Dish Network suffers major outage

Customers of Dish Network, a direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television provider south of the border, were unable to access many channels yesterday.

A spokesperson for the company, which has about 14 million subscribers, told CNN the nationwide outage which prevented viewers from watching high definition channels was caused by a “satellite anomaly.”

Bell Satellite customers angry over new on-screen ads

Bell Satellite TV (BSTV) recently rolled out a new firmware update (version 189) for the company’s 9241 and 9242 dual tuner HD PVRs which Digital Home readers report has added little in the form of new functionality but has added one new major annoyance.

Within the last few days, BSTV viewers have begun complaining about new banner ads showing up at the base of their onscreen program guide.

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.

Shaw Direct adds thirteen channels to its line-up to comply with CRTC ruling

Shaw Direct, Canada’s second largest Direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television provider, this month will be adding thirteen new channels to its line-up in compliance with a May ruling by the CRTC.

The CRTC ruling requires Shaw Direct to distribute, in standard definition and on a full-time basis, all Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF) television stations by the beginning of January 2013.

Cable company profits up 10.6% in 2010

The CRTC last week released the aggregate financial results for cable, satellite distribution and multipoint distribution system (MDS) companies in Canada for 2010.

The regulator reports that Canadian cable companies earned profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) of $2.6 billion, up 10.6% from $2.3 billion in 2009 and up 121% from $1.2 billion five years earlier.

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%.

Shaw Direct announces new entry level HD satellite receiver

Shaw Direct, Canada’s second largest Direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television provider, has a new entry level high definition (HD) satellite receiver to its line-up.

The HDDSR600, which will replace the DSR 209 satellite receiver, is a stripped down, smaller, cheaper version of the HDDSR 605 receiver which Shaw Direct introduced last fall.

Bell TV expands its IPTV footprint to more than 800,000 households

In financial results released today BCE said it continues to expand its Internet Protocol Television capable footprint in communities across Ontario and Québec.

During the first three months of 2011, the Bell IPTV footprint grew by 60% to encompass more than 800,000 households in Toronto and Montréal, up from approximately 500,000 homes passed at the end of 2010.

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