All posts by Shaw Direct

Shaw Direct is a leading Canadian provider of 100% digital satellite television. We offer our customers a huge selection of channels (currently over 500, and we’re always looking to add more), top-of-the line Motorola receivers offering crystal-clear HD, access to Instant Pay Per View movies and events, and our great new Video On Demand system with adaptive streaming!

Golden Globe Awards – What Did You Miss?


The Golden Globes were presented on Sunday, January 12 on NBC, and kicked off this year’s annual Awards season (with a February intermission for the Super Bowl and Olympics). Presented by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, the best movies, series, music, actors, and actresses were nominated in different categories, the winners being voted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Here are some of the highlights:

You can find the list of this year’s nominees and winners here.

Five memorable moments, according to CBC can be found here. Emma Thompson was hilarious indeed!

The Golden Globes’ best jokes, as listed by EW are here. Amy and Tina did a great job this year again!

What we were really interested about: THE DRESSES! Here are slideshows from Entertainment Weekly and the Huffington Post, a list from Buzzfeed, and many more all over the internet. Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle, The Hunger Games) is quickly becoming a meme with her Dior outfit, which is said to resemble Ariel’s dress in The Little Mermaid.

Many of these movies hit theaters in the last month or will be premiering in the weeks to come. They will eventually make their way to Pay Per View for those who prefer to enjoy movies at home. While you wait for them, why not take a look at the selection of series we offer through Shaw Direct On Demand? The Ray Donovan, Masters of Sex, Behind the Candelabra, Michael J. Fox Show, The Good Wife and other House of Lies are available and most free with your subscription to Shaw Direct (additional subscription to a movie premium might be required, depending on the show). If you wish to get more information about a subscription, don’t hesitate to chat with a member of our eCare team via our Chat feature, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. MT, Monday to Friday, or to contact our Social Media team on Facebook and Twitter.

*Marie-Eve T.

Bundling with Shaw

Interested in bundling your Shaw Direct satellite service with Shaw Internet and Shaw Home Phone? If you’re in a Shaw-serviceable region, you may be eligible to receive up to $15.00 off your services per month!

With Internet speeds up to 250 Mbps, access to thousands of complimentary Shaw Go WiFi sites,   free Shaw-to-Shaw calling, and the ability to check your home phone messages from any computer or mobile device, you simply can’t go wrong. Pair all of this with the most HD channels in Canada and 10,000 (and counting!) Shaw Direct On Demand titles, and you have a winning combination!

Not sure if you’re in a Shaw area? Check out Shaw’s website, and select your location up at the top of the page to see if Shaw Home Phone or Internet are available where you live.

If you’d like more details on this great bundle discount, call our One Shaw Care team at 1-855-237-8904!  They’re available from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If you don’t live in a Shaw area, you still may qualify for a discount on Internet with Xplornet. Find out more about this offer here.


The Shaw Fire Log

It’s that time of year again. A time for hot chocolate, woolly toques, building snowmen, and of course, the Shaw Fire Log.

You can enjoy it on channel 299 (in between regular programming), in HD on channel 955 (you’ll need a 600-series receiver), or on Shaw Direct On Demand. Can’t wait until you’re at home to bask in the warm glow of the fire log? Fear not: Today we introduce the Shaw Fire Log online, available exclusively on our Facebook page! Whether you’re on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone, you can see all of the ember-y goodness.

Did you know that the original televised fire log was on New York’s WPIX in 1966? It was inspired by an animated Coca Cola commercial that showed Santa in front of a fireplace. WPIX CEO Fred Thrower wanted the channel to be available to New Yorkers who lived in apartments or homes without fireplaces.

And, who can forget the hard-hitting feature The Daily Show did on the Shaw Fire Log?

Whether you’re curled up at home, or trying to stay warm on your morning commute, don’t miss out on the Shaw Fire Log.



Did you know that you can refer your friends or family members to Shaw Direct and receive a free month of service in return? With our Refer-a-Friend program, it’s simple!

If the person you refer opens an account with us and keeps it open for at least 60 days, we’ll cover your bill for one month. Do you have a bunch of people you’d like to refer to us? Go right ahead! For as many people you refer to us that sign up and stay for 60 days, we’ll give you the same number of free months. Pretty cool, right?

So, how does our Refer-a-Friend program work? All you have to do is fill out a form on our website. Once we have the information, we’ll take care of contacting your referral and getting them ready to go!

The day their equipment is installed and their service is turned on is the day the countdown to your free month begins. We automatically go through all of the referrals we receive, and assign the credit for your account once the 60-day period is up.

There are a few things to bear in mind with the Refer-a-Friend program:

–          Referrals can only be brand new customers, or former customers who have not had service for at least six months.

–          The programming credit is non-transferrable, so it can only be applied to your account. It also has no cash value.

–          The programming credit covers your base programming package (so, if you have Digital Favourites with a Take 2 added on, we’ll cover the cost of Digital Favourites only), and excludes applicable taxes.

–          In order to receive the credit, your account (the referrer) will need to be current with payments.

Have any questions about our Refer-a-Friend program, or anything else? Let us know in the comments!


Halloween: World Traditions

936002_646599535370817_1229389718_nBlack cats, pumpkins, spiders… These Halloween icons are all pretty well known to Canadians, but when you look a bit further into Halloween history, you quickly realize that these are not necessarily common to other countries. Are you as curious as we are? Here’s what we found:

In China
The Chinese typically put food and water in front of pictures of loved ones on Halloween day to accommodate and feed their spiritual hunger.

In Germany
Germans put knives away to avoid hurting the spirits that are returning on that day

In Russia
Many Russians believe blue cats bring luck in Russia: one would see a Russian Blue, British Blue, or Burmese on that day and be lucky all year round!

In Spain
The Spanish get a special pastry called Bones of the Holy on Halloween day, which is shared with close ones.

In Nigeria
The Odo Festival is celebrated on that day to welcome the spirits who are returning to earth. Nigerians believe that they remain on earth for over six months. Their departure is quite emotional for Nigerians, as the spirits don’t return for two years.

In Estonia
It is believed that people who enter churches on Halloween day will find the benches filled with ghosts kneeling before a ghost priest at the altar.

In Hong Kong
Pictures of fruit or money are burnt during Halloween. It is believed that by doing so, one reaches the spirit world and comforts ghosts.

In Austria
Austrians leave bread, water and a lit lamp on the kitchen table on Halloween night to welcome the spirits of the dead on earth.

In Czechoslovakia
Chairs are placed beside the fireplace for the day – one for each living member of the family, and one for each spirit member of the family.

In France
Halloween is actually not celebrated in France – people believe the day is too Americanized to be celebrated.

In Sweden
The Friday before the Day of the Saints, Swedish universities open only for half of the day and schools are closed.

On behalf of the Shaw Direct team, whether yours will be traditional Canadian or a little bit of everything, have a very happy Halloween!

*Marie Michelle P.

International Animation Day

In honour of International Animation Day, here are 10 facts about the history of animation:

1. An early predecessor of the projector existed around 1650. This was called the “magic lantern,” and consisted of a translucent oil painting, a very simple lens, and a candle or oil lamp. The images would be projected in a darkened room, and often were used to convince viewers that they were witnessing something supernatural.

2. The flip book was patented as the “kineograph” in 1868 by John Barnes Linnett.

3. Thomas Edison announced the creation of a device he called the kinetoscope in 1889. This projected a 50 foot length of film in about 13 seconds.

4. Charles-Émile Reynaud is considered the pioneer of projected animated films. After inventing the praxinoscope, his animation Un bon bock was the first he showed publicly in 1892. It was shown alongside Le Clown et ses chiens and Pauvre Pierrot. In 1910, Reynaud threw most of his films into the Seine in Paris. Pauvre Pierrot is one of two that survived.

5. The first entirely animated film recorded on standard picture film was created in 1906. This was called Humourous Phases of Funny Faces, and was created by James Stuart Blackton. This featured scenes drawn on a chalkboard. Blackston is considered the father of North American animation.

6. In 1908, Émile Cohl created the first animated film using what became recognised as traditional animation – hand-drawing the images on paper. The film, called Fantasmagorie was made up of 700 separate drawings (cells), and is about 80 seconds in length.

7. Not one to stop trying new techniques, Cohl created another animation called En Route in 1910, which was the first paper cutout animation. This allowed the animator to save time by simply repositioning the paper drawings rather than having to redraw each new cell.

8. Walt Disney owned a studio in Kansas City called Laugh-O-Grams prior to opening Disney Studios. It went bankrupt in 1923, which is when Disney moved to Los Angeles and opened his new studio.

9. Disney originally wanted to call his famous mouse Mortimer. His wife disliked the name and suggested Mickey instead.

10. The first time computer animation was used for an entire film was with Toy Story in 1995. The last film of the franchise, Toy Story 3, was the first animated film to earn more than $1-billion worldwide.


Sun Transit – Fall 2013

You may have heard the phrase “Sun transit” before regarding a twice-yearly natural phenomenon that may cause temporary signal loss. But, what exactly is Sun transit?

Sun transit is also known as a “sun outage,” or “sun fade.” During the Spring and Autumn each year, the Sun lines up with all satellites in orbit, which can cause interference with services down here. This happens due to a massive amount of thermally generated radio frequency noise from the Sun. The interference can range from a bit of snow on your screen to a complete loss of services. Some people might not even notice any issue.

Sun transit impacts every satellite in orbit, so all satellite service providers and even cable providers may experience issues while this is happening. Because we currently have two satellites, the estimated interference times are different for each satellite, so you might lose signal on an English standard definition channel at a different time than on a high definition or French channel.

Here are the estimated times for possible Sun transit interference on both satellites across the country (all times are approximate and local):

Anik F1-R (English standard definition channels)

Location Start End Duration
Vancouver, BC 11:42 AM 11:56 AM Oct 7 – 14
Whitehorse, YK 11:40 AM 11:54 AM Oct 9 – 15
Calgary, AB 12:46 PM 1:00 PM Oct 8 – 15
Saskatoon, SK 12:49 PM 1:03 PM Oct 8 – 15
Yellowknife, NT 12:46 PM 1:00 PM Oct 10 – 17
Winnipeg, MB 1:53 PM 2:07 PM Oct 7 – 15
Resolute Bay, NU 1:50 PM 2:04 PM Oct 11 – 18
Toronto, ON 3:02 PM 3:16 PM Oct 5 – 13
Montreal, PQ 3:04 PM 3:18 PM Oct 6 – 13
Fredericton, NB 4:06 PM 4:20 PM Oct 6 – 13
Halifax, NS 4:08 PM 4:21 PM Oct 5 – 13
Charlottetown, PEI 4:07 PM 4:21 PM Oct 6 – 13
St. John’s, NL 4:39 PM 4:53 PM Oct 6 – 13

Anik F2 (All HD, French standard definition channels, Galaxie, radio stations, and Pay Per View)

Location Start End Duration
Vancouver, BC 11:59 AM 12:13 PM Oct 7 – 15
Whitehorse, YK 11:56 AM 12:10 PM Oct 9 – 17
Calgary, AB 1:03 PM 1:17 PM Oct 8 – 15
Saskatoon, SK 1:07 PM 1:17 PM Oct 8 – 15
Yellowknife, NT 1:03 PM 1:16 PM Oct 10 – 17
Winnipeg, MB 2:10 PM 2:24 PM Oct 7 – 15
Resolute Bay, NU 2:06 PM 2:20 PM Oct 11 – 18
Toronto, ON 3:19 PM 3:33 PM Oct 5 – 13
Montreal, PQ 3:20 PM 3:34 PM Oct 6 – 13
Fredericton, NB 4:23 PM 4:37 PM Oct 6 – 13
Halifax, NS 4:24 PM 4:38 PM Oct 5 – 13
Charlottetown, PEI 4:24 PM 4:37 PM Oct 6 – 13
St. John’s, NL 4:55 PM 5:09 PM Oct 6 – 13

At this point, information for Anik G1 is not yet available as this is the first Sun transit the satellite has experienced. If you are missing any of the newest channels that we’ve added during the month of October, and the outage lasts for only a few minutes, chances are that it was Sun transit. If the outage lasts more than 20 minutes, there could be an issue with your system, and we recommend contacting us.

If you want estimated times more specific to where you live, Telesat offers a sun transit calculator on their website. Just make sure you’ve selected Anik F1R and Anik F2 for your satellites, “Ku” for your frequency band, and 1 metre for the antenna diameter so you get the most accurate results. It’s not exact as our satellite dishes are smaller than a metre in diameter, but it will give you a pretty good idea of when to expect interference.

So, what are some things that could help you during Sun transit?

  • If you are experiencing any loss of signal, wait until the estimated time for interference is over before trying any resets or calling in for troubleshooting.
  • Wait until after the estimated interference time for your area is over prior to activating any new receivers, or adjusting your dish.
  • If you are a fan of Pay Per View movies, it might be a good idea to order something that isn’t during the estimated interference time so that you don’t miss part of your show.

If your service interruption continues after the estimated time (give or take about 10 minutes), please contact us for assistance. On that note, if you have any questions regarding Sun transit, or anything else, feel free to leave us a comment!