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Old 11th July 2007, 10:49   #91
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Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
DerAlte, you probably have a high quality receiver. I tried digging out this merged thread (following the note from mods) and could find a few guys who would agree with me. What I heard did not sound like even 128kbps mp3s (again most of the Indian channels, rest were somewhat better). By bandwidth I actually meant bitrate used for compression, in the previous post. I am sure they can't afford to stream raw audio. I believe "CD quality" is an abused term when it comes to marketing of satellite radio or DTH.
High quality receiver? Ooer, never thought of that Hitachi set as one. Perhaps I did not have to suffer listening to worse sets. I did listen to BPL-Sanyo and a couple of others, but then I wasn't looking for SQ. I bought mine about 10 years back.

WS is about (relatively) ad-free content, not absolute SQ. I reconciled with it since the content and SQ was better than conventional FM. Yes, playing the line-level signal through a decent amp one can make out the difference in sub and treble quality.

Why was the convenience and variety not considered over 'bitrate' and 'bandwidth'? Imagine the cost of mp3-capable CD changer with you creating all the programming, and then getting bored of same song repeating statistically more often than the WS program. And the convenience of channels linked with genre of music.

Of course we can eat Basmati rice in every meal, and wax eloquent whether the Terai variety or the other varieties are better, the meal is not about Basmati rice only.

Yes, even I believe "CD quality" is an abused term, much like the digital telephony guys say "Toll-quality voice". At least there are ITU standards that make "Toll-quality voice" an objective term by specifying the codecs and other parameters.

There is no such standardization in audio, so the scale end points (for ordinary mortals) have to be "ordinary CD player" and "FM radio", with the added bias of 'convenience'. Baaki bacha trusting your ears for the perceived quality - to each their own! Just that sometimes the mind prefers to hear the lyrics and melody - however subjective THOSE might be.
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Old 11th July 2007, 14:27   #92
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I was reading that both sirus and XM have earth based repeaters. that essentially allows sattilite signals to be rebound onto the earth, thereby overcoming the issues of "east facign" or west facing etc etc.
I stuck the WS antenna onto the roof of my palio and had a pretty decent listening time right through the southern states (TN / KL/ KA) whilst i went on my road trip. As much as WS does NOT reccommend this setup, it works in a lot of cars. The only problem i was facing was when i was driving thru trees for some reason, it kept getting cut.
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Old 11th July 2007, 14:32   #93
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Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
I bought mine about 10 years back.
In India? I think they are not that old here.

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WS is about (relatively) ad-free content, not absolute SQ. I reconciled with it since the content and SQ was better than conventional FM. Yes, playing the line-level signal through a decent amp one can make out the difference in sub and treble quality.
Content wise it is very good, no-brainer. I am only talking about SQ, because to my ears traditional FM sounded better. Though I am not an expert with that "golden" ear, I believe I can differentiate between typical compression artifacts and other distortions caused by electronics/speakers etc. Let me give you an example- sometime back I used to notice such artifacts in a particular song (from movie "Guru") on a particular FM station (don't remember which one). I am sure (well, almost) and I can bet what they used to play must have been mp3 (or some other compressed format). After some time, I stopped noticing that problem, probably they had used it temporarily. The same applies to certain commercials, though they don't get fixed!

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Why was the convenience and variety not considered over 'bitrate' and 'bandwidth'?
Let us keep convenience, variety etc. aside for a moment. I am concerned about how it sounds, not the bitrate number as such.

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the meal is not about Basmati rice only.
Hahaha... main to rukhi-sukhi roti se gujara karnewala aadmi hun (and I think you know my everyday diet, which I had described here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/produc...tml#post480557)
But me and others whom I quoted earlier almost seemed to have stomach upsets, due to the dish we were served with. I can digest FMs better

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so the scale end points (for ordinary mortals) have to be "ordinary CD player" and "FM radio", with the added bias of 'convenience'.
What makes a good compromise between quality and convenience should be left to the individual. I personally didn't find WS to be a good compromise. Like esteem_lover, even I was actually desperate to get it. Though my original question was only about its "sound", and its comparison to FM.
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Old 11th July 2007, 15:06   #94
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Originally Posted by madan80 View Post
I was reading that both sirus and XM have earth based repeaters. that essentially allows sattilite signals to be rebound onto the earth, thereby overcoming the issues of "east facign" or west facing etc etc.
I stuck the WS antenna onto the roof of my palio and had a pretty decent listening time right through the southern states (TN / KL/ KA) whilst i went on my road trip. As much as WS does NOT reccommend this setup, it works in a lot of cars. The only problem i was facing was when i was driving thru trees for some reason, it kept getting cut.
Wow thats news.
Could you share your setup
Which receiver and which antenna?
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Old 11th July 2007, 17:41   #95
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Originally Posted by madan80 View Post
I was reading that both sirus and XM have earth based repeaters. that essentially allows sattilite signals to be rebound onto the earth, thereby overcoming the issues of "east facign" or west facing etc etc.
The XM / Sirius repeaters, AFAIK (this is old tech and I am ancient), is to increase the footprint to inaccessible areas by bouncing signals from one sat to another sat (to cover e.g. Alaska) or to a hill top antenna array to do it (repeaters as used by POTS microwave comm are different, they dont go up into the sky, but point to point instead). Footprint is in terms of 1000s of sq.km. Though what you say is logical in Mumbai and American 'downtowns' (too many tall buildings, too much signal loss at street level; same logic with cell-phone signal), it is unnecessary in other places.

For WS in India, the footprint is quite nice, and no one is complaining from Ladakh or Thar or Arunachal Pradesh or Lakshadweep! So why would the WS person talk about repeaters in the context of usage in cars?

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Originally Posted by madan80 View Post
I stuck the WS antenna onto the roof of my palio and had a pretty decent listening time right through the southern states (TN / KL/ KA) whilst i went on my road trip. As much as WS does NOT reccommend this setup, it works in a lot of cars. The only problem i was facing was when i was driving thru trees for some reason, it kept getting cut.
I knew some brave soul must have tried it, with or without XM antenna! Bravo, @madan80, you're the leader. Should work in all cars, one would expect, if it has worked in yours.

Trees = signal attenuation (microwave signal doesn't travel too well through dense organic material containing water, incl. human body; the same problem with Bluetooth headsets - try keeping the phone in the right trouser pocket, and the headset on left ear). Antenna 'disorientation' would aggravate it.

Doesn't happen so much with XM/Sirius in US - their signal power levels (microwave) are higher than WS in India. But then, money is made to work differently in US. Walk into a Best Buy store (for example) and ask for a demo, I am sure even Santosh will change his mind.
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Old 11th July 2007, 18:10   #96
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Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
In India? I think they are not that old here
1999 / 2000 perhaps (rounded up).
I am sure Navin would agree with me that human memory is like the audio response curve, with the x-axis as number of years. -3db down as soon as you start thinking you are old! Navin has 3-way speakers, so in his case he is observing the mid-range roll-off till his exotic XOs kick in for the treble range. Sam? Pretending! He is still in the mid-bass range. I am already in the treble range, waiting for the natural roll-off.
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Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
...I can bet what they used to play must have been mp3 (or some other compressed format)
And you say you don't have the "golden ear"? You expect us to believe it? No way!
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Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
(Wonder how I missed that post) It's what up there that matters, not what you eat, mon ami.
I can believe the "stomach upsets" caused by pathetic sales set-ups. And they haven't improved - they still believe exotica sells without substance. Or worse, leave it to the ignorant Retailer to impress you. No wonder they started sort of giving away sets for free with 3 months subscription!
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Old 11th July 2007, 19:58   #97
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Originally Posted by theEnd
Worldspace said they would have to install local repeaters (or something of the sort) which basically take the signal from their satellite and then re-transmit it over traditional radio frequencies.
Re-transmit ? Yes & No.
Traditional radio frequencies ? No.

If the re-transmit was over traditional radio frequencies, then every one would have been able to listen to WS on their regular setup. US, EU, India - everywhere.

The re-transmit is more about getting a seam-less reception, esp in cities. Satellite radio depends on line-of-sight access to the position of the satellite. When driving in cities, one would not always have LoS access because of tall buildings, and hence reception can be intermittent. To over come this, broadcasters like XM, Sirius use repeaters [not re- transmission].

Repeaters, when used are not absolutely necessary. Atleast now, these are not required in India.


Wonder why WS is not introducing antenna's & receivers for cars. They have supposedly introduced these in South Africa recently. It's not that the technology isnt available. The least I would need is an antenna. I can always hook up my Diva to my HU.

WS is saying they need some licence to allow them to launch a receiver for cars. This could be true too, considering how archaic some of our laws are. Or just some archaic thinking elsewhere that such access for WS would cut into some one else's revenues & listenership. Just hope WS does it soon.
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Old 11th July 2007, 21:50   #98
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Well said, @Condor.

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Originally Posted by condor View Post
Wonder why WS is not introducing antenna's & receivers for cars
Every product / service company needs passionate and intelligent crusaders to establish and propagate the same, no matter how 'famous' they may be. Maybe WS hasn't reached there yet. The kind of answers and demos they have given is indicative of 'outsourced' selling, as opposed to intelligent market penetration.

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Originally Posted by condor View Post
WS is saying they need some licence to allow them to launch a receiver for cars. This could be true too, considering how archaic some of our laws are. Or just some archaic thinking elsewhere that such access for WS would cut into some one else's revenues & listenership. Just hope WS does it soon.
Our laws may be archaic and difficult to interpret, but where there is will, there is a way. Fee-based non-essential services can be severely cramping for any management innovation, unless the company has the courage to invest. No pain, no gain!

Last edited by DerAlte : 11th July 2007 at 21:52.
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Old 11th July 2007, 22:55   #99
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Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
I can bet what they used to play must have been mp3 (or some other compressed format).
The industry standard for all FM stations is MP2. I was involed with an FM station for a while.
Some jocks also use Audio CDs, on a Denon Dual CD, 19" rack mountable player. That obviously will sound better to a trained ear.
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Old 12th July 2007, 19:19   #100
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The industry standard for all FM stations is MP2. I was involed with an FM station for a while.
Some jocks also use Audio CDs, on a Denon Dual CD, 19" rack mountable player. That obviously will sound better to a trained ear.
Why MP2 (which is worser than popular MP3)??
Moreover, I don't see why FM stations need to limit the quality of their source. I would expect their equipment to be top notch (it's a studio, after all!) and regarding source material, I would expect everyone to use the best published copies of records (i.e. ACDs/DVDs), if not master recordings.

Digital radio (whether terrestrial or satellite), however has sever restrictions of packing so many channels into available bandwidth and also compatibility with receivers already in use. Searched the net, and it seems that MP2 is the standard for digital radio (in UK). So it has to be inferior, even at 128kbps. Some channels do use higher bitrates though. AAC is supposed to be far better especially at less than 128kbps, but it must be hard for them to switch to such better codecs (they can't tell millions of existing customers that one fine day their receivers will seize to function).

Reference: MP2 versus AAC+ audio codecs
(also the standard reference for audio codecs: Hydrogenaudio Forums)

Here are some interesting comments about FM versus digital radio, from the same site:
(this is for for DAB which is more pressed for bandwidth as compared to satellite radio, but the same should apply if codecs/bitrates are similar)



Quote:
The problem with transmitting analogue audio signals is that because any noise, interference or self-interference (multipath effect) is added to the signal at any point then this cannot be removed from the audio signal and this degrades the audio quality of the signal or causes hiss.

Digital Radio


Digital radio systems such as DAB or digital radio that is delivered via digital satellite (DSat) or Freeview, addresses the disadvantages that hamper the analogue transmission systems (although these can usually be overcome by improving your FM reception by purchasing a better FM aerial and/or relocating the FM aerial).
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My advice would be to buy an FM dipole aerial and listen to the results before buying a DAB radio because DAB does not provide as good an audio quality as is available on FM on the vast majority of stations. In terms of audio quality (i.e. ignoring reception issues) DAB always sounds worse than FM. This might surprise you because most people think that a digital radio should sound better than an analogue radio but the truth is that FM still sounds better so long as you can get a good FM signal, and this is why a good FM aerial is important.
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Old 12th July 2007, 20:41   #101
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Why MP2 (which is worser than popular MP3)??
O enlightened one, you are perhaps the best person to be requested (by virtue of tenacity, persistence and ability to question logically) to go through the original deliberations of MPEG (audio part), which are rather OHT for lesser mortals, and explain that to us disciples

(OK, OK, I am not trying to be sarcastic - I think you stand a better chance than others to figure the softer issues of psychoacoustics, your reasoning is superior)
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Old 12th July 2007, 20:48   #102
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DerAlte, as far as FM is concerned, the question of MP2 versus MP3 is not that important. The bigger question is why do they need to compress it at all, why not simply use CDs (or DVDs for that matter)?
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Old 12th July 2007, 21:15   #103
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The bigger question is why do they need to compress it at all, why not simply use CDs (or DVDs for that matter)?
Dunno, something to do with storage and random access (rapid track call-up, as in RAM). Operational predicaments, predates PC polularity. Even CD changers have a large finite random track access time, too long for most RJs taking live requests. DVDs are fairly recent in all this, and are not naturally associated with audio.

Have always been on the receiver end, never the studio end (except a few times in AIR Akashvani Bhavan ages back).

Perhaps Sam is better placed to explain that - he's been there, done that!
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Old 13th July 2007, 10:40   #104
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Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
Why MP2 (which is worser than popular MP3)??
Moreover, I don't see why FM stations need to limit the quality of their source. I would expect their equipment to be top notch (it's a studio, after all!) and regarding source material, I would expect everyone to use the best published copies of records (i.e. ACDs/DVDs), if not master recordings.
FM stations are not Studios. A Recording Studio is a Studio. The equipment at each of these is quite different (a few like BBC being exceptions).

FM stations need to store vast catalogs of music and hence when PC based compressed and tagged music came along they were among the frist to adapt. Their need was greater than yours or mine. MP2 was adapted as it was the best at that time and they dont have any great need to change given that the music is dynamically compressed before being aired anyway.

Yet some stations (incl DAB) are moving forward by incorporating 192k and 256k (from of the 128k standard). I suspct this might be related to the fact that the DAB system has already adopted AAC+.

Before the time of compressed formats radio stations relied on a mix of rudimentary database files and the DJ's memory (I had a good memory then) to locate music. DJ's would often walk into a booth with milk bottle crates of LPs (atleast I did). We would also carry a few emergency song like My Generation (The Who - Live at Leeds) or Inna-gadda-da-vida (Iron Butterfly) in case we needed to take a leak. Damn I wish I was 16 again!

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Old 13th July 2007, 10:49   #105
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Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Even CD changers have a large finite random track access time, too long for most RJs taking live requests.
Why? we used to take live requests in the early 80s (with turntables and CD players). The RJ fades one song to another using 2 machines so the second machine is cued and ready to go before the first machine has finsihed playing.
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