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Shaw Launches Own Video Service
IP Streaming Will Count Against Your Shaw Cap
by Karl Bode 10:19AM Monday Jul 18 2011
Responding to the significant Canadian consumer backlash to metered billing, Canadian cable operator Shaw recently introduced new pricing. While it was refreshing to see some of Shaw's restrictive caps increased substantially, some of the changes were more superficial in nature, with heavy usage penalties remaining affixed to the company's most popular and slower tiers. With caps and meters still largely in place, users in our Shaw broadband forum note that the company is launching a new streaming video service they hope will someday compete with Netflix. The "Shaw Movie Club" costs $12 a month for a selection of around 250 titles, plus an additional $5 if you want your titles in HD.

This looks like a "TV Everywhere" (as it's known in the States) Internet video walled-garden extension of the company's existing VOD systems. Such systems here in the States do count against your caps when delivered over IP, deflecting claims or network neutrality. Shaw however appears to not have been clear on this front in early reports, leading to concerns that Shaw was trampling net neutrality. According to Shaw comments in our forums the service won't count against user caps when delivered via traditional QAM architecture, but will count against your cap when delivered over IP:
We wanted to chime in here quickly as there seems to be some level of misunderstanding here.

We are absolutely committed to Net Neutrality. The new Movie Club service is delivered in two ways. The first way is using our QAM infrastructure to narrow cast the shows to your set-top box. This does not go over the internet infrastructure, so will not count against your usage.

The second way is an online streaming method from vod.shaw.ca. This does use our internet infrastructure and will count towards your usage.
Recently passed Canadian network neutrality rules will not allow an ISP to "unjustly discriminate or give an undue or unreasonable preference toward any person, including itself, or subject any person to an undue or unreasonable disadvantage."

topics flat nest 



This is absolutely retarded.

Santa Monica, CA
·Time Warner Cable

1 recommendation

Re: Pathetic

said by DataRiker:

This is absolutely retarded.

This is what you get with Net Neutrality.


Hazelwood, MO

Re: Pathetic

LOL, you say that as if Net Neutrality is a bad thing.

So you think it would be better that Shaw be allowed to deliver the same service as NetFlix but penalize those user that find NetFlix to be cheaper and better than their own service?

So you think when Shaw does this and they don't get the subscribers they are seeking because users prefer NetFlix that they won't do something to "compete" and try to attract them like lower the price or increase their content?

Net Neutrality, in this case, helps to creates the level playing field that the cable and telco companies are constantly whining about wanting.


3 edits
Caps are the ISP's ultimate work around for Net Neutrality.

Net Neutral has no power without the capacity for video and voice competition.

But ISP's are deathly afraid of real competition which would immediately turn them into dumb pipes.

Great for the Monopoly / Duopoly companies, bad for any competitors, and even worse for the consumer.

Snohomish, WA
How so, it's NN©®, exactly what you,ve been asking for.

obivously they aren't protecting their CATV business as their pathetic VOD will cost about the same as Netflix both for the subscription price and data transport.

Brooklyn, NY

sham hearings?

So, how are those Usage Based Billing hearings going up there in Canada? Typical corrupt dog & pony show, or will there be wholesale firings and change coming to the Canadian telecom industry?



So far, overpriced...

I guess I don't understand what the problem is. It's an opt in service.
It's still cheaper then renting movies at the store, and Shaw's caps are still the highest in my part of the land.

I won't be getting this, but I can understand why all traffic over my modem would go to my cap. Shouldn't it?
My cap is 500gig, and with cable service I pay less than $100, no complaints here.

If I were to look at a movie service like this I think Netflix is the better deal still at $8 for streaming a month.
+RiVAL+ was here... tell your friends!!


I'm confused - what am I supposed to be mad at here

It seems that Shaw is doing the right thing here? The evil thing would be to give their service an exception to the caps, while subjecting their competitors to one.

So all is good?



Re: I'm confused - what am I supposed to be mad at here

I agree.


Re: I'm confused - what am I supposed to be mad at here

Me as well. And what does this mean:

"superficial in nature, with heavy usage penalties remaining"

New tiers seem transparent enough, and what penalties? There are no overage charges anymore. Extremely biased reporting.

said by nfotiu:

So all is good?

When you use low Caps, net neutral means nothing really.


freedom land

1 edit


Just wondering. To use this service, would you still have to subscribe to Shaw cable TV?
If thats the case, Why bother. It's a pain in the ass when a company makes you bundle things to get something that should be a standalone product.

Edit: Bundled B.S.

Of course, the more important question not being asked, according to Prof. Geist, is “why can’t a Canadian firm truly compete with Netflix?”
Prisoners are treated better than supposedly free North Americans.

Chesterfield, MO

Delivered QAM vs. IP infrastructure...

Aren't IP packets delivered by the QAM infrastructure?

This reminds me of a Homer Simpson quote:

(Lisa) “I’m going to become a vegetarian”

(Homer) “Does that mean you’re not going to eat any pork?”



“Yes Dad”


“Dad all those meats come from the same animal”

“Right Lisa, some wonderful, magical animal!”


Minneapolis, MN

Re: Delivered QAM vs. IP infrastructure...

My thoughts exactly, unless they're hosting this service outside of their network, but that would seem rather pointless.

Chesterfield, MO

Re: Delivered QAM vs. IP infrastructure...

Good point. I didn't think about that angle but if it counts against your in-network IP cap even though you are viewing it off-network, what kind of metering is that?

By "off network", a Shaw's customer travels and uses the hotel's WiFi to access the Shaw's Video Service in their room. Why would that traffic count against their residential IP traffic cap?

I understand that Shaws may want to meter off-network movie viewing to control their outbound bandwidth but that's a helluva slap in the face. It shouldn't impact the customer's residential IP traffic cap since one UBB justification is to provide cause and effect for bandwidth hogs in the hope that it will curb their appetite enough to keep the system responsive for everyone. Either that or to generate the additional revenue necessary to upgrade the network to satisfy everyone's demand. This type of usage doesn't affect the last mile plant. In government, local revenue doesn't generally fund state roads.


said by rradina:

Aren't IP packets delivered by the QAM infrastructure?

Only if you want to get picky. It's plain to see that they mean the VoD service is delivered using the TV infrastructure, not the cable modem system. Thus their VoD service doesn't place any load on the cable modem network, so there is no worry about the cap. You don't need their internet service to use their (TV-based) VoD service.

The exception is the PC based service, which as they have said, will eat the cap as it is IP based and uses the cable modem network. I don't see what the issue is - it's subject to the cap just like any other IP VoD service. No net neutrality issue.

It's a bit like saying "I want to use electricity, but gas is cheaper. Why can't electricity be the same price as gas as they can be used for the same thing? (cooking, heating)" - they are two different beasts despite producing the same end result.

Chesterfield, MO

Re: Delivered QAM vs. IP infrastructure...

I thought VOD was delivered using IP RTSP. Doesn't this use the CMTS?

Regardless, if you are home and using the STB to view the VOD content and it doesn't count against your cap, fine. However, if you are away from home and watching TV using someone else's connection, why would that count against your cap?

I think the NN issues are there but masked by perhaps minor technical differences. What's the difference between paying a flat fee for all the Shaws Video Service bandwidth you can eat and paying a flat fee for all the Internet bandwidth you can eat? True, Shaws Video Service is local in their NOC and therefore doesn't use the Internet backbone but I thought UBB was necessary to curb last-mile demands thereby maintaining quality for all without costly network upgrades? Has the bottleneck moved from last mile to backbone?

Regarding the comparison to Electricity and gas, neither are unlimited so I'm not sure what that comparison means.