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After hearing that the 530 firmware update had been cancelled I sent an email to "Ask Jim" asking to confirm what had been reported here as well as any news about the 6XX series or ANY news about their PVR plans. I expressed my disappointment in the way SD has handled this and suggested they need to do a better job at communicating with their customers in a timely manner. This is the response I received after only 3 hours:

"Thank you for taking the time to email us at Shaw Direct and bring your concerns to our attention.


We’ve been working diligently to bring these features to the HDPVR 530 receiver. Ultimately, we have been unable to make the software perform to the standard that our customers expect and deserve. In light of the dynamic nature of the industry and unpredictability associated with software and hardware development we have chosen not to release the new software on the HDPVR 530.



Additionally, the HDPVR 530 currently has a feature set that our customers are familiar and comfortable with. Feedback from an extended Employee Field Trial of over 500 staff members has included consistent concerns about the “change” introduced by the new software, such as music channels being moved or the Browse Bar not being available anymore. In keeping with our vision of providing outstanding customer experiences, we have chosen not to fundamentally change the viewing experience of customers who may not want the change.



We are scheduled for an update regarding the new information for the upcoming PVR 630’s by the end of next week. With this announcement we will be able to provide more information regarding the release date and specifications.


Should you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. Please include any previous correspondence with your replies.


Thank you for choosing Shaw Direct,
Ross – on behalf of Jim Cummins
Business Support - Ask Jim
Shaw Direct - Shaw Communications Inc.
24/7 Customer Care - 1-888-554-7827"
 

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Translation:

Thank you for staying with us even though we failed to deliver what we promised for the last 3 years.

If only we had followed this forum, we would have known 3 years ago that the 530 hardware SUCKED and could not possibly do what we advertised. It would have potentially saved us:

6500 lost customers
80,000 potential customers might not have been lost due to 530 subs accurately describing SD failures and shortcomings
$25,600 to FEDEX for shipping charges of replacement 530s
$876,000 in wages paid to SD employees trying to make it do what it couldn't possibly do

Hey - we're not perfect - but we haven't raised any new carrots for the last 12 months, which is a major advancement for us
 

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I'm my latest bill, there is a note from Jim indicating that the new PVR will come out later this summer. It also talks about the 3rd satellite in 2012 and that there will be dozens of channels added before the satellite launch.

I'm assuming that since they are launching the DSR630 (and probably DSR605) shortly, most HD channels will probably be making the switch to MPEG-4 at some point. Mostly likeley in 2011.

I'll probably get a DSR605 if they come out at the same time. I'll probably hold off on the DSR630 until I see reports that it ACTUALLY WORKS!
 

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All they ever needed to do was make dual recording a reality. I'll be getting the upgraded 605 and 630 only if there is a deep discount. Chances are I'll just spend the money on upgrading my BUD.
 

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I'm my latest bill, there is a note from Jim indicating that the new PVR will come out later this summer. It also talks about the 3rd satellite in 2012 and that there will be dozens of channels added before the satellite launch.

I'm assuming that since they are launching the DSR630 (and probably DSR605) shortly, most HD channels will probably be making the switch to MPEG-4 at some point. Mostly likeley in 2011.

I'll probably get a DSR605 if they come out at the same time. I'll probably hold off on the DSR630 until I see reports that it ACTUALLY WORKS!
All I got was a note about the HST increase. The smart thing for SD would to either offer these at a deep discount or maybe take BEV and other providers lead and rent the receivers so you are not investing tons of money for a hunk of junk. But when has SD ever listened to their customers?
 

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What a load of crap. They aren't changing it because they don't think 530 owners will want features to change? That's some excuse.

I get that the machine cannot handle true dual record. Fine.
I get that a searchable guide can't happen. Fine.
I get that series record and other PVR functions are too much for it. Fine.

But your telling me that we can't even have a 7 day guide?
They can't even manage that?

They couldn't make the big monster code encompassing every function ever promised work so they abandon updates completely for the 530?

No one thought that perhaps some additional features may appease (somewhat) those of us that hunger for a true PVR, yet not confuse those subscribers who think their television remote is a scary thing?

I'm disgusted.
 

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That is my thoughts too. SOme of the promised features must be do-able since they technically have all of them working and being tested by SD employees.

Determine what can and what can't be done and at least we will be reasonably happy. If they do nothing for us then they should replace all of our 505's and 530's at no charge. Then they can refurbish the 505's that are traded in and use them as upgrades for people on legacy stuff that need a receiver that does 8PSK.
 

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From what I understand dual recording didn't work, somewhat worked, worked quite well then took a step backwards...
The extended ipg was very slow to download (the blast wasn't when the working), but they got it sorted out...but series record was a mess.
I think search was working as was the removal of non subscribed channel.

I don't know what ever happened to the mosaic, not that it's much of a feaure anyway.
 

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Yeah, you nailed it Mike P.

They obviously thought that they had overcome the problems when they put the new software "Coming Soon" on an info channel, but ultimately your source was 100% correct. Others on here also speculated that the processors in the 530 just weren't capable of this as well.
 

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Wait for the 630. I am personally looking forward to a whole new receiver with HDMI and dual recording. Lets face facts. The 530 is several years old. It still works fine for what it was intended to do.
 

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I'll go out on a limb...

and suggest the hardware WAS capable of doing all the things they wanted to, but poor management, improper development techniques and inadequate testing were the root cause.

I know they have made at least some improvements via automated test methods, what I don't know is the caliber of those currently coding the unit as they lost 2 very good programmers a few years back along with a spirited program manager with real vision and drive to have it reach it's full potential.

Why management at the time would see fit to derail a program is beyond me.

If I'm wrong, then everybody wins. (Everybody should hope I'm wrong)
If I'm right, then nothing has really changed, and from lesson learned from M$, throwing more CPU and memory can only cover bad coding and design for so long.
I believe the fundamental architecture is flawed.
Unless the 6XX is truly a rewrite from the ground up.
Along with some fundamental H/W changes as well.
But given the investment made for legacy code to GIST (Blue Wiener Bar Guide) and licensee fees for OpenTV, I can't see them walking away from all that.

The problem is Shaw continues to make money in spite of it self, but it's stock would do a lot better if they really got behind a program as they have done in other areas and become market leaders in all business divisions.

The re branding to Shaw Direct is a slap in the face to what was once a good and respected name in the marketplace, but the unit appears to still be viewed as the ugly daughter of the family.
 

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If it does what it was intended to do, then the problem is how it was marketed and presented to consumers. Clearly it should have been marketed as only a digital VCR right from the start, and never should have been alluded to being a PVR.

As soon as it was announced I pre-ordered mine. It was pitched to me as being able to dual-record. After I received it and it did not actually dual record I phoned in and was told that function "was coming soon".

Before I bought I was also assured that other PVR functions would be "coming soon" as well.

That was what? Five years ago now? None of the things they told me turned out to be true.

In my opinion the 530 has yet to do what it was intended to do -- or at least it has never done what it was marketed as doing.

I consider the 630 a replacement for the 530. They can replace the hardware they sold me that does not do what it was supposed to with hardware that will do what they sold me. Free of charge.

Anyone else feel this way? Those of us who bought the 530 when it was released -- did you feel back then that you were not getting a PVR? That you were only buying a digital VCR that wasn't intended to be like other providers PVRs? I sure didn't.
 

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it should have been marketed as only a digital VCR
Most would agree that the PVR is a recorder with a hard drive rather than a cassette tape, capable of recording HD programs in 1080i in the case of the 530. Wasn't it marketed as a dual tuner with "chase" recording? Dual recording capability was only part of the ill-fated software update promises.

Curious...what does one do other than record TV programs with a PVR, just like we did with a VCR? At least it is one button recording. Try that with a VCR unless it had a flasher control. You can also watch one channel while recording another. Again, try that with a VCR.

I still use a VCR regularly to record sports, vigorously avoiding the 530 for a number of reasons, including the early reliability and stability issues. It will remain to be seen whether the 630 improvements are worthy of consideration.
 

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I don't know if SD is going to be using the Motorola DCX3400 like Shaw Cable for the DSR630, but Shaw Cable just started rolling theirs out in June for $398. And according to a SC customer they are not offering a rebate on trade in's of old DSR's. See post below:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showpost.php?p=1121438&postcount=169
But The difference with Shaw Cable is that the DCT 3416/3412 and 6416/6412 have done everything they promised they would.

-HDMI Connectivity
-Series Record
-Record Two Programs at the Same Time
-Watch a Recorded Program while Recording two Programs

So there is no need for Shaw to upgrade customers to the DCX line because they have never failed on a promise.

Customers with the Pace HD+ Shaw PVR Expander on the other hand...
 
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