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Discussion Starter #1
Well I have decided after trying out shaw cable my only options are shaw direct or bell.

Im currently with bell, and the HD is terrible, everything converted to 720P, low bitrates, not even close to hd quality.

I tried shaw cable and it was much better but i missed alot of channels, especially eastern feeds.

So that leaves me with either shaw direct or bell, and the only reason i havent switched is because of hearing about hd pvr nightmares everyone has.

But I do want to ask and make sure since i also have not seen shaw direct hd, but i did see shaw cable.

Is everything in 1080i as well?

Also how good is the quality, i noticed the fewest complaints in all the forums between telus, shaw, rogers, bell, about hd quality in here.

So im very curious how it is.
 

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The Shaw direct HD quality is 1080i on all English channels except for the Score HD and Oasis HD.

HOWEVER, they're adding new channels and they're already at 3 HD per transponder (13mb/sec). To my eyes it doesn't look that great (macroblocking). I've heard Shaw cable is 2HD + 2SD per QAM (closer to OTA bitrates). If this is the case, then Shaw cable will have noticeably better PQ than Shaw satellite.

If I were you I would just suck it up and get Shaw HD cable. Maybe they will add HD east networks soon?
 

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As someone who has had Both Shaw Cable and Shaw Direct...
HD is slightly, but still noticeably better with Shaw Direct satellite.
SD is incredibly better with Shaw Direct satellite than the compressed 10x digital channels.

The PVR is much better (better schedule descriptions, better timers/ record by name, 2 tuners, & more reliable hardware) with Shaw Cable.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yea magnet analysis seems to support most of my research.

Shaw cable looked great to me, but that was because i had bell, bell cant even call it hd its that bad.

Shaw cable apparently for abc, nbc, cbs, and fox moved down to 12mbps and it still looked way better, someone on the shaw cable forum noted that and compared it to ota.

So as you can imagine shaw digital sounds the best.

Im just worried i notice 2 transponders have way to many hd channels. More then bell even. Bell actually has only 3 but still their bitrates seem awful and the picture terrible.

On shaw digital transponder 8 and 25 have 4 24 hour hd channels. Not even bell has that, yet i still bet the picture is better on shaw direct.

Oddly enough like shaw cable and them apperantly lowering bitrates for abc, cbs, nbc, and fox, shaw digital transponders with 4 hd channels have those channels.

If i did have to suck it up though id go with shaw direct and give up the ability to record and watch another show.

Shaw cable was missing to many other channels, normal channels like omni werent available for us (kids watch simpson on it)

Sports net feeds beside west were all not on their. ALl providers besides shaw cable carry all 4. I like to watch poker and on the west feed its not on till 12:30, to late for me. Also no military channel. And again very few east feeds in hd, i also liked watch colbert and daily show earlier in hd on ctv eastern hd feed.

Also comedy network i loved the eastern feeds.

Also the shaw cable motorola boxes when i changed inputs on my hdmi switch, or audio receiver, would default to abusrd settings. It would default to 720p anytime i switched inputs. My projector for some reason wont display 720p full screen, its a 1080p projector. You have to hit anamorphic to fill the screen when any lower resolution is displayed (720 or 480). So everytime i did simple input change and went back to shaw, i was at 720p, with a square box in the middle of my screen. Their is no way I was going to change settings anytime i switched inputs. That would be worse then dealing with shaw direct pvr's.

Do shaw direct pvr's have that problem? They are also motorola but i assume different model.
 

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If i did have to suck it up though id go with shaw direct and give up the ability to record and watch another show.
With ShawDirect, you can currently record one show and watch another (your choice if the other one is live on a different channel or one you previously recorded).

There's a whole other thread for what is "promised" for future firmware upgrades with their PVR.

Having said that, I have three of the ShawDirect PVRs (DSR530) and 2 of them have been very solid for the past 2 or 3 years. The other has been good for about 8 months now (having replaced it 3 times previously).

One nice thing about ShawDirect is that if you have multiple receivers, they are all covered with lifetime warranty (only cost to replace one is $12.99 shipping charge).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My biggest concern would be does shaw direct do you have to sign any contracts? Also you cant rent can you?

One great thing is that I like to see how I like the service before i switch, with shaw direct it seems like its all in you have to buy the receivers, no renting, correct?

Also do you have to sign contracts?

Last question though, with the pvr you can record a show and watch another? Can you record two at once? With bell i can do that, but i have to watch one of the shows if im recording two which is fine. But i believe i can also view pre recorded stored shows on my pvr if both are recording.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
And am also correct in assuming if using an hdmi (dvi to hdmi cable) switch the settings dont stick, just like shaw cables motorola boxes?
 

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Don't know about the HDMI issue.

Shaw Direct doesn't require a contract per se but there is an early termination fee if you cancel before the first year of service.

I don't believe SD rents receivers. You're responsible to buy them upfront but with multiple receivers you pay the multi-receiver fee and get lifetime warranty on all the boxes.

The SD PVR (DVR-530) only allows you record one show while watching another. It's not a true dual-tuner PVR in that sense.
 

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The early termination fee is only charged if you don't return the boxes to SD. Since you are buying them at a subsidized price, they want either the receiver back or the price difference if you terminate before one year. There are some really good deals for new subscribers so shop around.
 

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In regards to quality of HD I can report this;

My next door neighbor has just switched from BTV to SD and he has two receivers the 505 and the HD PVr530. The difference in the HD quality on SD is five times better than BTV. I say this because my brother has BTV HD and the picture quality is not good. I watched the hocky game the other night and the SD quality was great!

In regards to 530 problems I guess you can have problems with any of the current offerings from either BTV or SD. My wife's brother has SD for over 10 years now and has never had a problem with his 530 and the picture quality is excellent. You cannot get better HD on cable. If you want great HD then satellite is the only option. I have a BTV satellite receiver and it continually freezes up and requires a reset to fix. So there are no perfect answers out there yet.

SD does have better programming options and has a better price for their packages. So the final decision is up to the consumer. No matter which system you discuss you will find those that are never happy or are having as many problems as the other guy. Sometimes I have found that there are too many people that like to fool around with the equipment rather than just leave it alone and let it do the job it was intended for. The warranty with SD is great! Just call the dealer and they will come out and switch out the receiver. With BTV you have to package and ship back to their depot. As long as you have the two receivers and pay the extra receiver fee the equipment has a lifetime warranty. The only way to get this from Bell is to rent.

Good luck with your decisions!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I appreciate all the feedback, looks like its down to two options.

Shaw direct, and telus media room. I spoke to some shaw direct users who switched over, all of them were happy in general with the overall service. With regards to hd picture quality some said telus media room slightly better, some said shaw direct slightly better, but they all seemed to agree it was very close. Of course telus won with hardware easily.

My problem with telus media room currently while its no doubt the better service hardware wise is missing a few very important hd channels.
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SO i guess it comes down to wether telus adds the new HD channels first, or shaw direct adds a new hd pvr with with hdmi (currently hdmi handshake issues would be a problem in my setup, among other issues i may encounter with the 530)
 

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These guys must have poor eyesight or cheap or miscalibrated tvs as most of those Telus media room HD feeds are good old Bell compressed 720p satellite feeds.
 

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Nope, 20/10 vision (check), new TV's (check), top of the line TV's (check), picture quality the same as Shaw Direct (check), options Shaw Direct users can only dream of (check), missing Shaw Direct (not checked).
 

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These guys must have poor eyesight or cheap or miscalibrated tvs as most of those Telus media room HD feeds are good old Bell compressed 720p satellite feeds.
Are you sure that you aren't referring to Telus Satellite TV which IS rebranded Bell Satellite? Telus does it's own collection and distribution of signals for it's IPTV service.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Bent but, your thinking of telus satellite, which is bell.

Also this is not telus tv either which also had problems, perhaps bandwidth problems.

This is telus media room, brand new IPTV service that began in February.

And yes bell picture is awful to say the least. But this couldnt be further from bell.
 

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the difference is striking?

As a long time Starchoice HD subscriber, I was shocked to see the PQ of a new Bell HD install I recently helped to arrange. The movie network looks good - but pretty much all of the other HD channels would barely qualify as being described as HD....

How do they stay in business with this?

Despite all of the heartache associated with the pathetically late software release for SD - I'm not tempted to switch at all. Is it because Bell compresses many of their feeds?
 

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Is it because Bell compresses many of their feeds?
It is not "compression" itself, it is determined on how much bandwidth they allow. Some people would call Bell TV's HD quality as "HD Lite".

The picture quality and customer service are the two really big positives that Shaw Direct has over Bell TV.
 

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Hi...I must be missing something here...We switched from Bell Fibe to SD yesterday, and the HD quality is laughable at best. Watching any type of fast pace sports or action scenes are so hard to watch with all the pixelation around the fast moving objects. I called SD tech support and that was a joke...He had me do two hard resets, adjust configurations on the box but still bad. He then said I had to adjust my tv settings. I'm a pretty technical guy, and I've had this HD TV (Sharp Aquos LCD with 120hz refresh rate), and have had a few different providers hooked up to it and have had flawless HD. I tried to get a service tech call, but it was like pulling teeth. He kept inferring that it had to be my TV and not the box because the HDPVR630 was so advanced, and the signal power coming in was great.

I am now waiting on a call back from the next tier of service, but no service call and i've only had it hooked up for a day.
 

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Check the Sharpness setting on your TV. Try a setting closer to the bottom end - like 10-20 out of 100. Also turn off the automatic settings on your TV, like edge enhancements. Use the "user" or similar picture mode before changing settings. Most TVs will remember the settings for each input, so if you've switched inputs, that may also have an effect if you changed the settings on your "original" input.

Bell Fibe has a very "soft" (720P) source picture which doesn't show macroblocking. A 1080i "harder" picture from SD does. Here's the FAQ on Optimizing your TV. I've seen this on my optimization travels.

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/30-57s-home-theatre-faqs/76161-faq-what-you-need-do-your-new-hdtv.html

And here's a useful post: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/14-hdtv-high-definition-television-including-lcd-plasma/57741-hdtv-frequently-asked-questions-please-read-before-posting-forum.html

Strange - a post from you in 2015 shows you with Bell Sat? (but the picture on Bell Sat is similar to Fibe (both 720P source material)

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/183-bell-satellite-tv-hardware-installation-forum/54861-installation-questions-see-links-post-1-a-127.html#post2534537
 
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