Shaw Direct Simsub discussion - Page 2 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #16 of 402 (permalink) Old 2011-05-03, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bigoranget View Post
I guess for me it doesn't make much difference since I am subject to Simsubs from Global HD and CTV HD due to being in the Toronto market.

My assumption is Thunder Bay is not included because the Global affiliate in that city is a private affiliate. St John's might be another city that might be exempt from this...
Ok, that would certainly explain things. Very interesting, very interesting indeed!

Last edited by 57; 2011-05-03 at 12:45 AM. Reason: Quote shortened
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post #17 of 402 (permalink) Old 2011-05-03, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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A response from a CSR from Shaw after emailing them my concerns after my initial phone call:

"Thank you for your e-mail, your input is very important to us, as we strive to deliver the highest quality TV viewing possible. We understand your frustration with this interruption and we do endeavour to avoid these situations occurring at all times. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to you. Shaw Direct is required to implement Simultaneous Substitution whereby the signal of a US station is entirely replaced by the signal of a Canadian station only when both stations air the same program at the same time. This is a CRTC requirement and must be followed by all major cable companies and Satellite TV distributors. It is designed to protect the rights of Canadian broadcasters. These regulations permit Canadian broadcasters who purchase American programming, to use signal substitution as a means to earn advertising dollars.

Basically, for simultaneously broadcast programming on US over-the-air channels and Global stations, we will now be doing simultaneous substitutions over broader areas, like so:

>§ Global Maritimes to cover the Atlantic region;

>§ Global Montreal to cover Quebec;

>§ Global Toronto to cover Ontario (except for the 75 km area surrounding Thunder Bay)

>§ Global Toronto HD to cover Ontario

>§ Global Winnipeg to cover Manitoba

>§ Global Saskatoon to cover Saskatchewan

>§ Global Calgary to cover Southern Alberta (Red Deer and south)

>§ Global Edmonton to cover Northern Alberta

>§ Global Vancouver to cover BC

Right now, we only do the substitutions over a 75 km range surrounding a broadcasting city. In addition, for Ontario customers, we will also be simultaneously substituting Global Toronto over Global Montreal for simultaneous broadcast programming. While more customers will experience simultaneously substituting, it should not affect service quality, as it is ONLY for simultaneous broadcast programming/episodes. If this trial is successful, Shaw Direct viewers will have the benefit of receiving more relevant local news, weather, and sports updates for simultaneously broadcast programming."

So, it has been confirmed via email of what I (and others here and elsewhere suspected). The last step is to double-check tonight if CTV or any other Canadian network is simsubbed in my area (I couldn't last night as I was busy), and then we definitely know what Shaw's motives are... not to provide us with a better local experience, but to make more $$$.
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post #18 of 402 (permalink) Old 2011-05-03, 06:22 PM
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If Shaw isn't doing the same for CTV, a compliant will be filed, we can all be sure of that.

In broadcasting decision 2008-358, regarding a complaint filed by CTV against Star Choice, Shaw and Bell concerning the HD simultaneous substitution of the Super Bowl that year, the CRTC determined that simsubs should be undertaken by the method in which they always had been.
That year Bell had offered the Fox HD feed of the Super Bowl on temporary channels to all subscribers outside of the grade B contour of CTV HD Toronto and Vancouver, though this was not the accepted method that Bell had adopted, thus the CRTC determined that Bell was in breach.

Clearly Shaw Direct is making changes to the way it performs simsubs, and clearly if Global was not owned by Shaw Communications, we would not even be discussing this...
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post #19 of 402 (permalink) Old 2011-05-03, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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I remember that broadcasting decision. I am still waiting to hear back from the CRTC regarding this specific issue.

CTV is copying NBC (what else is new) in airing NBC's The Voice at 9 pm EDT tonight, so I will definitely be checking to see if there is a CTV logo overtop of NBC at this time.
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post #20 of 402 (permalink) Old 2011-05-03, 07:00 PM
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If they cover BC with Vancouver, Yup this will really be local programming for the interior of BC!! These companies think their customer base is nothing but stooges, hillbillies, with weak brainpower, etc. etc. Telus just tried something with me because of their competition increasing rates, so they followed suit. They gained $2/month and promptly lost $9/month and I retain the same service.
Shaw Direct may lose my monthly amount all together. Global quality is a joke/oxymoron.
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post #21 of 402 (permalink) Old 2011-05-03, 07:26 PM
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I assume that this practice only applies to Std Def channels (plus Global HD if in Ontario)?
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post #22 of 402 (permalink) Old 2011-05-03, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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No simsubs of NBC by CTV during "The Voice". Global is overtop of CBS during "NCIS: Los Angeles".

The investigation is complete. We know what Shaw is up to now.

Oddly enough, the signal strength on CBS Detroit went from 97 down to 91 with Global interrupting things. Is that possible? I guess it is, since we are actually forced to watch another station when we want to tune into CBS Detroit, so we are not actually getting what should have been beaming down from the skies.
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post #23 of 402 (permalink) Old 2011-05-03, 10:33 PM
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So, in the past VCO (virtual channel override) could be defeated if you simply PVR'ed stuff because it would override the VCO and record the covered channel. I'm guessing that can't be done any more.

So, I guess the next question would be how does this affect timsehifting? If I'm recording CBS-Spokane in Ontario, do I end up with Global Calgary?

Being in SK, even when OTA-HD becomes the norm, it will only be noticeable when the time change happens and we go back to Central time. I figure the West feeds for the East and the East feeds for the West being PVR'ed will be the norm.
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post #24 of 402 (permalink) Old 2011-05-04, 12:05 AM
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Yes It will be the norm. Now being in Sk tonight I didn't see any simsubs over the East Or west HD Feeds yet.
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post #25 of 402 (permalink) Old 2011-05-04, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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I believe only Ontario is subjected to HD simsubs, as per the email response from a Shaw CSR and as jcups assumed. But doesn't Global have OTA HD transmitters in Vancouver and Calgary, in addition to Toronto?
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post #26 of 402 (permalink) Old 2011-05-04, 01:16 AM
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This is pretty outrageous. CTV is going to be looking for the same treatment, and they'll likely get it, along with any other OTA station.
I don't know what it is about Global, but everytime I watch one of its stations, the picture just seems dark and awful to me.
This is just one of the reasons why media consolidation moves the market from equilibrium. Canwest should have just gone into liquidation. The few useful bits of the company (Food & HGTV) would have been snatched up, and the rest of the recycled crap would have been gone. <End Rant>
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post #27 of 402 (permalink) Old 2011-05-05, 09:56 AM
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I finally got around to watching House from Monday, recorded from FoxE HD.

The first 34 minutes or so was FOX, then I got a black screen, my remote wouldn't work and nothing happened for about 45 seconds. Then all of a sudden, remote works again, and picture pops back up, but now the feed was Global.

When I looked at the progress bar, there was a red line right where I encountered difficulties - as in right where they simsubbed.

SD's half-as*ed simsub actually caused an error for a seconds in the recording.

So, if a TV provider cannot do simsubs correctly and flawlessly, shouldn't they not be allowed to do them?

Then, if the feed they simsub is of lower quality, shouldn't we have a choice?

Instead of forcing a Canadian feed on us, perhaps some research should be done into why Canadians might choose the US feed over their own.

My reasons? Inferior quality (and no next week previews).

ATV3 / Unblock-US / Netflix / HuluPlus / Samsung LNT3242H
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post #28 of 402 (permalink) Old 2011-05-05, 11:05 AM
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Talking Simsubs are part of our Canadian 'Culture'

Note: I don't consider this a rant because my blood pressure hasn't risen during the typing of this post. This is a rational post about the reality of living in Canada...

You simsub rookies have a lot to learn. Rule #1 of recording is to always record the Canadian broadcast if there is a simsub scheduled. Even if the first 98% of the US show you are watching has no simsub, it doesn't mean that the folks at your cable company (generally through automated computer switching) won't realize that the simsub isn't working and then manually turn it on.

The Canadian channels don't like it when their simulcasts are ignored and will often call to complain. The TV channel folks complain to the guys at the top of the food chain, while your calls go to the guys at the bottom. Who do you think is listened to more often?

You can find next week promos on some Global shows like Rookie Blue.

I've experienced years of simsub errors (using Rogers Cable) and the guys at the cable companies spend hours (at least minutes) going through their automated system to try to predict where there might be a problem with upcoming simsubs and either program one in, or remove one that shouldn't be there. Unfortunately, there are far too many errors within the system that they miss. It was once estimated many, many, many, many years ago that Rogers only makes simsub errors about 1% of the time each year. That sounds good until you realize that 1% of more than a million simsubs is still at least 10,000 errors.

Getting Shaw subscribers to cancel their service all at once to protest the simsubs is far too difficult to coordinate than it should be. Shaw will just offer you a better price for your package for the next year if you promise to stay with them. Are you going to turn down a bargain if one is offered to you? I doubt it. That's just one reason why Shaw can do whatever it wants and keep on ticking ... off its subscribers.

Simultaneous cancellations (A.K.A.: simcans) are difficult to coordinate. You will need to organize a Union and have rotating leaders to make it more difficult for the Canadian companies to throw all the leaders in jail, or even worse ... force them to watch simsubs.

Global is also notorious for running its shows up until the very last second of the hour (instead of ending the shows a few minutes before the hour like many US broadcasters do, or at least did in the past) to squeeze in more commercials and make timer taping of other channels even more difficult (your clock has to be very accurate).

You do have a choice. You can choose to ignore US content on US channels and instead view whatever the Canadian channels are airing. If you have access to OTA broadcasts (even if you can only get some Canadian stations), at least you can avoid paying the Canadian cable and satellite companies to aggravate you further ... and the picture will be even better than cable or satellite (due to less compression).

You can choose to be aggravated, or you can choose to find US programming via other means. For House M.D., I now simply wait for one of my local Libraries to get the DVDs and then I borrow them for free. Others might choose to watch Global shows on the Internet (either on the Global site, or elsewhere), or might just buy the DVDs.

The more money you have, the easier it often is to get around the "evil" Canadian companies. I even buy DVDs from online US retailers to save the $10 (or more) that the Canadian distributors or stores charge as a gouging fee.

You know you live in a troubled country when it's quite often cheaper to buy DVDs and Blu-rays from the USA (including the extra shipping charges and not even taking the Canadian dollar into account), instead of buying the Canadian versions with "free" shipping.

Once again, God Bless America.
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post #29 of 402 (permalink) Old 2011-05-05, 11:14 AM
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Angry This Sucks!

I was a happy to be a SD customer because living far away from Toronto I was not subject to sim-subbing. Now all of a sudden I turn on the tv and everything is sib subbed from Global onto Fox. After years of being forced to watch local Canadian ads I was happy to get away from it, but now we have gone full circle and back at square one.

As a consumer I should be able to watch a US Broadcast since the show is 100% American!!!!! Global & CTV barely have any original shows other than the news, so why should I be forced to watch them at all! If I want to watch Canadian content I will watch the CBC, isn't that what is there for?

Wake up Shaw Direct and listen to your customers, and CRTC..YOU CONTINUE [email protected]!!! SUCK...and until you are dissolved Canadians will continue to suffer injustice when it comes to TV, Cell Phones and Internet!
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post #30 of 402 (permalink) Old 2011-05-05, 03:20 PM
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You should still be able to watch the west feeds simsub free. Right now in SK I dont see any simsubs but when that changes I will simply record everything off the east HD feeds. Problem solved.
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