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!

16 comments:

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

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

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  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.

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    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.

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

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  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.

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    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.

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  5. I am wondering if there is any current information about the new satelite and HD channels. For instance, if my home in BC has a satelite dish and new lnb for the G1 satelite, will I be able to take that dish and rec'vr to Mexico and it will work?

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    1. As far as I know nothing has changed from my previous comments above. The new dish will still be able to "see" the two old satellites but NOT the new one with the HD channels on it. The bottom line is, we are going to lose access to HD when down south.

      BTW, I normally do not respond to "Unknown" or "Autonomous" commenters. Please add a name to your comment, it is only polite and I like to know who I am talking to.

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  6. Hi Croft, we just changed 2 dish heads to the new LNBs. I have 3, 600 series receivers. I also have a dish in the motor home that we have NOT changed the LNB head to the new one. I take one of the receivers from home and bring with me when we travel to USA. So if I understand correctly, when I take one receiver from home, which has already been connected to a new LNB, and connect it to my old LNB dish in the motor home, all I have to do is call for a receiver refresh and it will work fine while in the USA, as it did for all our previous road trips down south? Thanks for all you info and for letting me know!

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    1. See below, all you can do is try. The last CSR I talked to was very unhelpful, telling me I HAD to change to the new LNB and also had to open a new account for the RV. I am doing neither of the above.

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  7. I have 600 series receivers. When we travel to USA we take one from home and connect to tv in RV. Heads on dishes have been changed to new LNBs, except for dish in RV which still has old style LNB. So if I understand correctly, when I take my receiver from home, which was connected to new LNB, and connect to old dish with old LNB, all I have to do I phone Shaw for receiver refresh and it will function fine as it did on our previous travels to USA? Thank you for all the info and for letting me know.

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    1. The short answer is, I don't know. I am not sure is they change the software when they upgrade to the new LNB. The easy way is to try it before you go. Set it up the same way you will when you travel and see if it works. I would be very interested to know what happens. You may have to change dishes on the RV.

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  8. We full-time, from outside of Ottawa. I currently have DirecTv and it's works because we summer within 100 miles of the border and the US address that we have on file with DirecTv. But now AT&T is migrating accounts over from DirecTv (the two companies merged) and my account has gotten messed up and after 3 weeks with no service (the offshore help desk people, after 2hrs, say they fixed it but it still doesn't work) I think it may be time to switch to Shaw (wife would like to get her shows and curling when south in the winter). If I call to get a Shaw account and have someone bring me a dish to mount on my portable tripod while I'm here in Ottawa... what am I asking for?

    When we travel in the USA, the local channels are only broadcast in HD with DirecTv, so if you don't get HD, you don't see network TV (ABC,NBC,CBS,or PBS). So with DirecTv, you need to have them change your address to where ever you are to receive any main network shows. And if you change locations frequently, that could be a problem since you can't do this on line, you must call it in and basically tell them you moved. (then they want to send a tech and have to explain it's okay, we're in a RV, I know how to set it up, I just need my account modified and my receiver reset by them).

    Now with Shaw, if you don't get HD down south, do you still get the Canadian networks? I can live without HD (well not when watching golf), but can you at least get all the Canadian networks in SD? And my first question again - what do I ask for in the way of equipment?

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  9. You need a receiver for each TV and each dish has enough outputs foe two recording PVR's or four standard non recording receivers. You will get all the SD channels and perhaps all the HD channels within 100 miles of the border as I am sure the new satellite signal will bleed that far from it's footprint.

    When you order from Shaw they will want to come to your Canadian address and set up the equipment, one dish and one or two receivers. Now I don't know what Shaw will say if you tell them you live in an RV so I would probably not mention that part and my experience with installers is that they do not care. Just let the installer think you live in the Canadian spot permanently but want the dish set on a tripod for now and you will eventually set a pipe set in the ground or that the park will not allow a pipe set in the ground. I don't really know, yours is a tricky situation. I would really be curious to hear how it all turns out.

    You might be able to have a dish set up in each location, that would be the easiest for you and you would not have to aim the dish each time you move (not that it is that difficult). Used dishes can usually be found on Craigslist or Kajjii'

    Comments to this post are sent to moderation and are delayed. You can email me directly at croftsmexico(at)gmail.com Good luck and like I say, let me know.

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