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While reporting its second quarter financial results today Shaw announced that it now has approximately 835,000 HD capable customers. The company claims it now has over 120 HD channels including offering more than 1,200 high definition titles through its Video on demand service (VOD).
 

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Total subs = 2,313,104, so 36% have at least 1 HD box. 76% have digital so 40% are SD only. That leaves 24% who are analog-only.

Shaw actually lost 13,662 subscribers in the last quarter and 21,204 in the last 6 months.
 

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With almost 2 out of 3 Shaw customers still not HD capable, it means it will likely be a few more years before Shaw cable customers can look forward to an all HD programming offer!
 

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I expect the early adapters of the whole home system will dump their HD PVRS on the used market. This will make the HD PVR affordable to many household. The used unit will be warranted by Shaw as long as you are a triple play customer. Therefore, the used unit will be as good as a new units.
 

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How is this number obtained? Customers who subscribe to an HD package or do they go by the amount of HD boxes they have sold/rented?
 

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Don't know. My presumption is that its the number of homes with hd capable set top boxes.
 

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Well hopefully they do not count each box, as that would throw off the numbers. I have 2 HD boxes my self but should only count as one customer.

I also think their HD channel count is misleading but thats a totally different discussion.
 

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The quarterly report says "HD capable customers" so that's what it is. Every customer that has 1 or more HD boxes activated automatically gets the "HD Basic" package. It's a simple process to count the number of customers that have HD Basic. Each applicable customer gets counted once, regardless of the number of boxes they have.
 

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Dr.Dave If your assumption is true about using HD Basic subscribers as the number of HD users then they would miss that I get HD reception with my Digital Basic package using my HD DVR.
 

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@Blair123
Every customer that has 1 or more HD boxes activated automatically gets the "HD Basic" package.
If you have have channels 200-215 you have the HD Basic channels. They are shown on the Shaw web site under "Channel Listings".
 

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I think before all HD programming comes, all Digital has to happen and Shaw is pretty close to that 80% mark.
 

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I imagine they would have even more HD capable customers if they, you know, actually transmitted their QAM signals unencrypted so they would be useful.

The primary reason why I stuck with analog cable for as long as I did was because it works on all my devices whereas their digital product only works with a Shaw STBs. Shaw's STB products have a user interface that looks like it is a decade behind what OTA and Telus Optic users have available to them.

I only have Shaw internet, and use OTA + Netflix + Hulu for TV.
 

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Interesting article about Shaw's most recent results:

...It's clear that Telus has been able to apply considerable pressure on Shaw with its IPTV offerings. That, along with the price increases Shaw put in place last September, conspired to handcuff subscriber growth in all of Shaw's subsegments (growth in basic cable, digital TV, Internet, digital phone, and DTH were all at multiyear lows).Worse yet, the price hikes weren't enough to prevent average revenue per user (ARPU) growth from also falling to multiyear lows (up only 4.9% year over year in cable and 1.5% for satellite)...
Basically, performance in their core business is tanking, which sort of explains their decision to halt wireless efforts.

http://torontostar.morningstar.ca/globalhome/industry/news.asp?articleid=377096
 

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I would have imagined that issues with their core business that are not going to go away (i.e. more competition in the TV signal delivery business) it would make sense for them to branch into a market that is only going to get more important over time (wireless internet and cell phones).

That would be like Telus focusing on land lines and not expanding to TV because competition from Shaw (VoIP) was hurting their core business.
 

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I would have imagined that issues with their core business that are not going to go away (i.e. more competition in the TV signal delivery business) it would make sense for them to branch into a market that is only going to get more important over time (wireless internet and cell phones).

That would be like Telus focusing on land lines and not expanding to TV because competition from Shaw (VoIP) was hurting their core business.
I think there are several issues at play. First, they have new leadership and it's natural in a turnaround situation to cut the fat and refocus on core business, then expand back out when core business is healthy and can support it. But you are right, the root cause issues of their troubles aren't going away and in fact will only get worse.

Also at play is possibly Shaw's desire to either buy a wireless company, or sell their own company. In both cases building their own netowork now would be a waste of money. Investments in wireless won't return any results for years, and only after billions in spending.

Shaw missed the boat on wireless. They waited too long and moved too slowly. Now they are stuck with no ideal situation.
 

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In the Q2 financial conference call, there was talk on a continued focus into the lucrative Business market. When I hear statements like focusing on core products and services I am thinking a chunk of that focus will be aimed here. On the call which I listened to in full there was talk of business Ethernet of DOCSIS with Warp and Nitro for business customers. I found that interesting seeing as though basic tv maybe free with them.

As for wireless, who knows the percentage of the wireless build already completed to date. It was always speculated that 4g/LTE was a focus. We had a Shaw cell tower put up at work quite a while ago. Shaw is always cautious, I don't see that as a totally bad thing. At the same time the Internet consultation meeting were very valuable. For a while now you hear phrases like we are an Internet company who just happens to sell phone and tv too. This rings true in the plan Personalizer package that has Internet at it's core and a higher speed as standard. Then I hear and read about FTTH/P strategy build outs and things tie in and make sense. Fiscal 2010 was a great year for Internet for the company.

The year on year growth is good, the quarter on quarter for past few quarters a little down; I mean that in terms of revenue. Shaw is typically a double digit growth in quarters the past couple came in just under but it is still growth in a saturated market.

835k capable HD customers is fantastic, 1200 HD VOD titles is good too. HD push will only continue with new hardware on the horizon.
 

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Do those 1200 HD Video titles inlcude any FREE VOD, MovieCentral/HBO On Demand, or SuperChannel on Demand tittles? I don't think so. The Global on Demand is all SD. The only Free VOD I've ever seen were CTV's Vancouver Olympics coverage in 2010.
 
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