Gateway is presented as the next step in the PVR evolution. It may improve your ability to record more channels at the same time, to store more recorded entertainment and to record & access from multiple locations in the same home but that's about it for the better. Compared to the Classic Guide and Remote, Gateway is a step back in functionality. Obviously, the tech geeks did not speak to humans when they designed the new system. I will list the deficiencies in point form for the sake of brevity:
- No alarm or notification function: You can't choose to be notified when a program you want to watch on a specific channel is about to start in the Gateway Guide. I'm guessing the theory is "just record it and watch it later." Not good logic for live sports. This was easy to do in the Classic Guide.
- Loss of Favorites functionality: In the Classic Guide you could select a channel as a "favorite" through the Info button on the remote. Let's say you have four channels chosen as "favorites". The Classic remote had a Favorite button that every time you pressed it the screen would cycle to the next "favorite" channel. A VERY CONVENIENT FUNCTION. The very inconvenient Gateway Remote destroys the functionality of the concept. You can still choose to highlight channels as "favorite" using the Info button on the remote. However, to actually find a "favorite" channel you have to go into the Gateway Remote "Menu", scroll left or right until you find "favorites" then scroll up or down in "favorites" to select a specific channel. YOU CANNOT EXCLUSIVELY VIEW ON YOUR SCREEN YOUR FAVORITES ONE AT A TIME BY PRESSING A REMOTE CONTROL BUTTON BECAUSE THERE ISN'T ONE (which defeats the whole purpose of the function!!!!)
- Loss of Sport Search Functionality: In the Classic Guide you could easily choose almost any sport and view what was on at that moment for that sport. You could also move forward in half hour increments to see what was coming ahead for that sport. All gone with the Gateway Guide!
- Loss of Single Channel programming view: In the Classic Guide you could see far ahead on a single channel for future viewing planning. All gone with the Gateway Guide.
- Visual Genre Highlighting: In the Classic Guide you could always tell if programming was a sport or movie or kids because the background cell colour was genre specific.With Gateway you get grey, grey & more grey (except for what's on right now on every channel which is blue). It's very difficult to tell what you're looking at.
- Eyeball confusion: In the Classic Guide you could view five consecutive channels in one view. This is the same in the Gateway Guide. However, to navigate in the Classic Guide you would use the arrows on your remote to move the "Cursor Cell" up, down or sideways. The five channel view would not move or change until you scrolled "off the page" to a higher or lower channel. Then you would get a new grouping of five channels.With the Gateway Guide the "Cursor Cell" is fixed on the far left column (current programming) in the middle channel slot (think row 3 of 5 rows). This is the active channel you are now watching or will be watching if you select it. It is very poorly identified. Every time you use the arrows on your remote to navigate the screen ALL THE CHANNELS MOVE UP, DOWN OR SIDEWAYS (THE CURSOR STAYS PUT). If ever there was a bad idea for inducing seizures this is it.
- Up is Down: When you are viewing the five channel Gateway Guide and press the cursor up arrow button on the Remote, the channels visually move down, not up (and vice versa...pressing the down arrow button moves the channels up). HOWEVER, when you press the Channel button up the channel goes up (and vice versa...pressing the channel button down sends the channel down!!!) The Gateway Guide Remote Control is not Ergonomically logical.
- All is not what is seems: The Gateway remote has a memory function where when you press the Menu button you don't always go to the Menu??? Sometimes you go to the 5 row Channel guide (which has it's own button). Sometimes you go to the Info guide for the current channel (which has it's own button).
- The Gateway Remote: The Classic Guide Remote could control other component boxes menus like Audio or TV, which is convenient for reducing remote control clutter. This is all lost with the Gateway Remote which only controls the cable box.
- What channel am I looking at?: The Gateway Guide displays the lovely logos for each channel on the left by the channel number to identify who the channel network is but...the logos are so small (and artistically designed) it is impossible to actually identify the network. Just type out the name please! (Display a big version of the network logo when the Info button is pressed would be a good idea)
That's my current report. I've discovered all these "hits & misses" in design in less than 4 days. Hopefully, since the Gateway Guide and remote are software driven, the designers will fix these terrible flaws in future updates. For new subscribers to Shaw, they won't know what used to be available. For current Shaw subscribers who chose to upgrade (?) to the Gateway system just be prepared to be impressed with the hardware but disappointed with the software, the on screen guide and the remote.