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I have been watching this thread for some time and appreciate all the geat info posted in this thread and on this site. So much so I just signed up and wanted to say thanks. I do have a question and searched other threads but couldn't find anything quite what I was looking for so even though this may be in the wrong category the posters in this thread all seem very tech saavy and hope I can get some answers.
Here goes. I am just a Shaw basic cable subscriber here in Edmonton. Have the basic plan with tier 1 and tier 2 or whatever (So Channels 2-37) The Score, CPAC, CTV Newschannel ending up there at channel 120.(So No Digital Box or HD Box) Over the years I just got in the habbit of once every few weeks running the auto search on the TV to look for new channels etc. So about a year and a half ago I did the autoscan & found a CBS station in HD and one of the PBS stations in HD. Just through regular coax cable. It seemed to be there for a couple weeks at least, then came back to those channels and they were gone. Also in the States I have seen HD Channels through basic cable without any box. I would like to upgrade to an HD package here but do not understand why if the technology exists I have to be forced to buy a box? when I've seen it can be done without. Is it just a moneygrab by Shaw? or can someone with more technical expertise give me a technical answer. Thx In Advance.
 

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dbr5: yes, it's basically a money grab by the Canadian telecom companies. The method of broadcasting digital signals over coaxial cable is referred to as QAM. I won't rant about Shaw here, but it's moves like this and UBB (usage based billing) that fuel my desire to cut my cable.
 

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How about a bonus answer?

While mostly digital, US cable doesn't require a set top DTV box. U.S. cable systems provide unencrypted QAM for basic cable. No DTV box required since every HDTV has ATSC/QAM tuners built-in.
 

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While mostly digital, US cable doesn't require a set top DTV box. U.S. cable systems provide unencrypted QAM for basic cable. No DTV box required since every HDTV has ATSC/QAM tuners built-in.
Question is — is Shaw willing to provide such a service? It would certainly help those who don't want to (or can't) spend money on a standard definition DCT.
 

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Thanks Michael, for providing that info. I figured that's how it worked in the US and I naively thought that Canadian cable companies would follow suit. All roads lead to Shaw rants.
 

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well for the most part they do it so they sell you packages and determine what channels to give you access to.

That being said I've never seen the point of not putting the basic sd and hd channels so you can pull them in via the tv tuner. Either your paying for cable or your not.. if your not the lines not connected and you wouldn't get them anyways.
 

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With their boxes, they have more control over which TVs get content. It also allows them to charge more for HD content, which should be free with an atsc tuner. But shaw forces you to upgrade to an HD box.
 

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Exactly. The whole point is to sell (or rent) you hardware.

The reason that Shaw gives out, is that you don't get the same experience without a box. You don't have the guide (selling point!), you don't get Shaw's overpriced VOD or PPV. Clearly, you get a much better experience with SD analog than with Clear-QAM HD.
 

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Global Edmonton was on 92.2 for months last summer and fall and City TV Edmonton was too on 54.14, then Shaw took them both off...........since most tv's have only 1 antenna input this is very inconvenient for anyone having to switch between antenna and cable to get a local hd channel.
 

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Shaw QAM

I tried to talk to them, and the CRTC about all of this to no avail. All I was told by the CRTC and Shaw was to put up an antenna so that is what I'm going to do, and the heck with cable. It was interesting when I called Shaw to cancel my cable I told them that my "home made" PVR was working for a few months al la Global and CITY TV in the clear for a short while and that was very confusing to the CSR. She also told me that "Peasant Vision" was being shut off. I told her that was untrue and that actually "Peasant Vision" was getting upgraded to HD! :cool:
 

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but alot of the people that use Peasant tv do not have new flat screens and they also tend to live in apartments (many with out balconies) so they don't have access to outside antenna to get hd ota. so for those people they are stuffed.

Its not fair that they have to pay for shaw analog signals for the only way to get tv. shaw should have to turn off all analog signals and require a digital set top box to keep things fair.

the very poor will have to pay Shaw over 40 month for basic cable that sucks or not watch at all.
 

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Free TV for everyone (with an HDTV). It's a basic right. :rolleyes:

(when providers go all digital, they typically provide at least one free digital STB (or adaptor) for each customer, but that's a totally separate discussion from what you seem to be promoting with your post - free TV)
 

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If you're talking OTA or FTA, please use the OTA/FTA forums for those discussion. This is the Shaw forum and the discussion of Clear-QAM. As discussed in the OTA forum, OTA is not free, it requires investment in equipment, time, installation costs if you don't do it yourself, and ongoing maintenance.
 

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I don't understand why Shaw wouldn't enable Clear QAM of the locals. That is something that would differentiate them from the competition. Give them an edge during a time that people are jumping ship left right and center. Get on the band wagon of supporting Clear QAM and the support of OTA capture cards for computers and HTPCs before the technology is left behind. Heck even TIVO customers would benefit and HD TIVO would actually have some use in Canada.
 

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I think Shaw likes the idea of controlling all content by encrypting everything. To unencrypt, you need a Shaw box. To get a Shaw box, you spend $$$. I think in the US, there's a law that stipulates that local stations remain unencrypted on QAM. We just need a law like that in Canada, but I'm doubtful because of the way the Canadian telecoms are positioned (oligopoly).
 

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That is correct. It is mandated by the FCC in the U.S that the locals channels be provided unencrypted. CRTC does not have that same mandate as I discovered through my inquiry to them. As long as Shaw is providing the locals in analogue they are meeting their CRTC obligations.

I wonder if a couple of other arguments could be made to the CRTC to make them consider mandating Shaw to provide the locals unencrypted.

1. PSAs are often now formatted for 16:9 screens and are sometimes partially cut off on when displayed on the Analog 4:3 signal. To me, this means the analogue signal meeting the criteria is no longer the case.

2. By not having clear QAM channels, Shaw is controlling the marketplace and stifling competition by not allowing TIVOs and other digital tuners to at least partially work on their network.

Would the CRTC consider these two arguments?
 

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Shaw has always wanted to charge per TV. A technician was dispatched to my home to verify that I only had their three-way splitter on the cable. I got a dozen calls pushing me to "upgrade" to their digital service. Each time I explained that it made no sense for me to buy a DTV box for all of my TVs and computers. Unsolicited, they sent me the box anyway. So I returned it and cancelled my service. Now I get free OTA high-definition TV with better quality than Shaw can deliver.

It might have made sense when a subscriber probably had a single $3000.00 HDTV. But not today with $300.00 TVs, quad-tuners for your HTPC and Internet downloads.
 

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How about a bonus answer?

While mostly digital, US cable doesn't require a set top DTV box. U.S. cable systems provide unencrypted QAM for basic cable. No DTV box required since every HDTV has ATSC/QAM tuners built-in.
Shaw folks, Any chances of Clear QAM being considered for us enthusiasts? Our HDHomeRuns, Elgato EyeTVs, and TiVO HDs need some love too! ;-)
 
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