Gateway - Would you buy it again? - Page 3 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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Old 2015-08-21, 06:16 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Edmonton Telus PureFibre 4K internet 150
Posts: 2,306
Knowing that Shaw obviously has plans for something different, I think it's a no brainer that one probably shouldn't invest in the Gateway technology at this point. I look at this a rhetorical question and I'm responding to discuss how the Gateway platform has performed over the past 4+ years.

It's also important to mention that my answer here is based purely on how satisfied I am about the actual piece of hardware. This is not a reflection of my satisfaction level with Shaw (which gets an F- on how it handled the launch and deployment of this product as well as how it managed its evolution through software updates and features).

Edit*: Interestingly, I started replying to this thread yesterday and was going to make a list of pros and cons. As it turns out, the only real pros I can identify are the access from any room in the house and the Gateway app which added the capability of recording remotely. The use of the expander also creates a lot of space for content.

The rest of it is pretty much a jumbled mess.

I have owned my Gateway system and 4 portals for 3.5 years. The first 9-12 months were extremely painful. I had traded in 3 Motorola HD PVRs (which I think have a far better guide and much simpler interface which I still long for every day). It took a long, long time before I got used (and I used the term liberally) to its clumsy, poorly designed user interface. I choose to stay out of it as much as I can, and much of the features buried in there stay... well... buried in there due to the sluggishness and how counter intuitive the design is. It can be adequately described as a poor man's version of Sony's PS3 XMB (cross media bar). But a non-working version that is.

Those of us who owned the Gateway back in 2012 can all agree it was not ready for prime time when it was released. It was not only buggy, but very limited in features and extremely slow. Newer owners might think I'm speaking of the Gateway as it is now, because more than 3 years later, time and software updates haven't resolved the fact that it still takes forever to use the channel up or down button. I mean who has time to go from channel 200 to 218 using this button and doing a quick channel surf at the same time? You know, the way we used to on a Jerrold box back in 1983. If you're a Gateway owner, you know what I'm talking about: how many times have you punched in a 4-digit channel number because of how long it took for the first 2 digits to register?

After a year and a half on the market (late 2012 - early 2013), Shaw then forced us Gateway owners to participate in this long and painful slow dance about the implementation of features promised at the time of release. Another eighteen months later (by spring 2014), we all came to the realization that we had gotten... err... nothing. A couple of software updates which made the system tolerable so you wouldn't feel like throwing the remote through your 55-inch LED TV, but as far as actual features, window dressing at best. I consequently referred to this as "DLNA-Gate". I feel there should be a wikipedia article about this. I might just create one one of these days.

The arrival of the Gateway app about a year ago was a breath of fresh air. Sure, the trial was another PR fiasco and it was probably 3 years late, but in the end, we could finally set recordings from our smartphones (most smartphones anyway). Too bad it was no longer exciting to do so, and too bad every time I use the app I'm reminded of how silly it is that it took so long for this to become possible when Telus Optik users had access to the same feature for years before Shaw decided it was time to make it happen.

For the past year, we have heard crickets. In conjunction with Sling Media, Arris released a piece of hardware that could be added to the Gateway and allows the streaming of content outside our homes for viewing on portable devices. But folks, this is Shaw we are talking about. No luck (not that I was holding my breath). Even something seemingly so simple, like picture-in-picture (which existed on Zenith TVs 35 years ago), never materialized. Can you imagine? Here I am, watching a Jays game on my 106-inch home cinema screen using a box with 6 tuners, but incapable of displaying another channel using one of the other 5 tuners in the corner of the screen. I guess that was too much to ask on the software side of things.

Don't get me wrong. My Gateway is still a work horse. It's used every day by every member of my family to record shows and watch television, but we are doing so in the absence of something better, rather than doing it by choice. In other words, this is a marriage of convenience, not love. Looking ahead, the Gateway could be gone as quickly as it appeared in our house, where every TV equipped with a portal also has an Apple TV attached to it (and a couple have gaming consoles). Shaw has also raised my bill more than 35% in the past two years. In addition, the quality of content on television has grown inversely proportional to the number of channels now available.

It will be very interesting to see where this new reality takes us in the next while...

Last edited by PokerChip; 2015-08-21 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 2015-09-01, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: West Coast of Canada - God's Country
Posts: 688

Thanks for all the responses. There is certainly much food for thought, and maybe I should hold off until:

A - A new Shaw System is released or
B- The a la carte buying of separate channels is for real or
C - Telus makes us an offer I really can't refuse.

We just went through 2 days of no Shaw due to a power failure at their distribution center. (I guess no back up power system.) And that included no Internet as well. Of course all our Telus friends still had both.

It seems Gateway does work after a fashion. But for it to be less speedy than the DCX-3400 is scary. And to have a poorer Menu system to boot! It does sound like it records reliably which is a plus over the DCX-3400 (which can be Flaky). Maybe I should be looking for a DCX-3400 in the meantime...

You inputs are appreciated.
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Old 2015-09-01, 06:05 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Interior
Posts: 1,798
It's not poorer it's unique.
It's not slow in my opinion.
Miles ahead of any PVR
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Old 2015-09-01, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Cranbrook, B.C.
Posts: 707
Gateway far superior to a DCX3400. Its like comparing a ferari to an hyundai.
Now if only Shaw itself was better.....
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Old 2015-09-09, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Vancouver, BC
Posts: 138
For the $200 I paid for a Gateway and two portals at a "secret sale" in 2012, I've been mostly satisfied with the system. If I had paid full price, I would have been pretty unhappy with the many problems that have been listed above. At the time, it was the cheapest way for me to get a second HDTV connected to a PVR.

However, like many others, the constant price increases finally put me over the edge. Telus is coming tomorrow to do a full TV/Internet/Phone switch over. I'm looking forward to reducing the number of boxes in my TV cabinet from four (Gateway, Portal, Expander Drive, phone modem) to just one, and getting rid of all the coax connecting it together. I won't miss the noise of the Gateway's drive and fan either.
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Old 2015-09-10, 02:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cal Gary
Posts: 505
^ I did that too. I sold my Gateway + 2 portals for $318. That is the only thing that I made money off Shaw. lol
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Old 2015-09-10, 03:38 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Interior
Posts: 1,798
One thing about the gateway noise and fan is mine is on my lower level away from most of our activity. All it takes is a coax and we don't even know there is a Gateway. Just a reminder.
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Old 2015-09-10, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 750
Yeah I tucked mine away in a storage room after listening to it for one night in my bedroom. (Small apartment, consisting of an entry way, small bathroom, with the kitchen, and my bedroom/living room on either side.)

The Shaw tech wired it up and the noise was no longer an issue. (There was no hook-up/wiring fee.)

All being moot now seeing that I sold it.

But should I want TV service again, I'd definitely (still) go Gateway again.
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Old 2017-09-17, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: West Coast of Canada - God's Country
Posts: 688
Originally Posted by GamerGuy View Post
I just recently cut the cord to my Gateway but did love it when I first got it. (Bought 4 years ago, after the teething pains in the beginning.) I'm going put my hatred for Shaw's continual price increases on the back burner for this post...

"So I guess the question is: Would you buy it again?"

That's a loaded question.

Knowing Shaw is looking to move to Comcast's X1-xfinity, I don't think I would at this stage. If that was not the case, yes I would, hands down! Of the Shaw hardware, my opinion is the Gateway is king!

It has issues, but so does all Shaw hardware. It's still, in my opinion, the bet of the bunch. Especially if you are a "TV junkie" and run into conflict errors with 2 tuner boxes.

I don't know what Shaws plans are but I suspect they will continue to support the 3510/Gateway for some time to come even with the above news.

"I was wondering if I could go to Portals plus use one of the DCX3400s for the basement TV?"

Yup, they can do that. The Gateway system uses a MOCA network and they will separate it from the rest of the network allowing you to do what you wish here.

"Are the different generations of it?"

Arris has a newer Gateway series 6 but Shaw probably wont be getting those. (Due to X1. Just my assumption at this point though.) The Series 5, to my knowledge are all the same.

As to Portals try and find one with the MP2150 vs the MP2000. It's the newer box. It allows you to hide it and use the IR tether to control it. (Make sure it's included if purchasing used and you want it!) The MP2000 does not do this.

Also make sure the Gateway has been removed from their account/is not stolen. (Ask for the serial number then contact Shaw.)


TechGuy8's reply covered some good points. The Gateway is capable of utilizing 6TB of external HDD space. Again, great for a "TV junkie" or those who like to collect complete series. (I liked to have the entire series of both The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones on mine for example.)
Oops, sorry gents. I just reread this.

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