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HD network upgrade: Outdoor equipment

We want you to enjoy high definition at its best, so we’re making major upgrades to our network. When completed, nearly all of our available channels will be carried in HD. This article focuses on your satellite dish and its relationship in the HD Network Upgrade.

Outdoor equipment explained

Your Shaw Direct satellite TV service requires two main pieces of equipment – a satellite dish outside your home, and a satellite receiver inside your home.

Positioned on the end of your satellite dish is a piece called the “LNB”. Depending on the type of LNB, you may be receiving a signal from one, two, or all three satellites.

Since approximately 2012, all LNBs deployed have been the latest “xKu” style, which receives a signal from all three satellites. All customers will require this type of LNB by 2019.

Determining what type of dish you have

To determine whether you have access to all three satellites, go to your satellite receiver and press GUIDE and then 988. The message in the Guide on channel 988 will tell you whether:

  • You’re “all set” (with existing access to all three satellites and an MPEG-4 satellite receiver)
  • You require a dish upgrade (in order to gain access to the third satellite)
  • You have a newer dish but require a receiver upgrade (to an MPEG-4 model)
  • You require both a dish upgrade and a receiver upgrade.

If you see a message indicating an upgrade is required, call us or use online chat to learn about the available upgrade offers.

Upgrading your dish

If you contact us and book a dish upgrade, we will set up an appointment to send an installer to your home. Someone over the age of 18 will need to be present for the appointment, and the installer will also require access to any satellite receivers inside the home.

If you happen to live in an area without a local installer available, we may ship you the necessary equipment. Resources to help you complete the install are readily available on the Self Install page. Once the dish has been upgraded, you will need to contact us to update the channel map on your receivers so that you can access all of the available channels.

Upgrading your dish provides immediate access to over 130 MPEG-4 HD channels currently provided by our third satellite.

HD network upgrade and satellite access

Throughout 2017 and 2018, we will be converting channels from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4, without moving them between satellites. Therefore, you will not lose access to your current lineup if you have an older style satellite dish – only if you do not upgrade to an MPEG-4 compatible satellite receiver.

In 2019, we will be performing additional network optimizations. At that time, standard definition MPEG-2 channels which are already carried in high definition MPEG-4 will be removed. Therefore, to continue to enjoy the entire Shaw Direct lineup you will need an MPEG-4 satellite receiver as well as access to all three satellites (as described above).

We’re here to make this process easy for you. Call or chat to learn more.