A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Rural Satellite TV

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.

Over to Shaw where it says:-
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.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am curious. How long did it take Shaw to have you hooked up? I sent them the signed formed on October 03 2012 and have heard nothing from them... Thanks

Rural said...

Anon - Received the control box in about a week, called to arrange hookup and was up and running in about another week. Quite satisfied with it.

Anonymous said...

I called in early October. Got my form to fill out about 2 weeks later. I faxed back to them on October 15 and received the receiver in the mail on October 29. Called that night and we were hooked up on October 31.

JiM said...

Thanks so much for this post!
I just called Shaw and they emailed the form immediately. I just have to email or fax back (or snail mail). And then I will get Global and CTV2 in addition to the CTV and CBC I can currently get with my bunny ears. So Happy!
Now if only CBC had kept Jeopardy this would be perfect...

TheFeather said...

I have had Shaw LTSS for two months now, and everything worked as described. Free installation, free channels. I turned on my TV today for the first time in a few days, and I have no channels other than Shaw weather and the Shopping Channel. What's with that?

Since I have little or no faith in corporations, my first suspicion is that Shaw shut down the "free" LTSS service right after the sign up period expired at the end of November.

Anybody else having problems?

Rural said...

Feather, Everything fine here, suggest you contact Shaw. We were told it was good for about 5 years!

Anonymous said...

A number of us that have cottages in Northwestern Ontario have applied and received our receivers (only) we asked for self-install dish kits to be sent but no one has received them. We have not been contacted since receiving the receivers. I heard today that another person was going to be charged milage for the installer to come out and install the dish. Rice Lake is fairly remote and you cannot drive right up to the cottage. I can only imagine what the charge will be for an installer to drive all the way up the Pickeral Lake Rd.

By the way, the program has been extended another year (until November 30th, 2013).

Rural said...

Thanks for posting that info, I am sure many 'cottagers' will be interested to learn that they can get the receiver but not the installation! I note that this post has received double the 'hits' of any other piece I have written, with over 3000 hits between this one and the two written earlier on this subject.
As an added note it seems that Global channel 4 out of Owen Sound (Keady transmitter) has recently gone dark......

Anonymous said...

I noticed the channel 4 station was down too, being as we only got 3 channels, I'm kind of missing that one. I wonder if one of the LTSS receivers from Shaw would pick it up again or if it is shut down.

Rural said...

Channel 4 was Global Toronto and is provided to Georgian Bay area customers on the LTSS system.

Susan said...

We are in Nova Scotia and have has the Shaw LTSS program for a couple of weeks, we have four channels, no complaints except that our Global station randomly goes dark during certain programs and we get a message that we require a subscription to watch the program. Has this happened to anyone else? I've tried calling customer service but I give up every time after being on hold for 30 minutes.

Rural said...

We have had no problems of that nature. Only 4 stations, I suggest you manually step through all the channels as several users have found that they get more than the stations listed on the application. We get several CBC and Global channels from across the country as well as Ontario's TVO and the educational KNOW channel from out west in additional to the local stations.

Simon Martin said...

Do you think bell in Calgary Eaton Centre is a good provider for satellite TV? I'm just not sure who I should go with. Thanks for sharing!