Karmzin says he'll squeeze XM channels - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-18-2007, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
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On March 7, in response to a question from Rep. Doyle, vice chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, Mel Karmazin said that "tremendous technology advancements where you are able to squeeze more channels into the same bandwidth --compression technologies-- that enable you to use the same bandwidth that you have, but be able to make more [channel] choices."

You can view this at http://energycommerce.house.gov/cmte...re_radio.shtml

The interchange begins at 1hr 41 minutes into the hearing, with the specific Kamarzin remark occurring at 1:45, after Mr. Karmazin somewhat testily attempted to correct an NAB panelist who asserted that receiving both XM and Sirius programming on a single in-car receiver would necessitate a second chipset.

As an XM music subscriber, I'm not sure I care to contemplate a diminution in the audio quality I've become accustomed to on XM.
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-19-2007, 08:28 AM
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Don't read too much into that. Mel is not a technology guy.

Theoretically if the entire XM+Sirius band was made available to a single service, both XM and Sirius receivers could be capable of receiving channels across the entire spectrum. XM chipsets are likely capable of receiving Sirius broadcasts because when both services started they used the same PAC compression technology.
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-19-2007, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by RaveD View Post

Don't read too much into that. Mel is not a technology guy.

Theoretically if the entire XM+Sirius band was made available to a single service, both XM and Sirius receivers could be capable of receiving channels across the entire spectrum. XM chipsets are likely capable of receiving Sirius broadcasts because when both services started they used the same PAC compression technology.

This is not true. XM went to market after scrapping PAC for aacPlus. They are not compatible as of 2002. http://xmradio.mediaroom.com/index.p...ases&item=1253

Without scrapping existing radios, future technologies will require two chipsets at this point, at least for the decoding portion of the signals.

They also use different ensemble layouts and encryption/protection schemes as well, so I'd imagine that's a problem as well but I don't know for sure.

Quote:


XM Drops PAC for CT-aacPlus

Washington, DC - Apr 18, 2002 - At a press conference held in New York City, XM Satellite Radio unveiled its plans to use a customized CT-aacPlus audio encoding algorithm with neural audio optimization. XM states that the new algorithm will provide superior sound quality that is remarkably close to compact disc.

CT-aacPlus is a third-generation audio encoding technology. CT-aacPlus is the combination of Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), now a global standard combining the work of AT&T, Dolby, Fraunhofer and Sony with Coding Technologies' Spectral Band Replication (SBRM) technology.

Coding Technologies, a developer of perceptual audio compression and inventor of SBR, was formed through a merger between a Swedish group of researchers and experts from the renowned German Fraunhofer Institute, the inventor of MP3.

This combination of AAC and SBR, CT-aacPlus has been tested by high-profile audio professionals from around the world. In a double-blind listening test, AAC alone has historically proven 33 percent more efficient compared to previous generations of competing algorithms. Double-blind listening tests conducted by the BBC, Deutsche Telekom and Robert Bosch GmbH have established that the CT-aacPlus combination is 30 percent more efficient than AAC. Based on test results, CT-aacPlus has been adopted by the International Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) consortium and accepted by MPEG as the reference model for the upcoming version of MPEG-4.

In addition, the XM sound is further enhanced by Neural Audio, a Seattle-based research lab that pioneered future-generation audio, by merging neural networks with the physics of sound. Neural Audio's proprietary pre-processing software uses neural network computing techniques to implement algorithms that are based on models of the brain's perception of sound.

Neural Audio created a customized version of its process, designed to enhance CT-aacPlus results by optimizing temporal and spectral elements prior to encoding, improving soundstage clarity and increasing intelligibility. The unique combination of CT-aacPlus and Neural Audio algorithms enable XM to deliver a consistent sound experience.

Neural Audio's Stereo Transcoder algorithm preserves the imaging and spatiality of stereo and surround-sound content that XM broadcasts. So XM customers with matrix-style surround sound equipment, including Dolby technology, can receive a full surround sound experience.

XM had previously used the Perceptual Audio Coder algorithm, which was originally developed by Lucent Technologies and licensed to XM by Ibiquity Digital. Ibiquity will use PAC in its IBOC DAB system.

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post #4 of 16 Old 03-20-2007, 09:23 AM
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I'm sure both companies already know how they will merge the technologies into one service. From what I've heard from insiders, they have had a working group in place for years covering these issues. My hope is that at least my newer equipment can be flashed to best take advantage of it.

I assume that the real details about future hardware requirements won't be released until the merger is a done deal.
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-20-2007, 12:20 PM
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There's going to be a hearing on the merger starting up very soon btw.

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 16 Old 03-20-2007, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJTEX View Post

I'm sure both companies already know how they will merge the technologies into one service. (...) My hope is that at least my newer equipment can be flashed to best take advantage of it.

I assume that the real details about future hardware requirements won't be released until the merger is a done deal.


This shouldn't be left to assumptions and hope.
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-21-2007, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by xzitony View Post

This is not true. XM went to market after scrapping PAC for aacPlus. They are not compatible as of 2002. http://xmradio.mediaroom.com/index.p...ases&item=1253

Without scrapping existing radios, future technologies will require two chipsets at this point, at least for the decoding portion of the signals.

They also use different ensemble layouts and encryption/protection schemes as well, so I'd imagine that's a problem as well but I don't know for sure.

Since the change from PAC to aacPlus did not require everyone to go out and buy new radios, it must mean that at least the older radios are capable of decoding PAC. Assuming they kept the chipset the same, this would mean that current radios are also capable of decoding PAC.

In other words, forward compatibility for aacPlus was built into the chipset, so backwards compatibility for PAC may also exist.
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-22-2007, 01:17 AM
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Wouldn't XM's hardware be tuned specifically to XM's band, and the same for Sirius? I'm talking about the physical hardware circuits, including the antenna. Wouldn't it also be designed to reject frequencies outside the relevant band? It seems like basic radio design would include filtering out unwanted freqencies.

The panel criticized Mel for failing to produce a universal reciever, which XM and Sirius were supposed to do under the original terms of their licenses. Mel said he had one in his office, but it costs $700 to produce and he wasn't going to subsidize it because he couldn't be sure customers wouldn't use it for XM instead of Sirius. That leads me to believe what's in his office is not a flashed version of a Roady or SkyFi.
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-22-2007, 08:15 AM
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which XM and Sirius were supposed to do under the original terms of their licenses

True.. But the FCC never set a timetable on when this all in one receiver had to be out. So there was no reason either XM or Sirius would put one on the market. Why build a receiver to help your competition?
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-22-2007, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by barbie845 View Post

Why build a receiver to help your competition?

More correctly, why build a receiver that *might* help your competition (i.e. why do anything that could lead to an outcome you can't control)?

In a letter I posted in another thread, I suggested that Congress could make the satellite frequencies a *single* band (like AM is it's own band and FM it's own band) whereby competition among programmers could be enabled -- and consumers would only need a single receiver (probably one that, in a car, would take the form of an integrated AM/FM/XM/CD/I-Pod/etc player.

But making the satellite frequencies a single band would greatly alter the roles of XM and Sirius, even though they own the satellites carrying the signals. They could put out their own programming, but they would also have to make some of their transponder capacity available to other, competing programmers. This doesn't mean they give it away under FCC regulation; they could still sell/lease it. And they could still put out their own programming.

The satellites would then become something of an open 'platform' for nation-wide mobile programming. And the competition among programmers should result in lower costs to consumers than the presently-proposed merger promises.

In any event, I think a single satellite band should be the outcome of the policy discussion.
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post #11 of 16 Old 04-06-2007, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaveD View Post

Since the change from PAC to aacPlus did not require everyone to go out and buy new radios, it must mean that at least the older radios are capable of decoding PAC. Assuming they kept the chipset the same, this would mean that current radios are also capable of decoding PAC.

In other words, forward compatibility for aacPlus was built into the chipset, so backwards compatibility for PAC may also exist.

The change occured before XM launched. They only used PAC in initial tests, when they discovered that it sounded bad. They launched with AAC and then in 2002 upgraded to AACPlus. There were no XM radios sold to public that decoded PAC.
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-15-2007, 02:57 PM
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Who is to say that there would be any more programming than there is today? I suspect that the merger will give us more or less what we already have for a given service. Since Mel would be running the show I think it will look more like Sirius than XM. In terms of size there would be less Sirius radios to replace than XM, so AAC+ may become the chosen format. Part of the deal may be to sell the Sirius satellite system to a startup. The attractiveness of the deal to XM and Sirius is the combined subscriber base, not the bandwidth. I don't think keeping two uplink facilities in operation is appealing to them. Sale of the satellite system would be a nice cash infusion to these up till now non profit organizations.

As wireless internet becomes more mainstream, I suspect these companies (or company) will gradually increase their business model in this mediium. The RIAA and AFTRA are slowly killing the small players and only the large ones may be left.
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-15-2007, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TVOD View Post

Part of the deal may be to sell the Sirius satellite system to a startup.

I think that's in the cards, despite the denial and brave face of Mr. Kamarzin. But a key question would be what sort of services would you foresee a start-up willing to provide? That will determine the price the merged company could achieve if they sold one of the two sat systems.
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post #14 of 16 Old 04-15-2007, 03:24 PM
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The new merged company would probably prefer to to sell the Sirius birds... XM birds are newer and the are definitely better positioned.
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-16-2007, 12:04 AM
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Technical quality has never been job 1 for Mel. I doubt it ranks in the top 100.
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post #16 of 16 Old 04-26-2007, 10:11 PM
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XM has more going than just radio, they do weather info in airplanes and probably more in other applications. why couldn't they just add more channels, xm broadcast to their clients, sirius to their clients, just it would be the same programming. I do not think they would double the channels available like from , just for grins 100 to 200 channels, but maybe make it 140 combined and let each satellite broadcast to its own radios. later on make the radios tune into both satellites. I think they could do whatever they want and most people would not even notice the difference. I feel like they could save money in marketing, programing, and customer service by teaming up, and would raise their advertising revenue by adding many listeners.

Hey hey, what can I do?
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