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Discussion Starter #1
While setting up a new Denon AVR today, I decided to look into the HEOS option as it has support for Internet Radio. When browsing a few online streams from local stations, I was appalled at the quality! Some streams were as low as 48kbps!!! There were some that had a bit higher bitrate, but many were far worse than the standard FM broadcast (heck, AM radio would sound better than the underwater / early-2000s streaming quality some of these streams had).

All the stations are advertising the RadioPlayer Canada or iHeartRadio apps, yet these also access the same streams. Some decent, others horrible, and very few I'd want to listen to in lieu of the standard terrestrial broadcast!

I'm not expecting CD quality sound, but surely things have to be better than this........

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Can you be specific and name some stations to compare. I receive JazzFM91 very well as an internet stream through a Phillips NP2500 player.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Soft Rock 97.7 Calgary is really bad. Kool 101.5 is a bit better as they use AAC but still at 48kbps. I'll check to see what all the locals are in terms of quality - I just tried a few last night and overall wasn't impressed.

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Some larger U.S. stations I listen to online actually sound better and substitute ads for their online feed. My local example is WGR 550 out of Buffalo - being AM, it sounds like any AM station on the radio, but the online feed is very good (in stereo at least - it is mostly talk), and they substitute local ads for my area during breaks. They are an example of a good online feed, and using technology to make money from it.
 

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About 12 years ago, Virgin Radio in the UK had an uncompressed stream at ~1Mbps (1000Kbps) or true CD quality. They had several stations that covered different decades and genres from the 1960s to the 2000s. It sounded amazing. They stopped doing so after about a year and are now renamed to Absolute Radio and geo-blocked. I tried some Canadian stations but also found the bit rate to be terrible in comparison. Some were as low as 32Kbps. These days I use SiriusXM or Spotify and crank the quality up to maximum. It's still not as good as Virgin Radio was then.
 

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CDs beat most streaming sources but SACD, DVD audio and high resolution 96kHz/24bit digital audio downloads will blow CDs away.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
CDs and such aren't the focus of this thread. Radio still holds an interest to me.

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I think there was another thread for a similar subject here but I'm too lazy to search LOL. As most of my radio listening is via streaming (at home, walking, in the car, etc), I also discovered Canadian radio use an awful bitrate for their streams. For instance, I listen to a lot of radio stations from France and most offer 128 or 160 kbps feeds, some even go as high as 192 kbps or more. A few even experienced with high quality (Radio Classique and NRJ, for instance), but I think they stopped it. Here in Canada, we are lucky to have 64Kbps. Still a 64 kbps AAC stream is similar to 128kbps mp3 and beats AM for sure.

See this site for French radio streams (which includes some in Canada) and you can clearly see the difference between countries.

Flux Radios
 

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While setting up a new Denon AVR today, I decided to look into the HEOS option as it has support for Internet Radio. When browsing a few online streams from local stations, I was appalled at the quality! Some streams were as low as 48kbps!!! There were some that had a bit higher bitrate, but many were far worse than the standard FM broadcast (heck, AM radio would sound better than the underwater / early-2000s streaming quality some of these streams had).

All the stations are advertising the RadioPlayer Canada or iHeartRadio apps, yet these also access the same streams. Some decent, others horrible, and very few I'd want to listen to in lieu of the standard terrestrial broadcast!

I'm not expecting CD quality sound, but surely things have to be better than this........

Sent from my SM-N960W using Tapatalk
I also have a Denon and having difficulty getting a strong sgnal from CKNW (Vancouver). It cuts out consistently in the mornings, but ok in the PM.
All other stations come in at !00%
 

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Hey man, maybe it happens just ocasionally?
Because I can't complain about streaming quality
Of course, it could be much better
But given the fact that maybe nowadays online radio is not backed by big money, it has a good handle
 

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This goes right back to the source of the content at the radio station whether it be a file on a hard drive, a CD , a vinyl record, etc. You can tell by listening OTA...there are differences in quality between stations. Some sound great, some sound thin. Of course how the signal is compressed for Internet transmission is also a factor.
 

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Some of these stations, especially on AM, are using equipment and transmitters that are 30, 40, 50 or more years old. The big corporate owners don't care about them so they don't invest anything except for basic repairs. They are not going to sound state of the art like a new station with digital equipment when streamed. Everything is low budget or no budget. One AM station here needed a major repairs so the corporation just shut it down. They just didn't want to spend the money to keep it on air. The same seems to apply to streaming. Higher bit rates cost money in equipment and data streaming costs so they just use the minimum they can get away with. It's obvious with some stations that they are not bothering to upgrade anything for streaming because the AM station streams sound as bad as the AM stations themselves with no high frequencies and monaural sound. FM is better but the very high frequencies are missing and the sound level is often compressed. DAB just makes it worse because the FM carrier and sound is limited even more to make room for the digital side bands.
 
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