Why did you get (or keep) Shaw Direct? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 2014-08-17, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 194
Why did you get (or keep) Shaw Direct?

Hi there,

Just curious to know why others chose SD or choose to keep it over other providers. For me, it's the following:

1) It's a choice between Bell Satellite or Shaw here. We have no OTA TV (CBC / APTN having been switched-off at digital switch-over) and Eastlink just pulled their analogue cable a month or so ago. There were only 17 or so subscribers left here, not including myself, so I can't say I blame them.

2) I live in a remote area and the ability for Shaw Direct to ship new boxes / parts directly to my mailbox is a plus. For Bell I would have to go through one of the "local" dealers rather than dealing directly, which would also mean extra freight charges for shipping on the airlines.

3) Shaw Direct has BBC World News (being a UK ex-pat), CBC Newfoundland HD and NTV St. John's HD, none of which Bell has.

4) We were house-sitting for a friend and they have Bell. My wife hates their HD guide but is quite pleased with the new Shaw Direct HD guide. She also liked the old Shaw Direct SD guide.

On the other hand, I could bundle Bell with my Bell Aliant phone / internet and get a nice saving off them, along with more speciality HD channels. However, point 4 above along with a protracted 2-and-a-half-year battle with Bell Aliant to get internet has left me wary of them.

What's your thoughts?
CrispyPotato is offline  
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 12:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tumbler Ridge B.C.
Posts: 409
Well the main reason I got it was for HD. In the town I live the alternative cable company does not offer HD at all. Had Bell at the time in order to get HD needed a new dish and 2 new receivers. Went out and for a better price got Star Choice then (Shaw now) free install and a portable DVD player from an in-store special.
sawguyg is offline  
post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 09:54 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Longueuil
Posts: 832
Why Shaw Direct:

- HD picture quality tops BTV;
- offers my hometown's TVA channel (now in HD); not delayed local news;
- offers a bunch of radio stations that BTV doesn't;
- OSD (used to) be nicer to read from a distance.

Going nowhere @ 220 ft
John Koenig is offline  
post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 11:40 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Penticton, BC, SC 505 HD, Westinghouse 32" HD LCD Widescreen, Yamaha RVX3800, eleganza 5.1 speakers
Posts: 210
been a long time shaw/starchoice customer.

Got SC years ago because the company I worked for lost their license to sell the dishes/receivers so I was able to get the high end unit for $150. Back then it was a 700$+ option.

Today stick with SC because I live in the mountains and its difficult to see the Bell/Telus Satellite from where I live so not many other choices.

I looked at Telus, there were supposed to come out and do a site survey, never showed so I never give them another chance. Their tough luck. If you book an appointment, either keep it or at least call to let me know you cannot make it.

Yamaha RVX3800, Eleganza Speakers, Epson Pro Cinema 1080p, 106" Accuscreen
jccamp95 is offline  
post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 03:33 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Longueuil
Posts: 832
JC Camp, If by Telus you meant, Telus Satellite well consider it a mere Bell TV rebrand. Telus leeches on 91 (Nimiq 2) and 82 (Nimiq 4).

Going nowhere @ 220 ft
John Koenig is offline  
post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 05:07 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: VancouverBC/PV Shaw Sat 600-630 Cable Internet, Telus Landline, Rogers PayGo, Bell Mobility, Netflix
Posts: 468
We watch the same programming in Mexico otherwise we would be on Telus Optix. The crappy reliability of their PVRs drives me nuts. Right now, I have 6 PVRs and 3 505s yet I only watch 4 devices: 3xPVR and 1 505. I cycle these other PVRs through their exchange program to keep some semblance of reliable programming. The Mexico units wait until I can fly them back. So I am never without TV, just maintaining an inventory of spares. Luckily, 505s and 630s can be had for a song if you are patient. My most expensive 630 was $150 3 years ago. My least expensive was an exchange for a 530 just last month.

Of course I did buy my original 530 from Shaw for $399. I thought it was a piece of crap until I had my 630 for a few months.
kcowan is offline  
post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 2014-08-19, 02:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Delta BC
Posts: 240
I am a hairs breadth from bailing on Shaw ( Starchoice when I started with them in the '90's). I have just about had enough of Shaw's...........

-technologically challenged hardware.
-poorly programmed software
-limited HD channel selection
-pixellating HD channels. ( ie: TSN2, etc.)
-constant price increases.

Telus Optik blended with some online content such as Netflix is looking better and better.
skifan is offline  
post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 2014-08-19, 05:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tumbler Ridge B.C.
Posts: 409
Where I live for any HD content at all we have the choice of SD, Bell or as someone put it Bell clone Telus Sat. There was a deal that you could bundle everything together from Telus but after the introductory price was over it ended up costing the same as I have now for less channels. The only advantage I would have is better high speed internet.....Sticking with SD
sawguyg is offline  
post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 2014-08-19, 11:06 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: 43° N, 81.2° W
Posts: 8,274
The only reason I've gone with Shaw Direct/Star Choice, twice now, is pricing. Their digital bundles provide a good selection of channels at a good price. I've also left Shaw Direct twice due to terrible customer service, poor TV service and arbitrary price increases. With Shaw, you really do get what you get what you pay for. That includes puzzling channel lineups, flaky reception and delays that often last years (or forever) in fixing technical issues or adding new channels.

The flip side is that you can end up paying a lot more for a service that delivers very little more. I endured a couple of years of excruciating technical problems and delays with Bell. To their credit, they did provide compensation for the bad TV service but nothing to compensate for the frustration involved. They also fixed the TV service, eventually. I'm currently with Rogers, after they gave me an retention offer to lure me away from Shaw Direct. The bill is much higher for only a few extra channels. The customer and TV service isn't any better. Technical issues with Rogers are rampant, much worse than Shaw. Some days I wish I had not switched.
ExDilbert is offline  
post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 2014-08-20, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Jasper, Ontario
Posts: 301
JasperJoe is offline  
post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 2014-08-20, 02:28 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ontario
Posts: 109
I originally wanted to get out of the Rogers analog cable that was the only TV available at an older house this is in about 2001 or so other than OTA. I originally got talked into getting into Shaw (Star Choice) by the supplier in our town who is also a Bell dealer. His story was that the picture was better and they had more content having two satellites at the time Bell just has one I think. At the end of the day I think maybe he just got a bigger kickback from Shaw to do an install but I was in and have migrated from 2 SD boxes all the way to the newer PRV's.
Momorider is offline  
post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 2014-08-20, 08:02 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Kincardine ON.
Posts: 4,453
I signed on to then Star Choice in fall 2001. I chose that because the equipment and packages then was marginally better than Bell.

Since then, there has been not real a real reason to change.

Yes, specialty TV has become a cesspool not worth paying for, and my phone provider has an IPTV service.
classicsat is offline  
post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 2014-08-20, 11:15 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: 43° N, 81.2° W
Posts: 8,274
I originally subscribed to Star Choice at about the same time. The main reason was to get HD. The price and channel selection were also better than cable (which was a couple of years away from being upgraded for digital.) Due to defective receivers and incompetent technical support, it took 8 months to get the HD working properly. Even then it was barely watchable on some programs due to dropouts and head end technical issues. Customer service got so bad that I spent about 6 hours on hold one day to get a receiver replaced. Once Bell announced their HD upgrades, I couldn't get away fast enough. Anyone who thinks that Shaw Direct is bad now are lucky they weren't a Shaw Direct HD subscriber then.
ExDilbert is offline  
post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 2014-08-21, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Thorold Ontario
Posts: 2,323
Switched from LOOK-TV because of lack of any HD. Ran the HDD "sidecar" until the 505s came along. Loved the channel lineup and customer service. Too much invested to change.

Recently needed to replace a locked 505. Since they had none in stock, they sent me a 530. It took three call backs to get someone who knew how to set up the 530 and give it the OVP V-code. One CSR argued that HD can be had with red/white/yellow composite cables. Not until the last call did anyone explain that the 530 doesn't work like the 630, tuner 2 is only for recording. Since tuner 2 didn't show a signal strength even though it was hooked to a second good line they had me checking everything under the sun.

Customer service is not the award winning service it once was but I will stay with Shaw since my friends tell me that the other BDUs are just as bad. Besides, they still have SPEED which I can catch the Sprint Cup knockout qualifying on some weekends.
jbracing24 is offline  
post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 2014-08-22, 10:35 AM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: London, ON
Posts: 115
Had Rogers analog basic cable which was crap, constantly going out for no reason and bad reception. Tried to switch to Bell Satellite but could not due to trees around the house, so decided to try Shaw (Starchoice at the time) as a rep just dropped off a pamphlet with a good deal in the summer of 2010. Complaints are the constant price increases, equipment freezing and signal loss during rain storms. Have contemplated switching to IPTV through Zazeen or VMEDIA but am not 100% set on their product quality or longevity. Also would mean switching from my internet provided which I am very happy with (TekSavvy).
dmbcanada is offline  

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