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November 15, 2005

XM Satellite Radio on DirecTV — Why I wish it hadn't happened


Today's the day when the much ballyhooed conversion takes place.

I was perfectly happy with my DirecTV music channel lineup as it was: 836 for light classical and 834 for classical, all music all the time, no chat.

But this morning when I went downstairs I heard gibberish coming out of my TV (my default setting is channel 836 with audio only and the picture off).

After fumbling around with the remotes (I have 5 — you?) I figured out that XM satellite radio was playing and that channel 836 was no longer light classical.

Rather, it's now "The Loft," featuring Soft Rock with a DJ and all.

After more fumbling I discovered channel 864 is where I can find classical music on DirecTV's new lineup.

Channel 865 is "Classical Masterpieces: Opera/Classical Vocals" and channel 866 is "Contemporary Instrumental: Popular Classical."

I checked out all three channels and it would appear that 866 is now the equivalent of the old 836/"Light Classical."

But there's one new wrinkle that I find especially unwelcome.

Turns out XM is not "music only": some guy started talking after one piece had finished, evidently to introduce the next.

Hey — if I wanted to hear someone talk I'd listen to the radio.

I want my old DirecTV back but it ain't gonna happen.

Click on the new lineup above to enlarge it and see what's what in the brave new world of dedicated satellite radio.

In a way it's amusing: I had no intention ever of signing up for satellite radio — XM or Sirius — but they crammed it down my dish anyway.

At least they're not charging me extra for it.


November 15, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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Actually, I like many of the new channels, but the overall sound quality is horrible compared to the old channels.

Posted by: DJG | Nov 22, 2005 6:58:13 AM

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