Component tuners for home stereo? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-17-2016, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Component tuners for home stereo?

I do not currently subscribe to Sirius/XM, but I plan to in the near future. I want a component tuner for my home stereo system, preferably something rackable/stackable. I do not care if this is an old/discontinued device, as long as it works properly and has digital (preferably optical) audio output.

My problem is that web searches only turn up car audio or portable devices. If I knew of specific manufacturers and models to search for, that would help.immensely. I'd also appreciate any recommendations on the quality of the devices.listed.

Should I be aware of any orphaned devices that are now bricks since the Sirius/XM merger?

My only experience with sat radio is in the occasional rental car and G1000 flight decks. But damn, that 1st Wave channel gives me reason to live!
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-18-2016, 09:54 AM
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This is probably what you're looking for, but it hasn't been around for a while.


http://www.siriusretail.com/pdf/manu...riusSRH550.pdf
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-09-2016, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzop View Post
I do not currently subscribe to Sirius/XM, but I plan to in the near future. I want a component tuner for my home stereo system, preferably something rackable/stackable. I do not care if this is an old/discontinued device, as long as it works properly and has digital (preferably optical) audio output.

My problem is that web searches only turn up car audio or portable devices. If I knew of specific manufacturers and models to search for, that would help.immensely. I'd also appreciate any recommendations on the quality of the devices.listed.

Should I be aware of any orphaned devices that are now bricks since the Sirius/XM merger?

My only experience with sat radio is in the occasional rental car and G1000 flight decks. But damn, that 1st Wave channel gives me reason to live!
Isn't the sound quality of the actual satellite signal so compressed that it doesn't make much sense to have it as a component of a hi-fi system?
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-09-2016, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seank View Post
Isn't the sound quality of the actual satellite signal so compressed that it doesn't make much sense to have it as a component of a hi-fi system?
It's hard to say if the poor sound quality is directly caused by the compression or that the tunners are bad because they were designed for in car use.
Don't they use an mpeg2 or mpeg4 signal?
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-10-2016, 08:52 AM
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My advice would be to stream XM via the app and hook the device with the app installed to your home stereo for best sound quality.

If a movie or concert video or a TV show isn't on blu ray it darn well should be.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-10-2016, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by PretzelFisch View Post
It's hard to say if the poor sound quality is directly caused by the compression or that the tunners are bad because they were designed for in car use.
Don't they use an mpeg2 or mpeg4 signal?
I could be wrong about all of this, but my understanding is that a higher quality Sirius XM tuner will not tune in any better quality audio. The fundamental problem is limited bandwidth. Sirius XM compresses all of its channels highly. It is able to give more bandwidth to some, and less to others. It uses a proprietary compression system. Music is frequently streamed around 50 kbps, talk channels less.

Audio quality from Sirius XM streamed on the internet is much higher. But still, if audio quality is important to you, a different streaming service might be your best bet.

Again, I could be wrong about all of the above, but that is my understanding after following Sirius over the years.
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-10-2016, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seank View Post
I could be wrong about all of this, but my understanding is that a higher quality Sirius XM tuner will not tune in any better quality audio. The fundamental problem is limited bandwidth. Sirius XM compresses all of its channels highly. It is able to give more bandwidth to some, and less to others. It uses a proprietary compression system. Music is frequently streamed around 50 kbps, talk channels less.

Audio quality from Sirius XM streamed on the internet is much higher. But still, if audio quality is important to you, a different streaming service might be your best bet.

Again, I could be wrong about all of the above, but that is my understanding after following Sirius over the years.
I understand everything about the lossy compression they use. That is not relevant to my original question. I simply want a full-featured piece of hardware, with an optical output, that I can add to my rack and connect to an outdoor antenna. Since posting my question, I have come across some candidate devices marketed to commercial entities like bars and shopping malls.

Unfortunately it seems that the Sirius/XM subscription model is per device, which pretty much negates the whole project. I thought you could activate a number (>1) of devices under one subscription, which I was planning to do with my car stereo as the first priority. If I have to pay double just to have the home unit activated, the value drops significantly. Their website makes it impossible to tease out actual details of the T&Cs. Am I correct in my interpretation?
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-11-2016, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzop View Post
I understand everything about the lossy compression they use. That is not relevant to my original question. I simply want a full-featured piece of hardware, with an optical output, that I can add to my rack and connect to an outdoor antenna. Since posting my question, I have come across some candidate devices marketed to commercial entities like bars and shopping malls.

Unfortunately it seems that the Sirius/XM subscription model is per device, which pretty much negates the whole project. I thought you could activate a number (>1) of devices under one subscription, which I was planning to do with my car stereo as the first priority. If I have to pay double just to have the home unit activated, the value drops significantly. Their website makes it impossible to tease out actual details of the T&Cs. Am I correct in my interpretation?
Every device has a subscription. The second unit sub should be half the cost.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-15-2016, 05:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzop View Post
I understand everything about the lossy compression they use. That is not relevant to my original question. I simply want a full-featured piece of hardware, with an optical output, that I can add to my rack and connect to an outdoor antenna. Since posting my question, I have come across some candidate devices marketed to commercial entities like bars and shopping malls.
Sorry, I wasn't trying to avoid the question. Since you were looking to at a component to a rack I was assuming sound quality might be extra important to you and wanted to make sure you understood the compression issues of broadcast satellite radio.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-22-2016, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PretzelFisch View Post
Every device has a subscription. The second unit sub should be half the cost.
At the risk of getting off-topic, if one device is XM-only and the other device is Sirius-only, would that affect the subscription cost? Also, are lifetime subscriptions still being sold? Their website only has the T&Cs for lifetime, but it is not mentioned in the sales side of the house.
@seank : No problem, I know where you were coming from.
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post #11 of 12 Old 09-02-2016, 05:44 AM
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My Rotel RT-1084 FM section just gave up the ghost and is apparently not serviceable (per Rotel USA and an authorized repair center).

Question 1: recommendations for 3rd-party repair?

Question 2: recommendations for replacement?

I really enjoyed the convenience of an all-in-one FM(/HD) / satellite tuner. Is there anything at all that does both? $4k for the Mac RT-88 is a little out of reach...
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post #12 of 12 Old 11-01-2016, 10:01 PM
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The best audio quality for SiriusXM is going to come from the net. Getting the service via satellite will give you poor audio quality simply because there isn't enough bandwidth to provide that many channels with decent sound quality. I have XM and many of the channels have little to no stereo separation via sat while the web is much better. In fact XM via the web is equal to Pandora IMHO.

FWIW so I hope this helps.
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