Shaw Direct customers fume over non-existent firmware updates

starchoiceIn November 2008, Star Choice, now called Shaw Direct, announced that it would be updating the firmware of its DVR530, DSR505, DSR317, and DSR207 satellite receivers in the spring of 2009.

At the time, Canada’s number two Direct-to-home satellite television provider promised firmware updates with new features such as an enhanced electronic program guide, improved information screens for shows and movies, interactive search, new features for the digital video recorder and more.

Now six to nine months after the firmware updates were promised, Shaw Direct customers are fuming over the company’s failure to deliver. Not only has Shaw Direct failed to deliver on enhancements, but they have failed to provide customers with firmware that delivers basic trouble free PVR functionality.

Digital Forum members tell us of $700 Shaw Direct PVR’s which have trouble rewinding and fast forwarding and can’t record two stations at a time despite having two tuners.

For the record, the only changes Shaw Direct customers have seen in the last year was in April when the company removed all references to the proposed firmware update on the company website. Rather than deal with the problem, the company simply tried to pretend the software enhancements had ever been announced.

Sample Shot of promised Enhanced Program Guide

Sample Shot of promised Enhanced Program Guide

Customers who have inquired about the update in the last year have not been given any reason as to why the firmware update have not been delivered.

A Shaw Direct insider tells Digital Home the missed firmware update deadlines are a result of a technical development team which has been plagued by management meddling, poorly written code and weak project management.

Insiders tell Digital Home that Star Choice management had originally planned on delivering the updates in October of 2007 but by April 2009, poor planning and execution had led to nothing more than firmware riddled with bugs and still in testing.

And for the record, Shaw has recently announced the firmware updates for its DVR530, DSR505, DSR317, and DSR207 satellite receivers are now expected in November.

Discuss in our Shaw Direct Forum.


2 Responses to “Shaw Direct customers fume over non-existent firmware updates”
  1. Birdman35 says:

    This article fails to mention that Shaw Direct Interactive Weather has already arrived on Channel 397. This was one of the promised improvements in the firmware updates.

    Too bad about the infighting but the new firmware should be bug-free rather than riddled with problems.

  2. DigitalDude says:

    This is extremely disturbing news and rumour that the whole program might be cancelled is even worse.
    A serioious set of mistakes in the past 4 years has led them here and it’s a dificult hole to get out off.

    I’d suggest they release what they have as long as the code doesn’t have any fatal or showstopper bugs.
    Terminate the entire managemewnt team involved. Recruit professional developes and program managers and empower them to get it done. They might also consider a new communications manager with a DHC account to keep the subs abreast of happenings.

    Follow the plans they laid out years ago, stick to it or say sorry and close the division.

    So sad for an unit that looked ilike t may have had a promising future, but we can already here the rats leaving the ship in droves, and rightly so. This business unit needs a spanking of royal proportions.