUCH more than the Odyssey. When I go under the freeway overpass near home, the Odyssey doesn't miss a beat, but the Focus drops every time.

    However, the Focus buffers up to 12 songs for replay...except the feature is a pain to get to...

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