Music Choice returning this week?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by jamieh1, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. Feb 10, 2018 #61 of 117
    KyL416

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    Don't hold your breath on that, see above for details. But basically, only 47 of the 84 Music Choice channels DirecTV carries have slideshows available, the rest are all audio only channels that are either commercial channels, "new" music choice channels, or DirecTV exclusives with no slideshows available.

    Music Choice is very different than other channels. For the core 50 channels, it's optimized to be delivered on one QAM Mux with the video streams having highly dynamic bitrates. (i.e. the video bitrate only spikes when they need to switch images, the rest of the time it's a very low bitrate still image, and they program it so it doesn't occur at the same time on multiple channels) Since DirecTV has their audio channels seperated so it's no more than 4 to a transponder, they can't carry them without re-encoding each individual video feed which will take up significantly more bandwidth, or put them all on one transponder to take advantage of Music Choice's stat muxing, which they can't do for other non-Music Choice related reasons described above. But even if they did, that will still leave out the other 37 channels which don't have any video slideshow stream available.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  2. Feb 10, 2018 #62 of 117
    dishrich

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    Technically when it was first created back around 1987 (& was called Digital Cable Radio) there were NO screens...because it was a stand-alone audio service, that required use of a dedicated "digital audio tuner" & remote, that was provided by the cable system as part of the service & had audio outputs & loop-ins, to connect to a stereo receiver, or other audio devices. (see attached pic of what it looked like) This was before there was any "digital TV services" deployed & the service usually cost around $10/month. Our system at the time was Cox & we were one of the 1st systems to get this service; it started out with 19 music channels & 5 digital stereo simulcasts of MTV, VH1, HBO, MAX & Showtime & then the music channels were expanded to 30 residential & 4 commercial channels.
    Since they had not come out with the remotes that showed the song titles yet, they had a phone# that you could call at anytime, punch in the channel# you wanted & it would speak back the 3 last songs played on that channel. Once digital cable started being deployed with music channels included, the standalone services began to disappear fast.

    Then of course there was their competitor of DMX, which had a very similar system, & which I believe started out with the song title remotes.
     
  3. Feb 11, 2018 #63 of 117
    B Newt

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    One thing I noticed about Music Choice is the volume. When I change channels form a regular show to MC, the volume on MC is a lot lower than the previous channel. I have to turn up the volume on my audio amp to get the same sound level of the previous channel. When I go back to a regular channel the volume has to be turned back down. This is annoying! I didn't have this problem with sonic tap.
     
  4. Feb 11, 2018 #64 of 117
    zeebre12

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    Would be good if they provided some music video channels like the streams from the app. Even just a few. Doesn'the Directv have lots of bandwidth anyway?
     
  5. Feb 11, 2018 #65 of 117
    slice1900

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    I think one of the reasons they've split up all the music channels across many transponders is because of the bandwidth crunch on 101. After they drop MPEG2 SD that will no longer be an issue, so perhaps there's a chance in a couple years they'll carry the whole QAM channel on a transponder instead of splitting them up.
     
  6. Feb 11, 2018 #66 of 117
    trainman

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    Had College Rock's replacement (Indie) on for a couple hours today, and so far, so good.
     
  7. Feb 11, 2018 #67 of 117
    west99999

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    Known issue right now everybody complaining about it.
     
  8. Feb 11, 2018 #68 of 117
    cypherx

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    It did seem like there are a lot more MC channels than on cable. Though some without graphics shouldn’t be the reason (TWC /Spectrum simulcasts FM stations after music choice, black screens with stereo audio).

    Comcast a few years ago also split up MC across many QAMs, mixed in with other video. At my house I have Service Electric Cablevision along with Directv and I believe swrv (now mc play) is on the QAM with all 50 some MC channels. MC Play HD is on another QAM with two other HD programs. I’d typically see 4 SD + the entire MC channel lineup on a single QAM.

    Maybe transponder bandwidth is an issue. They should be able to generate the graphics locally, even use html, text to fill the screens would be very low data rate, like RDS on FM Radio. New graphics could be downloaded overnight or obtained live if an internet connection was available. Just my thoughts. We could all come up with ways it could be done, but that means work and less profits, so that won’t happen.

    The digital audio only cable receiver looked like a neat product for its time. We dealt with analog stereo audio of 30 some FM stations between 91 and 103 MHz when connecting our cable to our stereo back in the day. We could even hear the buzzing sound at 106.2 MHz that controlled the then analog Scientific Atlanta 8600 boxes. Eventually that was shutdown so they could put channels on analog 95 and 96. They could never use Ch 97 because it would overlap the set top data (analog on 106.2 and Moto DCT-2000 digital on 104.2). I think today they evolved and put the STB data on 75 MHz and the rest of the System is QAM.
     
  9. Feb 12, 2018 #69 of 117
    Delroy E Walleye

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    At least someone has bothered to enter the release year in some of the CD titles line.

    (Folks had been wanting the year added for a long time.)

    I don't think or expect anything else to be added info, graphics or video-wise anytime soon. I believe as that data is transmitted now it would still be compatible with even the oldest of DirecTV receivers!
     
  10. Feb 12, 2018 #70 of 117
    cypherx

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    I put a MC channel on cable, in my bedroom and DirecTV in my living room. Turned it up so I could hear it in between both areas. Sure enough it was the same song, but a much different portion of the same song. Cable was showing the Did you know? Slides and it was louder by default compared to DirecTV. I didn’t do it long enough to time it, but I suspect DirecTV was a good 40-60 seconds behind. Perhaps some of the processing involved stripping out the video and re-encoding it, shooting it up and back down to earth again really does a number on it.
     
  11. Feb 13, 2018 #71 of 117
    slice1900

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    They probably don't care if there are delays in it because it isn't as though any of it is live. They could run an hour behind if they wanted, and no one is going to object.
     
  12. Feb 13, 2018 #72 of 117
    cypherx

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    Well at least is within a minute or so. The channel numbers are way different though. The first channel on our cable system (ch 401) is Hitlist for example. Have to get used to the different numbering scheme on DirecTV.
     
  13. Feb 14, 2018 #73 of 117
    inkahauts

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    That’s no different than the tv channels being on different channel numbers too..
     
  14. Feb 14, 2018 #74 of 117
    KyL416

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    Music Choice does have a standard order for cable and telcos who carry their core 50 channel lineup, but since DirecTV has a mix of 47 core channels, the "new" music choice channels, some of the commercial channels, along with a bunch of exclusive channels they stuck with their own custom genre order that goes back to the XM days.

    # XM/SiriusXM -> Sonic Tap -> Music Choice
    Decades
    801 The 40s -> Big Band/Swing -> Big Band
    802 The 50s -> Malt Shop Oldies -> Malt Shop Favorites
    803 The 60s -> 60's Revolution -> '60s Movement
    804 The 70s -> 70's Hits -> '70s
    805 The 80s -> 80's Hits -> '80s
    806 The 90s -> 90's Hits -> '90s
    (807 was Oprah & Friends until DirecTV dropped the talk channels, then it became the gap between Decades and Country)
    Country
    808 America/Roadhouse -> Traditional Country -> Classic Country
    809 US Country/Prime Country -> Hit Country -> Country Hits
    810 X Country/Outlaw Country -> Red, Rock and Blues -> Americana
    811 Willie's Place -> Honky Tonk Tavern -> Honky Tonk
    812 Bluegrass Junction -> Bluegrass -> Bluegrass
    813 The Village -> Folk Rock -> Folk
    814 Highway 16/The Highway -> Modern Country -> Today's Country
    (Nothing was on 815, it was just a gap between Country and Hits)
    Hits
    816 Top 20 on 20 -> Today's Hits -> Hit List
    817 XM Hitlist/Pop2k -> Y2k Hits -> Y2K
    818 Flight 26/The Pulse -> Hottest Hits -> Max
    819 The Heart/SiriusXM Love -> Love Songs -> Love Songs
    820 Escape -> Beautiful Instrumentals -> Contemporary Instrumentals
    821 The Blend -> Adult Contemporary -> Pop Hits
    822 Cinemagic -> Silver Screen -> Movie Scores
    823 On Broadway -> Showtunes -> Broadway
    (824 was U-Pop, but went away as part of 1worldspace going bankrupt)
    825 The Heat -> Hot Jams -> Hip-Hop and R&B
    Christian
    826 The Message -> The Spirit -> Contemporary Christian
    827 Spirit/Praise -> Gospel Glory -> Gospel
    828 Enlighten -> Hallelujah -> Gospel Hallelujah
    Rock
    829 The Torch/Hair Nation -> Hair Guitar -> '80s Rock (originally Christian: The Torch)
    830 Boneyard -> Full Metal Jacket -> Metal
    831 XMU -> College Rock -> Indie
    832 XM Cafe/The Spectrum -> Adult Alternative -> Adult Alternative
    833 Top Tracks/Classic Vinyl -> Classic Rock -> Classic Rock
    834 Ethel/Alt Nation -> Alternative -> Alternative
    835 Squizz/Octane -> Ink'd -> Hard Rock
    836 The Loft -> Singer-Songwriters -> Coffee Shop Cuts
    837 Big Tracks/Classic Rewind -> Classic Hits Blend -> Rock Hits
    838 Lucy/Lithium -> Reality Bites -> Classic Alternative
    839 Fred/1st Wave -> Flashback/New Wave -> New Wave
    840 Deep Tracks -> 8-Tracks -> Pop & Country
    841 Liquid Metal -> Spike -> Rock (originally High Voltage/The Virus, which later returned on 879)
    Urban
    842 Soul Street/Soul Town -> Classic R&B -> R&B Classics
    843 Suite 62/Heart & Soul -> Silky Soul -> R&B Soul
    844 The Groove -> Old School Funk -> Funk
    845 The Strobe -> Retro Disco -> Classic Dance (originally The Rhyme)
    846 RAW/Backspin -> The Boombox -> Rap
    847 The City/Hip-Hop Nation -> Hype -> Mainstream Rap
    848 The Coffee House -> Coffeehouse Rock -> Throwback Jamz (originally Novelty: Special X)
    849 The Bridge -> Soft Hits -> Soft Rock (originally a gap between Novelty and Jazz & Blues)
    Jazz & Blues
    850 Real Jazz -> Classic Jazz Vocal Blend -> Jazz Vocal Hits
    851 Watercolors -> Smooth Jazz -> Smooth Jazz
    (852 was Beyond Jazz, but went away as part of the SiriusXM merge)
    (853 was Frank's Place/High Standards, but went away as part of the SiriusXM merge)
    854 Bluesville -> Blues -> Blues
    Lifestyle
    (855 was Fine Tuning, but went away as part of the SiriusXM merge)
    856 Audiovisions/Spa -> New Age -> New Age
    Dance
    857 Chill -> Zen -> Soundscapes
    858 The Move/Area -> SubTerranean -> All Xmas
    859 BPM -> Dance -> Dance/EDM
    (860 was The System, but went away as part of 1worldspace going bankrupt)
    (861 was Chrome, but went away as part of the SiriusXM merge)
    World
    (862 was World Zone, but went away as part of 1worldspace going bankrupt)
    863 The Joint -> Reggae -> Reggae
    Classical
    864 XM Classics/Symphony Hall -> Symphonic -> Symphony
    (865 was VOX, but went away as part of the SiriusXM merge)
    866 Pops -> Light Classical -> Light Classical
    Kids
    867 Radio Disney -> Be-Tween -> Teen Beats
    868 XM Kids/Kids Place Live -> The Playground -> Kidz Only!
    869 Caliente -> Bailamos! -> Toddler Tunes (originally a gap between Kids and Latino)

    The 870s were replaced with Sonic Tap channels when the SiriusXM merge eliminated everything except Caliente, which moved to channel 869.

    They left a lot of gaps for future expansion because of how dynamic the XM/SiriusXM lineup was, once they switched to Sonic Tap the remaining gaps were filled by channels that were previously only available to commercial subscribers in the 9500s.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  15. Feb 15, 2018 #75 of 117
    crodrules

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    I assumed that was the CD listing from the previous song. If the Song ID still works the same way it did when I still had a H25, it only changes one line at a time, instead of all three lines at once. So, the picture was probably taken before the Song ID was finished updating.
     
  16. Feb 15, 2018 #76 of 117
    crodrules

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    If you haven't got one yet, I have a 5-LNB available if you want it.
     
  17. Feb 15, 2018 #77 of 117
    cypherx

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    Thanks Kyle. Yeah I know everyone has different channel numbers, but MC is usually ordered the same on every system, where Hitlist is the “first” channel in the series. Kyles response explains it best. Thanks again.
     
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  18. Feb 15, 2018 #78 of 117
    trainman

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    I thought of that (the display changes one line at a time on my HR54-500, too) -- but why would the previous song on the '80s pop channel ever have been something from a 1976 Merle Haggard album?
     
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  19. Feb 16, 2018 #79 of 117
    crodrules

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    Maybe the person who posted the picture had just changed from a different channel?
     
  20. Feb 16, 2018 #80 of 117
    Eva

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    I remember MC channels on Directv long long ago.
     
    crodrules and dtv757 like this.

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