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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,


I'm currently with Cogeco in Hamilton. I live in an area that has a mix of analog and digital infrastructure, and as a result, my HD availability is quite hobbled. Almost half of the HD channels I pay for are not available in my area. The big one for me is LeafsTV in HD. No chance.

I've been waiting for 2 years for Cogeco to update its equipment in these parts and its not happening. I'm tired of it.

I spoke with a CSR at Shaw Direct over the weekend and the Ontario Extra Value Package is available to me. With a few add-ons I can essentially get everything I have now with Cogeco, all the HD channels I've been missing, a whole bunch of other stuff, all for about $18/MO less than what I'm paying now.

One chap who appears to be a Shaw Direct customer warned me off saying the equipment was rather old and not as good as Cogeco's. Frankly, I really don't care about the equipment all that much. I'm looking for a decent channel lineup and getting what I pay for.

I'm close to calling and placing the order. I'm looking for honest opinions on why I shouldn't, and any advice that may help me get what I'm looking for.

TIA,

Mike
 

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Any prospective customer needs to determine what is really important to them before choosing their provider. If high on your list is getting a set of channels you are happy with at the lowest price, then SD is fine. If you are a big PVR user that lives and dies by a lot of recording, maybe not. This is because their PVR is quite lacking and has been described here as more a digital VCR without the bells and whistles.

I went with the Ontario package and the 505 receiver. I don't need a recorder and my channel requirements aren't that elaborate, so I am very happy. See if you can still order the 505 with your package because it might come cheaper that way.

There are other factors like the need for multiple receivers that you might need to consider as well and the fact that you can't rent receivers from SD (a preference for me actually).
 

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Mike,

I was in the same situation with Rogers, and I went with the Ontario Value Package and saved $15. I get more channels than I ever did with Rogers and lots of HD programming. So if getting more for less is what you are looking for, than SD is for you. However as CanaDawg said the PVR for SD is a piece of garbage and works more like a VCR.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The 505 is available to me, yes. I had a look at the specs of that unit - very basic, nothing fancy going on there at all. I have no need for a PVR and have already read some of the not-so-flattering stories about those. If I were inclined to use a PVR I'd hold off until there was an update to their equipment, just based on what I've read.

I'm also not in dire need of additional receivers. I do have other sets, and a tuner card in my PC, but it's not a big deal.

The big issue for me right now is channels, not so much equipment. Saving a few bucks is an added bonus.

With their current promo I can get a 505 for $39 net - though I am locked in for a year. Also not a big deal.

No "aaaaarrrrrgggg don't do it, warning Will Robinson" type posts yet. Very encouraging.

:)

Thanks for the comments.

Mike
 

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I do not believe LeafsTV is available in HD on SD. I can't find it listed anywhere in my guide.

We've been quite happy with SD. Lots of complaints about the 530 but not from us. Time-shifting allows us to record any conflicting shows we may have. We don't have a long list of must-see TV each week though.

Apparently there are new receivers coming out, supposedly soon but I will not hold my breath based on their past failures to meet timelines. Don't know much about them. Supposedly it won't render the 505 or 530 obsolete when they are introduced. I'm not jazzed about having to replace the many receivers we have so they'd better still work.

There's no equipment rentals like most cable companies, so you'll have to buy outright.

We're pleased with the channel selection but they have slowed down from adding new channels. I believe that is due to their running out of space on the satellites.

All in all it is still our TV provider of choice.
 

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With their current promo I can get a 505 for $39 net - though I am locked in for a year. Also not a big deal.
Usually there is no contract with Shaw Direct. You can buy the 505 for $99 outright from Memory Express which is what I would do.

The Ontario Extra Value package is excellent value and has all the channels I watch. I added the HD add on for $9.95 and my bill is still $30 less than it was with Bell for a similar package.

You will not be disappointed. I would switch in a heartbeat from ANY provider. The only drawback is the receivers. With the new models coming out in a couple of months, that point will be moot. Customer service is excellent. HD picture quality is excellent. You will like Shaw Direct.
 

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Hey Guys,
I'm pretty much on the same boat as Mike.
I've given Bell 30 days as I'm not impressed with having to threaten cancellation after so many years just to receive what I should have been getting in the first place!
I've checked out the Ontario Value Package and it looks a lot better. Just wondering if you know the best current deals on receivers(in need of two or three 505's)?

Thanks a million,
Green
 

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dillyhammer raises an interesting point. Does anyone here have the Value Package, without paying the Multiple Receiver Fee? When I got set up last year I told them I already had a 505HD that I'd call in to activate later, and that I just wanted a single 505HD from them. The installer showed up with a "free" 305 and told me I needed to activate both. I assume they are sort of counting on the extra $5.95/mo. I took the free receiver since I was planning to activate my second 505HD soon anyway.

I'll agree with all on here that if you don't need a PVR (watch live or are ok with a "digital VCR", the SD value package is great. I'm not sure about simsubs but if you do happen to be simsubbed in HD, that means you are in Toronto, and could likely put up an OTA antenna if you wanted to avoid simsubs.
 

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The $39 net 505 seems to be the best deal.

I've been with Shaw Direct since March (though I was a Star Choice subscriber from 2002-2004) and have been very happy with the service. My 530 works fine. I don't watch a lot of tv so getting the same channels I was getting with Rogers for about $20 a month less was the main reason for switching.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The $39 net 505 seems to be the best deal.

I've been with Shaw Direct since March (though I was a Star Choice subscriber from 2002-2004) and have been very happy with the service. My 530 works fine. I don't watch a lot of tv so getting the same channels I was getting with Rogers for about $20 a month less was the main reason for switching.
It's actually $49 net (not $39) - the $10 discount for web orders doesn't apply to me. The way they're working it is charging me the full $199, then applying a credit of $100, and giving me $50 in PPV credits, on my first invoice. There's no contract, but if I quit within the first year I have to return the receiver or pay a $200 cancellation fee. I don't have a problem with this.

I'm aware of the multiple receiver fee but they didn't say anything about it being mandatory. I don't think that's the case unless I actually order a second receiver, which I won't do. What I'll probably do is wait until some new hardware comes out, upgrade my main receiver and keep the one I get at signup as a second receiver. Or go on the open market and pick one up somewhere. If I bother at all. The only real gotcha for me doing this switch is my PC tuner card. It has an ATSC tuner built in, perhaps I'll put an 8 bay OTA antenna up and have a go at that just for the hell of it. Not a big deal.

Mike
 

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The way they're working it is charging me the full $199, then applying a credit of $100, and giving me $50 in PPV credits, on my first invoice.
Mike
That's sort of how it worked for me when I signed up. I had to buy my 530 up front and they gave me programming credits. I had the PPV credit converted to a programming credit because I knew I wouldn't watch the PPV movies.
 
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