Shaw Direct: Much To-Do About Nothing?

Here’s round two on the Shaw Direct Realign story:

Now I’m really confused! And I am obviously not alone. I originialy heard the story from a rep from WineGard (you would think they would know!) and had the story confirmed by 2 people from Shaw, one of whom helped me close our account because our signals was on holidays for the summer and we couldn’t use it in the US or Mexico ever again..

While Shaw is telling me that yes, it’s true, “We have moved our foot print, you can not get our service in the US or Mexico anymore”  some one else at Shaw Direct sends the following  email:

Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding your account; I am happy to assist you.

I would like to clear up some misconceptions regarding our services and the recent launch of our 3rd satellite. We believe that this rumor started as Bell also launched a new satellite this past year with a very limited footprint, and they changed a large majority of their current channels over to this new satellite. As such, they are no longer broadcasting past approximately the 45th parallel or Northern USA.

With the launch of our satellite, it will also have a limited foot print, but it is being launched to expand our ability to add new channels to our lineup. As far as we are aware at this time, we have no intention of moving our current channels to the new satellite. Our service will continue to work in Canada, the USA and parts of Mexico. We will still allow our “Snowbirds” the opportunity to watch TV at their winter homes or RV resorts in Florida, Arizona, and Mexico, etc, as we understand a large portion of our customers are in this sort of situation. You will still be able to access your programming while you are away. This is with the exception of any new channels that may be placed on the 3rd satellite (as the 3rd satellite’s footprint will not service the USA/Mexico.) Any programming you are currently receiving will stay the same, just no new added channels

I hope this helps, but should you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. Please include any previous correspondence with your replies.

Thank you for choosing Shaw Direct

I guess we all wait and see.

Editor’s note. Today, October 28 I update on Shaw Direct

To praraphrase Jack Kerourac “I have nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion

52 thoughts on “Shaw Direct: Much To-Do About Nothing?

  1. Larry, that actually fit a bit with what I was told yesterday. First of all our channel line up here at our home in Canada has not changed, i.e. we cannot see the new HD channels. When I called our rep yesterday and complained about the changes I also asked why we are not seeing the NEW HD channels. She told me that is because our account is on HOME AWAY FROM HOME status. So if I understand this correctly, here at home we will NOT be getting the new HD channels if we stay on the Home Away from Home progam, but then it will work in the States – that would be the trade off.
    We only changed from Bell/Telus to Shaw about 7 month ago. The PVR we paid $400 for and dish we had installed is no longer neeed. After much toing and frowing, she agreed to give me full credit for 1 receiver (we return it) and $100 in movie credits. I did not accept it right off the bat, told her I would call her back today. But now after reading the above, I will have another conversation with her. If the trade off is not to get the new HD channels here at home but get the service in the US, that is what we will do. I just love being able to get the Canadian news while we are there. But what a mess!!

  2. Well this is what I have been told PLUS the fact that a few days ago the powers that be decided not to allow Shaw into the US at all but the question is “how can they control that”? I think we are good to go.

  3. the news media in Quebec have gotten hold of this story that Shaw will no longer broadcast south of the border and of course Quebec snowbirds are in a panic. Shaw should advise their customers (perhaps when billing the customer) exactly what the situation is.

  4. Yes in fact a friend of mine has heard the story in a notorius Québec newspaper and confirmed with someone working with Shaw, that Shaw would no longer be available to Canadian snowbirds in Florida during the winter months. It would be important that Shaw clarifies the situation thru a news release

  5. Thanks a lot Larry for your information. I feel better now. I have changed a few years ago from Bell to Shaw to be sure to have access to my Canadian TV while I am in Arizona. I have an antenna and a receiver out there and everything was working perfectly. Now, I was afraid to loose all this but with your clarification, I feel a lot better and reassure.
    Have a good day and many many more years of helping people with your blogs.
    Henri

  6. Now this is hearsay but I just talked to a friend who informed me that she just talked to Shaw today who informed her that according to some new law in the US as of May 2013 it is illegal to receive Canadian satellite service in the States and one can be fined if receiving this service. I can find nothing on the web about this alleged new law. Has any one else heard about this?

  7. My understanding is this:
    1. As of June 1,2013 shaw will not sell or service equipment in USA
    2. Footprint for AnikF1 and F2 will still cover USA and Mexico.
    3. Anyone with a home account using older LNB and 500 series or older receivers will be able to receive the signal in southern USA or Mexico. You WILL NOt be able to receive new channels from AnikG! as in Canada.

    We are winter Texans and expect to be able to watch all of our Canadian TV as we have for the past several years. Shaw is not going to shut down a vast majority of its customers with older receivers.

    Also don’t call Shaw as they will only spout the official line of no further sevice in the USA.

  8. It is my understanding that receiving Canadian Tv in the US has never been legal. It has simply been ignored. About 9 years ago we had Bell sat. and then almost overnight we could not receive Bell…nothing but red in the channel lineup. We switched to Star Choice (now Shaw). I may be wrong but.. I do not know of anything in writing from Shaw Head Office that said you could actually receive TV in the US. They never however said you couldn’t. It seems to me that Shaw and Shaw reps knew what was happening, but as long as nobody made waves ( like Bell, Dish, Direct), nothing changed. The FCC and the CRTC
    are the law makers and both will say ( if asked)….no it is not legal because of territorial and licensing rights. Lets just hope everyone still will ignore it and we can watch Canadian content in the south.

  9. I have made a few inquiries and here is what I found;The French Floridian newspaper Le Soleil has published infos in that regard. Many French Canadians rely on satellite TV in Florida to receive their French programs. These changes will NOT affect those already subscribing to Satellite TV. All current subscribers will still continue receiving satellite TV. The OMC ,with 197 country’s members , in 1997 , had made agreement that no country could emit satellite signal live over their own boundaries. Existing technologies allowed , for a time, to get around these interdictions but not forever. Now, Shaw indicates that with the launch of their new Anik G1 satellite, the signal from this new satellite , outside Canada will not be possible. They indicate that the old satellites will continue to be effective. Le Soleil newspaper indicates that there might be something coming up this fall and to stay tuned!!!

  10. As a long-term Canadian ex-pat bouncing around the Caribbean and Florida, I can tell everyone (at this point) not to worry. For example, while it may take a 6-8′ (yes, foot) dish to receive Shaw in (for example) in Cayman, it works… Had to use separate LNB’s vs. the one provided by Shaw. Mind you, in anything but perfect weather we lost HD because Anik F2 is that much further over the horizon.

    In Florida, using 2 LNB’s, with first one, then two 1m (36-39″) dishes, only EXTREMELY heavy rain will cause HD signal loss – and we rarely ever lose SD signal. For those of you up on this stuff, our signal on F1 is in the high 90’s, and F2 in the mid-90’s.

    And from what I’ve read, the new channels being set up on G1 are mostly HD versions of the local SD channels from cities across Canada.

    Finally, I have a strong suspicion that Shaw:
    a) noted the huge influx of subscribers from Bell (I was one of them)
    b) historically have been much more customer-service-oriented, meaning that
    c) they will try not to alienate a profitable customer base,
    d) unlike Bell, who are/were clueless about their [former] migratory users…
    e) making said migratory users happy, grateful, and willing to tolerate the quirks in Shaw services and equipment….

    Summary: For current users of older equipment, and those on the Home Away From Home plans…

    “Chillax!”

  11. “While Shaw is telling me that yes, it’s true, “We have moved our foot print, you can not get our service in the US or Mexico anymore” some one else at Shaw Direct sends the following email”
    ————-some one else?————–
    Do we have a name in this e-mail? Who is responsible @ Shaw Direct for this e-mail. Can we hold them to this?
    I’m fine if you can quote Shaw’s reply. I just want facts and some reasonable hope that our signal will be available, next winter. Thanks

  12. This is basicly the samething we were told with the exception\-THERE IS NO HOME AWAY FROM HOME without paying 1\2 of your home service cost. If you wish a third home away from home it is like opening a new account. For us this is the case. The hook-up at your home can not be put to sleep. The one home from home can be put to sleep. This is the way we were told in Mid to late July.I will another call today to try and get the answer and do a folow up post here.

  13. We winter in Arizona but were planning to take our dish and receiver to Maztlan,Mexico for three months this winter.Can anyone clarify what is the truth regarding whether we will have reception in the USA and Mexico?

  14. Yes…………..but. Shaw pushes a “refresh” to your receiver at will, to update their encryption? or channels? If your receiver is turner on and the dish is aligned your good to go. However if during that time it is unhooked you will not receive that refresh and the receiver is deactivated these typically take place in the wee hours.
    There used to be a simple solution to this, just call then and ask for a refresh or go online and use the self serve options. However they have now stated there will be no support for service outside Canada. Even if their 800 number still works, they will see a US area code and no dice. I don’t know if they have implemented geo blocking (blocks ip addresses from outside Canada) or not, if so the self serve option is not an option.
    Read shaws terms of service (updated may 2013) the receiver must be located at the service address and connected to a working phone line.
    I can see in the future that the refreshes will be pushed through G1 which has no “footprint” in the US. This may take some time as all the “legal” customers will have to have their dishes upgrade with the new LNB

  15. I just wanted to add to those who have upgraded to the XKu Lnb and have systems in the States or Mexico that are on the Ku Lnb, be warned the your account has been upgraded to receive the signals using the Xku lnb which means all receiver MUST have an Xku Lnb and be flashed to receive any of the good channels. Some channels work on the Ku Lnb but not many.

    I am an installer for both companies and this is from the lead tech with Shaw Direct as of Sept. 19th 2013.

    As far as the signals from the old Sats (107 & 111) leaving the States and Mexico, they can be tuned to a smaller foot print to mainly broadcast in Canada! I am sure many of you already know the Dish Network spear-headed the removal of Bell;s signal as per their agreement when Dish Network allowed the new DBS satellites they are using now.(Nimiq 1, 2 and 4). Dish Network is Bell parent company and do have control of them, to some degree.

    Rumors flying around are that Dish Network and Bell are pushing the FCC and CRTC for Shaw Direct to do the same! We have many snow birds on Vancouver Island and I am keeping a close ear and eye on this as it develops.

  16. We will be heading back to AZ at the end of the month and not sure if our Shaw satellite will work. Any updates??
    Has anyone figured out another way to get Canadian programming while out of the country?

  17. An option for ya’ll is the SLINGBOX, the best option for snowbirds travelling south to watch their home satellite TV! The SLINGBOX works with all providers, plus no additional monthly fees and easy to use. Here is a link too it. Cheers!

    http://ca.slingbox.com/

  18. We have the new LNB on the dish at home and an old LNB on the home away from home sat dish (it’s bigger) in Arizona, can we just swap out the LNB (home one to AZ one) and be good to go or the LNB only for the & dish at home. Last year we hooked up the big dish in AZ & it didn’t work until we called Shaw and they said that the code was different for that dish.

  19. If the dish at home is a smaller 60 cm dish, it uses the larger 60 cm LNBF for XKu. If the one in Arizona is a 75 cm dish, it uses the smaller 75cm LNBF for XKu. Once both dishes are on the XKu band this should solve your problem for now.

    Keep in mind that Shaw Direct is being force by the FCC, CRTC and American dish companies to shrink their foot print and soon they will not work in Arizona.

    A box like the SLINGBOX may be in your future! Just connect the SLINGBOX to your receiver at home and hook it up to the internet, use a laptop with an HDMI output to hook up to a TV and you can watch your shows over the internet from your box in your house, any where in the world for free!

  20. I , myself a snowbird leaving for Florida at the end of the month and facing the reality that Shaw no longer supports outside Canada decided to invest into a Slingbox with lots of skepticism. To my surprise, it works great. I tried it from home and it works amazingly great. Easy to install and configure. No longer need to cancel/suspend TV services from home and subscribe to other TV/Satellite services.

  21. Great news that it works down south. Bell and Shaw seem to believe that if pushed seniors with homes down south will not just install some second hand Direct TV or Dish receivers down there open up an account with their US address and bring a second set north. After all a Bell dish has Dish LNB’s on it. I can see some CRTC zealot in my BC backyard trying to figure out which satellite it is pointed at!

    Sling-box does work, but only really well when you have a really good fast connection. Mine has worked marginally well on cruse ships, very well in Rome, poorly in rural Europe. The picture is of good quality on an Ipad but worse than SD TV on a larger receiver. Still enjoyable if that’s your only way of watching the Grey Cup or getting TV news from home. We use ours with an Ipad as a kitchen TV here and down south.

  22. In AZ now and with a refresh Shaw Direct works. Before we left I changed the phone number associated with our account to a 604 VOIP number we have. As we have the internet in AZ and our VOIP line set up on it there, that allowed a phone call refresh.

    One receiver was stubborn and I was able to log in to my account at Shaw Direct and do a second refresh via my COX internet. They cannot or don’t police internet refreshes. If you don’t have VOIP use your cell phone or refresh via a free WIFI at a MacDonalds. A costly phone call but worth it.

    By spring we may be set up on Dish here and then would take some Dish equipment North.

  23. Switched a year ago from Bell to Shaw . Small dia. dish on tripod in Yuma Arizona and all except for a small number of channels all works very well.

  24. DISH? just looking at setting up services for los cabos condo… thought i could just take a second receiver down there after setting up new services with DISH however ran into a snag that they want to lease you a “Hopper” with Joeys… no second dual receiver allowed they said due to compatibility issues with Hopper… finally they agreed to sell me and charge me monthly for service to the non HD non DVR non dual Receiver 211. Anyone know if this will work there. I am only switching from Comcast in order to have service down there. Note: Dish on roof of building. thanks,

  25. What are the channel numbers that can’t be rec’d in Dunedin/Tampa area since the 3rd sat. has been installed? I am having trouble fine tuning to a lot of HD channels, i am using a 60e dish but not rec’d ing 50 + channels??? Why

  26. Go to dishpointer.com to get the proper skew. Use the multi-lnb settings with your Florida address. The basic setting for Tampa is 120.4 degrees to the right, which is on the back of the pan of the dish. Elevation is 46.1 and if your mast isn’t level you will have some problems fine tuning. Also, you should really have the bigger 75cm dish too. Good luck!

  27. On channel 700 getting a signal of 93 % others are in the low 90’s, but 199 to 205 which are atv hd for nova scotia no % of signal. other HD channels are giving me the same -no % , that is why i am trying to find out if these channels are on the new 3rd sat.????

  28. Ok, I reached out to my rep with Shaw Direct since I am a Dealer/installer. He said they have moved a lot of channels(135 channels) and that if its MPEG 4, it is on G1. Here is a link to show which channels are MPEG 4, which in the legend on the left, is a blue box.

    http://www.shawdirect.ca/english/whats-on/

    He also mentioned in due time(whatever that means), Shaw will shrink its footprint to pretty much only work in Canada.
    Bell, Dish Network, DirecTV, the FCC, and the CRTC are behind the push that Bell started as per their agreement with Dish Network(Bell’s parent company) to remove their signal from the States.

    Looking at the channels going MPEG 4, once they are reformatted, they will only be on G1, so it is possible for them to eliminate channels faster.

    I hate to say it but it is the beginning of the end!

  29. great info.i will be living in HEMET,CALIFORNIA THIS WINTER.CAN I BRING A STAR CHOICE DISH AND RECIEVER DOWN,AND WILL IT WORK

  30. I took at course with Winegard last month with their Lead Tech and from what I understand is, unless this goes to court and Shaw is forced to shrink their foot print, nothing will change until the Satellites reach the end of their life span and they are half way there. I won’t say how long but it is a fairly long time!

    Do some research if you want to know how old they are now.

    Something else that might be of interest is Slingbox. If you have a good internet connection and speed, you can stream content from YOUR own cable box to anywhere in the world.

    http://www.slingbox.com/

  31. I appreciate about Slingbox Garth but we are full time rvers so when we leave Canada so do our Shaw receivers . Also, we seldom, if ever, have good internet. If we could count on good internet we probably wouldnt need Sha .

  32. Having trouble with video on demand (VOD). We are Florida snowbirds from Ontario. Our current IP address on the Shaw receiver is Ontario. While in Florida our receiver is connected to our Verizon American router. Could this be the reason VOD is not working? Have called Shaw, whom are very courteous, but can not seem to figure out why VOD is not working? Any clues?

  33. Try unplugging the receiver from the wall(110 V) for 1 minute to re-boot the receiver. If it still doesn’t work then it is because the receiver it configured to you Ontario IP and will not accept the American IP. If your re-configure it to the American IP, then your TV might not work!

  34. This may well have to do with something called ‘geo-blocking’. This technique is used by netflix to stop Canadians from accessing US content in Canada. (Some crtc BS).
    If you have access to the router and a computer you can use a service called unblock us. This involes substituting your present DNS (dynamic name server) address in the router to their’s and make it look like your in canada. Google unblock, and if memory servers they offer a free trial. $4.99 a month and I pay with paypal. However you require rudimentary computer and router knowledge to do this. They do offer basic instuctions on their site

  35. ….according to Shaw, they will not be changing the footprint of their G1 and G2 satellites…so unless you have a monster 10 or 12′ KU dish you won’t get G3… best you refresh your receivers in Canada then waste no time in installing them at your sun destination when you arrive..Shaw can’t tell where you have the receivers..so don’t worry as they are passive receivers only…but don’t be phoning the Shaw CSR help desk from Mexico or the USA. I have 3 receivers and I take one of them with me to Mexico…many folks here near PV seem to use the smaller 60cm dish with good results with the signal fading only during heave rain…. the 75cm dish is better and gives better reliability for HD…but my little DSR 209 only is SD anyway.

    So rest easy folks…doubt the CRTC minions will throw you in jail nor turn you over to the CIA for waterboarding as a media terrorist for the ‘crime’ of watching Shaw Direct south of the 49th.

  36. I am using a 60cm dish in Sun City AZ. Alignment and keeping the dish clean(bird crap) are critical. Getting 90+ and good DCB on all SD. HD works above 80 but is flakey below. We had a good rain and HD went from 82 to 85. Hooked up a used (bought ebay) 630 yesterday and after many calls got it working. It needed two factory resets, new firmware, and a couple of refreshes.

    Set up my Vancouver voip number as my Shaw contact number and when I call them from AZ they think I am in Vancouver. Very helpful tech staff. You will find the process easier if you know how old your dish is. They think I have two Shaw dishes on my home in Canada. This avoids installing a multiswitch and is legal.

    Plan B if Shaw goes away as always is to go Direct or Dish using my US address and take their equipment to Canada and set it up there. TV over telephone lines, cable and Sat are temporary. Internet TV is just around the corner.

    Shaw Direct have a much cleaner crisp signal than Cable TV here. Very noticeable when watching any sports event. US Sat and Cable do not offer time switching and usually only one (local)PBS station.

  37. Wer’e on out third year using Shaw. Read all the previous comments with some astonishment. After arriving in FL in Jan 2013 and discovering Bell was no longer available I made a phone call to Shaw who bent over backwards to ship (via my sons address) a 75cm dish and two receivers (600) in under 10 days. Their Technical help was first class. When l returned home they sent us another dish (n/c) along with a free home installation. I do not subscribe to “home away from home” but rather bring one of my current receivers which is instantly accessible if not turned off for more than a week. If it does need a refresh it can be done by phone or online. If there’s still a problem after “refresh” shut off the receiver power for 20 seconds to execute a reboot. Works every time for me.

  38. looking for an OLD LNB, a dual quad for a 75cm dish. garth can you help?????
    I am in the us heading to canada for the summer.

  39. In a RV in Phoenix. Have the new HDDSR 600 receiver. I’m on the new RV package from Shaw Direct. I receive all HD channels I have subscribed to that are available on the Anik F1 & 2 feeds. The Anik G1 is the problem…it has a footprint that only dips a hundred miles below the 49th. This is where you will miss the local HD stations as G1 is the Sat that Shaw used to expand their local HD capacity. You can still get most of these channels in SD on F1 or F2 …As for adjusting the footprint of the Anik ….Shaw is acting according to CRTC regulations. Americans cannot purchase Shaw for use in the US and made it abundantly clear to subscribers that they will not condone nor provide customer service to any Canadian subscriber who chooses to receive their signal below the 49th. Anik will be up there for a long time so enjoy your Can Con..

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