Regular readers will know I have written extensively over the last year about the loss of broadcast TV in rural areas and it still seems counter productive to provide OTA digital TV in urban areas where it is readily available inexpensively via cable but not in rural areas where the only alternative is the more expensive satellite TV solution. Shaw Direct has provided a solution however so long as you apply before November for their Local Television Satellite Solution (LTSS) program.
I first became aware of this program via the TVO web page detailing all the transmitters being shut down. It says:-
If you live in one of these markets and have been relying on television from over the air signals, you may be able to continue to receive TVO courtesy of Shaw Direct by applying for their Local Television Satellite Solution (LTSS) program. For more information visit SHAWDIRECT.CA/DTV.
If you haven't been a cable or satellite customer in the last 90 days, you may be eligible for the Local Television Satellite Solution (LTSS) program.* This program will allow you to continue receiving the same or similar Canadian over-the-air channels you've always enjoyed courtesy of Shaw Direct.
Please call one of our service representatives before November 30, 2012 at 1.888.782.7602 to see if you qualify.
Having applied and been “approved” I now know that one must sign a waiver with a few conditions including not having had “been a subscriber to any Cable, IPTV or Satellite TV provider within the
last 90 days“ and detailing the channels that you have lost (although the form assumes the loss of certain stations in your area and pre-prints them for you).
You also “agree to become a Shaw Direct LTSS subscriber. Shaw Direct will provide you with a receiver and basic installation at no charge in order to provide your household with local programming. The receiver will be able to meet the technical needs of the channels we are providing. The receiver will also be considered to be your property. The programming will consist of local programming feeds from within your geographic region. This programming will be provided to you at no cost. New customers to this program are only permitted from May 31, 2011 until November 30, 2012. If we have not received this form signed within this time, we will be unable to provide this solution.”
All in all it just took that phone call, was hassle free, totally without cost, installation and receiver included and we now have 9 or 10 'local channels' including CTV, CBC, GLOBAL, TVO which is about all we really need. Thanks Shaw, I am sure up the road you will be 'encouraging' us to get the 'pay for' channels (and by all accounts all that now takes is a phone call to Shaw Customer Service) but for now we are quite happy and impressed with your promotional LTSS program.
Lost your broadcast TV? Give Shaw a call, it seems too good to be true but thus far we have seen no hidden problems or costs.