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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 2010-03-10, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
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Shaw Direct Picture Quality

Well I have decided after trying out shaw cable my only options are shaw direct or bell.

Im currently with bell, and the HD is terrible, everything converted to 720P, low bitrates, not even close to hd quality.

I tried shaw cable and it was much better but i missed alot of channels, especially eastern feeds.

So that leaves me with either shaw direct or bell, and the only reason i havent switched is because of hearing about hd pvr nightmares everyone has.

But I do want to ask and make sure since i also have not seen shaw direct hd, but i did see shaw cable.

Is everything in 1080i as well?

Also how good is the quality, i noticed the fewest complaints in all the forums between telus, shaw, rogers, bell, about hd quality in here.

So im very curious how it is.
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 2010-03-10, 02:19 PM
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The Shaw direct HD quality is 1080i on all English channels except for the Score HD and Oasis HD.

HOWEVER, they're adding new channels and they're already at 3 HD per transponder (13mb/sec). To my eyes it doesn't look that great (macroblocking). I've heard Shaw cable is 2HD + 2SD per QAM (closer to OTA bitrates). If this is the case, then Shaw cable will have noticeably better PQ than Shaw satellite.

If I were you I would just suck it up and get Shaw HD cable. Maybe they will add HD east networks soon?
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 2010-03-10, 02:39 PM
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Location: Calgary, AB
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As someone who has had Both Shaw Cable and Shaw Direct...
HD is slightly, but still noticeably better with Shaw Direct satellite.
SD is incredibly better with Shaw Direct satellite than the compressed 10x digital channels.

The PVR is much better (better schedule descriptions, better timers/ record by name, 2 tuners, & more reliable hardware) with Shaw Cable.

When it comes to humility, I am the greatest!
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 2010-03-10, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Yea magnet analysis seems to support most of my research.

Shaw cable looked great to me, but that was because i had bell, bell cant even call it hd its that bad.

Shaw cable apparently for abc, nbc, cbs, and fox moved down to 12mbps and it still looked way better, someone on the shaw cable forum noted that and compared it to ota.

So as you can imagine shaw digital sounds the best.

Im just worried i notice 2 transponders have way to many hd channels. More then bell even. Bell actually has only 3 but still their bitrates seem awful and the picture terrible.

On shaw digital transponder 8 and 25 have 4 24 hour hd channels. Not even bell has that, yet i still bet the picture is better on shaw direct.

Oddly enough like shaw cable and them apperantly lowering bitrates for abc, cbs, nbc, and fox, shaw digital transponders with 4 hd channels have those channels.

If i did have to suck it up though id go with shaw direct and give up the ability to record and watch another show.

Shaw cable was missing to many other channels, normal channels like omni werent available for us (kids watch simpson on it)

Sports net feeds beside west were all not on their. ALl providers besides shaw cable carry all 4. I like to watch poker and on the west feed its not on till 12:30, to late for me. Also no military channel. And again very few east feeds in hd, i also liked watch colbert and daily show earlier in hd on ctv eastern hd feed.

Also comedy network i loved the eastern feeds.

Also the shaw cable motorola boxes when i changed inputs on my hdmi switch, or audio receiver, would default to abusrd settings. It would default to 720p anytime i switched inputs. My projector for some reason wont display 720p full screen, its a 1080p projector. You have to hit anamorphic to fill the screen when any lower resolution is displayed (720 or 480). So everytime i did simple input change and went back to shaw, i was at 720p, with a square box in the middle of my screen. Their is no way I was going to change settings anytime i switched inputs. That would be worse then dealing with shaw direct pvr's.

Do shaw direct pvr's have that problem? They are also motorola but i assume different model.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 2010-03-10, 04:36 PM
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If i did have to suck it up though id go with shaw direct and give up the ability to record and watch another show.
With ShawDirect, you can currently record one show and watch another (your choice if the other one is live on a different channel or one you previously recorded).

There's a whole other thread for what is "promised" for future firmware upgrades with their PVR.

Having said that, I have three of the ShawDirect PVRs (DSR530) and 2 of them have been very solid for the past 2 or 3 years. The other has been good for about 8 months now (having replaced it 3 times previously).

One nice thing about ShawDirect is that if you have multiple receivers, they are all covered with lifetime warranty (only cost to replace one is $12.99 shipping charge).
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 2010-03-11, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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My biggest concern would be does shaw direct do you have to sign any contracts? Also you cant rent can you?

One great thing is that I like to see how I like the service before i switch, with shaw direct it seems like its all in you have to buy the receivers, no renting, correct?

Also do you have to sign contracts?

Last question though, with the pvr you can record a show and watch another? Can you record two at once? With bell i can do that, but i have to watch one of the shows if im recording two which is fine. But i believe i can also view pre recorded stored shows on my pvr if both are recording.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 2010-03-11, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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And am also correct in assuming if using an hdmi (dvi to hdmi cable) switch the settings dont stick, just like shaw cables motorola boxes?
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 2010-03-11, 09:02 AM
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Don't know about the HDMI issue.

Shaw Direct doesn't require a contract per se but there is an early termination fee if you cancel before the first year of service.

I don't believe SD rents receivers. You're responsible to buy them upfront but with multiple receivers you pay the multi-receiver fee and get lifetime warranty on all the boxes.

The SD PVR (DVR-530) only allows you record one show while watching another. It's not a true dual-tuner PVR in that sense.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 2010-03-11, 10:24 AM
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The early termination fee is only charged if you don't return the boxes to SD. Since you are buying them at a subsidized price, they want either the receiver back or the price difference if you terminate before one year. There are some really good deals for new subscribers so shop around.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 2010-03-11, 08:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Sault Ste Marie
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In regards to quality of HD I can report this;

My next door neighbor has just switched from BTV to SD and he has two receivers the 505 and the HD PVr530. The difference in the HD quality on SD is five times better than BTV. I say this because my brother has BTV HD and the picture quality is not good. I watched the hocky game the other night and the SD quality was great!

In regards to 530 problems I guess you can have problems with any of the current offerings from either BTV or SD. My wife's brother has SD for over 10 years now and has never had a problem with his 530 and the picture quality is excellent. You cannot get better HD on cable. If you want great HD then satellite is the only option. I have a BTV satellite receiver and it continually freezes up and requires a reset to fix. So there are no perfect answers out there yet.

SD does have better programming options and has a better price for their packages. So the final decision is up to the consumer. No matter which system you discuss you will find those that are never happy or are having as many problems as the other guy. Sometimes I have found that there are too many people that like to fool around with the equipment rather than just leave it alone and let it do the job it was intended for. The warranty with SD is great! Just call the dealer and they will come out and switch out the receiver. With BTV you have to package and ship back to their depot. As long as you have the two receivers and pay the extra receiver fee the equipment has a lifetime warranty. The only way to get this from Bell is to rent.

Good luck with your decisions!
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 2010-03-14, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
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Well I appreciate all the feedback, looks like its down to two options.

Shaw direct, and telus media room. I spoke to some shaw direct users who switched over, all of them were happy in general with the overall service. With regards to hd picture quality some said telus media room slightly better, some said shaw direct slightly better, but they all seemed to agree it was very close. Of course telus won with hardware easily.

My problem with telus media room currently while its no doubt the better service hardware wise is missing a few very important hd channels.
SO i guess it comes down to wether telus adds the new HD channels first, or shaw direct adds a new hd pvr with with hdmi (currently hdmi handshake issues would be a problem in my setup, among other issues i may encounter with the 530)
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 2010-03-14, 12:07 PM
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These guys must have poor eyesight or cheap or miscalibrated tvs as most of those Telus media room HD feeds are good old Bell compressed 720p satellite feeds.
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 2010-03-14, 01:39 PM
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Location: Edmonton
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Nope, 20/10 vision (check), new TV's (check), top of the line TV's (check), picture quality the same as Shaw Direct (check), options Shaw Direct users can only dream of (check), missing Shaw Direct (not checked).
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 2010-03-14, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Bent But View Post
These guys must have poor eyesight or cheap or miscalibrated tvs as most of those Telus media room HD feeds are good old Bell compressed 720p satellite feeds.
Are you sure that you aren't referring to Telus Satellite TV which IS rebranded Bell Satellite? Telus does it's own collection and distribution of signals for it's IPTV service.
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 2010-03-14, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Bent but, your thinking of telus satellite, which is bell.

Also this is not telus tv either which also had problems, perhaps bandwidth problems.

This is telus media room, brand new IPTV service that began in February.

And yes bell picture is awful to say the least. But this couldnt be further from bell.
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