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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 2019-01-07, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Start TV Discussion, Experiences, Questions and Reviews

This thread is for Start TV discussion and anything else about the Start TV service from Start.ca. People who have subscribed are encouraged to post their experiences.

Highlights:
1. Better regular pricing than the incumbents. Compares well to promotional pricing from incumbents with no need to haggle or cancel to get the best price or renew offers.
2. Requires Start internet but internet pricing is very competitive.
3. Packages tend to be well thought out. The recommended main package includes many popular channels and avoids zombie channels. Add-on packages are fairly large but offer good value.
4. Can watch live TV or watch and manage recordings with Start TV app on mobile devices.
5. Supports Apple TV, iOS and Android on many popular devices.
6. Start TV box is reasonably priced compared to legacy TV services.

Lowlights:
1. Monolithic packages similar to incumbents.
2. Individual channels as add-ons are expensive.
3. No pick and pay package.
4. Start.ca TV box does not support Android apps.
5. Problems reported with mobile app on some devices.
6. Start.ca mobile app does not support Chromecast.
7. Some features such as VOD and Netflix support are not yet available.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 2019-01-07, 05:27 PM
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To me it does not seem like a good deal at all.
I would have to pay $70 for unlimited internet and $90 for a tv package that is close to Bell's Better package so total would be $160 plus tax as there is no other way to get channels like AMC for example.
This is not even close to reasonable pricing IMO.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 2019-01-07, 05:57 PM
 
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Thumbs up

Given that the current model for television delivery by the BDU's is dying a slow death with most people streaming content (Netflix, etc.) the premium package @ $50/month ($60 if you include box rental) along with unlimited internet at $50/ month for a total of $110/month is not that bad a deal. We stream content with a 30/5 unlimited package and we have no issues.

I'd be very happy even with the light package @ $20/month ($30 if you include box rental) along with their unlimited internet package at $50/month for a total of $80/month. But then again I'm blessed with over 30 OTA channels.

The only disappointment I have is the U.S. networks are not local (IE: ABC Boston as opposed to ABC Detroit).

Overall, I'd give it a two thumbs up.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 2019-01-08, 08:57 AM
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Start Tv doesn’t offer any support for media players as far as I know.
The package options are worse than Bell’s or Rogers. If customer wants to have only basic package for $20 then there is no way to add channels like CP24. I thought that pick and pay is mandatory but somehow Start TV has managed to skip that part.
I have been anxiously waiting for Start TV to launch and now that it is here all I can say that I am very disappointed.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 2019-01-08, 10:38 AM
 
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I don't think they were ever in the market of directly competing with Bell/Rogers/Shaw or Cogeco. They offer an option for people who do not want to deal with any of those companies.

I have them for Internet and VOIP here in Cogeco Land for almost three years now and would never switch back to one of the incumbents. I don't have TV service with any providers myself and have no interest in one of thier bundles.

For someone who just wants internet they are usually cheaper and everyone gets the same price. None of the game where new customers get a better price than people who have been customers for the years.

And customer service that I never received from Bell or Cogeco over the years. For some people that actually matters, For me it does.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 2019-01-08, 10:52 AM
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Start Internet is not cheaper but rather more expensive than other providers usually only by a few dollars but still more.
I like the idea of every customer paying the same price but for me paying less for similar or better service is more important and I don’t mind making a phone call once a year to get a discount. I am currently paying half of what Start offers for the same speed.

Most importantly I am disappointed with TV packages that Start offers. Their offer is more deceiving than of other big players that many customers complain about.
From what I have read on line there are many customers not happy with the service and the cost and some of them had cancelled TV service after just few weeks of using it.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 2019-01-08, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
I would have to pay $70 for unlimited internet and $90 for a tv package that is close to Bell's Better package
That would be comparable to Bell's Best package at $195/mo in the second half of a 2 year contract. A more comparable option to Bell's Better package at $164 would be Start's Unlimited internet at $60 and Start's Premium TV at $50 plus one or two $10 theme packs. Total $120/$130. Bell makes their offerings look good with a first year discount but they get it back in the second year and thereafter.

Things are worse if a no contract option is selected with Bell. They want a $210 installation fee and other discounts may not apply. All Start services are contract free. Bell also does not guarantee prices for the term of the contract. They can raise prices and add extra fees during the contract.

TV hardware prices are extra with Start. Bell's PVR hardware is included in the bundle contract price but that is subject to change. Outside of the bundle, Bell's PVR hardware is significantly more expensive. Bell's 4k PVR is $600 or $20/mo vs Start's $125 or $10/mo with cloud PVR. Bell's basic receiver is $199 or $8/mo vs Start's $125 or $10/mo.

Quote:
If customer wants to have only basic package for $20 then there is no way to add channels like CP24.
Start has pick and pay for individual channels. The price can be found by clicking on the channel in the channel list. However, prices are fairly high, at typically $3 to $5 per channel. CP24 is $5. That's not as high as Rogers ($5-$8) or Bell ($4-$7) but still high. Options like like Bell's 10 for $20, and VMedia's 5 or more for $2 per channel and 10 or more for $1.75 per channel don't appear to be available.

Quote:
Start Tv doesn’t offer any support for media players as far as I know.
As stated previously, Start TV supports iOS and Android media players though there are problems reported by some users of those apps. Proprietary media players such as Amazon Fire, Chromecast and Roku are not currently supported. Those devices are not universal in their support for Canadian services or even each other's services in the US so it's not surprising.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 2019-01-08, 11:11 AM
 
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That's cool and everyone's situation is different depending on location and wants/needs.

I just know here in Belleville I can get 40/10 MB unlimited internet for 55 a month including modem rental where as the same with Cogeco is 90.00 after the 12 month rebate of 35 bucks off is gone.

Bell in my area of town is a no go as it is legacy DSL of only like 5MB speed. Had serious issues with them in the past though anyways so Bell will never be an option again for me.

I was personally sick of having to call and try to get a discount every year. Which with Cogeco was getting harder and harder. I don't agree with a company policy like that. So companies like Start are tailor made for people like me.

So for my situation it is more than worth it but yes for those in larger centres that deal with Rogers or want to deal with Bell than I am sure you can maybe get better.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 2019-01-08, 12:24 PM
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@ExDilbert
Start does not support any media players. It does support some of mobile devices.
As for comparismet between Bell and Start you have used best scenario with Start and worse with Bell.
I don’t really want to indorse Bell but I have never had to pay for installation, hardware cost or monthly rental fee and I have been with Bell many times. It is also possible to get good deal after the contract is over but usually not as good as new customer.
I am just expecting more choices and better pricing from Start and $5 per channel is not a reasonable option but I guess we can not expect similar options that they have in the states.

From what I have seen Vmedia has the best option when it comes to channel selection but the reliability of the service and traffic management is unacceptable to most.
I am just glad that I am not paying for any tv service and from the options that we have I won’t be having tv service any time soon although I hope Start TV will succeed and offer more and cheaper options in the future.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 2019-01-08, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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If you count Apple TV 4 and Android devices with HDMI ports, non-portable devices are covered by those. There also are ways to cast portable device screens though that is less than optimal.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 2019-01-08, 01:33 PM
 
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Are they available in New-Brunswick? There "Check Availability" button don't work. I just want to compare with what I have right now. And I've done a quick check on there tv channel list and it seen that there a few channel missing, especially some french channels.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 2019-01-08, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Apart from mandatory carriage channels, French and ethnic channels are almost non-existent. That will concern a lot of Canadians but it's one way to keep startup costs low. They are not alone in that respect. Shaw Direct had lots of channels missing for many years and has only added some they now have due to CRTC mandate. VMedia has a selection of ethnic channels and a couple of small French theme packs. Zazeen has a much better selection of French channels for those who want them.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 2019-04-18, 12:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExDilbert View Post
If you count Apple TV 4 and Android devices with HDMI ports, non-portable devices are covered by those. There also are ways to cast portable device screens though that is less than optimal.
Where is the Apple TV App? I could not find it in the App Store?
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 2019-05-04, 01:30 PM
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We've been with Start.ca in the the past for their Internet service and I liked it enough that I purchased the modem and later subscribed to their Start.ca TV service. We switched from Cogeco but have pretty much the same plan with Start TV that we had with Cogeco, which is: - Basic TV, 2 boxes and 40mbps unlimited internet. We are saving approximately $14 a month with Start, so from that perspective we are satisfied.

The only quams we have with Start TV so far is...

1. their Android box suffers from the classic problem of most Android boxes, a really weak internal antenna. The box in our living room is hard wired with a CAT6 cable directly into our router so there is no problem with that box. However the second box is upstairs in our Master Bedroom and is connected wirelessly. Our experience is it often suffers from signal drops, stuttering and buffering issues. Funny, there is none of those problems when using that box to stream Youtube videos, or Plex videos through our NAS, it only seems to suffer these issues when streaming the actual Start.ca TV service. Weird.

2. The monthly rental fee for their Android box is $10.00 per box. Seems really pricey for a monthly rental. Maybe they just want you to buy it outright so that you are more motivated to stay-on for the long term

3. I contacted Start.ca a few months back to suggest that they add a "Favorite Channels" feature to the box's TV menu, allowing the user to create a list of only those channels that they usually watch (how many of us watch CPAC, AMI, OMNI, and all of the French language packages?) They replied that they were working on it and should have it available soon. I followed-up with them two weeks ago and they replied that this feature cannot be added and thus will not be made available. So it appears that there is no other choice than to scroll through all the channels to get to the one you want to watch. :-(
Side Note: - I thought that the whole point of an open source OS is to allow this very type of thing. Hmm.

4. Still cannot use the Netflix or Amazon Prime apps on the Start TV box. Not sure what that is all about. (we use our Apple TV 4 to watch those ones)

Other than those issues, we are satisfied with the service and don't miss Cogeco at all.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old Today, 08:34 AM
 
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Quote:
I thought that the whole point of an open source OS is to allow this very type of thing.
There's probably a reason for this:

Android is Open Source, the platform which Start uses on top of their STB is not. Start uses services from MediaKind to deliver their TV service- Start doesn't write the platform themselves. It's very likely that the platform is not open.

Quote:
Still cannot use the Netflix or Amazon Prime apps on the Start TV box.
Again, there is a reason for this. They have stated that there are licensing and qualifying issues with Netflix- they have to work with Netflix to license their box. From what I've read, it's in the works but there is no timetable. You can still use the built-in Smart TV apps, or a Chromecast, however.
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