Sunday, May 14, 2017

Shaw Direct Upgrade

I had a chat with one of the better CSR's at Shaw Direct the other day and came away a little better informed. First, they are slowly but steadily moving programming over to the third satellite that my current quad LNB dishes will not work with. I also learned that the older grey colored 500 series receivers will very soon be obsolete as they introduce compression into the programming. In the meantime, although not supporting use of their equipment while out of the country, they know many of their customers do this and are not going out of their way to stop it.

He also told me that when I will be forced to convert to the new three satellite LNB's they will only convert one dish for free. I have four dishes! Two on the house, one on the workshop for the motorhome where it is parked when not in use and one for the motorhome when we travel. This will be a problem when the time comes to change.

I am still unclear on how easy it will be to aim the new LNB dishes and if they will even be able to "see" the third satellite from down south. I have to do some research.

In the meantime I found someone selling two receivers (one 630 and one 600) on Craigslist for $125 total. I quickly responded and was the first of four people wanting them. I drove down to Courtenay to pick them up from a couple who had just given up their winter home in Yuma, AZ. He also gave me his dish which is the same older style as mine, but the smaller version. I got home, called Shaw Direct and got them both running. At the same time they turned off my two remaining 500 series receivers that are soon to stop working.

Now to do some research on the new LNB's!


  1. Replies
    1. It's getting tougher all the time! :)

    2. We both remember the old days. You more so than me! Three of them French. And, you had to get up off your ass to change!

  2. Well, much of your jargon makes no sense to me. Like what is an LNB? I have Shaw here in Mexico and have had it for over ten years and pay for it monthly. Does this mean I am going to lose it soon? I have a huge dish on my roof. Thanks.

    1. The LNB is the thingy at the end of your dish that the wires connect to. Shaw has put up a new satellite (Anik G1) that they are moving programming onto, apparently the High Definition channels first. There is nothing you can do about this as the new satellite does not cover Mexico at all. You will slowly start losing channels over the next couple of years until you reach a point where it is no longer worth it to you to keep your subscription. As long as you keep getting the channels you regularly watch, you don't have to worry about it.

  3. Good luck with your research , we only have one dish and one receiver for the little bit of tv that we watch.

  4. Email comment from Al:

    Hi Croft:

    Like you, I'm a Shaw Direct customer who spends time in the US over the winter.

    First of all, you don't need to aim the dish for the new LNB, just put the LNB on the dish. The new sat is just a degree or two off from the other existing one and when you need to aim your dish for the RV, it's aimed at the same older sat as before. At home, just put the New LNB on the existing dish and connect and have Shaw reprogram the receiver (see below) and you are good to go.

    A couple of other caveats though, learned from my experiences.

    The new LNB requires reprogramming of your receivers, I found this when I put the LNB on my at home dish. I went on the road with the reprogrammed 630 receiver and a dish in the RV with the old LNB and it didn't work. Shaw was good enough to reprogram the receiver back to the old LNB settings when we were on the road in Thunder Bay. Bottom line is that you should reprogram all your receivers (the ones that are not obsoleted by the new LNB) at your leisure at home, or stay with the older receivers attached to the old LNB's until you are forced to upgrade.Don't mix and match LNB's!

    The third new sat doesn't work in the US (you get a message that says the receiver has lost signal just like what happens in a bad rainstorm). All the programming seems to be available on the older 2 sats but not in HD, all the HD seems to be migrating to the new sat. I think we will eventually lose US service when the other 2 sats die but that won't be for a while yet. As you know, Bell has completely converted to a "ranged" sat and service is nil in the US.

    1. Thanks Al. This answers my question of whether I should change the LNB's only at home and leave the motorhome on the old LNB. This is further complicated by the fact that Norma takes the receiver from the bedroom and puts it in the motorhome when we travel so she had access to all her recorded programs that she has not yet watched.

      It is good to hear that aiming the new LNB is no more difficult that aiming the old one which always uses the 111.1 bird as an aiming point.

      But then again, if it is only the HD programming that is migrating onto G1 I can probably get away with doing nothing as we seldom watch HD or can really tell the difference with my 72 year old eyes.

      Thanks for the input! I will copy it to the Blog (as I do with all your comments.