Opinion: DirecTV XM Radio is very inferior to Music Choice!

Wow, am I disappointed. This new XM service is HORRIBLE! It’s not just me either. I cannot find a site on the Internet where people are not pissed about this change. Music Choice was pretty good audio quality and it was “Music only”. This XM has annoying ads, disc jockeys that speak over the music and to top it off, they are using some abominable compression that makes my surround sound system sound like a PC speaker.

I have already sent a letter to DirecTV by using this feedback link. If you feel the same way or not, please at least contact DirecTV and let them know your thoughts. :a I will let everyone know here what response I get from the DirecTV “email response team”.

[cough] Dish [cough]

Original Message Follows:


Name: Dan Bell
Status: Subscriber
[Account Number: ]
Email Address:
[Topic Selected: Other]
Subject: XM Radio VS Music Channel

Details: I went on Google after listening to the XM service because I needed to know if I am alone. I am not! This XM Radio is horrid and everyone (90%)wants Music Channel back. This is a DOWNGRADE to MC as there are Disc Jockeys that speak over the music and also XM commercials. Not only that but the channels are inferior to MC. But most importantly, the compression is unbearable as the fidelity is unlistenable. Brace yourself for a backlash and a rush to Dish network from your customers.


Dear Mr. Bell,

Thank you for your feedback about our new partnership with XM Satellite Radio. I’m sorry to hear that you’re not pleased with this new service, and am forwarding your email on to our Programming Management team.

Our goal is to provide a wide variety of programming in order to appeal to the broadest audience possible, and we’re very excited about the opportunity to bring XM Radio, America’s #1 satellite radio service, to our customers. With XM, most DIRECTV customers gain a minimum of 19 additional music and talk show channels, at no additional charge. While we understand that not all programming appeals to everyone, our ongoing research tells us that the majority of our customers like having many different options.

Thanks again for allowing us the opportunity to respond to your concerns, and I hope you’ll give our new XM service a chance.


DIRECTV Customer Service

What did you expect?

I figured they would say they were sorry and put back MC. Hheeehheheheheh!

Well I am on a mission now and am busy stirring up a ruckus all over the Internet, enough people get pissed and they will have to respond. On another forum, one person contacted DirecTV by phone and they are being swamped with complaints. :eek:

Yeah, I kind of admire the “spin” in your email response. They are “giving” you this great new service, no mention of the service they took away.

Yep and they fail to mention that they are saving a ton of money. (I suspect)I would love to know the savings they are enjoying over MC. This has nothing to do with catering to customers.

Been doing a little research on XM and Sirius! :stuck_out_tongue:

From the Washington Post:

XM charges $12.95 a month for 150 channels of music, news, talk, entertainment and sports on special XM satellite radio receivers. Sirius charges the same for about 120 channels.

Neither company has made a profit so far. Sirius yesterday reported that its net loss widened to $180.5 million, or 14 cents per share, from $169.4 million, also 14 cents per share, the year before. Revenue more than tripled, to $66.8 million from $19.1 million.

Yeah they are kicking some major ass. Wait till they have to pay Howard Stern and Martha Stewart, she reportedly will receive 30 million over 4 years. In this report check out the burden that Stern will add:

“Analysts from companies such as J.P. Morgan expected Stern to add 1 million to 1.4 million subscribers to Sirius’ subscriber rolls in the next year – revenue that would help offset the company’s five-year, $500 million deal with the radio host.”

So they have to cough up 100 million a year just to Howard Stern. Hmmmm.

Also in related news: The issues run beyond the impact of Stern. The bankruptcy filing of Delphi Corp., one of XM’s chief hardware makers, has raised concerns about the possibility of supply disruptions stemming from a labor dispute. The number of cars in which General Motors Corp. said it plans to install XM in next year fell below some investors’ expectations during a downturn in the auto market. A highly anticipated device from Samsung that combines satellite radio with an MP3 player, meanwhile, has been delayed until after Christmas.

“Management’s still got explaining to do,” read the title of an Oct. 28 research note by CIBC World Markets Inc. analyst Jason Helfstein.

Heheheheh maybe this little problem of ours will take care of itself! :bigsmile: :cool:

In my email gripe about this, I told them this was a case of where more is less.

Yes, I agree with the original post. I have one of my 4 DirecTV receivers permanently set to the 80s music channel and I listen all of the time. I couldn’t believe it when I heard commercials, ads, movie clips, etc. between the songs.

I also sent feedback to DirecTV and got a similar response indicating that they would forward it to the programming department. I’m sure they will forward it but will anyone care? I can’t believe that they could possibly think this is better!! I’m sure they didn’t bother to ask subscribers what they thought!

Does anyone know about the music channels available on Dish… are they truly commerical free? Do they use MusicChoice?

Thank you for taking the time to write them. My concern is also “will they care”. But, if I don’t hear something next week, then it’s another letter and also I will mention as RD Grimes says, that I don’t appreciate the spin. They better listen, as the vast majority of people are upset.

This service in my mind was designed for cars and specifically ones with OEM sound, not for home theater or nice sound systems in cars. I have a cheap setup in my living room for our “regular” TV and I can listen to the music on it, as it is not a high fidelity unit. Also, we have it on Xmas music at the moment and the interruptions are not nearly as bad as some other channels, such as the one you mention and the other decades channels. Wait till you get a load of “Jakes Place” (I blotted the channel number out of my memory)and can hear the annoying odd beer bottle open during a song, to simulate a lively pub! :Z

Dish lineup
I count about 120 channels of audio. No commercials, although the Sirius channels do have some talk and promos. The Sirius channels have excellent quality.

I also switch over to the Christmas channel too… really not looking forward to it. I’m also a little peeved at DirecTV about their DVR (TiVo). They’ve been holding back features for a long, long time.

In addition to the Sirius channels, it appears DISH also has “Dish Music” which includes an 80s channel and others. I wonder what that is… Does anyone have this that could check… it’s on channel 119. Thanks.

I assume you are speaking about TiVo to Go? Or are there other features missing I can get pissed about?

I got the same canned response as Crabbyappleton on my gripe about XM radio, except mine was signed by Karen N. Hope they are getting a severe backlash from this.

Wife and I listened to 819 (Christmas music) while doing our house decorating yesterday. It’s clearly not as good as Music Choice. The commercials and other announcer crap aside, it is certainly not cd quality as Music Choice was. I’m not sure it’s as good as our local FM reception.

And, while this is a little off topic, what does DirectV’s apparent movement away from tivo spell for those of us with hd tivo boxes? (Did a search on this and turned up nothing.)

Well everyone, it is beginning to work. Check out this posting from another board where we are also putting pressure on DirecTV! :bow:


Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1 I sent an email to DirecTV complaining about SQ and got a reply saying that someone would phone me to discuss. They actually did and listened to my complaints about the XM ads, talking DJ’s, SQ and choices of music. She said there had been lots of complaints and she would send mine to the programming group.

Don’t know if there’s any connection but I do think the SQ is better now. Still not good, but better. Maybe the are using more bandwidth. [/I]

Now if we don’t hear something this week I think ought to send our original mail again with a note saying that we didn’t hear from anyone and would like a to know what is going on! :stuck_out_tongue: I just did as I have waited long enough. :stuck_out_tongue:


I have not heard a thing yet. I am still very dissatisfied and the discontent is growing rapidly amongst groups on the Internet. It seems to me that until this is resolved to the satisfaction of the majority of the customers, that Music Choice should be re-instated. This is what I have a contract for, not this annoying XM. I could care less about additional channels when such as at “Jakes Place” they periodically open beer bottles for a pub ambiance in the background, ruining the music. Indeed, this is worse than an FM station which is free!

I do not have any choice but to "give our new XM service a chance. " as this is all your company provides with no opt out provision. My comment was that it did try it and it is inferior to what I signed up for and I don’t appreciate it. Especially when I am willing to bet this inferior service is quite a savings to DirecTV. Yet, to add insult to injury, the savings are not passed on to the loyal customers. At least give us the option to drop the music channels and apply a discount to the satellite service.

Thank you,

Dan Bell

My guess would be that it is more than a savings. I would suspect it is a cash cow. If DirectV is not getting income based on the audience that is hearing the commercials, then I’m seriously surprised. 'Course, I’ve never gotten over American Movie Classics interupting films with commercials . . . but that’s another story.

On a positive note, it has also saved me some money. I was seriously thinking about getting XM for my car. After listening to it, that’s not going to happen. I’ll just keep listening to cd’s or my iPod through FM while driving.

XM sucks.
I miss ch 816!!!
The metal XM plays is top 40 bubblegum rock.

Well, here is the response to my latest tirade:

[I]Dear Mr. Bell,

Thanks for your suggestion regarding XM Satellite Radio and its radio selections. We’re always looking for ways to enhance our services, and customer feedback is very important to us. I have forwarded your comments on to DIRECTV Management.

We often make changes to our service based on customer requests, and we conduct customer surveys on a regular basis to get feedback and new ideas.

Thanks again for your suggestion, and stay tuned to DIRECTV.com for the latest news and information about our service.


DIRECTV Customer Service[/I]

Oh boy, forwarded to management rolls eyes

I assume you are speaking about TiVo to Go? Or are there other features missing I can get pissed about?

TiVo for cable users has long included additional “Home Media” options that DirecTV TiVo users can’t get. I also can’t believe that they haven’t turned on the USB port for internet connectivity.

I was seriously thinking about getting XM for my car. After listening to it, that’s not going to happen. I’ll just keep listening to cd’s or my iPod through FM while driving.

Just before Sirius and XM came out, I bought a Sony MEX-1HD car stereo. It has a hard drive that I’ve ripped my entrie music library onto. Now, I just select a category (80s) and put it on shuffle and it is awesome. I haven’t turned on the radio on the car in a while.

Hopefully, though, DirecTV is listening to us and will do something soon!