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For those looking for hardware specifics on BlueSky TV here is the support landing page: https://community.shaw.ca/docs/DOC-9889

BlueSky TV Box - Also known as XG1v3 "RDK"

Connections
  • HDMI Out Yes
  • Mini-HDMI No
  • DVI No
  • Component No
  • Composite Yes
  • S-Video No
  • Coaxial (out) Disabled
  • RCA Audio Yes
  • S/PDIF (Coaxial) No
  • S/PDIF (Optical) Yes
  • IR Tether No
  • USB Disabled
  • HDMI In Disabled
  • Ethernet Disabled
  • eSATA Disabled
  • HD Compatible Yes
  • Tuner Type Digital
  • No. of Tuners Six*
  • Internal HDD 500GB
  • PVR Expandable No
  • MPEG-4 Yes
  • 1080p Capable Yes
  • 3D Capable Yes
  • VOD Capable Yes
  • Manufacturer Arris
  • Width 35 cm / 13.8 in
  • Depth 20.5 cm / 8.1 in
  • Height 6 cm / 2.4 in
*12 simultaneous recordings are supported when multiple PVRs are networked together

BlueSky TV Portal - Also known as XiD
The BlueSky TV portal connects over MoCA to the BlueSky TV box (PVR). Like our older whole-home hardware, customers are able to access recordings from anywhere in their home when connected to a portal.
New Features with BlueSky TV
  • Reduced Size - this box is very small
  • HDPVR and HD Compatible - Portals can be used to create a whole-home HD and PVR networked exo-system
  • HDMI only
  • External power pack
  • RF4CE - Portals can be completely hidden from sight and remote commands will still register.
  • 1080p HEVC - Shaw's first HEVC compatible set-top for future format conversions
Connections
  • HDMI Out Yes
  • Mini-HDMI No
  • DVI No
  • Component No
  • Composite No
  • S-Video No
  • Coaxial (out) Yes
  • RCA Audio No
  • S/PDIF (Coaxial) No
  • S/PDIF (Optical) No
  • IR Tether No
  • USB No
  • HDMI In No
  • Ethernet No
  • eSATA No
  • HD Compatible Yes
  • Tuner Type Digital
  • No. of Tuners n/a
  • Internal HDD No
  • PVR Expandable No
  • MPEG-4 Yes
  • 1080p Capable Yes
  • 3D Capable Yes
  • VOD Capable Yes
  • Manufacturer n/a
  • Width 13.5 cm / 5.31 in
  • Depth 8.7 cm / 3.43 in
  • Height 3.2 cm / 1.25 in
XR11 Remote - also known as BlueSky Remote

The XR11 is a remote with voice control which is included with the BlueSky Box and Portal
Features
  • Voice key and microphone
  • Backlight- all keys, amber colour
  • Accelerometer - keys are illuminated for 3 seconds when remote is picked up. Lighting fades up and down
  • Buttons are laser cut
  • Tactile "D" key for accessibility
  • Colour - light grey
  • Aim Anywhere
Remote Shortcut Keys
Button + Feature
  • A - Help menu
  • B - Video on Demand
  • B - Enable video preview in full screen guide
  • C - Sports App (scores, teams, and other detailed info)
  • D - Delete selected recording
  • D - Clear history
Programming the Remote details can be read here: https://community.shaw.ca/docs/DOC-9879

EDIT by Dr.Dave: Starting October 15, 2019, Shaw renamed BlueSky TV to BlueCurve TV.
 

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No pvr expandability is just horrible .Until everything is available on a network pvr all the time, expandability to me is a must. Also just a 500 gb per seems ridiculous, a 2 to 4 tb would make lack of expandability at least not a crime.
 

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I think i saw where you can chain several together in a house for up to 1.5 TB storage...but would be nice to just slap on a external drive.
 

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So I spoke with a Shaw Rep at the Calgary Home Reno Show today and was advised that other than the voice activated remote and new user interface, nothing really. You do not own your own equipment and must pay a rental fee and the tV Package they are offering is the highest cost and most channel inclusive because it doesn't make sense to use the voice remote to search for a program with lesser packages. So I answered my own question. Blue-sky is not superior to my current set-up.
 

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Interesting - from the list of features. 'yes' 'no' 'disabled' - there's no mention of '4k no'. I'm sure they omitted it because they know it's a serious disadvantage compared to their competition (Telus).

Ron.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@newfbc although this equipment is not 4K capable that doesn't mean that "BlueSky" won't be. In my opinion it's not like there is a lot of 4K content out there right now and gaining more attention than 4K is HDR, and again imo you can bet they are being looked at.
 

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Hi Shaw Champ this system looks like it's light years ahead of the Gateway. What has interested me on the Xfinity platform has been the anywhere DVR. I know Shaw has not included it on the launch of Bluesky, but I would go for it if I knew this feature was coming. Was it not included by design or it just a matter of negotiating with content providers?? Over the past year it has been frustrating to not have worthwhile content to download on Freerange and this seems to be a continuation of the same strategy. Another question is can you tell me the amount of time there is with the skip feature which it looks like on the Xfinity system is activated with the up or down arrow button. Apparently on Xfinty it comes with a default of 5 minutes but there is a code that can be entered to make it 30 seconds. Is it the same with Bluesky? Thanks
 

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^ Take Gateway as an example. I will not sign up based on what is coming especially with 2 years contract at $200/m.
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
 

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If Shaw is considering HDR, a important question is: does this thing support HDCP 2.2? My understanding is that if you get content from "official channels", and want 4K and 10-bit color (HDR), content owners won't give it to you unless your system supports HDCP 2.2.

Does the BlueSky gear support HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2?
 

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@newfbc although this equipment is not 4K capable that doesn't mean that "BlueSky" won't be. In my opinion it's not like there is a lot of 4K content out there right now and gaining more attention than 4K is HDR, and again imo you can bet they are being looked at.
So why not say '4K - no'? I'm sure a lot of people will be asking that.

Ron.
 

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Shaw gets the boxes from Comcast, so until they support 4K there will be no support from Shaw. Even if Comcast releases a box in six months and Shaw adopts it, you would be locked in on a two year contract with the current box.

Also there are currently no non 4K tvs that support HDR, that I Could find.
 

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Interesting - from the list of features. 'yes' 'no' 'disabled' - there's no mention of '4k no'. I'm sure they omitted it because they know it's a serious disadvantage compared to their competition (Telus).
I don't think Shaw omitted anything. They probably just reproduced the spec sheets from either Comcast or the box manufacturer. I don't think Comcast is prepared to introduce a 4K box until there is more clarity on the preferred HDR standard.

I get the impression that the Canadian TV providers are more advanced that the U.S. in supporting 4K. Most of the major Canadian TV providers (except Shaw) support 4K - Bell Fibe, Bell Aliant, Telus, Rogers, Videotron and Cogeco (announced.) Bell, Telus and Rogers are HDR-ready, but there isn't any live content yet.

There isn't a lot of 4K content yet: 2 TSN channels and 2 Sportsnet channels. The live 4K games include some NHL games, Toronto Blue Jays home games, Toronto Raptors, etc. I think it will be quite a while before entertainment channels go with dedicated 4K channels. Bell Media has committed to shooting all their new Canadian productions in 4K, so you see a smattering of programs for Discovery channel, Space, Gusto, etc. These are delivered as on-demand programs through the PVR rather than a dedicated channel.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Shaw Champ this system looks like it's light years ahead of the Gateway. What has interested me on the Xfinity platform has been the anywhere DVR. I know Shaw has not included it on the launch of Bluesky, but I would go for it if I knew this feature was coming. Was it not included by design or it just a matter of negotiating with content providers?? Over the past year it has been frustrating to not have worthwhile content to download on Freerange and this seems to be a continuation of the same strategy. Another question is can you tell me the amount of time there is with the skip feature which it looks like on the Xfinity system is activated with the up or down arrow button. Apparently on Xfinty it comes with a default of 5 minutes but there is a code that can be entered to make it 30 seconds. Is it the same with Bluesky? Thanks
@pjpete thanks for the questions!
Anywhere DVR feature is something that as you say isn't there with the launch of BlueSky TV. It is something being looked at and unfortunately is something I can't confirm if it is coming or even a timeline. You see the content rights that come with that feature for implementation in Canada require working through. That's all I can say on that for now.

The default for the skip forward/back is 5 minutes using the page up/down keys. You can actually re-program the remote pretty easy - for example to forward skip 30 seconds press EXIT-EXIT-EXIT 0030 then Shaw button. This will give you a 30 second skip (skip backward in this mode should be 15 seconds). "0030" can be changed to "0500" back to the 5 minutes. I haven't tested with other times but I assume you can personalize it how you want which is new and good!

When FFW or REW you can engage up to 4 speeds (faster each press) in each direction with the 5th press being called "Lightening Mode" (you see a lightening strike icon on screen". With the lightning mode feature, this speed allows you to traverse content in under 12 seconds - regardless of the program's length.

Hope this helps, thanks for the questions :)
 

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Thanks Shaw Champ. Hopefully the content rights can be figured out. You would think if it can be worked out in the States a similar model could be followed in Canada. Even if it meant just certain networks could be included that would be better than not having it at all. Now that Netflix and Amazon are offering the feature of downloading I think it would be a shame not to be able to take advantage of this major feature of the Xfinity system. Thanks again for the information.
 

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I got some answers today in so much as you can link as many as 3 main boxes together for a total of 18 tuners and only 1.5TB of combined storage, as previously mentioned. You can have a maximum of 9 Portals if you have 3 main units for a total of 12 TVs supported.

One reason they aren't supporting external storage is that they are still hoping to offer some form of Cloud DVR storage. Given that they will likely charge for this, I can't see it being very popular.

There are 2 new portals in the works that will have wifi connectability, apparently. No idea when these might be out but it is 'in the works'.

Also, Netflix was mentioned but I don't know exactly how that will play into things. Maybe a replacement for the loss of Shomi. Not sure this relates directly to the BlueSky equipment or not but perhaps it will only be available on this platform.

I'm still not interested and I also heard the pricing should get better in the months to come so anyone sitting on the fence, I'd hang tight until Shaw sweetens the pot. They did that with Gateway so I'd hold tough and wait for a better deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
^ just to clarify at this point in time we are saying that 3 main boxes will give you 12 HD streams/tuners. There is the potential/overhead for more, for sure, and the viability of that is being explored.
 
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