Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,732

    Satellite Radio's mixed bag


    Satellite radio's a lot like the typical teenage kid. It's still a little immature -- and while there's lots of potential (and even much to like) there's also a whole lot of stuff that's still "work-in-progress."

    Consider a few points:

    * You pay to hear commercials -- One of the early appeals of satellite radio was the prospect of escaping the endless barrage of annoying commercials on FM and AM radio. You paid XM or Sirius a monthly fee, which (ostensibly) took the place of commercial ad revenue on "free" radio, allowing the satellite station to provide content only -- and no (or very little) commercial garbage. At first, when satellite radio was still pretty new, this was generally true. There were commercial-free (and "limited commercial") channels. But anyone who listened to satellite in its early days -- and who still listens to it now -- knows that "ad creep" has caught up to it. Commercials are almost as omni-present (and just as annoying) on satellite radio as they are on "free" radio. There are multi-minute blocks of them on some of the channels -- as bad or worse as on FM. The difference is you are paying to hear them now. Satellite radio could probably gain more listeners (and get back those who left in disgust) by living up to the commercial -free promise -- even if it meant higher monthly subscription fees. Who wouldn't pay an extra $5 or $10 per month to lose the bleating, braying juggernaut of peddlers?

    * The reception can be spotty -- On the one hand, you can listen to the same station on satellite radio on a coast-to-coast drive from New York to LA. That's the good news. The bad news is that there are often frequent gaps in coverage -- the station just goes dark as it "searches for signal" -- when you're in the mountains, or there are tree canopies overhead. Very much like iffy cell phone coverage in "dead zones." These gaps can last as long as several minutes at a time. And they usually happen right in the middle of something you really wanted to hear -- a favorite song, maybe. Or Howard Stern ranting. It's super annoying. Especially since you are paying for the product -- and aren't receiving it. The fix (well, a fix) seems technically doable. Why not use a small hard drive to store programming as it's being transmitted -- and transmit on a 60 second or 90 second (or whatever) delay, so that even if you hit a dead zone, the time-released broadcast continues your programming without interruption? For people who live in mountainous areas, where such interruptions are a daily part of the drive, this is a make it or break it deal. Right now, as much as I like some of the programming on satellite radio, the coverage is so spotty where I live and drive that FM's just less aggravation.

    * Too many channels, not enough on -- It's just like cable TV. We have to wade through more than a hundred channels -- half of them dreck -- to find the handful of stations we're interested in listening to. The system forces you, in many cases, to scroll endlessly up and down the dial -- and unless you've memorized the hundred-plus channels, you have to wait a moment or three until the readout tells you what's on station 87 (or whatever) so you can decide to stay -- or move on. And the packaging is terrible, regardless. Why is it not possible to buy access to the specific channels you'd like to get -- and ditch the rest? For example, I could care less about pro sports. Yet I have to wade through dozens of permutations of ESPN to find the talk radio channels I like. I'm also not interested in Spanish language broadcasts. You may feel the same about talk radio -- and want all sports, all the time. Shouldn't we be able to get what we want -- and be able to avoid what we don't? Remember, we're paying for the content here. Why should we tolerate being force-fed a smorgasbord of stuff we aren't the least bit interested in?

    These things need to be looked into and dealt with before the merger of XM and Sirius is dealt with. Making satellite radio bigger doesn't necessarily mean it'll be better.

    As with that sixteen-year-old kid, the future's uncertain. The kid might go to Harvard -- or be manning the drive-thru window at Taco Bell. As for satellite radio, it may live up to its promise of delivering us from endless commercial assault -- providing the content we're paying to listen to (and none we're not).

    Or it might end up like the kid at the drive-thru -- all wasted potential.

    END


  2. #2
    mrblanche
    Guest

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    I certainly agree on the ads. And what is really annoying is when you're listening to some public channel, say ABC news, and the ads on Sirius end up not matching with the ads on ABC, and the program has already restarted when you get back to it.

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,732

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    I certainly agree on the ads. And what is really annoying is when you're listening to some public channel, say ABC news, and the ads on Sirius end up not matching with the ads on ABC, and the program has already restarted when you get back to it.
    Amen.. and is it just my perception, or have ads become more pervasive on satellite?

  4. #4
    DonTom
    Guest

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    "It's just like cable TV. We have to wade through more than a hundred channels -- half of them dreck "-

    It's a lot more than half that are dreck on cable or satellite TV, unless you can understand Spanish or like to watch religious trash and other such garbage. Often I cannot find anything on TV cable / satellite that's worth watching. That's why I spend so much time on the computer.

    BTW, we also have Chinese satellite TV, which Tom has much better luck with.

    -Don-

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,732

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "It's just like cable TV. We have to wade through more than a hundred channels -- half of them dreck "-

    It's a lot more than half that are dreck on cable or satellite TV, unless you can understand Spanish or like to watch religious trash and other such garbage. Often I cannot find anything on TV cable / satellite that's worth watching. That's why I spend so much time on the computer.

    BTW, we also have Chinese satellite TV, which Tom has much better luck with.

    -Don-
    You have a point!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,614

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    Well, I have XM on one car and Sirius on the other. It seems to me that 'talk' (I've never heard Stern) on Sirius is better while 'music' on XM is better. Given a need to choose it would be XM, easily.

    Then again, I'm in a large metro area which has more broadcast radio blather than can be imagined.

  7. #7
    mrblanche
    Guest

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    I saw a report by some music specialist who said that XM had better music software than Sirius. When we listened to a friend's XM radio on a trip we took with them, I found I liked their channels, etc. But that was before we had Sirius.

    I'm hoping a consolidation of the two will bring improvements to both.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,635

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    >>Well, I have XM on one car and Sirius on the other. It seems to me that 'talk' (I've never heard Stern) on Sirius is better while 'music' on XM is better. Given a need to choose it would be XM, easily.<<

    After just returning from 3228 miles of a trip, without XM I would have been bored to tears at times when my travel companions were sleeping.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    287

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    How many classical music stations on XM?

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,614

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    >> After just returning from 3228 miles of a trip, without XM I would have been bored to tears at times when my travel companions were sleeping. <<

    Sirius might have done nearly as well -- I've never made a trip of that length with either. Trip length does mean something, too, if one wants the chance to really explore the various offerings.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,614

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    >> How many classical music stations on XM? <<

    Two or three, I think, depending on what 'classical' means. I'll try to take a look tomorrow.

  12. #12
    mrblanche
    Guest

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    Sirius has a classical music station, a classic "pops" station...and maybe a classic voice station? Opera?

    Both have websites with full lineups available.

  13. #13
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,732

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Sirius has a classical music station, a classic "pops" station...and maybe a classic voice station? Opera?

    Both have websites with full lineups available.
    I know you hate Howard, but sometime, listen in when he's got Riley Martin on...

  14. #14
    mrblanche
    Guest

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    Let me make this perfectly clear. I wouldn't listen if he had Jesus Christ himself on. In fact, if I could lock out his channels on my radio, and tell Sirius I've done so, I would.

    Imagine yourself being forced to listen to Jimmy Swaggert for two hours. You have just imagined how I would feel listening to Howard Stern for 15 minutes.

  15. #15
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,732

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Let me make this perfectly clear. I wouldn't listen if he had Jesus Christ himself on. In fact, if I could lock out his channels on my radio, and tell Sirius I've done so, I would.

    Imagine yourself being forced to listen to Jimmy Swaggert for two hours. You have just imagined how I would feel listening to Howard Stern for 15 minutes.
    ok!

    Here it is, with no Howard intermediary:

    http://www.thecomingoftan.com/

    Gail might find salvation here... !

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,635

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    >>How many classical music stations on XM?<<

    There are 3

  17. #17
    mrblanche
    Guest

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    ok!

    Here it is, with no Howard intermediary:

    http://www.thecomingoftan.com/

    Gail might find salvation here... !
    Rick Barber, a night talk-show host in Denver, has a regular caller named "MM" who claims to be tuned in to the aliens about to take over earth.

    When you start analyzing almost any religious beliefs, they begin to sound mighty ridiculous. Take a look at Rasta, the predominant religion in Jamaica. A mother ship, and the dear departed emperor Haile Salassie as messiah.

  18. #18
    DonTom
    Guest

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    "When you start analyzing almost any religious beliefs, they begin to sound mighty ridiculous."

    You mean there are some exceptions?

    -Don-

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,614

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    Quote Originally Posted by pgranzeau
    How many classical music stations on XM?
    Second reply:

    There are three: 'Traditional Classical,' which is fairly heavy from a quick sampling; 'Opera/Classical Vocals,' just what it sounds like; and, 'Classical Favorites,' which can vary.

    I would say that there is something for everyone in there.


  20. #20
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    3,408

    Re: Satellite Radio's mixed bag

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "When you start analyzing almost any religious beliefs, they begin to sound mighty ridiculous."

    You mean there are some exceptions?

    -Don-
    The Flying Spaghetti Monster

Similar Threads

  1. The Failure of Satellite Radio
    By Eric in forum Motor Mouth
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-29-2012, 12:40 AM
  2. Why Satellite Radio Sucks….
    By Eric in forum Technophobia
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-19-2010, 05:52 AM
  3. Why is increasingly commercial satellite radio not free?
    By Eric in forum Advice/Questions/Tips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-01-2009, 12:39 AM
  4. GM's XM Satellite Radio Option Now $199
    By Eric in forum Automotive News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-17-2006, 07:33 AM
  5. Satellite radio meets GPS
    By Eric in forum Automotive News
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 08-10-2006, 10:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •