Tag Archives: technology

Ordering Shaw Direct Pay Per View

ppv_entertainmentPerhaps you’re a fan of sporting events like UFC. Maybe you can’t get enough of the latest Hollywood hits. Or, perhaps 3D movies are your thing. Whatever your preference, Shaw Direct’s 32 HD Pay Per View channels have got you covered! Pay Per View is available to all Shaw Direct customers, so even if you don’t have a high speed Internet connection capable of supporting Shaw Direct On Demand, you can still enjoy the latest movies.

Our Pay Per View channels run from 950 to 953 for standard definition, or 960 to 983 for high definition, plus 986 is devoted to nothing but 3D movies. If you can’t view all of the listed Pay Per View channels in your guide, you may need an upgrade to part of your system; if you would like more information on upgrading, check out our previous article on the topic.

If you’ve never ordered Pay Per View before on your Advanced 600-Series receiver, it’s easy. First, open up your interactive programming guide by pressing GUIDE on your remote, and then navigate to the Pay Per View channels you’d like to browse (depending on whether you’d like to view standard definition, high definition, or 3D).

You can scroll through the Pay Per View channels by using the up or down arrow keys on your remote, and you can view what’s on later by pressing the right arrow (jumps ahead by 30 minutes), the fast forward button (jumps ahead six hours), or the skip forward button (jumps ahead one full day).


When you’ve found what you’d like to order, highlight the listing and look at the description of the title in the top right-hand corner of your guide. Just underneath of the title of the program, you’ll see “Order ID” followed by a four-digit number. Note this, and then call 1.866.782.7778. Follow the prompts provided by the phone system, and when asked, enter the four-digit order ID.

Once this has been completed, you’ll just need to go to the channel that the order was made for at the time the program is scheduled to start, and you’re ready to go!

For those of you who use PVRs, you can record Pay Per View titles that you’ve ordered, and you will have 48 hours to watch the title from your PVR list. After the 48-hour period has passed, the title will expire.

Wondering what’s on this month? You can view a list of the newest releases here.


Shaw On Demand Search App

Ever wanted to figure out what you should watch when you get home before you get there? With the Shaw On Demand Search app, you can do just that. Whether you’re waiting for the bus or on the train, you can browse our entire Shaw Direct On Demand library from the comfort of your mobile device, and even order your pick so it’s ready to go as soon as you get home.

The app is currently available for Apple iOS devices and Android, so you can get it for your iPhone 3GS and up, your iPad 2 or the new iPad, on any iPod Touch device, and any Android device with version 2.2 and up. You can download it for free from Apple here, and from Google app store for Android here.

sod01When you launch the app, you’ll be taken to a login page with three different options; the first two (“Email” and “Customer Centre”) are for Shaw customers, while the third (“Shaw Direct”) is the one you’ll want to tap on. To login, you need to ensure that you’ve already registered for an online ShawDirect.ca account. You’ll also need to know the password that you used for the online account, as well as your account number.

sod02Once you’ve entered this information and the login has been completed, you’ll automatically be taken to the main “Movies” page, which allows you to browse the listings in several different ways, including by genre, by newest release, and by the most popular titles. Pricing for these titles ranges from free up to $6.99 (taxes extra).

One of the browsing options that we liked was “All Movies,” which takes you to a master list of all available movie titles. The cool thing about this is that you can alter the results by tapping on “Sort” in the top-right corner. Here, you can choose to sort alphabetically by title, by the year of release, by the star rating,  by popularity, and by the date the title was added to our library, which is great if you’re not entirely sure what you’d like to watch yet. You can also choose to only have the app display movies that are available in HD.

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The icons along the bottom of the screen will take you to the other areas of Shaw Direct On Demand listings, including “Movies,” “TV,” “Subscription,”, “Search,” and “More.”

Tapping on “TV” will show you all of the On Demand titles offered by a variety of broadcasters; the titles will be broken up by the different channels, and the content listed here will be available at no charge as long as you have a subscription to the channel.

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sod04Speaking of subscription, the “Subscription” section will list premium channels such as Movie Central or The Movie Network. If you have a subscription to one of the premium channels, you’ll receive On Demand content from that channel at no cost.

“Search” allows you to look for listings by their title, by the name of one of the listed actors, or by the director’s name.



sod11“More” provides you with the option to view titles that you’d like to watch in future (“Wishlist”), your current orders, settings (including changing your preferred language), general help, and allows you to search for content based on a specific language (“Multicultural”). You can also sign out of your account through here.

To order a title, tap on the listing, which will take you to a description of it. At the bottom of the description, there is a blue icon that says “Order Now”; tap this to choose your format (SD or HD), and then tap “Complete Order.” When the order is successful, you’ll be taken to a screen with instructions on how to watch the title once you’re settled in front of your receiver.

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If you’d rather just add the title to your wishlist, you can do that too. Just to the left of the “Order Now” icon is a small heart icon. Simply tap on this, and the title will appear in your wishlist to be ordered at a later date.

One thing to bear in mind with this app is that you are only able to search titles and remotely order them; it does not stream video.

Any questions about the Shaw On Demand Search app? Don’t hesitate to ask us in the comments below.


Descriptive Video Services

dvsMany of you will have seen the icon to the right before, but what does it mean?

This icon denotes a program that offers Descriptive Video Service, also known as DVS. Descriptive video means that certain programs feature an extra audio track where a narrator explains what actions are happening on the screen. This is an extremely important feature as it ensures accessibility for persons with visual impairments.

So, how do you enable or disable this audio track on your Advanced 600-Series receiver?

There are two different ways that DVS can be enabled or disabled:

Click to enlarge.

The first way that this can be done is by pressing OPTIONS on the bottom right-hand corner of your remote, and then pressing 4 for “System Settings,” and then 1 for “user Settings.” Use the arrow keys to navigate the options to the left. Highlight “On” under “Descriptive Video,” and then press ENTER. Using the arrow keys, navigate back over to “Save” and press ENTER. To disable DVS, simply follow the above instructions, but highlight “Off” under “Descriptive Video.”

Click to enlarge.

The other option for enabling DVS is a great shortcut that takes a couple of seconds to complete. Start by pressing the HELP button on the bottom left-hand corner of the remote, and then press the D button, which is the bottom of the four round buttons between the volume control and channel up/channel down buttons. Once this is complete, you’ll hear DVS on any show that offers it. To disable DVS using this method, just follow the same steps by pressing HELP, D.

One thing to bear in mind is that if DVS is enabled during a program that does not offer a descriptive video track, you may experience a complete audio drop out and hear nothing at all. If this is the case, try disabling DVS temporarily, or try a channel that is currently airing DVS programming.

If you have any questions about DVS, or anything else, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below!


Smart Recording

If you have an Advanced HDPVR 630, you may have heard of “smart recording.” But what exactly is it?

By using smart recording, your PVR will automatically look for the earliest airing of a program that matches your event criteria. So, if you’ve said that you only want to record new HD episodes of Elementary, your PVR will go through the listings and find the first scheduled showing of a new episode, in HD only.

You can also set priority levels for each show that you set reoccurring recordings for, so when your PVR is scheduling its recordings, it will start with the highest priority shows first, and work its way down. This customisation ensures that exactly what you expect to see recorded will be waiting for you in your PVR list.

In the event of a recording conflict, your PVR will adjust to find a different time to record a show that is set to smart record in order to resolve the conflict. It’s like a referee for your TV. Creating smart recording events allows your PVR to have the maximum flexibility so it can work to record as much content as possible.

Recording conflicts will occur when there are more recordings scheduled than tuners available.  The Advanced HDPVR 630 can record up to two programs at the same time as it has two available tuners.

If there were three recordings scheduled manually through the guide at the same time, there will be a recording conflict and only two shows will wind up being recorded.

By using smart recordings, the PVR will find an alternate time for the show with the lowest priority. How can you tell what has the lowest priority without customising this? As a rule, the PVR will choose the shows on the two lowest channel numbers. So, if you had manually scheduled recordings for shows on channels 12, 36, and 43, if you did not adjust the priority settings, the shows on channels 12 and 36 would be recorded.

Here is how you can schedule a smart recording for a reoccurring series on your Advanced HDPVR 630:

1. Press the GUIDE button on your remote and find the program you would like to record.

2. Highlight the program in question, and press ENTER/OK. This will bring up the “Program Options” menu.

3. Press the DOWN arrow button and highlight either “Smart record new episodes” or “Smart record all episodes” and then press ENTER/OK. The recording will now schedule. If you are recording a show that is no longer being made, you would be best to record all episodes, whereas if you are recording a show that is still in production and have seen past episodes, it may be best to record new episodes.



Next, you can edit the settings for your scheduled recordings:

1. Press EXIT to close the guide, and then press MENU. This will bring up a menu bar along the bottom of your screen.

2. Press the RIGHT arrow button and highlight “PVR.” Press ENTER/OK.


3. Press the RIGHT arrow button and highlight “Options,” then press ENTER/OK. This will take you into a list containing all of the programs that you have scheduled to record.


recordings4. Find the one you would like to edit, highlight it by pressing either the UP or DOWN arrow button, and press ENTER/OK. This will bring up the “Edit Recording Event” menu.

5. From this menu, you can change the priority, delete the recording event, change the recording recurrence, select a channel you would like to record the program on, and more. Changing the priority will mark how important the show is to you in terms of scheduling (as discussed earlier). Recurrence changes between recording all episodes or new ones.


If you have any questions about smart recordings, don’t hesitate to ask us!


Anik G1 Upgrades

Shaw Direct’s third satellite – Anik G1 – went live on May 29, 2013. This has enabled us to add tons of new and exciting channels in both standard and high definition! We’re also very proud to say that we now carry the most HD channels in Canada: over 210.

So, what exactly do you need to access the great new Anik G1 channels? You’ll need an xKu LNBF installed on your dish, and a 6XX-series receiver (the Essential HDDSR 600, Advanced HDDSR 605, or Advanced HDPVR 630).

In order to help you figure out if you’re G1-ready, we’ve added a special channel so you can find out exactly what you need. To get started, turn to channel 988; once you’re here, press INFO and you’ll see one of four messages:

988 - Quad + 00.FE - Info

This means that you’re using one of our older receivers, and have an older style LNBF. If this is the case, you can contact us to arrange an LNBF upgrade and to look into getting a new receiver (or more) so you’ll be able to enjoy our new channels.

988 - Quad + 6XX - Info

If you see this message, then you’ve got the right receivers, but will need a new LNBF. Contact us to arrange an upgrade for your LNBF.


This message means that you’ve got the correct LNBF, but will need a different receiver to access the new channels. Contact us to find out about getting a new receiver.

988 - xKu + 6XX - Info

If this is the message you’re getting, then you’re already set to start watching the new channels right now!

If you have more than one receiver in your home, we recommend checking channel 988 on all of them to see what the status is for each one.

In the event that you do need an upgrade to your LNBF, we can either have an installer go out to put it in for you, or if you’re in an area that doesn’t have a local installer, we can have a new LNBF shipped out to you.


Beam Barrage

largeRemember Space Invaders? We loved that game so much that we decided to give you an updated version of it called Beam Barrage. We’re beaming down over 210 HD channels – the most in Canada – and we need your help!

See how much content you can beam, and you’ll even be entered for neat daily and weekly prizes. Check it out here! (Please note that this is a Flash game, so it won’t work on mobile devices. But hey, it’s pretty fun to smash the space key to shoot the beam!)

The Anik Satellite Series

As you’ve likely heard, Anik G1 successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on April 16, 2013. G1 is the newest member of the Anik family, which has a proud spot in Canadian satellite history. Here’s a brief rundown of the rest of the Anik series:


The name “Anik” means “little brother” in Inuktitut. The name was submitted in a national competition in 1969 by Julie-Frances Czada of St. Leonard, Quebec. It was selected due to the symbolism of bringing Canadians together and building a national brotherhood. The Anik series has been developed by Telesat, a Canadian company headquartered in Ottawa.

Anik A Series

Satellite Name Date Launched Date Decommissioned
Anik A1 November 9, 1972 July 15, 1982
Anik A2 April 20, 1973 October 6, 1982
Image from Telesat Canada

CBC was able to reach the Canadian north, and allowed extended phone service to the region as well. CBC was the first broadcaster to use a satellite for distribution of service on a full-time basis.

Anik B Series

Satellite Name Date Launched Date Decommissioned
Anik B December 15, 1978 December 1, 1986
Image from Online Journal of Space Communication.

Anik B was used by the Globe and Mail to transmit copy to printing plants across Canada, and carried eastern and western feeds of CBC, CBC Parliamentary Television Network, CITY-TV Edmonton, CHCH Hamilton, and TVOntario.

Anik C Series

Satellite Name Date Launched Date Decommissioned
Anik C1 April 12, 1985 May 5, 2003
Anik C2 June 18, 1983 January 7, 1998
Anik C3 November 11, 1982 June 18, 1997
Sally Ride in space. Image from NASA.

Anik C3 was used to carry Canada’s first pay-TV networks, including Superchannel (now Movie Central), First Choice (now The Movie Network), Premier Choix (Now Super Écran), Knowledge Network, and more. C3 was launched by the Space Shuttle Columbia, which disintegrated during re-entry on February 1, 2003. Anik C2 was launched by the Space Shuttle Challenger, which disintegrated after launch on January 28, 1986. The mission that launched C2 was also saw the first American woman in space, Sally Ride.

Anik D Series

Satellite Name Date Launched Date Decommissioned
Anik D1 August 26, 1982 December 16, 1991
Anik D2 November 8, 1984 January 31, 1995
Image from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

The D series carried channels from CANCOM (now Shaw Broadcast Services), who was the first carrier to offer consumers direct broadcast satellite (DBS) services for their television needs.

Anik E Series

Satellite Name Date Launched Date Decommissioned
Anik E1 September 26, 1992 January 18, 2005
Anik E2 April 4, 1991 November 23, 2005
Image from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

Anik E1 was the most powerful satellite in commercial use for North America at the time of its launch. It was able to carry 56 television channels, compared to the standard of 16 during this period.

Anik F Series

Satellite Name Date Launched Date Decommissioned
Anik F1 November 21, 2000 Still in service
Anik F1R September 9, 2005 Still in service
Anik F2 July 17, 2004 Still in service
Anik F3 April 10, 2007 Still in service
Image from Boeing.

When it was launched, Anik F1 was the most powerful communications satellite ever built. This was Star Choice’s (Shaw Direct’s) first satellite in the Anik series. The solar panels degraded faster than anticipated, so Anik F1R was launched as a replacement for North America; F1 is still in use for South America.

Anik F2 is more than ten times larger than A1, and is still one of the largest and most powerful satellites in use. It introduced the use of Ka-band transponders, which allowed low-cost two-way satellite delivery of broadband Internet in remote regions of Canada through Xplornet.