1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Sonic Tap - Again

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Impala1ss, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Icon

    979
    13
    Mar 7, 2007
    I'll agree that the channels are all bit starved and sound pretty poor in that sense (I think they're also only running at 32 kHz instead of the standard 44.1 kHz) but they pulled the compressors off all the channels I listen to, like classic rock, classic hit and the 60's channel.

    Programming is a whole nother kettle of fish. Some of the channels seem to do OK, but some are very repetitive.

    It's still better than the blathering DJ's on XM. Ever since Sirius took them over they went waaaay downhill. Around the time Sonic Tap debuted I ditched my XM sub because it was so piss poor.
     
  2. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

    4,493
    52
    Aug 16, 2006
    Friends - D* just doesn't care about this issue - it's obvious. Every time I've called, I've been given the usual script about great programming and "we're sorry - but".

    Somebody in their Finance department must have made the decision solely on the basis of cutting costs.

    This is like BMW putting an AM-only radio in their 7-series cars. Ughh!
     
  3. dcowboy7

    dcowboy7 Hall Of Fame

    4,756
    26
    May 22, 2008
    Pequannock, NJ
    If they dont care about it then why put the channels on at all.
     
  4. max1

    max1 Godfather

    387
    0
    Aug 12, 2005
    I have noticed this too on some of the channels. I think i am done with Sonic. With my I phone I listen to cbsradio and I heart radio and never hear a commercial so think I will just use that. I have a nice portable speaker with I phone and sounds great. I work for D I will see if i can find some info about Sonic allthough I have never had anybody call and complain in 6 months abt soinic. Have a great last summer weekend. Max.
     
  5. mitchflorida

    mitchflorida Godfather

    538
    18
    May 18, 2009
    If you really care about music quality and selection, I would recommend you subscribe to Pandora.com instead. It is easy to play it on your music system by using a $59 Roku box or Blu-Ray dvd receiver . . Of course you can play it on your PC for free. They stream at 192Kbps and you program the channels the way you want.
     
  6. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    4,317
    10
    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    Grumble grumble grumble....from all the DirecTV subscribers too cheap to buy an XM or Sirius radio and subscribe.

    I happen to LIKE DMX..a lot. I enjoyed it and even paid an extra $5 a month for the required box to get it when I had cable TV in the 90's.

    I still have XM subscriptions since I renewed for 2 years to get the old price before DirecTV switched to DMX. (They won't be renewed) Now, when comparing the quality of my XM radio and my DirecTV receiver tuned to a DMX (Sonic Tap) channel both hooked up to my stereo there is no comparison. The XM signal is AWFUL, is compressed up the you-know-what, never seems to stop blabbing between songs and has almost no stereo separation.

    Someone grumbled because DMX has ONLY 1,000 selections on a particular channel??? Most FM stations are lucky to have 300 selections!! And you think XM/Sirius has that many songs on each channel? Well, maybe XM did before Mel ruined it after the merger...
     
  7. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

    2,014
    18
    Nov 19, 2005
    Smack talk from someone too cheap to upgrade to HD.

    Why the $#%^ would I need satellite radio when I'm not a Howard Stern fan or long distance trucker?

    Long story short, I recall you assuring the board that we'd all be quite happy with the migration from X-M to Sonic Tap for DirecTV's audio channels. Nostradamus you ain't.
     
  8. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Icon

    979
    13
    Mar 7, 2007
    Ain't that the truth!

    I do most of my music listening with headphones at home, probably even moreso than any car listening, so sound quality is important. The sound off the XM and Sirius birds was just unacceptable. So after Mel tore out all the good stuff from XM I let my subs slide, too.

    The sound quality on DirecTV, even when they had XM, has never been as good as it should have been. I think going back to the Music Choice days it's been a little bit-starved and the sample rate has been only 32 kHz.

    The difference may be that from MC and XM, they were sending DirecTV uncompressed audio, so it was only being encoded/decoded once, but I betcha money SonicTap stores all their music in PAC or MP3 format, and what we're hearing is the cascading codec effect.

    Unfortunately that's not a problem that's easily solved by the ST people, who would probably be unwilling to re-encode all their music in a lossless format just for this one venture with DirecTV.

    Come on down to my neck of Mississippi and you'll see why it's of benefit for at least some of us. ;) I got twenty gospel stations, twenty mono country stations, one oldies station and a statewide network all carrying the same public radio. That's about it! Before Uncle Mel put all the talent and programmers on the chopping block, many of the XM channels had little or not chatter and played some really good blocks of music. If not for his intervention I'd probably still be a subscriber. And I'm not a Hoo-hoo fan or trucker, either.

    Everything I can get on the radio now comes off a satellite, with voice-tracked people, so why not just eliminate the commercials and enjoy Sonic Tap? I tape blocks of programming with my mp3 player (what… your iPod doesn't record? How odd.) And then I have 8 hours at a time of programmed, themed music, sans jocks and sans commercials. Even with the crap sound quality and technical troubles it still beats our "local" stations by a country mile.
     
  9. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    9,139
    28
    Sep 16, 2006
    I drive all over the state for work, and its very convenient not having to retune the radio and search for stations every hour or two while driving. It does have its benefits, and in my work van, stereo separation isnt that big a deal to me. For home use, I use XM online, and it doesnt sound bad. I run a decompressor on my Denon for XM and FM broadcasts, and that helps quite a bit with the compression. Stereo separation isnt that great, but I have CD's if I want high quality.
     
  10. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

    2,014
    18
    Nov 19, 2005
    Which would be similar to a long haul trucker and I can understand the benefit of satellite radio there. My commute is ~ 30 mins. total.
     
  11. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    9,139
    28
    Sep 16, 2006
    Have you tried HD Radio? The ones we have in our town have really decent audio quality, and several are commercial free.
     
  12. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Icon

    979
    13
    Mar 7, 2007
    I doubt there's much on in Elmira. HD is mostly in the bigger cities. I had a lot of reception troubles on most of the HD stations in Little Rock when I came through there last.

    Where I live in rural Mississippi the only HD is NPR, main channel's news/classical and the subchannel is 24 hrs classical and local music. And of the three NPR stations that serve my town, none really give me a good lock because I'm 30-60 miles from the transmitters.
     
  13. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

    4,493
    52
    Aug 16, 2006
    Thomas M - I subscribe to XM in both my cars.

    I just wanted some streaming music at home through my TV (not PC).
     
  14. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

    2,014
    18
    Nov 19, 2005
    You be right, Tommygun. A couple of NPR feeds and a Modern Country station. Like I said before, Internet Radio suits me fine. The original intent of this thread is that Sonic Tap has proven a less-than-adequate replacement for X-M on DirecTV for quite a few of us, faulty compression scheme or not.
     
  15. RadioOKC

    RadioOKC New Member

    1
    0
    Sep 20, 2010
    I have never really counted on the audio quality being that great for XM (which it was not) and Sonic Tap from Directv. I think with music added to the platform it's made to be tv quality. I'm a hi-fi buff myself so it is fustrating so I don't use it. My wife listens to some of the instrumental music when doing yoga or meditation and she will turn on the kids music during the day for little ones during playtime.

    What would be cool is if DirecTV had an app available for something like RadioTime or Loud City. I know that I have listeners of my station that tune
    in on their Vizio TV's and Blu Rays that are connected to the web and they love it. That would give you the option to listen to local radio, local HD Radio and web based stations as well. It would really be nice to have that option on the HD-DVR. Just a thought.

    I'm glad I discovered this forum. It helped me with my old Samsung Tivo and I discovered other cool info as well.

    Chris
    RadioOKC
     
  16. bjamin82

    bjamin82 Godfather

    374
    0
    Sep 4, 2007
    Colorado...
    sonic what? just get a new blu ray or tv... and get pandora...
     
  17. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    4,317
    10
    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'm not "too cheap". I'm retired living on a (very small) fixed income and HD is a luxury just like XM. Thus, they are NOT in my budget. Maybe DirecTV won't be in my budget when my commitment ends in December either and I'll re-learn how to live with over-the-air TV. But it will be in HD-for FREE.
     
  18. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    4,317
    10
    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    That's true. I read an article from DMX saying their music is stored in 320kHz MP3 format on their servers. When I had DMX in the nineties, each channel was fed by two Sony 300-disc CD "jukeboxes" and it sure sounded great!!

    Music lovers should demonstrate against the Motion Picture Engineering Group (MPEG) for their contribution to degrading the quality of music playback!! ;)

    PS: DMX = Sonic Tap for those who don't know.
     
  19. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    4,317
    10
    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'm waiting to see what XM comes up in the deal department when I don't renew next March as I would consider keeping it in the car (factory installed GM/Delphi radio). While I love Sonic Tap (DMX) at home, reverting to FM in the car would be a definite negative.
     
  20. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

    2,014
    18
    Nov 19, 2005
    Since that's the case, don't you think it's a bit judgmental for someone in that situation to be calling out others on alleged "frugality"?
     

Share This Page