Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
I'm becoming dissatisfied with Novus's failure to add HD versions of some pretty basic channels. At the head of the list (for me) is the Comedy Network. Now that both 'The Daily Show' and 'The Colbert Report' have been dropped by the CTV network, and thus only available on Comedy Net, Novus subscribers will only have the SD option. In 2013, that is not acceptable.
For the record, the following are other HD services available on Shaw that Novus has yet to add:
1. Animal Planet HD - Given the popularity of nature-based channels in Canada, it is inexplicable that Novus hasn't seen fit to add the high def version of Animal Planet. What's the reason for the gross oversight?
2. Discovery -only available in SD on Channel 50. (Note: this is not the same as Discovery World, which Novus does offer in HD. This one, Discovery, programs quite a few nature programs not shown on Discovery World, making the SD version by itself unacceptable).
3. Disney HD - not my cup of tea, but there are surely many, many families that likely would want this.
4. Encore Ave HD - Unless I've somehow overlooked it, Novus doesn't offer this channel in any form, be it SD or HD. Why?
5. H2 HD - The companion channel to History Television, which Novus does offer in HD. Makes no sense that this one isn't also.
6. Nat Geo Wild HD - Same deal as History. Novus gives us Nat Geo in HD for obvious reasons ... a nature-based channel needs to be viewed in HD for the full effect. This one's not offered in any form.
7. Slice HD - Again, not my thing, but there's a market for this service out there.
8. YTV HD - See #6. Allegedly, YTV is Canada's top children's channel.
9. W Movies HD - See #7.
This list does not include certain channels Shaw carries that Novus doesn't, such as Big Ten HD. While there are a respectable number of sports-related services, this one's devoted to U.S. college sports, which most don't offer except in small numbers. From what I've gathered, Big Ten HD is quite popular in Canada.
Back in late 2012, I talked to a "Novus insider", who informed me that there was a system upgrade scheduled to be completed in the summer of '13. At that time, he said, there would be far more room to add a greater channel selection. Well, that time has now passed, and the only additions are SD. And not too many of those.
So, I put it to you, Novus. What exactly made you decide to change your plans when it comes to HD expansion? In talking to this same individual a month ago, he now says the focus is less so on increasing channels and more on VOD and other such things. Which, in my eyes at least, means that Novus's line-up has become less attractive than Shaw's. Understand, this does not take into account the superiority of the smaller company's overall video quality, which is a definite plus.
And finally, don't get me started on my periodic requests for TCM-HD, which is part of Bell's package. I've seen it, and the clarity and crispness of the picture is light years beyond the SD version. I had to laugh when I made mention of this to a telephone rep, who actually said it's not important since most of the movies are in black-and-white. An ignorant statement at the very least, made by someone who has no appreciation for the use of shadows and light and pinpoint clarity as an integral part of the story.
The bottom line is that Novus seems to be falling behind other service providers in this country. I've had friends comment on how beautiful the video quality is when they view games here. But despite that advantage, it's incumbent that Novus make every effort to "keep up with the Jonses." It's the right thing to do to keep the customers happy.