Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
957 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have noticed that the Sasktel Max digital cable service just rebroadcasts their channels from Expressvu and Starchoice. How lame is this!!! Not only does it look bad to have the continuous Bell/*choice adds on the US stations or simsubbing by channels that aren't even avialable on Max but the picture is even more compressed then SD channels on satellite.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
957 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I am an Expressvu customer myself buy my parents just went with Max. After observing it, I would never switch to it. There is no HD channels, which for me is important having the 50 inch HDTV and all I ever hear is how bad people think Expressvu compresses their signal. It is even worse on Max. I rarely see compressed artifacts showing on Expressvu and when I do they aren't that noticeable during football or whatever I am watching. This weekend on Max, anytime the picture moves fast you see the compressed artifacts. It looks terrible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,056 Posts
Welcome to the dirty little secret of cable (and other) TV services. They just have a buttload of satellite dishes, they take the signal from the sky and redistribute it to paying subscribers. That's the exact way it's been done for about 40 years now.

Personally I'd like to put up a dish and resell the signal to everyone on my block for a huge profit, but I'm not as buddy-buddy with the government and regulators like SaskTel and the cable companies are. So I'd be shut down pretty quick.

But essentially that's the business model, capture it from the air, pipe it out at a lower grade, and charge for it thousands of times over. It's essentially a license to print money.

Often when the technicians are sleeping at Access you can see channels on the air for a few hours that say "there is a problem with your subscription" and similar type error messages. And during bad weather, their satellite reception screws up same as the consumers does, so we get turqoise 'no signal' on our channels just like the satellite customers do. All this despite the cable cartel's commercials about how cable isn't affected by weather.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
21 Posts
Max with Big Screen

I was in to a local electronics shop that is a Max promoter. They say that they are going to switch to the local cable company because with the Max service they can't sell thier Big Screen T.V.s. He said that the signal is just not good on anything bigger that a 40 inch screen and the picture is grainy. I took a look and I did'nt like what I saw compared to my set with cable at home but then again it was'nt the same T.V. Can anyone confirm this? Got Max running on a big Screen???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
The thing is unless they come out with a new compression algorithm (MPEG-4), telephone companies currenlty don't have the bandwidth to handle High Definition content. And all big screens now a days are HD, so who would want Max with that.

Also, Sasktel Max limits you to 2 tv's. The one great thing about Cable is a I have 4 TV's in my house.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,056 Posts
It's true the current technology in SaskTel Max is already outdated. But it is useable by people with 27" screens and under which I'd say is still over 80%of the market.

Take the price which is so heavily subsidized and the telephone service bundled in. Plus consider the long standing bad feelings people have for the cable and satellite operators. It's not surprising how many people have switched to Max (at least for the trial period).

Billybob - out of curiousity which electronics store is thinking of switching? You are correct - any source that isn't HD, including Max, looks terrible on modern TV's. But the stores are generously compensated by which ever TV service they promote, so to switch would be a major financial consideration for them.

As for whether Telco's can never offer HD, I wouldn't count them out. Just a few years ago everyone said they'd never be able to offer high speed internet over POTS either.

I actually have an idea or two how SaskTel could put up MORE channels of HD than StarChoice or Access in a relatively quick time frame.

And if they'd put their (I mean our) money into house-to-house fibre instead of wall-to-wall TV commercials and top-to-bottom bureaucracy, they'd have an insane surplus of capacity for HD and more.

Such an idea would start to catch us up with the many jurisdications that have far surpassed Saskatchewan on the digital forefront. Believe it or not we were once the top place in North America for such technology, now we are somewhere in the bottom half.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5 Posts
:) I have Max from Sasktel since Aug 2004 and haven't got any problems so I am still liking it alot so I wouldn't want to pass this wonderful service and it blows away from Shaw and hope Sasktel will be a number one provider to provide this service.

I have a bundle and cell phone from sasktel so I can save 15 dollars a month less so I can get more with this service and hope people should make use of this wonderful offer that other providers don't offer. So if u want to get shaw and think again, I think you'll make a big mistake because u can't save any money from shaw or any provider

Anybody getting max and hoping to keep it.

Please post it here

What you think of all the offers that the telco (Sasktel) get's u by u gettin this service.

Cory (very happy customer of Sasktel)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,056 Posts
Well Cory, are you sure you don't work for SaskTel? Your grammar and overly rosy opinion on Max suggests otherwise. Your views seem contrary to most people I've talked to say about Max.


The prevailing opinion is that it's shoddy, but the subsidized pricing makes it attractive, at least temporarily, for a lot of customers.

But the poor guide & STB's, the fact you're limited to 2 sets, and the low quality picture on sets larger than 27", are just a few reasons most people want to drop it after the initial subsidized price goes away.

Also, I believe Rogers & others have various discounts when you combine services like television and cell phone. So your statement "because u can't save any money from shaw or any provider" just doesn't make sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
489 Posts
Without HDTV SaskTel Max isn't even in the running for me. A few times a year I get a call from SaskTel asking me how I feel about their phone service, bundles, etc. Whenever they ask if I'd be interested in switch to Max for a great introductory offer I bring up HDTV. It pretty much shuts them up right away.
 

·
Member #1
Joined
·
47,683 Posts
Some posts removed as they were essentially incoherent
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I moved to Max from Starchoice about a year and a half age, and I am extremly pleased with it.

The good?
  • Good Standard Definition picture quality.
  • The program guide is great.
  • Good bundling of programs and features.
  • GREAT features such as Front Row and the new Movie Max that allow you to play/ff/rewind/pause movies anytime you want.

    -Front Row is a bit like Blockbuster, in that you can watch newer movies at a cost of about $3.99 to $4.99 per show. It doesn't have the newest titles on release day, but this is the future of Renting Movies.

    -Movie Max picks the top 30 or 40 movies that are showing on the 5 movie channels and allows you to watch them anytime YOU want, with the features I said above (Play/FF/Pause, etc).
  • Call Display on your TV. (Great feature that I can not live without now)
  • Internet/Email on the TV, provided you get the keyboard. Yes, most people have PC's, but still.
  • More resilient to Power Outages that Cable, due to Sasktel providing UPS in all their cabinets, though in most cases, if there is a power bump, you will be down as well, but this isn't always the case as anybody who has Cable knows when the power is down across the street and it kills the hub (and your Cable)
  • Highspeed Internet included with the package.
The Bad:
There are 3 big issues with Max right now and they are:
  • Lack of HDTV programming:
    Sasktel has released information saying they are upgrading their Network right now and true HDTV programming is due out in the later half of 2006, still, this is a MAJOR issue for all those who are buying newer 720p or better TV's. The impact is limited now, but will grow with time as people buy HDTV's...

    I wonder though, will they provide a huge upgrade in High-Speed bandwidth as well? This will be interesting.
  • Only 2 Set Top Boxes in the house at once:
    Another major problem for people who want 3 or more set top boxes. Rumor is, this is being "worked on". I asked one Tech about this, and they hinted that soon they will be pulling more cable into the house if a customer requires it.
  • The Boxes are a little limited in Features:
    Access Communication has TIVO like features built in, and this is becoming standard for everybody but Sasktel doesn't have this yet. My guess is they are waiting for newer HDTV capability, and since they will need to upgrade all their Set Top boxes to HDTV anyways, they are probably waiting until then before offering this.
Overall guys, Max is pretty damn good and is getting much better. I am extremly impressed that Sasktel has been able to pioneer this into their entire system with the quickness and quality they have done it.

Cable is still better today, but I think by 2007, that difference will be gone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
489 Posts
Mithan said:
More resilient to Power Outages that Cable, due to Sasktel providing UPS in all their cabinets, though in most cases, if there is a power bump, you will be down as well, but this isn't always the case as anybody who has Cable knows when the power is down across the street and it kills the hub (and your Cable)
Huh?? In over 15 years I cannot remember a power outage that took out my cable signal but not everything else. What good is a signal without power to the TV!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,056 Posts
jeff1960 said:
Huh?? In over 15 years I cannot remember a power outage that took out my cable signal but not everything else. What good is a signal without power to the TV!!
Where I live cable is out probably 10X as often as power. Perhaps it is because of the reason Mithan states.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,056 Posts
Mithan said:
Overall guys, Max is pretty damn good and is getting much better. I am extremly impressed that Sasktel has been able to pioneer this into their entire system with the quickness and quality they have done it.

Cable is still better today, but I think by 2007, that difference will be gone.
Thanks for a good review. The final conclusion, that it's "pretty damn good" seems like it was biased around the somewhat unique 'features' of the max offering (on demand, rew/ffw, pay per view, onscreen caller ID)

I'm not sure if you know but through PVR, satellite & cable both offer the on demand and rew/ffw features. Both of course offer pay per view, and most satellite receivers do onscreen caller ID.

The deal breaker I think for a lot of people is picture quality on sets 27" and up is not good. The behavior of the STB can be an issue too I'm told.

My one question would be whether you'd be as favorable of the service if the price weren't so heavily subsidized?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,867 Posts
Not being profitable is a far cry from being subsidized. Any new venture might take a few years or to realize a profit once you factor in capital investment.
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top