Dear Minister Glover,
I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.
Writing with regards to a troubling development related to Shaw Direct’s Local Television Satellite Solution (LTSS) program.
My dad mentioned to me recently that he could no longer watch Télé de Radio-Canada (aka SRC) via his no-fee LTSS subscription. I checked it out and sure enough, when you try to watch the station it rejects your request.
I tried re-flashing the signal and unplugging the receiver but no dice. Nothing would get back SRC Ottawa/Gatineau. I finally decided to call Shaw tonight (waiting until after Saturday night’s HNIC Leafs game via CBC via Rogers which still works just in case tech support’s efforts to restore SRC impacted CBC reception).
At first, I was told that SRC was not included under the LTSS program. I corrected the customer service rep and advised that the station had been part of my dad’s basic channels provided by the LTSS since it was first hooked up. I also mentioned that my understanding is that ANY BDU service in Canada, even the LTSS, must carry at least one CBC TV station and one Radio-Canada TV station.
After trying to remotely re-flash the receiver again and having me get on my hands and knees (no pun intended) to unplug it again, the rep put me on hold. The rep returned with the answer. Apparently (you always have to take anything a Shaw Direct rep tells a LTSSer with a grain of salt), the compression of some of the SRC stations on the ANIK F2 satellite has changed and a new receiver is required in order to receive Ottawa/Gatineau and Vancouver SRC. SRC Montreal and SRC Moncton are currently unaffected, I was told.
I asked why this had happened and the rep said that Shaw doesn’t own the satellite and that the owners made the change.
The receiver that is required to receive SRC Ottawa/Gatineau (704) and SRC Vancouver (702) is the Motorola DSR 600, I was told. As noted in the LTSS application, subscribers are given one receiver with the installation and after that subscribers have to pay for any replacement receivers. The rep said the new receiver normally costs $200 but is on sale by Shaw for $99. I believe you can also rent them from Shaw. While the DSR 600 is an HD receiver, the rep confirmed that the LTSS service will remain SD.
When I mentioned to the rep that the change was disappointing, the rep noted that my dad did have a rather old receiver. I agreed with the rep entirely and noted that the refurbished Star Choice receiver was sent by Shaw as part of the initial LTSS hook-up.
Is this the beginning of the end of Shaw’s LTSS? Who/what will replace the LTSS?