: Shaw Gateway: Installation and setup discussion
2012-03-10, 07:33 PM
Have two portals coming and one existing sd box.
I will need 4 portals on the Gateway MoCa network and 2 lines for the 2 standalone boxes will an installer setup without all the portals and the extra box present that day?
2012-03-11, 01:08 PM
Ok so I finally got the gateway system installed yesterday, and all I can say is wow. So much clearer then sloptik. I switched from telus and I don't think I am going back. The only thing that I am trying to find is, is there and exit button to get out of the guide without hitting the ok on the channel you are watching?
2012-03-11, 02:29 PM
Use the 'Zoom' button as an 'exit' function. There are plenty of good tips about the system in the existing threads so have a read through them. See Post #1 of the iS2 thread for the Remote Cheat sheet link and other good info.
2012-03-11, 06:23 PM
Thank you JetRanger for the pointer in the right direction to get me used to this remote. :D:D
2012-03-13, 03:15 AM
Shaw does the install so you don't have to worry about any of that.
Don't have to worry, but it's nice to know. If I want to connect another TV, I have to have the shaw techs out! Why can someone even buy a Digital Gateway at Best Buy, if they can't even install it themselves?
I'm still trying to get a real manual for my Digital Gateway (Arris MG5000, I suppose). So far the support folks keep pointing me towards the user guide (by Shaw). User guide would be fine if I didn't have to BUY the equipment (when I bought, it was at the original price, not available by the month!).
The support folks sound like they are trying to be helpful.
I'd like to see for myself if there is some possible ways around some of these issues I'm having with the guide, as one example -- go to date/time channel in guide, then back to what you are watching and if go back to guide, you are still at the date/time/channel as the previous look -- can't figure out how to quickly return to now/here!
I'd also like some more "official" directions/specs re adding HDD expansion. I've read on these forums that solutions work other than the "Shaw PVR expander" ... but the Shaw guide implies that's the only option.
The device uses CableCard technology -- would be interesting to see if I could remove the CableCard (M-Card) and put into another device (Tivo Premier Elite supports multi-stream mode M-Cards).
Being limited to only the hardware the carrier allows is just the carrier being greedy (it all gets converted to the same format). The regulators shouldn't allow it.
I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky that they stop at the PVR box, and we don't have to choose between 3 or 4 sizes of Shaw Televisions.
2012-03-13, 03:44 AM
If you would care to take the same advice given to the previous poster(remote cheat sheet, that's actually in this thread), you would see there is a simple way to get back to the current time in the guide. This 'issue'(I call it a 'feature') has been changed in the next code update but will still be possible with different key presses. We will see how it works when we get the update.
As for the 'extender', Shaw only supports what they support. They have the right to do that and the 'support' you have already found here, by members who have done some rather extensive testing of their own, is probably the best 'help' you will get. Sure, it would be nice if Shaw offered larger storage options and if you have been reading here you will already know they are testing some but they can only support what they currently offer.
The reason you can't install your own Gateway equipment is that it takes a connection to the head end, and that may be at ARRIS rather than Shaw, and they currently have no way to allow the public to do that. This is required to 'provision' the equipment and the connection in your home. This system is unlike any previous equipment or system Shaw has ever used and their architecture has some peculiarities that complicate the process. We are actually pretty lucky the system works as well as it does at this point. Shaw has testing going on to make improvements, and I don't mean just the code updates, that will hopefully lead to improvements in the future that may one day include 'self install' as an option.
There are so many details that most people will never know about all of this that all have to be 'just right' for it to work. All we care about is having it work, especially after spending so much on the hardware, I know. This next code update should bring some real improvements and hopefully some great new features to keep us interested and hopefully not too annoyed with possible new problems.
Finally, if you want a 'manual', you can search the ARRIS site for one but it isn't all that much better. It seems that since these units have such dynamic programming ability, any form of printed manual is just a waste. I agree that it would be nice if Shaw provided a more comprehensive online manual but since they know it will change so much in the first year or so, it seems they have just given us the bare bones and expect us to stumble our way through the rest of it.
2012-03-15, 07:17 AM
The cheat sheet is great -- it's a terrible shame that such information isn't available on either the Shaw site or the Arris site (Box came from Shaw, but is clearly labelled "Arris".) I realize any such links would have to be a live document -- but Shaw keeps the channel mapping up to date, and that changes occasionally.
I don't particularly want to be a beta tester -- and I certainly didn't get any sort of a price breaks for purchasing a "work in progress". I've spent far too much time waiting around for the installers, waiting for the techs, waiting for support call backs, waiting on hold, and scouring the web for solutions.
I appreciate the help in these forums -- certainly don't get it from Shaw or Arris!
The Digital Gateway wasn't (still isn't) ready for prime time. The user interface is way too complicated. (Would appreciate it being more Tivo or Apple TV - like). At first glance it appears that those designing the software spent too much time adding "features" instead of improving/perfecting/fixing the features that were already there and essential for a PVR. The manner of installation is a joke for something that the user can purchase at Best Buy.
The Portal momentarily loses connection to the Gateway way too often (even though my portal is directly on top of the gateway). The lag between pressing play and the recording starting to play is sometimes 4-5 seconds.
The remote is missing a "source/input" key requiring me to keep an extra remote handy for when I want to change sources, or purchase a decent universal remote.
(Even the latest tech support guy I talked to looking for a manual (who didn't return my call as promised) said he has a Digital Gateway, but doesn't use it as a PVR -- he uses a Myth setup.)
2012-03-19, 01:00 PM
Had the gateway and 3 portals installed yesterday (brother in law is a new installer so I thought I would give him some practice). Installation went pretty quick. Everything is working good.
Picture quality is noticeably better than our pace summit box that we had the expander on. Menu is quite large and can seem intimidating, graphics on the menu are up to par with what I expect for 2012 electronics. The pvr skip feature is instant which is nice. The pace box had a 2 second lag.
Going to have to spend more time with the menu settings. I don't really like how the pvr menu is. Not sure if you can even change it but I'm hoping. On the pace box the recordings were sorted by show and if you had multiples of the show they would all be in the shows folder. How the gateway is on default settings its sorted by date and you have to do a lot of scrolling.
So far I'm happy with the purchase (we'll see as its only been 24 hours) and I really look forward to shaw unlocking the rest of the features that the gateway can do.
2012-04-04, 09:55 PM
I hope this is in the correct thread, my question is simple, can one have a working Gateway portal & a working DCX 3400 on one TV at the same time. I'm having a Gateway system with 3 portals installed on Friday, but would like to have one HDTV ( wifes TV) able to access both units. She hates change and is comfortable with the existing DCX 3400 PVR. A simple yes or no would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Cheers.
2012-04-04, 10:03 PM
Yes, if your TV has the extra input.
The question is more like: can one cable run be split into both a portal and a DCX3400? That's exactly what I have. The install guy put a splitter with a MoCA filter going to the 3400. I think I read somewhere that the filter isn't really necessary but I'm not going to test it.
You can then move the splitter and 3400 around the house to any other other portal location if you want.
2012-04-04, 10:21 PM
Just what i had hoped. The existing 3400 feeds the TV via component cable, so I can use HDMI for the portal. Many thanks for the fast reply, Cheers.
2012-04-04, 10:27 PM
I have a 3400 for another 17 months on a free rental. I program it to record all the same series, just in case the portal messes up (which it has a few times).
2012-04-04, 11:10 PM
Thats what I intend to do, let my wife continue to use her 3400 while I gradually move her over to the Gateway, or, maybe I'll never mover her over & use the six Gateway tuners myself. Again, many thanks, Cheers.
2012-04-04, 11:17 PM
I owned a DCT6412-PhaseIII. I bought the gateway and 2 portals and used it for a month before trading in the 6412 for a 3rd portal. I wanted to make sure the gateway was working to some degree before giving up that machine. Having the 3400 as well made it a little easier to give up the 6412.
If you own the 3400 you might look at trading it in someday if the offer is still available.
2012-04-05, 01:06 AM
Sorry for the delay. I own 3 3400's currently, one in the living room (wifes TV), one in the den (my TV with HT surround sound) and one in the master bedroom. I will trade the 3400's in the den & master bedroom for portals & leave the wifes alone, but add a portal to her setup. I'm an old fart but realized years ago that happines is a separate TV system for his & her, particularly with two sons & three grandsons who are obsessed with sports on TV. Hope the install is trouble free and no major problems after with the Gateway. Cheers.
2012-04-07, 02:18 PM
I'm pleased to report that my Gateway, 3 portals & a 3400 were installed about 24 hrs ago & are working just fine. The gateway unit is installed in my HT room and so far is dead quiet. It will take a bit to become familiar with the new interface but I am very pleased so far & would agree with others that the PQ is better than on the 3400. Cheers.
2012-04-08, 03:01 PM
I have been seeing several problems on my recently well-behaved DCX3400s and a DCT700 since having my Gateway and 1 Portal installed about 2 weeks ago that I blame on the Gateway installation.
My fairly complex internal distribution system had, with several Shaw techs' help over time, been carefully adjusted, with splitters and an amp, to provide acceptable signal levels to all components. These levels were about as low as they could go and still provide consistent, stable signals/communications to/with all the units.
I believe that the 3-way splitter added to accommodate the Gateway/Portal dropped the signal levels reaching my units to just below the completely stable point.
Yesterday one DCX3400, in the middle of browsing a VOD movie listing, reset but worked fine after that. The ability of a device to receive, properly, Guide updates but to fail to connect to VOD has, in the past, been traced to signal level problems.
A week or two ago I got S0A00 errors on channels 2 and 39, on a DCX3400 and a DCT700, simultaneously and within a few minutes of each other. One unit recovered faster than the other. One failed on both channels, the other only on one.
I have to check which type of 3-way (balanced with 3 outputs @ 5.5dB loss or unbalanced with 1 @ 3.5dB loss and 2 @ 7dB loss) was installed and, if it is the latter, then I will make sure that the 3.5dB loss is going to my main distribution system and the 7dB loss ones go to my cable modem and MOCA converter and from the MOCA filter to the splitter feeding the Gateway and the Portal. That should improve signal levels to my existing internal distribution net by about 3.5 dB and we'll see whether it is sufficient. That will also give me an opportunity to see what the MOCA filter looks like. I forgot to check when it was being installed. I'm slipping.
2012-04-08, 03:13 PM
You mentioned looking to see what your MoCA filter looks like. Are you referring to the fellow who said the ones with blue inside are "bad"? Mine are white inside and I have all the problems with terrible trick modes (ffwd/rwd/skip) and occasional "unable to communicate with gateway" errors.
I don't know how MoCA works. Down the road, when you swap out the legacy boxes for more portals, will the signal level be as critical? ;-)
2012-04-08, 05:59 PM
I think you mean me. I don't have specific information about the filters beyond what a tech had told me when he switched the MoCA filters in my system. I was just relaying that information and that I experienced significant improvements in reduced freezing/pixelization when he changed the filters in my system. I didn't see any freezing for the first while after the filters were changed but since then we have seen a bit of it return although less frequently. I never claimed it improved the trick mode problems since it was bad before and after switching the filters in our case too. Just hoping the potentially imminent upgrade deals with these issues.
2012-04-08, 08:11 PM
If I "buy in" to the Gateway/Portal system then my setup will indeed, eventually, simplify considerably.
My setup is currently so complicated because, using wireless IR remote extenders plus an internal net consisting of splitters, an amp and even a four-in three-out amplified coax switch, I can feed programming from any one of four signal sources (one of them my basement DCX3400) to any of three TVs in the house, all SD of course. Over time, as the cost of DVD players etc., has decreased I find that all I really want to do is watch recorded programming on the TV of my choice. At the moment, Murphy's Law ensures that what I want to watch is recorded on the PVR in the other room.
Unfortunately, even after trying a Gateway/Portal pair for two weeks, it is not clear to me that I will be buying in.
I may yet return the Gateway/Portal before my 30 days are up and the current problem, if it even exists, will disappear.
If I do decide to keep the Gateway/Portal, then the two distribution nets will coexist for some time, as I gradually watch the programs recorded on the DCX3400s and buy (on sale), or swap for, Portals to replace them. In that case I have to figure out what is going on with my setup.
As for the MoCA filters, I am just curious which one I have, nothing more, at least at this point. I am, thankfully, not currently having any problems with the actual Gateway/Portal units themselves, other than the ones that have been "designed" in.