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ShadowMeph

join:2005-10-09
Abbotsford, BC

[BC] Do I need a digital cable box?

I know that this has probably been asked 1000000 times but I am getting a message across the top of my TV screen saying that I need one , I had thought that since my TV is only 1yr old that I wouldn't need a box but now I am confused


kevinds

join:2003-05-01
Calgary, AB
kudos:2

It depends what channels you want to get,
Basic cable, you don't need a box, anything more than basic, you need one now, or will very soon...

Because the channels are encypted, your TV can't decode the digital stations, without a box.
--
Yes, I am not employed and looking for IT work. Have passport, will travel.


ShadowMeph

join:2005-10-09
Abbotsford, BC

crap so we have two tvs so we need two digital boxes grr


kevinds

join:2003-05-01
Calgary, AB
kudos:2

Yes,

$3.95/month to rent a standard-def box, or $48 to buy
HD $138 to buy or $4/month financing

The Gateway system is onsale as of yesterday too, $498 for a two TV setup...
--
Yes, I am not employed and looking for IT work. Have passport, will travel.



Shaw_Alex
Official Shaw Rep

join:2010-12-16
kudos:1
reply to ShadowMeph

Keep an eye out for possible boxing day sales.

-Shaw_Alex


ilianame

join:2002-06-05
Burnaby, BC
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Shaw
reply to ShadowMeph

said by ShadowMeph:

I had thought that since my TV is only 1yr old that I wouldn't need a box but now I am confused

Shaw should pay attention, and let customers know that the delivery bots require digital boxes to work.

(That is if Shaw really doesn't want to give explaining the reality a try)

tlhIngan

join:2002-07-08
Richmond, BC
kudos:1
reply to ShadowMeph

Well, technically your TV can receive OTA ATSC (high-def, requires antenna. A good one will be able to pull in all the networks - both US and Canada if you're close enough to the border), as well as "Clear QAM" - that is cable (QAM) that isn't encrypted. Unfortunately, unlike the US where the FCC has enforced rules on what could be encrypted, Shaw encrypts everything except the music channels.

In addition, in the US, the FCC has mandated that all providers support CableCARD (for now - it's changing) so all users can provide their own digital boxes or PVRs (e.g., TiVo, MCE, etc) and the cable provider provides a CableCARD that decrypts the signal. Your TV may or may not have this slot as well (to have a completely set-top box less experience).

ALas, the CRTC has not decided to do the same, so whilst Shaw does use CableCARDs (it's the bit covered in tape, but the label that says "M-Card Only" is beside the slot), they don't support anything other than their own boxes.

So if you are happy with basic analog (NTSC) cable, you will not need a box from Shaw (you can get high-def using an antenna and OTA). If you want anything other than the basic cable tier, you MUST purchase a Shaw box. And from what I know, I don't think you can take the M-Card out of the Shaw box and use it in your TV, or a better box (because the Shaw ones are quite... archaic).


kevinds

join:2003-05-01
Calgary, AB
kudos:2

From what I have seen, the chanels that are on Free-Preview are unencrypted as well, so sometimes can get a HD channel in the clear too, other than just the analog stations

I don't have any CableCard equipment, otherwise I would try pulling the card out of my PVR, to see if they are setup to only work in Shaw's PVR...
--
Yes, I am not employed and looking for IT work. Have passport, will travel.


ShadowMeph

join:2005-10-09
Abbotsford, BC
reply to ShadowMeph

this is so stupid in my eyes I have always used classic channels now I am forced to have to buy a cable box just so I can watch the same Clasic channels I sure wished they just left it all alone as it is the I could and still can see the lines on most channels with my TV ( I couldn't on my old one lol) so why pay for digital when it if I don't want it.


kevinds

join:2003-05-01
Calgary, AB
kudos:2

You should have been given at least one rental free in the process of the DNU (digital network upgrade).

This is done, because they need the channels to launch more/new channels and for internet speed.
--
Yes, I am not employed and looking for IT work. Have passport, will travel.


ravenchilde

join:2011-04-01
kudos:2
reply to ShadowMeph

said by ShadowMeph:

I sure wished they just left it all alone as it is the I could and still can see the lines on most channels with my TV ( I couldn't on my old one lol) so why pay for digital when it if I don't want it.

Because an analog channel takes up a lot of frequency space. This frequency space is needed to keep increasing internet bandwidth. Most studies show that internet users use about 50% more bandwidth every year (or more). As digital channels take up less frequency space, the spectrum available can be used more efficiently. It's the same reason that OTA went digital.

It makes sense for Shaw's business, and there are benefits to customers as well (increasing channel space for internet, increasing the number of channels, etc). I think you've already discussed the cons.

Note: I'm not trying to show bias (this is not an argument for anything above, or against) but just an explanation of why.

ShadowMeph

join:2005-10-09
Abbotsford, BC

I didn't know that analog channel takes up a lot of frequency space Well that does make sense I just don't like it lol.


ravenchilde

join:2011-04-01
kudos:2

Bonus is you get a program guide I guess?


kevinds

join:2003-05-01
Calgary, AB
kudos:2
reply to ShadowMeph

10 standard definition channels fit in the space of one analog station
or 3 HD stations
or 38 mbps internet
--
Yes, I am not employed and looking for IT work. Have passport, will travel.