Been watching the banter and questions about the new HD Guide. Seems to me that the reasons are a bit self-serving on Shaw’s part. The HD Guide Overview states
“The High Definition Guide is capable of displaying high definition channels grouped together in ascending order and separate from the standard definition channels, regardless of the channel number. You may wish to enable this setting if you find that you are primarily watching high definition channels and would like priority viewing of the HD listings. While enabled, all standard definition channels will be listed in ascending order in the guide AFTER the HD channels.
Additionally, the High Definition guide will display all your available HD channels over their corresponding Standard Definition channels if one is available. Please see Auto HD Information for more details.”
I have an old box (6416) with the old guide. All of the HD Channels are all listed in order and grouped together. Not only that, thanks to one of Shaw’s better decisions, they are, by and large, grouped by “type of programming” as well. Under the new standard I will no longer have this secondary grouping which I prefer.
This new HD guide and channel overlay is, I suspect, the first salvo to free up bandwidth. At some point in the near future watch for Shaw to discontinue offering any SD channel for which they carry an HD equivalent signal to the detriment of those subscribers that have no HD in their homes.
Additionally, there are several reasons why I prefer to keep the SD/HD duplication.
When channel surfing using the up-down arrow buttons, under the new system my TV & the Shaw box would be constantly switching between HD & SD functionality which increases the time to lock in the channel.
There have been occasions when the HD signal was out or breaking up and the SD signal was fine. I would no longer be able to switch under this new guide.
I’ve has occasions when the SD channel actually framed the show in a more watchable manner.
And as was stated in another stream - How to record SD instead of HD to save recording space? -space savings should that be an issue (which is not currently one for me but I can see where it might be for others).
I won't be able to scroll through channels to which I do not currently subscribed to see what’s on. There is the possibility that I might actually add channels if I knew what was playing (actually I have subscribed to 2 because of their programming).
I still have not received any sound reason why my 6416 cannot be reprogrammed to decode MPEG4 other than the fact that
“it seems like a breeze to simply update a driver or software as we do it all the time ourselves, but unfortunately this isn't quite how it works when it comes to mass market set-top boxes provided by a hardware manufacturer.”
Isn’t Shaw busy doing exactly that on a mass market set-top box with the 3510?
Cynical me says that Shaw likes to pretend that they are listening to the wants of its subscriber base. However, everything I see happening here leads me to suspect the main beneficiary is Shaw’s bottom line.
Sorry for the length but there are a lot of interconnected issues here with one thing leading to another.