November 16, 2005

DirectTV and XM Radio finally get their act together

DirecTV is now streaming 72 XM radio stations!

As part of DIRECTV's dedication to offering the best in entertainment to its customers, beginning Nov. 15, 2005, 72 channels of XM's quality music, children's, and talk programming will be available via DIRECTV, nearly doubling its current audio programming lineup at no additional cost. In addition to music channels and children's programming, XM will provide XM's Major League Baseball "Home Plate" talk radio channel, and its High Voltage channel, featuring talk radio stars Opie and Anthony.
sure enough, channels 801-879 are now XM radio stations. Channel lineup (PDF)

it took them long enough -- Sirius has evidently been providing Dish with radio content since sometime last year. but better late than never... the stereo sound quality is good, and the "top" stations appear to be represented. my faves are all there -- deep tracks, top tracks, real jazz, beyond jazz, xm live, xm cafe, xmu, fred, ethel, music lab, lucy, the loft. perhaps they'll figure out a way to allow a local traffic & weather station based on subscriber zip code!

the only glitches i can see are that song synchronization is sometimes slow, and some stations provide minimal (or even no) song info -- which is weird since it seems like it would just be a port of exactly what is coming through normally. but hey, it's free!

between this and free internet streaming, i'll definitely be keeping my satellite radio unit in the car!


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