is shaw gateway worth it?
It is, in my opinion. I wouldn't want any other STB they offer. Old or new.
It has it's issues, but over all it's (IMO) the best box they offer.
I was interested in trying the gateway when I signed back up for my TV bundle.
(I had downgraded to only internet over the winter to save up some money.)
But I ended up just going with the HDPVR box since I still had my old grey HDPVR at home
for our second TV.
It was great! They seemed to have addressed several issues that my older box had,
like only showing channels you are subscribed to, rather than every single channel..
And the issue with certain HD channels, where all I could get was audio even though I was paying for it.
Through a series of unfortunate complaints from someone else living here, (who got the older model box)
I ended up going to Shaw to just get the gateway so we would have access to the missing HD channels
for the other TV.
It had been about 2 or 3 weeks since I signed my agreement but they were willing to nullify it and write me a
new one under the gateway instead.
Of course I was pretty excited thinking it would be exactly the same as my HDPVR but with the added functionality
of a central "hub" for recordings and stuff.
As the tech installed it, I was a little curious why the channel guide and things were different, so I started asking some questions about why it was listing all of the channels and why it was showing both the HD and basic channels..
He said that the gateway is lacking some of the functionality I had experienced while using the model I previously had. So basically all the great things that I liked, were taken away and now I have a big gateway that needs its own dedicated splitter on top of the splitter for my phone and internet.
The menu guide / channel guide seem to be quite slow and if you try to cycle through it too quickly it resets back to the station you are currently on. For me anyways..
The HDPVR had the fantastic function of being able to show JUST the HD versions of stations right in the guide, rather than the gateways - menu > HD channels > listings > current time > different time slot... And even then, your stuck only seeing whatever time you look for. Outside of manually finding the HD station in the guide and looking at future times. But having hundreds of channels you can't access tends to make it a hassle unless you know your station numbers by heart.
The tech did suggest you could go through and manually remove the stations you don't get, which I did do. It only took about an hour but even so, had I stayed with the plain HDPVR I wouldn't have had to worry about it. Then of course I had to also do the same for the other box connecting to the gateway.
I'm a guide surfer, showing me every channel I can't access and mixing the regular and HD channels together is what my old grey model box did.
I'm not trying to bash the gateway, it seemed like a great thing which is why I ended up getting it but in my experience I would have been happier having two separate HDPVR boxes.
The tech said that they may implement the same perks I liked about the HDPVR into the gateway but odds are it won't be for quite some time, if ever.
I'm still on the fence about calling to see if I can get a dual HDPVR setup instead of the gateway, especially after just having switched to it. For the most part though it does work fine, the menu does help by letting you search specific categories of shows, like kids, sports, movies, HD etc. And it would really just come down to preference.
I agree there is a definite learning curve to the Gateway! That may be an understatement, overall, all the HD stations, like your older PVR, are all in the 200s, so they are easy to pick out.
But the automatically hiding channels I don't subscribe to, that feature would be good on the Gateway.
I'm not sure how the replacing the SD channel with the HD version would work, because I get the HD version but not the SD version of some stations, - I wouldn't be able to find any of the TV stations haha
Overall I am satisfied with my shaw gateway (arris hardware). Indeed if you are used to motorola type system there is a learning curve. From what I see advancement for this system has not halted, specifically there is a mobile device app in development which I have had the luxury of trying out (I must say its pretty sexy).
I think some more time, and hopefully quality code from arris. like the ability to automatically hide channels not subscribed to. the gateway could be stellar.
As long as I can still see all the channels too though, when I can't find anything I am interested in, I will check out the channels I don't subscribe to.
I prefer Gateway over the HDPVR:
- MPEG4 capable (some of the HDPVRs aren't)
- able to record 6 shows at a time (I never thought I'd use this functionality but there are times when it is useful to record more than 2 shows simultaneously)
- the Gateway Go app, when released, will be a great feature the HDPVR doesn't have
- scalability for multiple portals
- ability to remove channels from the guide (eg. my HD guide only shows what I'm subscribed to)
As others have said there are still opportunities to improve the experience, and Shaw/Arris have recognized this
The concept is good and the hardware part of the gateway is stable for the most part. Personally, I find the guide interface terrible and poorly done. If you have the stand alone PVRs and are used to the color coded interface, the way the paging with the remote works, the channels in ascending order, and the ability to easily see what programs you have set up for recording, you will not like the current interface at all - very non user friendly. There is supposed to be an updated interface coming, but I have been hearing that since last November when I went for the gateway, and still wondering when that will happen if at all.
Been using it for 5 months now and still cannot get used to the way it scrolls through the channels on the guide and the fact that the channels are listed in descending sequence. Still driving me nuts.
Had 3 individual PVRs which I still have but want central system to records once and watch anywhere. This was the big selling point to me. Having 6 recordings at once also a bonus, but the guide... really sucks IMHO.
For the Shaw people (techies) reading this... when are you going to update the guide for the gateway? Please do it soon!
On a scale of 1 to 5 I'd give it a 2.5 because of the interface.
Hi burger2go, I agree that it takes some adjustment to transition from the HDPVR to Gateway. I found once I got used to the guide I was much more comfortable. I also agree that color coding and better access to future recordings is needed.
There have been posts here about a future gateway update that is currently being tested by Shaw employees that will bring back the color coding among other features. Additionally, an app is being tested that will aid in managing recordings.
It's not perfect but it slowly getting better.
Hi burger2go, the new firmware does exist It is currently in employee testing as mentioned by mark_vse. you can find more information on that discussion here: https://community.shaw.ca/message/70576#70576.
I think it has been mentioned previously by mark_vse some of the changes the update introduced, will include giving you the preference to change the channel sequence direction and adding colour coding to the guide.
Ok, now back to the original topic of this thread
I own all the different guide PVR's and I can't see myself going back from the Gateway. There is a learning curve coming from the older guide Motorola PVR's but after a bit of time using it now I find that I have caught up with how the functions of the Gateway work. Some of other pro's have been mentioned like the 6 tuners and shared recordings between portals connected to separate TV's, and that's where it also plays is in to the expandability of the PVR functionality to other TV's you may add down the line. If you go the standalone PVR route, and you want to add a PVR to a new TV - buying a standalone one costs $348, whereas if you have the Gateway system, adding another Portal to the system gives you PVR functionality on that TV but for $138.
Before saying steelglory you will or won't like the interface, you can check out the interface at one of our retail stores or on display at 3rd party retailer such as Bestbuy/Futureshop/etc for yourself. There is also a 30 day return policy for hardware.
Hope this helps.
Ali | Shaw Community Moderator
Hi SuperSmurf and Ali...
I've been hearing about the improvements coming to the guide since November (that's 5 months) and that they are in the hands of the Shaw employees to test. If that's the case, then you'd think after 5 months of testing it would be ready to go no? I beta test SW for CA and it doesn't take 5 months... even for a major release.
If you need more testing, why not open the testing up to Shaw customers to get more feedback and problems identified much quicker?
This is starting to sound like Microsoft when they were trying to bring out the first version of windows... its coming.. its just around the corner, it will be her soon... yadayadayada... C'mon guys ... just make it happen before we are all to old to enjoy it!
There appears to be some confusion here and I apologize if it is our fault, the new firmware has not been in testing by employees for 5 months, appreciate your feedback and need for information. Perhaps we can start a new thread to discuss this and leave this thread for discussion of the original topic.
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