For Reals

Fifty parterre box livechatters agree: the first RealNetworks Met Opera streaming broadcast was a sensational success! Listeners compared notes last night during the performance of Rigoletto, a number of them doing an A/B comparison between the Real stream and the Sirius stream.

The consensus was that the Real stream offered excellent fidelity and depth of sound at 96 kbps, featuring that quality that has seemed to elude Met broadcast producers for the past decade or so, a realistic dynamic range. (To put in in language La Cieca understands, the full orchestra actually sounds louder than the clarinet solo.) In fact, in this respect the Real stream actually scored higher points than the Sirius premium stream, though La Cieca stands by her opinion that the Sirius stream sounds somewhat rounder, with fewer digital artifacts.

Of course the main focus of the chat was the performance itself, but it is good to know that the streaming technology is so realiable — though not quite seamless, for there were scattered dropouts reported. Any of you technical whizzes out there have suggestions for improving the listening experience?

And please feel free to nominate future broadcasts dates for more chats on


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