Satellite TV Review: Shaw Direct - Page 3 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
View Poll Results: How satisfied are you with this service provider?
Extremely Satisfied 70 35.53%
Somewhat Satisfied 89 45.18%
Somewhat Dissatisfied 26 13.20%
Extremely Dissatisfied 12 6.09%
Voters: 197. You may not vote on this poll

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post #31 of 56 (permalink) Old 2010-09-29, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Interior
Posts: 1,800
Somewhat dissatisfied.
Been a customer for over 5 years..some basic receivers, 505, 2 530's and now replaced by 2 630's.
Western feeds and now Global HD "glitch" all the time (skip frames). CBC National on CBC HD also has audio dropouts and glitches. I have complained and all I get is a review of signals and now again they are sending out someone to "tune" the dish, etc. It will not help. Eastern feeds in HD and other SD are near perfect. Western feeds are the problem. I am not alone in this but they ignore it.
For other situations customer service is pretty good.
One final comment which I guess reflects today's business world, but secret deals for those in the know, though I benefit, bother me.
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post #32 of 56 (permalink) Old 2010-09-29, 06:53 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Hastings,ON,Canada
Posts: 121
Shaw Direct A-

I voted "S,Iomewhat satisfied."

I started with SD back in Jan. 02 and apart from 2x experiecing a rep that was a little 'offlish',and reps that would assume you wanted "Detroit",or "Seattle",I few complaints.

I started out with a Dsr-401,then added a 505 in 2007(?).

In the mid 200s,I had an intermittent signal problem,bad connector 2 yrs in a row,After squawking,got a free service call,the 2nd yr,they had to replace the cable.I had told the csr that yes,it was he same problem and that I didn't think the install was eer done right!

Since, more problem.

I had HDCP issues with my JVC Iart 30 in. TV.I'd find the 505 locked up every morn. and had to phone in -again.Finally,one rep. suggested a workaround 'component' which solved the problem,sort of.

The first 505 had to be replaced because it would accept the new guide software,then everntually a 3rd one,bu great since then!

What company do you know where the head programmer would phone you up to talk things over and try to help out anyway?

I now have a Sony Bravia 46 in. 1080p tv(since Feb. 2010),hdcp compliant,everything is fine.

I think they should\ve been open,honest and up front about removing the |Buff. feeds,but on the whole,no company is perfect,no product is perfect,but I'D SAY SD has been pretty close and I just got my parents on board after 8 yrs of trying and they\re happy and me too!
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post #33 of 56 (permalink) Old 2010-09-30, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Posts: 1,950
I've been very satisfied with SD/SC.

I was a customer from 2002-2004 using a DSR-405. I found the picture quality at the time was better than Bell ExpressVu and the customer service was hands-down light years ahead.

In the fall of 2004 Rogers came out with their "Real Choice" promotion that I couldn't pass up: free Rogers PVR for life when you trade in your satellite receiver. SC didn't have a PVR at that time and I thought I'd give Rogers a try.

Fast forward to early 2010 and after growing sick of watching my basic cable tv bill climb into the $70 a month range, I came across a Shaw Direct advert for their "Ontario Value Package". After researching and finding out what it offered I returned the PVR to Rogers, said "goodbye" and signed up for SD. Now I'm enjoying more HD programming than what I had with Rogers for $20 a month less. And my DSR-530 has been very reliable for me in the seven months it's been in service.

SC customer service has always been great for me. Granted I've only called a handful of times over the years but the agents I've dealt with have always been pleasant and polite.
mr weather is offline  
post #34 of 56 (permalink) Old 2010-10-08, 04:41 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7
Somewhat dissatisfied

Just signed up a week ago. Pricing, channel packages, and customer service have all been good. However, the HD video quality is terrible. There is just too much compression; it looks great when the picture is still, but as soon as there's motion most channels turn into a pixelated mess.

I called support and was told my signal strength of 90+ was good but the ECB of mid-6dB on most HD channels was a little low. Shaw dispatched a technician, and after testing cabling, alignment, etc, he decided it must be a weak LNB. That was replaced, but made no significant difference to the ECB.

After watching some HD channels with me, the technician admitted he didn't really notice the pixelation, that it was pretty much the same as his Shaw Direct setup at home. I may be more sensitive than most people about video quality, but I'm not expecting blu-ray. Our local cable company has much better HD quality, though they have fewer channels. I'll likely be switching to them anyway, as it's not worth having HD when it looks this bad.

Those posters who have expressed positive opinions of the HD video quality either have undiscerning eyes, or have gotten so used to the compression artifacts that they've come to accept this state of affairs as normal. For those reading this thread who are on the fence about signing up for Shaw: if you are discriminating when it comes to video quality, look elsewhere first.
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post #35 of 56 (permalink) Old 2010-10-08, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 75
Those posters who have expressed positive opinions of the HD video quality either have undiscerning eyes, or have gotten so used to the compression artifacts that they've come to accept this state of affairs as normal. For those reading this thread who are on the fence about signing up for Shaw: if you are discriminating when it comes to video quality, look elsewhere first.
That's a somewhat arrogant view of the rest of the people on this site. I've had Shaw Direct/Starchoice for the past 6 years and the HD quality has been great for me. And yes I have compared to other companies such as Bell and Shaw Cable. If the picture is breaking up upon movement then it may be a faulty video processor. Has there been any attempt at replacing the receiver? I'm also somewhat confussed at why you're only somewhat dissatisfied however you're looking at disconecting only after a week
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post #36 of 56 (permalink) Old 2010-10-08, 09:44 PM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3,780
If he has a 630, they do pixellate. Its not the feed or compression, it is a hardware problem. Shaw Direct has the best HD PQ of any North American DBS provider.
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post #37 of 56 (permalink) Old 2010-10-08, 10:13 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 75
As do I, however I haven't seen any kind of pixelation, though I do acknowledge that other people have. Possibly faulty tuners...however that's a discussion for another thready
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post #38 of 56 (permalink) Old 2010-11-04, 03:59 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 54
Somewhat dissatisfied

Customer in B.C. since 2001, first with SD, since 2006 HD with a 505 (and my own DVR).

Prices always seem too high, but comparing lately to Shaw Cable and Telus regular prices, they seem competitive. However Shaw and Telus always have promotional deals running, and one thing that annoys me greatly about Shaw Direct is that "secret" promotional deals are only available in Ontario and PQ, never in the west. Adding insult to injury, channel offerings to the west have usually lagged behind (e.g., it took years to get network HD feeds for the western time zone). Not surprisingly, *C/SD dishes are pretty rare around here.

Customer service has generally been ok, although at times over the years the waiting time on the phone has been pretty high.
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post #39 of 56 (permalink) Old 2010-11-27, 06:47 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Richmond, BC. Shaw Direct: DSR 630, DSR 600, DSR 505
Posts: 57
Call Shaw Direct and ask about the BC Value Pack. It trumps all offerings from Bell Satellite TV, Telus Optik TV, and of course Shaw Cable. $41 for almost all of the channels included in the $57 Digital Favourites package and you can add Movie Central or Super Channel for only $16/month instead of the regular $20.
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post #40 of 56 (permalink) Old 2010-12-13, 12:16 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: squamish bc
Posts: 20
survey says

My vote went to somewhat satisfied, lots of pros and cons re Shaw Direct.
Lets work backwards, new 630 pvr a big plus for Shaw Direct, works great and easy to use for my wife who like many others have trouble with electronic gadgets. The small illustrated booklet (instructions) also a big plus, the picture quality in HD is very good on my 58 inch samsung plasma (brand new). The sd picture quality on local Vancouver channels is less than good, all other sd channels are ok.

The customer service is good, not always the brightest csr,s but they do provide positive assistance. Call back is a great feature.

The previous receivers were poor quality, still use a 505. To many glitches like HDCP compliant, aquiring satellite signal, lack of HDMI, I had to replace 4 505 models in a 2 year span, only when Shaw Direct took over did I have to pay for shipping of a replacement receiver. Star Choice was more customer friendly. Also have had several increases in programming costs since Shaw Direct took over, this was not as noticable with Star Choice.

Channel lineup is ok but not great, competitors have the upper edge on that. For the time being I will continue to be loyal to Shaw Direct.

green rosetta is offline  
post #41 of 56 (permalink) Old 2010-12-13, 12:55 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,995
Shaw Direct (Star Choice) has been owned by Shaw Communcations since the early 2000's. There have been annual(bi-annual) price increases since 1999, so there's no change there.
TJ77 is offline  
post #42 of 56 (permalink) Old 2010-12-13, 01:15 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: tarana
Posts: 1,179
Only real gripe is Shaw's unbelievably SLOW telephone support. 10-20 minutes on hold waiting for a CSR is pretty much unacceptable in today's business marketplace.
Get it fixed, Shaw. There are apparently lots of people looking for work (I have read) - hire some of them.
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post #43 of 56 (permalink) Old 2010-12-13, 09:46 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 94
I never wait on hold.....

Just use the handy-dandy call back feature.
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post #44 of 56 (permalink) Old 2010-12-14, 10:05 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 3
Torontonian considering switching from cable to SD

I can get a better offer with SD so I would switch from my current company's cable service to ShawDirect but all the lingo on this site makes my head turn. I do not have HD TV so I will get standard receiver. Coming from a cable system, are there technical issues I may need to deal with?
Thank you!
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post #45 of 56 (permalink) Old 2010-12-14, 10:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North of the GTA
Posts: 10,006
The main difference I encounter when talking to people coming from Cable to Satelitte is that you need a Receiver for each TV, there is no way around that with either of the 2 Canadian Satelitte providers, unless you buy a used bell Receiver that can feed 2 x TV's from the one box.

Connecting the Receiver to the TV, should be almost as simple as just swapping out a Cable digital box (if you have one) with the Satelitte Receiver.
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