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Learn more about the HD network upgrade

We want you to enjoy high definition at its best, so we’re making major upgrades to our network to expand our HD capabilities. Nearly all of your available channels will be offered in HD.

Introduction to the HD network upgrade

Shaw Direct broadcasts TV channels now using only one video format, MPEG-4, which is a more efficient alternative to our former broadcast technology, MPEG-2.

    From April 2017 to January 2020, we upgraded all of our channels to MPEG-4. Due to MPEG-4's increased efficiency, we will be able to offer all available English and French channels in high definition in 2020.

    In order to view channels, you now require an MPEG-4 compatible satellite receiver.

    MPEG-4 satellite receivers

    All Shaw Direct satellite receivers available since 2011 are MPEG-4 compatible. This includes the following models:

    • Essential HD Receiver (HDDSR 600, HDDSR 800)
    • Advanced HD Receiver (HDDSR 605)
    • Advanced HDPVR (HDPVR 630, HDPVR 830)

    mpeg4receivers

    For reference, all of the above satellite receivers display the model number physically printed on the left corner of the front panel of the receiver.

    To find out if your receiver is MPEG-4 compatible, with both receiver and TV on – press GUIDE, then 9-8-8 on your remote. Repeat this for each TV and note how many upgrades you’ll require.

    If you need an upgrade, there are many options available. Please contact us to discuss upgrading your current hardware.

    What if I still have an MPEG-2 satellite receiver?

    Beginning in 2017, we gradually converted all of our channels to MPEG4. As of October 2019, all Shaw Direct channels are broadcast in MPEG4. If you still have an MPEG-2 receiver, you will see any of the following on your channels:

    • in-Guide messaging
    • a blank screen
    • "Receiver has lost satellite signal"
    • “You are not currently subscribed to this channel"

    If you experience any of these, contact us to learn about upgrade offers.

    If you already have an MPEG-4 compatible satellite receiver (compatible models are listed above), you will continue to use your Shaw Direct services as normal.

    Other benefits

    MPEG-4 compatible satellite receivers also include the following enhancement and benefits:

    • Up to 14 days of Guide data, including detailed descriptions, episode titles, and an indication of new versus repeat airings.
    • Unsubscribed channels are automatically shown in grey, with the option to hide them completely.
    • Full search capability, including title, actor, description, and more.
    • Enhanced parental control features, including the ability to hide locked program titles.
    • A brand new, easy to use remote control.
    • With a connection to your high-speed Internet service, an MPEG-4 receiver allows access to thousands of titles available on Shaw Direct On Demand. The on-demand library includes TV shows and movies from channels that you subscribe to, as well as movies available to rent at any time.