Shaw Direct says no to MPEG-4 until launch of Anik G1

In a notice posted on its website on Thursday, Shaw Broadcast Services has confirmed what many Digital Home readers had already suspected. Shaw will not convert any existing MPEG-2 signals to MPEG-4 until the launch of the Anik G1 satellite at the end of 2011.

The notice is significant because it means that Shaw Direct, Canada’s second largest direct-to-home (DTH) distributor is unlikely to add many, if any, new HD channels to its line-up over the next 12-18 months.

Anik G1 satellite to launch in November 2012

While releasing its latest financial results, Shaw Communications confirmed today that it expects its Direct-to-Home satellite service, Shaw Direct, to have a third satellite in space by November 2012.

Anik G1 will join Anik F1 and F2 which have been used to beam Shaw Direct signals to consumers since April 2001. Anik G1 will increase Shaw Direct’s satellite capacity by 30%.