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Which is better Shaw Digital Cable or Satellite?

  • Satellite Television (ExpressVu or Star Choice)

    Votes: 92 69.2%
  • Shaw Digital Cable

    Votes: 30 22.6%
  • Both are equally good.

    Votes: 11 8.3%

  • Total voters
    133
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Discussion Starter #1
This forum always gets the same question asked over and over so this sticky is for folks who want to discuss the issue in one thread.

So which is it Shaw Cable or satellite?

Feel free to ask questions comparision questions in this thread.

Please note:

If you have a specific Shaw, ExpressVu or Star Choice questions, please use the respective forums.

This thread is strictly for comparision.
 

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ExpressVu - 3 Missing Things

After switching back to cable some time ago,
I have to admit I miss the full digital lineup on Bell, including timeshifts. And the extra HD channels.

But Bell is missing a few important things that Shaw offers,
any update of if/when they will be offered by Bell?


1) Foxnews and MSNBC

2) HD-PVR

3) Movie Central HD, full-time HD channel
 

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I've been with Shaw forever, but if Bell comes out with a HD PVR I'd seriously consider switching. Shaw has been great EXCEPT for HD content, which is totally 3rd-rate right now.

Bottom line . . . they need to improved the number of HD channels significantly or lose long-time customers.
 

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Forced to switch to Shaw :(

First of all, not sure if I should post this in the Digital cable/Shaw forum or this one...or both.

I'm moving into a strata complex and it looks like they wont allow me to install a dish...so I'm forced to go with Shaw. :( As a long time *c sub, I'm really looking forward to the new PVR coming out...I'm curious how the new PVR 530 stacks up to the PVR (Motorola 6412) that Shaw uses. Even more of a concern is the HD/SD line up that shaw offers. I did a search hoping to find a comparative analysis between the two providers but I can't find what I'm looking for. Basically:

1) How do the HD channels stack up between shaw and *c in terms of PQ? Is HD, HD regardless of who's providing it? Which provider offers more HD channels?
2) In terms of regular programming, how much worse or better is PQ between the two providers?
3) Can I file a lawsuit against my Strata since they forbid me to install a dish? Anyone know of that happening in BC...or Canada. I know it's happened in the US via DirectTV.

Biases all aside, is Shaw worse than Starchoice?

Many thanks in advance.
 

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Could anyone comment on what advantages Shaw has over any of the satellite providers? I know they have HD-PVR now while sats don't, but that will be no more in a few weeks.

I personally can't think of strong enough words to describe how miserable Shaw is as TV provider. I would be very surprised if there is a worse alternative anywhere in Canada. My heart goes out to those stuck with Shaw Cable TV only. :)
 

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Arthur Dent said:
I personally can't think of strong enough words to describe how miserable Shaw is as TV provider. I would be very surprised if there is a worse alternative anywhere in Canada. My heart goes out to those stuck with Shaw Cable TV only. :)
Well, I may soon be stuck with Shaw...and I have ZERO experience with them or any digital cable based provider. What's so bad about them? I called up Shaw today to find out whay they're like. Techincal Support seemed OK...they were able to answer all my questions...not sure if they were BS'ing some answers but they did tell me that they will be getting new HD channels this year...I can't say one way or another if there's any truth in that statement. The price for their PVR is a little over the new PVR 530 avail. with *C next month but that's not a big deal for me. 6 HD channels does bother me though...that's pretty thin...but then again, I don't know about the *c HD channels...I doubt they are full time HD.

sw.
 

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I been with shaw since last nov. only because my bell hardware was giving me problems.I traded my old hardware for the hdpvr 6208 and shaw gave me 3 months free cable and high speed internet.The problem i have is with my 46" set,all channels except the 4 or 5 hd channels i watch is garbage.I am getting rid of shaw this summer and going with star choice.I really miss satellite and just can't live with this much longer.If you have a big t.v you will be sad.
 

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Even with my 27'' Sony TV, 6 years ago when I was still with Shaw, the digital channels were so stripped off bandwitdth, they looked worse than VHS (without the noise). The analog channels were so much better than the Movie Central (or whatever it was called back then) digital channels, that I returned the digital box and watched only analog until I moved from my apartment to a place where I could get Bell ExpressVu.
Shaw has good internet service and the analog channels are (or at least were) decent. Programming and digital quality is bad, and HDTV is a joke. As I said, you can't go wrong by NOT choosing Shaw.
 

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6 years ago? Do you know if they've improved since? Anyway, if I can't get a dish, and I don't want Shaw...what other option am I left with?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
if I can't get a dish, and I don't want Shaw...what other option am I left with?
An antenna.
 

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manhattan01 said:
Driving to work today, I saw one of those. I wont be able to get that either. Anything that will change the exterior of my new townhome is a no no. I HATE stratas.

I have seen townhomes with dishes in the back yard on a fence or even a pole in the ground?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Stay on topic please.
 

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One of the advantages of Shaw compared to satellite is the low cost. I pay $91 for their top of the line cable lineup and high speed net. Considering that the internet is $38 by itself, that means my TV bill is only $53. To get the same channels WITHOUT INTERNET on Bell would be $74 or 76. Starchoice is even more money. So we're talking well into the $100+ dollar range for satellite TV and cable internet.

Phone support is top notch. After reading the horror stories of dealing Bell on the phone, that's one area I don't want to have to deal with. Shaw will call you back when they're free. Usually 5 minutes at the most. The service calls are free. Warranties are basically forever.

Small potatoes stuff. Bell's guide has 1 less channel in their I-Guide compared to Shaw (having the small TV picture in the corner of both). I prefer the blue guide on Shaw over Bell's white display.

With today's TV's upconverting to 1080i, I think the cable analogue picture quality thing is getting to be less important. Although my 60" TV is old enough that it doesn't upconvert. I watch at 480p through the HD-PVR and some channels are a bit rough. CNN and Global come to mind. But most of them are fine.

As it stands right now, Shaw is leading in equipment, lack of dish, support, and price. The only thing that kills them is the HD channels and to a lesser extent the lack of full digital channels.
 

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Channel packages differ a lot between Shaw and BEV, so you can't compare prices directly. From my point of view Shaw not only does not offer what I want, but charges more.
There are more than a dozen SD (not even mentioning HD) channels on BEV that Shaw doesn't have. And the quality of DIGITAL channels on Shaw is generally worse than BEV.
In fact, in areas with good signal, the analog channels on Shaw are better than most of their digital ones, and better than BEV channels.
I would say the ONLY one advantage that I see in Shaw is the fact that it still has a few good quality analog channels. Their digital SD channels are starved of bandwidth, resolution and colour depth. It's so funny that most people consider analog a disadvantage.
 

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Thanks Arthur and Monobloc for your comments. I have to admit, looking at the pricing for Shaw for both TV and net, it does seem to be less expensive than what I pay now...although, I wouldn't need the top tier cable lineup from Shaw...but I might as well.

How do I know if my TV upconverts to 1080i? In regards to support, I too have read nightmare stories with Bell...but I have read some pretty scary support calls for Shaw as well but I'm sure they exist for all companies. I've only personally dealt with Starchoice and they seem very good in terms of politeness, response and overall knowledge.

Also, in terms of leading in equipment, how does the Shaw PVR stack up against the upcoming Starchoice PVR? I wont ask to compare Bell's PVR since venturing into the BEV forum, there's lots of discussion on how poorly that unit handles.

Lastly, HD is my main concern. That's the only reason why I want to stay with Starchoice. But honestly, if I can get NBA and NFL on HD, I'd be half way there. Does Shaw offer those in HD? My biggest worry is that Starchoice is committed to delivering HD to their consumers (which is why I really don't mind dropping $600-$700 for their HD equipment) but Shaw has yet to convince me that HD is in their future. For me to spend $700 on Shaw to equip myself for HD to which Shaw doesn't seem to focus on...well, why buy into something that isn't important to the people I'm buying it from.

But thanks for the info...it does comfort me if I have to switch over.
 

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As far as HD-PVR reliability, I got in late and bought the 6412. Bypassed the troubles that the 6208 had as well as the price drop that aggrivated people who bought at full price earlier.

I've had maybe 4 or 5 times where I've had to pull the plug on the 6412 to get it to not lock up. Aside from that, everything is good with it. One thing I don't like about the 6412 that I liked with the 6200 is the power on/off. Right now, I have to power on the TV (I leave the box on all the time) and then switch to cable mode on the remote. Turning off means hitting TV and then off. I know there is a master on/off way, but then you get the mute on the box when you turn everything back on.....With my old 6200, it turned my TV on and off, left the box on all the time and there was no switching on the remote control needed. Another benefit of the 6200 was the TV/VCR button would switch the input on your TV to DVD, VCR, whatever. With the 6412, I need to get the remote that came with my big screen TV to change inputs.

When it comes to analogue channels, I'm doing pretty good. 37dB and 35dB on the tuner 1 & 2. Granted those numbers come from digital channels as there is no way to get the numbers on analogue channels. But the clarity is as good as could be. (no splits on the line, good RG6 to the box)

As far as overall picture quality, I don't doubt Starchoice is hands down the winner. Most people here say BEV is light years better than Shaw and that Starchoice is even better. I can't stand Starchoice's guide however. Blah!

HD channels. SC's 9 channels > Shaw's 6 channels....but do you get a lot of repeated programming on Starchoice? I don't know. NBA is on Shaw typically on HD1 channel (Sportsnet). Not a lot of games, but you do get it from time to time. NFL is in HD, although I don't watch much football, so I couldn't tell you if it's on as much as the other cable/sat companies offer. Probably not.

I'll admit the 6412 is a lot of money to plunk down for an HD box. But I find I enjoy the PVR features so much, that the ability to play and record HD on the PVR is just icing on the cake. I can't see much in the way of newer boxes coming out and making it obsolete. I mean we're talking a 2 tuner HD-PVR with 120GB harddrive and a handy clock on the front. Bigger hard drive aside and possibly a TIVO interface, what else is out there that is better?

Since I had friends in Alberta that were coming out to visit me, I found the idea of getting them to buy the box there with the Visions discount was just too tempting. Saved over $100 compared to buying locally. I've never regretted getting the 6412.
 

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I'm switching to Bell

Its a no brainer, after reading the following thread in Bells forum http://www.digitalhomecanada.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26052
I'll be making the switch as soon as the 9200 is available in my area (Edmonton). I contacted Shaw today and found out they will even buy back my 6412, mind you she couldn't say for what price. After only 9 months I'm tired of being in the dark with respect to improving HD programming and I'm getting out.
How do you like them apples Shaw??? :)
 

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LOL, I'm so happy to read about this.

I can just imagine how pissed Shaw must be. First, Bell complains and gets the CRTC to force them to get rid of omni channels.

Now, they're gonna stick it to them again by launching their own dual tuner HD PVR with twice the hard drive... AND... for less money, might I add.

And to top it off... they're annoucing new channels... again, which will bring their total to close to 40, compared to 6 for Shaw.

Music to my ears... Folks, it's only a matter of time before Shaw launches new HD channels. They have ABSOLUTELY NO CHOICE NOW.

Mmmwwwaaahahahahaha...
 

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Flyguy said:
Its a no brainer, after reading the following thread in Bells forum http://www.digitalhomecanada.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26052
I'll be making the switch as soon as the 9200 is available in my area (Edmonton). I contacted Shaw today and found out they will even buy back my 6412, mind you she couldn't say for what price. After only 9 months I'm tired of being in the dark with respect to improving HD programming and I'm getting out.
How do you like them apples Shaw??? :)
Wow.. 25+ HD supported channels, 250GB hard drive, time shifts, etc.. Sounds pretty good. Will have to look at this option. :D

Thanks for the heads up!
 
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