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Probably a signal strength issue, or a poor cable connection to your receiver. See the Digital Home FAQ (under help) "Things to check first".

I have not encountered any dropouts on Rogers Galaxie.
 

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...What is your most likely diagnosis of digital music dropouts eg a couple of seconds of silence or "noise" every couple of minutes?
How often does it happen?
Does it happen to several or all the channels when it does?
What about the Galaxie channels versus the MaxTrax channels.

Since I have technical responsibility for the playback, this info could be useful.
You can always call CORUS in Toronto and ask for the Master Control to verify the signal on their *C receiver.

There are some activities that can cause some minor dropouts, but only for a few minutes and then only 1 day a month. Those I know about and am the cause.

As I re-read you symptons, it seems the signal is OK, just the digital out.
Are you able to swap COAXial SPDIF and TOSLINK fibre Optic to see it that changes things?

If the analog is OK and at least 1 of the digital is OK, then I think either a cable connection or the A/V amp loosing sync maybe.
 

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Are my tastes for the likes of Nana Mouskouri, The Tijuana Brass, Aker Bilk, Henry Mancini, Al Cherney, Pavlo, Walter Ostanek, so wierd that Max Trax will not play them? They make for great radio (but there, the problem is having to put up with commercials for funeral homes and retirement villages to hear them). As for Galaxie and Max Trax: if nobody is listening, there can be no feedback. How many grandparents would love a decent channel designed for them? How many voice anything when such a channel does not exist?

Max Trax and Galaxie don't offer anything meaningful to the older audience. Jazz, blues, and swingin standards are usually trying to be plain too cool for plain folk. A little Tommy Hunter music wouldn't hurt either.
I'm in my mid-50's, and though I was a 12-year-old-kid back then, I now feel that the day the Beatles landed in New York (Feb 1964?) was "The Day The Music Died". I like pre-Beatles rock,. Instead of "easy listening", I prefer the names "standards" or "adult pop". Plus I also like big band and 50's and early 60's country. I'm a paying subscriber of Live365.com. You can listen for free if you're willing to put up with commercials. They have thousands of "internet radio stations", programmed by all types from devoted hobbyists to former DJs. You want a niche, you'll find it. Some of my presets that'll probably make you drool...

MusicFromTheBlueLight easy listening, lounge, vocal jazz CD 64kmp3PRO

Playing the Great American Songbook, featuring Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughan, Ray Conniff, the McGuire Sisters, Dean Martin, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams, Henry Mancini, Nat Cole, Peggy Lee, and many more


Sounds of Boston Swing swing, big band, jazz FM 56kmp3PRO

Big Band, Swing and Jazz music from the 30's to present day. Happy listening.


Canuckteach Crooners swing, vocal jazz, big band FM 32kmp3PRO

Crooners & Divas: Nat King Cole, Satch, Sinatra, Prima, Bing, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee, Big Bands (Shaw, Goodman, Dorsey, etc.).. amd more..!


Class of 1954 50s, 40s, easy listening FM 32k

Mostly music from the early '50's and late '40's. Much different from late '50's. Just reading "Broadcaster's Comments" at http://www.live365.com/stations/fairwind will bring back a ton of memories.
 

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I listen to digital music channels about 8 hours a day, and I am pretty happy with the choice of channels. I find the Adult Alternative channel to be outstanding.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Galaxie is better than MaxTrax!!!

After rereading the thread of this discussion, here are the digital music stations recommended by name: Ambient, Nature, Adult Pop, Gold Rock, Adult Alternative, Country Classics, 70's, 80's. These are EIGHT channels from the mix of 20 Galaxie channels and 20 MaxTrax channels.

There was no intention here to favour one music service over the other! And I doubt listeners pay attention to which company offers the music they recommend here. Therefore, you should expect that channels recommended here to be split -- half Galaxie, and half MaxTrax.

The major surprise to me is that ALL EIGHT OF THE FAVOURITES MENTIONED ARE FROM THE GALAXIE SERVICE!!

If you flip a coin eight times, and it comes up heads eight times out of eight, the odds of that happening by sheer accident will be 4 out of a thousand. In any scientific experiment this kind of outcome is described as "highly statistically significant". Therefore, this discussion thread reveals a fact: Galaxie is is far superior to Max Trax.

Why then are the MaxTrax channels using up half the space for digital music channels on our TV services, when it is Galaxie that provides the channels people choose to listen to and recommend to others?

You need look no farther than the website of each company to see which one is putting more effort into its service. MaxTrax is left looking like the hanger-on in this.
 

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If you flip a coin eight times, and it comes up heads eight times out of eight, the odds of that happening by sheer accident will be 4 out of a thousand. In any scientific experiment this kind of outcome is described as "highly statistically significant". Therefore, this discussion thread reveals a fact: Galaxie is is far superior to Max Trax.
Interesting comment (not very) but flawed logic - "superiority" is only an opinion. You fail to factor in only 24 replies from how many unique contributors? What is the statistical reliability of such a small representative sample?
 

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Discussion Starter #27
This was not planned as an experiment, and what I provide above is an observation. The only thing to call "opinion" here are the sincere responses of people who took the time to make suggestions. When the opinion data are this clear-cut there is no need for a larger sample. Any professional statistician or survey firm will tell you the same thing.

This little analysis does of course make assumptions:
1. Respondents have no stake in who provides the channel they suggest (hence ARR suggestions need to be left out, and I omitted the Easy Listening suggestion because that channel is not shared with MaxTrax)
2. The method must be objective, with no intent to bias the results. And the present observations satisfy that. Certainly I, as the observer, never noticed or expected a pattern until I looked at the channels people kept suggesting.

A minor shortcoming in this little survey is that a couple of the suggestions are not "independent", i.e. one or two people mentioned more than one channel. Allowing even for that, you can check the odds at one of the many statistics tools on the internet, plug in even 6 of 6 people, and you will still have very clear statistical "significance".
To calculate, I used http://www.graphpad.com/quickcalcs/binomial1.cfm please feel free plug in your own numbers.

Starchoice, your statement, "Interesting comment (not very)" more likely has the meaning "Interesting comment (disconcerting)". I personally am disconcerted that nobody mentioned any Max Trax channel. There does come a point when you need to accept evidence. Statistical analysis is the tool that scientists and businesses use to make decisions about accepting things. What we have here would stand the legal test of "beyond reasonable doubt".

The flawed logic would be to ignore the evidence and play the role of cynic. If you are aware of any better data than the above anywhere, comparing listener preference between Galaxie and Max Trax, please let us know. Otherwise, these data from listeners with good intention to suggest good channels provide the best evidence available.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
I blame the 70's glitch on the Max Trax website, which on some browsers misaligns its columns: on one of my PC's it does show "Galaxie" beside that channel.
That said, 7 out of 8 is still statistically significant.
 

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I have statistical training, and I agree that the results are statistically significant. This means simply that something other than chance variation is likely going on. This could be the true superiority of Galaxy, a selective sample of respondents, or any of many other factors. Personally, I consider the very surprising observation to be fascinating and worth noting. As the author of the post notes, it is hardly a scientific finding.
 

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Very Subjective...

The results only apply to Ron's listening favourites.
I'm quite sure the opposite can be said for other genres.
Rock and it's variations for example, seem to favour MaxTrax.
I tried the Galaxie offereings and found a preference for Maxtrax, not because of any business relationship I have with them , since I have numerous other providers at my disposal.
BTW, Ron & I are not so many years apart.

From that, should I infer that CBC Galaxie programmers favour the more mature, less virbrant crowd of fuddy duddies while the MaxTrax caters to the young energetic movers and shakers of today's world??

Music is such a subjective thing and each clearly has it's own place.

Judging by the overwhelming preponderance of distributers using the mixed 20+20 model as opposed to the 45 channel Galaxie only offering, I can assume that the blend meets the demographics better and so to say Galaxie is superior is without merit!

While it is certainly Ron's perogative to choose Galaxie, I was surprised when recently speaking to the programing manager at MaxTrax that no Ron had called after having been sent the direct contact information. A unique opportunity indeed!

To claim superiority hasn't factored in the technical superiority of Maxtrax, a matter in which I have first hand knowledge with, but some listeners may not care that Galaxie took the simpler analog audio route, while MaxTrax ensured 100% digital purity of transmission from end-to-end to keep the purist happy and not have the equalized, filtered and perverted sounds that CBC delivers.

Point, counterpoint!
 

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ARR,

The 45 Galaxy channels (501-545) are in MPEG 2 and all are coming in at 192 Kbps on QAM 05 in Videotron's Illico digital service.

I find this to be a wonderful service.
 

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Of course they are digital coming from the encoder to your set top.
But they are analog coming off the audio cards on the playback servers!
Then re-encoded.

Not unlike using a Tivo that takes a settop digital MPEG2 signal to composite video into the DVR, re-encodes it to MPEG2 and they decodes it back to analog audio for playback.

The MaxTrax signals come digitally off a CD rip, are sent digitally in AES/EBU (Commercial grade SPDIF) to an encoder that only aggregates the signals and remaoins digital through uplink and downlink to your STB.

So there are ONLY 2 points in the entire end-to-end transmission that are analog.
The path from the instruments to the microphones during recording and the path from the speakers to your ears during playback. More or less.

I have no doubt it's a wionderful service since the ear can be fooled to a great extent, witness MP3 with a lot of content removed.
As long as the listener requirements are met, than that's all that can be asked.
The thread was trying to determine which one was superior and if or until market pressures create a sole survivor, that ruling really can't be made on the technical or musical mertits due to the diversity of listeners with unique tastes.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
The results only apply to Ron's listening favourites.
I'm quite sure the opposite can be said for other genres.
Rock and it's variations for example, seem to favour MaxTrax....
Point, counterpoint!
Concerning the unintentional survey: it is highly probable that Galaxie serves the non-rock audience better. That does not imply in the least, as ARR suggests, that MaxTrax therefore serves the "rock" audience better.

The "preponderance" of the MaxTrax/Galaxie combination among cable and satellite providers is surely as a result of political correctness and has nothing to do with quality.

The fact there are two services has been a huge frustration for me. I have not tried to contact the MaxTrax programming manager directly, but I have now used the MaxTrax website on three different occasions, to comment politely or make suggestions -- I have NEVER received a response. My comments to the websites of both Galaxie and of Star Choice did produce good responses from them.

The problem with two music services sharing 40 channels is that when there IS a true gap in the offerings (i.e. no Easy Listening format), all you get is finger pointing. Galaxie says it has not enough space, Max Trax doesn't even respond. Nobody takes any responsibility to take care of listeners.

Here is one random sampling of the last 10 performers on Galaxie's Easy Listening Channel that is NOT offered by Star Choice:
James Last, Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass, Stan Getz/Astrud Gilberto, Paul Mauriat
Andy Williams, Tony Mottola, Roger Williams, Johnny Mathis, Glenn Paul, Bert Kaempfert. I'll be thrilled if and when Star Choice offers a music channel like that, and I am certain I am not alone in this.

I have to return to the issue of ageism. Yes, prejudice! Older people, or older tastes don't matter to the guys who manage the music channels. This is also witnessed by the joking around in postings above about the music older people might like to listen to. How would it be if we left Reggae channel off the service and then started joking about black people the way some of you have been joking about older people's tastes? I know its in good fun, but for those who are the butt of those jokes it is damn annoying -- especially when the only real function of the joking is to dismiss the issue.
 

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...The problem with two music services sharing 40 channels is that when there IS a true gap in the offerings (i.e. no Easy Listening format), all you get is finger pointing. Galaxie says it has not enough space, Max Trax doesn't even respond. ...
With the incredibly broad range in musical taste, you are correct, there is a gap and the programmers will try and target the largetst audiences they can given the constraints imposed on them.

Unfortunatly, other than Internet Radio and Satellite Radio (XM & Sirius), with 100+ channles each, I really don't see s solution in the near future.

Since distributors generally give away the music channles, and they can bundle and charge for video content, it's not likely to change unless they re-broadcast either XM or Sirius like Dish+Sirius and DirecTV + XM have done. For that, it's likely a small additional fee would be warranted.

The fact that no one from MaxTrax responded is inexcusable.
I'm aware of a possible cause, but nonetheless, I'll take it up ladder for you .
 

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Discussion Starter #38
ARR continues to surprise with in showing care for this industry. A "thank you" to you, ARR!

One problem with music channels is that there is no real way to assess quality or audience, or to determine whether a major audience segment has been overlooked, which I claim it is.

Certainly Galaxie and Max Trax are paid by Star Choice, Rogers and the rest of the providers of Digital television service, and we subscribers are the ones who in the end pay for them. There should be at least some evidence that there is an evolution of service. However because there are so many channels it looks like anything goes, and what we get on the 20+20 music channels does not need to respond to listeners (or to the many non-listeners who find nothing there).

If I have one subjective impression from looking into this, it is that Galaxie appears to be the superior service in every way obvious to me, even beyond listener preference. The Galaxie website is far more informative. It tells you what has been playing on each channel, it even provides album cover art. Galaxie also responds to questions posed via its website. Perhaps it is because of its CBC roots, but Galaxie comes across as more eager to please. In contrast, Max Trax leaves me with the impression its digital service is a cash cow (i.e. a part of business that doesn't need any care to keep the revenue stream flowing).

It would really be nice if someone like ARR were the boss at Max Trax.
 

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Thanks for the vote of confidence!

... Certainly Galaxie and Max Trax are paid by Star Choice, Rogers and the rest of the providers of Digital television service, and we subscribers are the ones who in the end pay for them. ...The Galaxie website is far more informative. It tells you what has been playing on each channel, it even provides album cover art. ...In contrast, Max Trax leaves me with the impression its digital service is a cash cow (i.e. a part of business that doesn't need any care to keep the revenue stream flowing).

...
Yes, you do pay for it, but I think only about $0.50 /month.
While MaxTrax was FIRST with Title, Track & Artist on screen, I agree, they have slipped w.r.t. the same info on their web site.
I have a prototype of it running on my web site and as their new web staff come up to speed, I expect they will be adding that feature shortly.
Perhaps the reason for the non-response.

All their needed revenue is likely covered by their primary customer, so you may be right again.
 

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Discussion Starter #40 (Edited)
Rogers Cable to start offering Satellite Radio

This may be the start of a trend, Rogers Cable (the company that made me jump happily over to Star Choice) will be offering Sirius and XM Satellite radio on its digital cable service as an extra cost option. The following link is to the full story:
http://www.mediacastermagazine.com/issues/ISArticle.asp?id=62825&issue=11282006&btac=no

Needless to say Galaxie and Max Trax were at The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to oppose the new competition. Corus (owner of Max Trax) contends the Sirius and XM operations may be able to virtually "dump" their services into digital cable, because cable would be an unexpected bonus to their business plan. Is Rogers Cable doing a good thing? I for one am surprised that the CRTC has allowed this to happen, because it does dilute out even more the viability of the digital music channels.

On the other hand, perhaps the added competition might finally force Max Trax/Galaxie to replace the generic sappy music channels with something better. I find the 4 Christmas channels a refreshing improvement. I wonder if anybody misses any of the 4 channels temporarily bumped off the air by Christmas music.
 
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