Shaw Gateway and Portal System Hands On – First Look

I got my first hands on look at the Shaw Gateway and Portal System today and overall was quite impressed with the look of Shaw’s Newest Cable Box.

The Shaw Gateway and Portal System is Shaw’s competitive offering to Telus TV and Bell Satellite and offers several advantages and some disadvantages over it’s competition.

Equipment:  Anyone who’s seen the Shaw Gateway cannot help but be impressed by it’s overall looks.  The Gateway main Hub is about the size of an average size surround sound receiver and is Gloss Black in color with a Blue Arris backlight logo and some blue highlighted back lit soft touch buttons on the from of the box.  The main Gateway Hub normally will sit inside your utility room so most of the time you won’t get to look at how pretty it is but if you do have an exposed equipment rack it will look outstanding amongst your other components.  The Portal Boxes are about a third the size of the hub similar in size to the Motorola DCX3200 HD cable box or Telus TV standard set top box and can be hidden behind your flat panel tv or once again featured along side your other equipment and components.  The Shaw Portal Box like the Gateway hub is Gloss Black in color with blue back lit LED channel or time display, ARRIS logo and soft touch buttons.
Remote:  The Arris Shaw Gateway Portal remote is much smaller than Shaw’s standard cablebox remote with fewer buttons.  The buttons on the Portal Remote are illuminated and backlit similar to Telus and Bell.  As mentioned there are fewer buttons on the Arris Portal Remote which allows the remote to be smaller but makes navigating through various features more cumbersome and slower since many features are menu driven rather than simple one touch button commands.  We of course prefer the one touch direct button access if possible.

Guide:  Unlike Shaw’s existing Motorola or Pace Cable boxes the guide on the Arris Gateway Portal is FULL SCREEN 1080 and looks great.  The overall layout to the guide is similar to Telus TV and Bell with a live picture in top right corner of the screen and the guide in the middle and bottom left hand portions of the screen.  The Guide on the Arris Shaw Portal is much clearer and better laid out than the Motorola DCX cable boxes.  The guide also contains more lines of channel information.  During my demo there were no annoying ads on the guide however I don’t know if Shaw does feature ads on the Arris Portal Guide during peak hours like they do with the Motorola Cable Boxes which of course not only are annoying but take up one line of guide space.

Guide Channel Order:  One of the minor glitches with the guide on the New Arris Portal is the inability to change the channel guide preference order from ascending or descending.  I don’t know why they eliminated this feature on the Arris Portal cable box since it was on all previous Shaw cable boxes and also is offered on Bell Satellite Boxes.  This little setting allows the guide numbers to increase or decrease when you move the guide up or down depending on your preference and choice.  This is a simple programmable user setting that should be included on any cable box especially on a system that sells for over $500 dollars!

Menu:  The menu one the Arris Shaw Portal box appears in the middle of the screen rather than at the bottom of the screen on the Motorola cable boxes,  I find this annoying and would prefer to navigate the menu from the bottom of the screen rather than having it overlay in the middle but that perhaps is a preference adopted from years of using Motorola Cable boxes and also windows and Mac computers all of which have their main menus appear first at the bottom of the screen.

The menu includes picture icons for guide, settings, messages, PPV, Video on Demand, Search, Catagories, Games and most importantly PVR Settings and Recordings, just to name a few.  As mentioned the guide looks GREAT in full 1080 HD however navigating the guide is awkward and less than intuitive even for an experienced integrator such as myself.  It took me several tries to access my PVR Recordings since there are two sub menus you need to navigate to before you can access your list of recordings.

Recording options:  The recording options are similar to the Motorola cableboxes which I find adequate but prefer the Bell PVR recording setup much better to Shaw’s.  Shaw’s cable boxes do not allow you to record one specific TV show on one channel at one specific time of day, instead if the same show repeats on the same channel over and over during the same day, the Shaw PVR recording setup will record or re-record the same show over and over during the same day.

For example if America’s funniest Videos is on at 6:00pm and 9:00pm on CMT on Monday-Friday,  you can’t set up a recording to record only the 6pm show each day Monday – Friday on the Shaw PVR tuner instead you can only set up the PVR to record the show once daily.  The problem that happens with shows that repeat over and over again in the same 24 hour cycle is the Shaw PVR want’s to re-record them again on the same day erasing the old recording and replacing it with a new one.  This means in the example indicated the Show would first record at 6pm however then at 9pm it would record again and erase the same show which was recorded only 3 hours earlier.  This re-recording also ties up one tuner from recording a second show at 9pm.  Shaw still uses this awkward PVR recording programing method on the New Arris Gateway Portal.  Bell allows you to program the PVR to record only once a day at a designated time, let’s say 6pm, with the Bell PVR programming your show would record only at 6pm each day and would not re-record again at 9pm allowing you to use both tuners for live or recorded viewing at 9pm.  I sure wish Shaw would change this about the PVR programming.

Six (6) HDTV Tuners:  A fully maxed out Shaw Gateway Hub with 6 Portals would allow you to watch, view or record up to 6 HD Streams or shows at any one time.  That’s more than Telus and similar to Bell.

Skip Forward and Backward Settings:  The standard default settings for the Skip Forward on the Arris Shaw Portal box is 30 second skip ahead.  the settings allow you to adjust this setting to 3 minutes, 5 minutes and 15 minutes skip ahead or defeat/cancel button.  This makes no sense?  Who came up with these settings?  How about a 1 minute skip ahead setting?,  who uses a 3, 5 or 15 minute skip ahead setting?  and what’s the purpose of the defeat/cancel function setting.  There already is a defeat or cancel function built into every button it’s called the Don’t Press the Button if you don’t want to skip ahead?  Duh!

While there is an adjustment setting for the Skip Forward, I could not find an adjustment for the skip backward setting which is factory set and fixed at 15 seconds rewind.  Once again the logic of this setting at 15 seconds eludes me, and not being able to adjust the setting to 30 seconds or 1 minute also is puzzling?

So the way the Arris Shaw Portal Skip/Rewind buttons work at factory default you would need to press the Skip button eight (8) times to skip past 4 minutes of commercials and if you overshot your commercial by 1 minute you would have to press the rewind button 4 times to rewind 1 minute.  If this sounds confusing already you should try using it.  The skip and rewind settings should be the same or at most a 2:1 ratio not 4:1 ratio, that’s just mind boggling – my only rational for this crazy, awkward, non-intuitive Skip/Rewind setup is that the programmers and engineers don’t want you to use the Skip and Rewind feature to navigate and avoid all the Shaw TV commercials you would miss if you could actually master the Skip/Rewind buttons of this Arris Portal.

Once again this minor glitch could be solved with a simple programming firmware change.

Glitches:  During my demo navigating the Shaw Arris Portal from the guide to live TV and back seemed a little slower than on a Motorola DCX3400 box.  It would have been interesting to do a speed test comparing the two boxes side by side by the Arris Portal did seem to be slightly slower.  Live TV pause and play lag.  During my demo I was watching Golf live and paused the channel then navigated to the guide, some menu items and then after about 5 minutes back to the golf channel attempting to resume play.  At first the Arris Portal seemed to stall or the remote seemed to not be working,  several presses of the play button finally got the recorded video to play however it was choppy at the start then smoothen out.  I tried skipping forward 2 minutes and also found the skip to be choppy and erratic then playback resumed.  I changed the channel and then went back to the golf channel and everything appeared fine.  I had a second glitch trying to exit from the guide back to live TV which again required changing the channel and then tuning back to the previous channel which seemed to reset everything.

Audio:  The Arris Shaw Portal cable box was connected directly to the demo TV via HDMI therefore I could not test the audio signal coming out of the Portal box to see if it exhibited the same Audio Dropout Problems encountered by the Motorola and Pace Cable boxes.  I currently have a Motorla DCX 3400 PVR connected to a Yamaha Receiver is Fiberoptic Toslink cable which periodically experiences audio dropouts during live viewing and PVR playback.  This is a know issue with Shaw however I am uncertain if it is related solely to the Motorola and Pace boxes or would also occur with the Arris Gateway and Portal System.  I have never experienced audio dropout with Shaw or Telus although both those systems have had audio pixelation problems due to bad weather or poor steaming.

Price:  At $600 for the basic system plus more for additional boxes the Shaw Arris Gateway Portal System is one of the most expensive Cable Box / Media Center equipment options available.  Telus and Bell offer similar equipment at lower cost however Telus can only provide 1 or 2 HD live streams at a time to a single household while Shaw and Bell and provide up to 6 depending on the equipment configuration.  Shaw Arris and Telus Optik TV remote controls are both similar in size and backlit while Bell’s remote on the dual tuner PVR is UHF (radio frequency – whole house) and the Bell dual tuner PVR also comes with a built in modulator for streaming Non-HD to other TV’s in your home via coax.  The menus are all similar and display in HD.

For More information and video on the Shaw Gateway Portal System see our previous post:  shaw-introduces-a-new-high-end-cable-box-to-compete-with-telus

If you are planning a home theater, media room or whole house audio, video system call the experts at Ion Security for a Free In Home Evaluation.

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Phone:  780-489-5522


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72 Responses to Shaw Gateway and Portal System Hands On – First Look

  1. Ian millam says:

    I get 3 hd streams with telus and 2 sd BUT my pvr is free and the look and use of the features are very smooth . Just thought you would like to put that bit in

    • djsedm says:

      Service availability and speed and capacity of Telus TV and Shaw vary from province, city and even neighborhood in each city. Your the first person I’ve heard of that can receive 3 hd streams and 2 sd streams on telus TV. Of the 33 Telus TV clients we have the most any of them can receive is 2 HD and 2 SD streams while 33% pf them can only receive 1HD and 2 SD streams at one time.

      Telus tells me this has to do with the wiring in the city and neighborhood of the city you live in. Most areas in the city are wired with Copper wiring which has bandwidth limitations both on the speed and capacity of the internet, Telus can only deliver 3Mbps internet speed to our office and Telus TV is not available based on the location in the city where our office and shop is located. Shaw does not offer service to the industrial park we’re located so we have Telus for internet and satellite for TV because they are the only options available. Where I live Telus TV offers 3 streams total to my house , 2 HD and 1 SD max with a top internet speed of 15Mbps. Conversely Shaw can offer 50Mbps internet speed and unlimited HD feeds based on the number of cable boxes I wish to install at my home.

      There is no one service provider for internet or TV which is the BEST, service availability, capacity and speeds vary from city to city and neighborhood. Newer neighborhoods are now feed with fiber optic cable to the PED or in some homes right to the home. If you’re getting 3HD streams with telus and 2 SD streams you must be in a newer neighborhood with fiber optic cabling feed right to your home which is great. I have yet to see a Telus TV install with that capability. Telus TV allows you to check the service availability on their website by entering in your phone number which will tell you the amount of streams available to your address – this is a great tool.

      FREE PVR? As the saying goes there’s not Free Lunch and No Free PVR. Ian while you may have a FREE received a FREE PVR from Telus, it’s because you entered into a 3 year contract with Telus and the cost of their monthly service and the cost of the PVR has been built into the monthly rate for their service. Telus sometimes offers Free Laptops or Free Xbox game consoles too if you subscribe to Telus TV for 3 years. While these bonuses are indeed Free Telus has accounted for them the monthly pricing of their services. Shaw also has competitive offers which will allow you to purchase a Cablebox or PVR at a discounted rate or obtain a FREE RENTAL for a specified period of time. Once again these discounts or bonus offers are accounted for in the price of the services offered and duration of your service contract.

      I’m glad to hear you get 3HD and 2 SD streams with Telus TV, that’s not the norm for most Telus TV customers. I’m glad to hear you have had a great experience with Telus TV also, I have one client and a neighbor who have had less than positive experiences with Telus TV so far.

      Bell, Shaw and Telus all have excellent products and services however each service has different pros and cons and it’s up to each consumer to do their research and decided which service provider is right for them,

      Thanks for reading techtipsandtoys and for your input.

      • gertald B. Chilliwack, BC says:

        they suck compared to any service in USA. Bell, Telus, and Shaw are ripping you off. My bill for place in washington state is half that of Canaada. Can anyione say 500 channels??…….. in canaaada. Canada is a tech backwater to any other market in the first world. WHy do we have to be subjected to taking channels that no one watches save the CRTC. It is depressing when I have to come back and listen to Canadians believe they have choice.

      • Fred says:

        Dear blog moderator (djsedm) and technician, since you are the expert and having read all the Gateway pros and cons on this blog, my question to you today on July 20th 2014 is. Has anything changed on this Gateway system that would cause you to change your mind on it’s ability to perform the way it’s suppose to perform today? I live in Victoria BC and overall I have been satisfied with the Shaw service. Some lengthy phone waits but overall OK. i’m presently using the Motarola DCX3400-M and it’s been a fairly consistent performer. But, like others I’m also being lured to the Shaw Gateway multi room portal system. After reading this blog it gives one cause to stop and wonder. So, since these blogs are somewhat dated, has Shaw upgraded these Gateway PVR’s and have most of the bugs been resolved? Or should we all keep waiting and hoping that Shaw will pull the plug on this system and stop wasting their resources and that of their clients on an ill conceived system that has frustrated loyal clients for years. Would appreciate your response or anyone else who wish to comment. Cheers, Fred

      • djsedm says:

        Hi Fred,

        Shaw has had several firmware upgrades to the Gateway since the original blog post was written however it is a problematic unit. Most of our clients still prefer the reliability of the DCX3400 over the Gateway however with that being said I have had a handful of clients who have had a reasonable amount of success and satisfaction with the Gateway.

        It seems from general experience that the Gateway works better in new areas of the city where perhaps Fiber Optic Networking is available rather than copper. Like any connected device the hardware is only as good as the network it is connected to. Think about cellular telephones for example you can have the exact same phone connected to two different networks and have a complete different user experience – the same holds true for the Gateway. A customer in one area of the city may have a better experience than another customer in an older area to town, not due to the Hardware but rather the network configuration of Shaw.

        My advice to anyone interested in purchasing the Gateway system is to RENT IT FIRST and see how it performs. Renting it will allow you to TEST DRIVE the system and if you don’t like it send it back and continue with your Motorola DCX3400’s – if your experience is positive and you like the Gateway then continue renting it or purchase it. The thing you want to avoid is purchasing costly equipment only to discover you’re unhappy with your purchase and it didn’t meet your expectations.

        Shaw overall is a great company. Like any big corporation you can have individuals who have bad experiences, but overall Shaw tries to exceed customers expectations and earn your business. If you don’t mind the hassle of getting new equipment installed and perhaps removed if you don’t like it … I would suggest giving Shaw a call and having the Gateway System installed on a RENTAL Basis, your individual experience is what matters most, my only caution is purchasing the equipment which I don’t recommend until you’ve used it for at least 3 Months.

        Good Luck! and let us know what you think

      • Fred says:

        Thanks djsedm for your quick response. Sorry I don’t know your name, I’m old school that way. Our high speed internet with Shaw cable overall has been a good experience. I am beginning to understand that location and newness of equipment matters in this area. I live in an old section of Victoria and to my knowledge we are still on copper cable. That being said we always strive to improve our situation, be it personal, business related or in this case a better TV viewing experience. As mentioned earlier the Motorola DCX 3400 has give us almost trouble free viewing over the years. Your sound advice to rent first is certainly something we will be considering. By the way has Shaw reversed their (buy only) policy on the Gateway/Arris PVR’s?

        You mentioned that you have clients. Do you actually have a store front business and if so where are you located?. Thanks again for your invaluable information on this subject.

        Cheers, Fred

        PS: I’m OK if you wish to publish this on your blog. I was not quit sure originally, where to send your response. I think I have the knack of it now.

      • djsedm says:

        Hi Fred,

        My name is Doyle, I’ve been a Systems Integrator for 25 years and own and operate a company in Edmonton called Ion Security & Integration. We do A/V, Security and Networking installations in Edmonton and surrounding area. As A/V Security custom installers we don’t operate on a retail level like consumer electronics stores but we do have a presence online at Our offices, shop and warehouse are located in Edmonton Alberta.

        As far as Shaw is concerned you will have to check directly with them in Victoria. While Shaw is a national company there prices, packages, equipment and polices change from region to region. Here in Edmonton Alberta Shaw does offer the Gateway on a RENTAL Basis, I just did a whole house install last week for a client who is using the Gateway and took my advice and is RENTING it until he decides if he likes it or not …. right now he’s sitting on the fence.

        My best advice is to give Shaw in your area a call and see if they offer rental packages on the Gateway. I would suggest you deal directly with Shaw and not an electronics store that way if you don’t like it your dealing directly with the service and equipment provider and not a third party retailer

        Once again Good Luck and Best Wishes

      • Fred says:

        Hi Doyle,thanks for the background update. I have family in St, Albert will stop and say hello the next occasion I’m in Edmonton. Thank you for your sage advice. Will definitely be checking the rental plan if Shaw has one in Victoria. I’m glad I did not fall for the big sales pitch last year and held off until eventually I read your blog. If I decide to try the Gateway out, I will post my experience on this site. In the meantime I think I speak for everyone here. Keep up the great work and keep us posted on any updates on any Gateway changes or the reliable and stalwart Motorola PVR. Cheers, Fred

  2. Glen says:

    You said the skip forward and skip backward functions are confusing and awkward. It sounds like they work the same as existing Shaw PVRs at the default setting. (did I get that right?). I do use
    the 5 min skip ahead on my Shaw PVRs. It’s accessible by a single button. Sounds like it would not be as easily accessible on the Arris portal. One of the best things about the Shaw PVR remotes is the remotes since they support learning, macros and JP1 programmability. Do they new remotes
    support learning?

    • djsedm says:

      The standard default on the Motorola Shaw boxes is 1 min skip ahead and 30 second skip back so it’s slightly different than the Gateway.

      The Gateway can be programmed to skip 5 minutes ahead.

      The Gateway remote does offer limited learning functionality but is far from a universal remote.
      The user guide says the remote can operate two (2) additional devices such as TV and Audio Receiver but the functionality of these devices is pretty much power, volume and mute only. Pressing the power button on the Gateway remote will power on or off all devices programmed to it (ie, TV, Audio Receiver and Gateway Portal). The volume can be programmed for either your TV or Audio Receiver but not both, if an audio receiver is programmed than the volume functions will apply only to the audio receiver and not the TV. There is no control on the remote for switching inputs either on the video or audio sources and the power button as mentioned controls all three devices.

      There is no IR learn function just programming codes.

  3. donald hammond says:

    I have purchased but Shaw has not yet installed the new Gateway system which will replace 3 500gb dvrs. As I presently regularly record sporting events onto a dvd recorder from the dvr S video output, I am wondering if the new home portal boxes will accomodate this. The connection diagram on rear of box doesn`t make this clear.As well,we use “Closed Captions” frequently but present boxes are arranged such that boxes must be turned off to do this which of course interrupts recordings. Sales person said CC can be enabled without interruption and I hope this is the case.Any comments or suggestions?

    • djsedm says:

      No – S-video output on Portal.

      According to Shaw’s literature and the manufacturer’s specs the Shaw Gateway Portal does not have S-Video output only Component Video (YPbPr), HDMI 1.3a, Composite video, Stereo LR analog audio out, Coax and Optical SPDIF outputs but No S-video.

      If recording device does not support one of these outputs/inputs then you would not be able to record the output from the Shaw Portal the way you are currently. With respect to recording the matter becomes even more complex since all digital and some analog video output methods also will carry copy protection which will scramble your recordings. Lastly the Shaw Portal is merely a streaming terminal for the Gateway which is where all the data is stored on a central hard drive. Unlike the motorola box you currently are using which stores the data on the internal drive and directory of the cable box the Gateway Portal merely streams the digital data hence digital output from the central Gateway box rendering external recording non-functional to the best of my knowledge. There is also issues with Motorola boxes in the USA connected to US cable providers which offer PVR anywhere not being able to stream content from external Hard Drives connected to the main PVR. The Shaw Gateway box is currently experiencing problems with external connected Hard Drives and streaming data to Portals so I would anticipate that if your data is stored on a external drive connected to the Gateway that you’ll be lucky enough if it will play on the Portal yet along allow you to be able to output to a recording device.

      S-Video, Composite Video and even Component Video are all analog technologies which content providers are trying to discourage manufacturers incorporating into their digital products. Years ago most TVs and A/V receivers had 3-6 Component Video inputs and outputs as well as S-Video and Composite … Nowadays most TV’s have only 1 or sometimes 2 composite video inputs and many no longer have S-Video inputs or analog audio outputs. The same holds true for A/V receivers with new receivers having 3-9 HDMI inputs and 1 Component or Composite video input and sometimes no analog audio or video outputs. Content providers are rapidly shifting to an all digital world and manufacturers are quickly following behind the content makers. It won’t be long till there won’t be any analog inputs or outputs available on future devices to thwart the ability to make what the television broadcasters and movie studios deem illegal copies.

      As far as close captioning is concerned – most decoding for CC is done by the TV at the TV level. The CC is decoded on the TV as a function of the TV relative to the programming information provided by the cable box, satellite receiver, off air antenna etc… this is not a function of the cable box per say. Interesting that your description of how CC works on your TV’s requires the cable box to be turned off which essentially bypasses the cablebox and then uses the RF Tuner inside the TV to decode the channel programming and CC information. I’m uncertain as to your exact setup, how your cable boxes are connected to your TV’s or the make model and brand of your televisions and capabilities as such, but all the TVs I’ve connected by Component Video or HDMI to set top boxes be it cable or satellite work with Close Captioning where provided within the programming.

      The Shaw Portal if connected properly does support CC. If you experience problems with CC it may be either a function of the CC decoder in your television itself, the program your watching may not support it or the method of connection your using may not allow it.

      Hope these answers work for you – The Shaw Gateway is a good product with several glitches and bugs yet to be worked out. I’m sitting on the fence myself with the Gateway hoping that Shaw enables MOCA and PVR anywhere functionality on the Motorola DCX series of cable boxes since the platform is more reliable and robust than the Gateway. There’s no denying the PVR anywhere feature of the Gateway is the most desirable feature however this feature is available on the motorola boxes as well it’s just that Shaw has decided NOT to enable it at this time opting for Promoting and Selling New Hardware to consumers who wish to have this feature.

      Good Luck! Once you get your new Gateway installed drop us a note and share your experiences, our readers would love to hear your feedback.

      • donald hammond says:

        I have now had the Gateway/Portal system with 2 portals now installed for 4 days and it has been an adventure.The boxes under normal HDMI output to TV work well and you can program/watch TV s from both TV sets.That seems to be where the fun stops! After being on the phone to a SHAW technician (it took 5 transfers to get to a seemingly expert person) for 2 hours,it seems un-sure that,in fact,these portals have powered “composite “outputs. We finally were able to connect one of the portals to my TV “composite” input and get it to operate,but we could not get the other box to connect to my other TV.The tech thinks there is something wrong with one of the boxes and has ordered a serviceman to trouble-shoot on Nov 17. As well,we could not get either portal to connect to my DVD recorders as,of course we were easily able to do with the fairly new previous Motorola boxes. The tech was not sure if you could,in fact,record the Gateway output???As well,although you can easily enable closed captions from “settings” while boxes are recording,there are a number of problems getting from Tv Guide back to a recording you are watching as there is no “Exit” button. The bottom line for me is to return portals to Shaw and get my previous Motorola 500 GB boxes back and return the Gateway to the retailer! Maybe in a year this system will be more friendly but I do not want to surrender the copying capability of the Motorolas.

      • djsedm says:

        Thanks for your feedback Donald, yes the concept of the Gateway is what we all want but the reality is something totally opposite. I’ve yet to uncover a happy Gateway customer. Shaw used to RENT cable boxes however since the introduction of the Gateway they STOPPED RENTING cable boxes and have implemented a easy pay conditional sales contract in which the customer is legally bound to purchase the equipment over a fixed period of time 2-3 years. Why did they do this? Simple! Shaw knows the equipment isn’t that great and customers will want to return it after a short period of time after experiencing it HANDS ON. Secondly Shaw also knows there will be better and cheaper equipment which will work smoother in a year or two and they don’t want to be stuck with a bunch of dysfunctional Gateway boxes that nobody wants.

        I don’t understand why Shaw invested its time and energy in the Arris Gateway when the proven Motorola DCX cable boxes already have the technology built in to offer PVR anywhere – which is the primary feature everybody wants. Several USA Cable companies have been offering PVR anywhere, iPhone remote Apps and networking functionality using the Motorola DCX boxes yet Shaw decided to go with the Gateway instead of enhancing their already installed base of Motorola DCX Boxes.

        The only reason I can think of that Shaw made this move is because the user interface on the Gateway is HD and is more like that of the Telus Optik TV. Also the Gateway box will give Shaw a competitive advantage over Telus and Bell if the 6 Tuner PVR would actually work. For these reasons Shaw decided to go with the Gateway however in the process I believe they’re doing a dis-service to their customers and in fact losing market share to Telus and Bell rather than enhancing their service offering to their customers.

        As I’ve said several times on this blog, I too am a Shaw customer and would like nothing more than the Gateway to work smoothly and provide a level of performance equal to the hype however my personal experience and the experience of my clients who have tried the Gateway or have a Gateway installed has been nothing short of Frustration and Aggravation – not an enhancement to their digital lifestyle.

        I don’t know how long it will be until Shaw abandons the Gateway or at least decides to enable the PVR Anywhere and Network Features on the Motorola DCX boxes. Their initial plan was to not offer these services on the Gateway and push the customers who want PVR functionality into buying a Gateway system. Now that the system is failing miserably I only hope Shaw will see the light and finally flick the switch and activate MOCA and PVR Anywhere on the Motorola DCX boxes. Sure the guide and GUI on the Motorola boxes isn’t as polished as the Gateway or Telus TV but hey IT WORKS! and the user experience is far more enjoyable then the frustrating, annoying Gateway.

        SHAW ! I hope you’re reading this forum and several other forums on the internet filled with customers giving you honest FEEDBACK on their Gateway Experience.

        Coca Cola was able to recover from their New Coke Blunder back in the 80’s and I have no doubt that SHAW will be able to bounce back from the Gateway and Pace cable box mistakes. I don’t believe a simple software patch is going to make the Gateway work the way it is marketed and intended, the hardware, infrastructure and networks within our neighborhoods and homes is just not compatible with the Gateway hardware design.

        Shaw give us MOCA and PVR Anywhere on the Motorola DCX cable boxes and you’ll have a lot more Happy Shaw customers than taking us down the path of the Gateway as you continue to fumble the ball with this product. There is a reason the Arris Moxxi Box (Tivo type device) never caught on in the USA and the Gateway is engineered around the Moxxi Box technology …. That was never a good idea!

        It’s only 6 weeks till Christmas – here’s hoping Shaw gives us all a present and announces the Motorola DCX3400 will be able to offer PVR anywhere in the New Year (2012) Please Shaw!

        If you have a Gateway experience either good or bad – please post comments on this blog so we can share it with our readers.

  4. Parm says:

    I am thinking about getting shaw Gateway. But, I wanted to know if the main unit is noisy & if the remote is easy to use (I am currently with Bell)?

    • djsedm says:

      The Shaw Gateway consists of two pieces of equipment the Gateway box which is similar in size to your current Bell dual tuner DVR satellite receiver and the Shaw Gateway Portal which is smaller similar in size to a Bell non-HD satellite receiver. The main Gateway unit which contains the hard drive and cooling fan (both causes of noise) is usually installed in the utility room or AV equipment rack where noise is usually not an issue. The smaller Portal units are installed at the TV location or where the equipment is exposed and seen. The Portal’s are quiet since they are passively cooled and do not contain any noisy hard drives or fans. This makes the Portals great for bed rooms where conventional DVR’s would make whining and clicking noises as the hard drive and fan spin. The Gateway Hub itself has the same issues as any conventional DVR equipped set top box whether satellite or cable however since the Gateway Hub is usually located out of sight this noise should not be an issue.

      The remote control on the Bell Satellite receiver especially the dual tuner PVR model is vastly superior to the Shaw Gateway. First off the Bell Dual PVR satellite receiver remote control is UHF (radio frequency remote) and can be used anywhere in the home since it transmits commands by air waves. The Shaw Gateway – Portal Remote control is strictly Infrared and needs to be line of sight with the cable box in order to operate. The Bell remote is also a universal remote and will control various other components and functions, the Shaw Portal remote is mainly a cable box remote and only offers power on – off for TV functions and volume, mute and power for audio receivers. Both remotes – Shaw and Bell are back light.

      Another feature you didn’t mention with Bell not available on any Shaw cableboxes including the Gateway system is the On Screen Caller ID feature which displays the telephone number caller id info on the TV screen while you’re watching. This is a great feature offered on both Bell and Telus TV however not offered on Shaw.

      I personally was a Bell users for more than 12 years and have been a Shaw cable customer for eight. As a systems integrator I install and configure all systems including Shaw Cable, Bell and Shaw Direct (formerly Starchoice) satellite and Telus TV. Overall Bell in my opinion still offers the best user interface, audio quality and programming experience over Telus TV and Shaw cable or Satellite. Each system Cable, Telephone and Satellite has pros and cons, Satellite is prone to rain fade and poses some installation challenges, Telus TV has a slick user interface and offers PVR anywhere functionality while Cable is the easiest system to install since most homes are already configured for it.

      The choice of TV service provider is up to each individual and there is no One Best System for everyone. You should look closely and evaluate the Shaw Gateway system to insure it will meet your needs and expectations and that you will not miss the UFH Remote Control, Caller ID, better recording timer and other features on Bell Satellite that you might be giving up when switching to Cable. Of course switching to a single service provider for telephone, internet and TV can result in substantial savings due to bundling services which makes Shaw and excellent value, although you have to give up a little to save a little.

      My strongest suggestion when considering the Gateway is to see it and have some hands on with it prior to purchase, renting it would be the best bet however Shaw does not offer that option so if you’re going to make the leap to the Gateway be prepared to fork out $500 – $1000 on equipment and then live with your decision. Shaw doesn’t have long term contracts …. they don’t need them, once you invest in the equipment you’re pretty much guaranteed to stay with the service for at least a couple of years due to the equipment cost.

      Good luck in your decision and drop us a line if you go for the Gateway and let us know how you like it.

  5. biglar says:

    The Shaw Gateway Plan requires that the cost of the hardware be billed to a credit card, i.e., VISA, Mastercard monthly, which is currently $14.00/month. You most do so for 3 years. If after only a year you decide to quit, your credit card will be billed 24 month times $14.00.

  6. Peter G says:

    Do you know if the Gateway system is less prone to pixelation problems that the Motorola? We experience pixelation problems every week or two which mess up recordings and usually means we need to reboot the PVR. I’d go Gateway right away if it’s more stable, and if I can connect an external hard drive – I don’t really want to go from 1 TB to 500 MB.

    • djsedm says:

      Do you know if the Gateway system is less prone to pixelation problems that the Motorola? We experience pixelation problems every week or two which mess up recordings and usually means we need to reboot the PVR. I’d go Gateway right away if it’s more stable, and if I can connect an external hard drive – I don’t really want to go from 1 TB to 500 MB.

      Peter I’m uncertain as to why your having pixellation problems I have a couple guesses about that and will speak to that in a moment.

      As far as the Gateway system being more reliable or stable than the Motorola – nothing could be further from the truth. First let me begin by saying I like “the idea” of the Shaw Gateway and wish it worked better than it does, however wishing something to be doesn’t make it so. The Shaw Gateway has been plagued with problems since it’s introduction and if one wants to go back into it’s origins, the Arris Moxi Box (tivo type DVR) which is the platform the Shaw Gateway evolved from was also problem ridden.

      I had a client just last week switch back to Motorola cable boxes and give back the Gateway after using it for three months (see comments on my Youtube page). Further I have two more customers frustrated with their Gateway experience. Both customers have had problems with hard drives, portal boxes and recordings. Moving from Motorola to Arris Gateway may just increase your level of dissatisfaction and frustration and solve nothing. Common complaints with the Gateway are freezing Portals, Pixellating Portals, missing recordings, not recognizing external hard drives, not being able to play recordings on Portals from internal or external HD’s, having to reboot the Gateway or Portals to re-sync or connect back to the system and that’s just to name a few that come to mind.

      The Motorola Platform be it DCX or DCT models are the most reliable of the three systems Shaw sells and installs. The Pace Branded boxes are the worse followed by the Gateway then the Motorola with the best service record.

      Pixelation can be caused by a number of factors not related directly to the equipment such as poor or weak cable signal strength, bad cable connections, bad splitter or amplifier, old wiring in the house, insufficient wiring in the home, old wiring in the neighborhood, bad wiring or equipment at the network node or some where down the line to your house, construction in your area and poor reception at the source by the cable company itself. All these issues will cause problems with your cable reception and potentially cause Pixelation regardless of the equipment you’re using. I assume you’ve called Shaw and they’ve sent a cable tech to your home and neighborhood to check all these external factors out.

      Once all the network and cabling issues have been tested, resolved and worked out if the problem still is occurring then the next step (not the first step) would be to examine and look at the equipment. How old is your PVR? How much capacity or recording space is used and how much is left on your PVR? Your cable box PVR is like a mini computer which uses software and an operating system stored on the hard drive to operate all the functions of the PVR. If you’re hard drive is noisy or ticking loudly or making loud clicking noises chances are it’s wearing out. If the hard drive is not making noises but is 75% or more full of recordings which has not been deleted for a long period of time then your PVR operating system could be needing more memory and storage space to run smoothly. If your PVR is old the hard drive may be heavily fragmented from continuously recording which is another problem source and lastly the power supply inside the PVR could be getting old and weak and not providing the proper constant and consistent voltage for the PVR to operate reliably. All these things are factors in the proper operation of your PVR and any one or combination of them can lead to the problems you describe.

      Between the Gateway and Motorola DCX series cable boxes the Motorola DCX wins every time. Do I wish the Shaw Gateway worked better – absolutely I do, as a Shaw customer myself I would like a Gateway with PVR anywhere features however until they perfect their existing equipment or go with a different brand or model, I’m sticking with my Motorola Boxes and would recommend you do the same.

      It you haven’t done so already give Shaw Cable Service a call, tell them about your problems and schedule an appointment for a service tech to come to your home and check things out. The Gateway’s not the answer – repairing your Motorola cable box or cable line and signal to your home is the solution to your pixellation problems.

  7. Denis says:

    I have had the Shaw Gateway system since July and have been extremely happy with it. I have 3 portals, one connected to a HD tv and two connected to SD tv’s. The recording settings are fantastic, i love the menus and the responsiveness while not always perfect is much better than the Motorola PVR’s I had in the past. Picture quality is great and being able to customize the guide to the channels I actually have is fantastic.

    • djsedm says:

      Denis, thanks for you’re POSITIVE Comments on the Shaw Gateway, it indeed is a great looking system and even better to hear it’s working well for you.

      I don’t know if you are in a newer area of the city you live in, I have been told and have also found with my clients that live in newer areas of the city that have Fiber Optic cable installed, sometime right to their panel that those homes have the best experience with Shaw Gateway and Telus Optk TV.

      I do agree with you that the Menus and GUI look much better and more polished and refined than the Motorola DCX or DCT boxes.

      Have you tried connecting an extra external hard drive to your Gateway yet, and if so were you able to get it to record to the external hard drive and replay recording from the external hard drive. If you’ve got that feature working on the Gateway please let us know.

      Once again Thanks for your positive comments and continued best wishes with the Gateway – Enjoy!

      • Denis says:

        Sorry for not replying sooner.

        I have not tried attaching an external hard drive. With the PVR settings I can simply set all my series to keep 3, 5 or 10 and all delete as space is needed. I have never found space to be an issue and I have over 35 series being recorded. I mostly have them set to record new episodes only and keep 3. I don’t use the PVR for long term storage of movies or sporting events, it is just to record TV series really or a sporting event as a oen off, and then I let the system delete as space is required.

        I have experienced some issues with skipping forward, occasionally it just won’t work and I have to use the fast forward instead, but I haven’t had that happen in over a month. Sometimes it hangs on a skip and I have to wait for a second or two before skipping again, but I am patient and this doesn’t really bother me.

        On the motorola that I had before I was constantly running into cases where two things were recording and I couldn’t watch live TV without watching one of those feeds. Also I always had to watch my recorded shows on the same TV, no going and finishing the last half of a show in bed. With the Gateway I have no issues like this ever. The picture quality is great, and i can filter my channel listing to show only the channels that I get.

        Also, I am in an older area of St. Albert, not a newer one.

        I hope everyone else’s experience improves, I love the Gateway.

      • djsedm says:

        Denis – thanks for posting your positive comments on the Gateway and I’m glad to see it’s working well for you especially in a older area. If you can please check the comments section of this post and click the link to the Shaw Gateway survey it would be great if you would fill it out and provide some much needed positive feedback.

        Forums and reviews such as this can often seem negative as the reviewer points out all the pros and cons of a product, It’s end users such as yourself who provide much needed feedback to readers of ACTUAL Experiences which is invaluable in assisting readers in forming their opinions.

        I’m glad your having a positive gateway experience! More good news stories are always appreciated and help to balance out some of the more critical ones. Thanks for reading and posting your comments.

        I there is one thing you’d change, add or improve on the Gateway what would it be?

  8. StevieMac says:

    I recently had the Gateway installed with two portals to replace our old Motorola PVR. I must say that we’ve had nothing but frustration. The navigation is slow and glitchy. Often it freezes and or just shuts it’s self off. The “pink” screen is also getting old fast. We need to unplug and reboot the system at least once a day. And the remote is not as well set out as the old one. Where’s the exit button? I thought this was the ultimate experience. It is … in frustration. Also, why can you only search for shows 4 or 5 days ahead? The old PVR let you search like 2 or 3 weeks ahead.

    • donald hammond says:

      i had one for 10 days and had the same frustrations and took it back to Shaw and they returned my previous 2 wonderful Motorola 500 GB PVR`s. The FF buttons worked intermittently and its difficult to read the channel numbers on the left side of the guide screen because they are so small. Likewise dates on recording list are too small. Too many options on horizontal control list. To delete recordings you have to go through 3 steps. Maybe when Shaw gets this system as easy to operate as Motorola, I will try it again.

  9. Shawtech says:

    Hey guys,

    If you have a gateway, fill out the survey and the results will be posted.

    • djsedm says:

      Great idea Shawtech – please post a comment on the blog when you get the results

      All Gateway owners and users should fill out the survey found on the link posted in Shawtech’s comments, it would be great to get some more feedback on the gateway.

      • Shawtech says:

        I am not sure who GWSurvey is, but he is posting on multiple forums.
        He said he woukd post the results on each of those boards, so the link above is where the results will go.

        I am spreading the word, as i think it is a real good thing for customers to provide feedback because shaw like to hear what customers want, and how products are doing.

  10. It there no call display function at this point? Seems crazy when they are supplying the phone service as well even though the function through the Gateway isn’t activated yet.

  11. pjurisic says:

    I have had nothing but problems with the Shaw Gateway. I now have no signal (for a week) having had two technicians visit in the last 3 months. The earliest they can come out is the middle of December. I have unplugged and reset the main gateway at least 50 times. I have lost all of my recordings. If you don’t mind being on hold for hours, waiting weeks for technicians, no TV signal, and wasting your money, get the Shaw Gateway. Oh, they won’t admit to having any problems at all.

    • djsedm says:

      I’ve had very few clients personally who’ve had success with the Gateway, out of 9 clients now I only have one who says “It’s OK”, not WOW, COOL, Incredible, but it’s ok, it’s not without its problems but hopefully they’ll fix them with a software update. I personally know three clients who tried the Gateway and returned it and went back to Motorola DCX cable boxes, as one client said, they’re not as pretty BUT they work.

      Your right about SHAW publicly not disclosing any of the issues with the Gateway, I have noticed they’ve slowed down their advertising of the Gateway on television but when you call them or talk to a sales person either at Shaw or a retail store like BestBuy the sales person raves about how GREAT the Gateway is and discloses nothing about the problems, glitches and shortcomings. Now go for coffee or drinks with a shaw technician or have a casual conversation with a Shaw tech or retail sales person and you’ll hear a completely different story … a story about all the glitches problems and shortcomings.

      The best way to describe the Gateway is for you single guys out there – the Gateway is like the HOT CHICK you date, sure she’s a lot a fun, awesome to look at and show off to your friends but once you spend a lot of time with her you see all the flaws, faults and short comings and eventually break up.

      For you married guys, the Gateway is like the Italian Sports Car, sure it’s cool to look at, show off to your friends and wow what HIGH Performance – when it works!. In reality you get the car out on the road and it continually breaks down, you’re constantly waiting for a tow truck, and getting it towed back to the shop for service and just a little tweak here and there. Your mechanic assures you that he fixed everything this time only to have you broken down on the road again tow days later and the same wait for a tow, back to the shop and then out once again cycle repeats itself over and over.

      Finally for those women out their (and guys) – the Gateway is like the boyfriend or girlfriend you date and want to keep or marry because they’ve got potential. They’re great to look act, intelligent, sociable – they just have they’re certain little quirks that drive you crazy and never seem to go away. Do you break up with them – NO – Because you BELIEVE they will change. You believe either you can change them or they will change, you tell your friends they have “LOTS OF POTENTIAL” and in fact that’s what you like-love about them is Not Who They Are Not, but what you ENVISION them to BE. That my friends is the best example of the Shaw Gateway.

      We ALL LOVE the THOUGHT of What the Gateway COULD BE. We like the ability to record and watch up to 6 HD shows at one time, we love the expandable hard drive, we love PVR anywhere, MOCA networking of our cable boxes and other devices plus many more …. yes folks we’re in LOVE with the POTENTIAL of What the Shaw Gateway COULD BE however the bitter reality is – the SHAW Gateway just like the boyfriend or girlfriend we love the potential of and want to change, the Shaw Gateway is FLAWED, and much less than perfect, on the surface it promises to be a lot while in reality – it delivers very little.

      In case you think I’m bashing Shaw – don’t get me wrong, I’m in LOVE with the POTENTIAL of what the Gateway Could be Also! Yes, my god, I want the gateway to change, I want it to be more reliable, I want it to delivery all the things that Shaw says it can do, the only problem and bitter reality is buy the time Shaw irons out the bugs of the Gateway, if it ever does, it will be obsolete and either be left behind by future technologies by Telus Optik TV or Bell Satellite (both of which have their own pros and cons)

      My point is this The Shaw Motorola Boxes WORK – they WORK Now, they’re solid and reliable and HAVE the POTENTIAL to offer PVR Anywhere, REMOTE Internet access and programing and MOCA connectivity – YES my god these boxes not only HAVE potential they have a proven track record of actually being used for all these features south of the border on other cable carriers in the USA – for heavens sake Shaw update the firm ware and enable PVR Anywhere, Moca and Remote Programming on the cable boxes you already know work MOTOROLA DCX series. Shaw you can still play with the GATEWAY and keep tinkering with it to try and get it right – while you continue to lose market share to Telus and Bell or you could strengthen your product offerings to your existing clients by offering them the competitive features THEY WANT and can get elsewhere and then enhance and bring new hardware to market.

      I don’t know the future of the Shaw Gateway other then to say it was not successful when marketed as a 3 Tuner PVR called Arris Moxi Box against TiVo, TiVo crushed it even though it had fewer tuners but for some reason Moxi Box never gained market share. The Shaw Gateway (aka reinvented Arris Moxi Box) is essentially the boyfriend or girlfriend coming back saying I’ve Changed, look at me know, only to find out that no they haven’t changed, sure they lost a few pounds, got a new hair cut and tan but deep down inside they’re still the same guy or girl.

      Oh well – that’s my rant for the day. As a Shaw customer I sincerely hope they give up on the Gateway and concentrate their efforts on enhancing the Motorola DCX series. That’s my personal opinion.

      If you haven’t done so -please check the comments section of this post for a link to a Shaw Gateway Survey and answer it. If would be great to see the experience of Gateway owners on a larger sample size, I encourage you to take the survey.

  12. GWSurvey says:

    Here are the results for the Shaw Gateway Survey. Thanks to everyone that participated in this.

    Head on over here to see the results

    • carzulnich says:

      Wow, I’m truly surprised by the results. After reading a lot of bad things about the Gateway, I expected the results to be a landslide of negativity, but that wasn’t the case. Then again, these online polls and surveys are no where near being “scientific” and can be easily skewed by a handful of nutjobs answering multiple times.

      BTW, Shaw is currently pushing out a firmware bug-fix update for the Gateway and Portal.

      • djsedm says:

        With only 13.2% extremely satisfied with the Gateway and 52.6% neutral or dissatisfied and 72% of respondents saying they wouldn’t recommend the Gateway system to a friend – I would say the survey results are pretty accurate to what my clients and friends has been telling me.

        First – only 27.6% of respondents say they would recommend the Gateway to a friend while the remainder 72.4% are either sitting on the fence, say maybe once more fixes are in place or flat outright say No. That’s hardly what I would call good word of mouth advertising for Shaw.

        The two features most appealing about the Gateway

        1 – PVR Anywhere or Multi Room PVR @ 88.2%
        2 – 6 HD Record/Play 82.9% the ability to record and playback up to 6 HD channels or streams at a time – currently NOBODY has this capability in a Networked DVR.

        The survey results show 62% say the Gateway works with major or minor bugs and 10.5% who are neutral – that indicates that a full 72.5% of Gateway users feel the system is Flawed to some degree and most likely due to the lack of viable alternatives are STICKING IT OUT in hopes that Shaw will eventually improve the Gateway Experience.

        Given the lack of competitive alternatives, Telus TV offers PVR anywhere or MultiRoom PVR and Online Apps, access and programming but only a maximum of 3 HD streams to homes with Fiber and 1 or 2 HD streams to homes with Copper, the six (6) HDTV tuner Gateway is enticing even with it’s bugs and flaws. Similarly Bell currently does not have equipment that offers Networked PVR or Multi Room PVR making the Gateway the only choice for homes and families which need to stream and watch more than 1 or 2 HDTV feeds at one time. It’s the lack of competitive product offerings more than the benefits associated with the product that are fueling Gateway sales and in turn making frustrated Gateway owners hold on to their frustrating Gateway system. Using my girlfriend, boyfriend example from previous comments, Gateway owners are reluctant to Break Up with the Frustrating Gateway system (much like you’re got going to break up with your girlfriend or boyfriend) until something better comes along or the level of frustration and annoyance is so high that you can’t take it anymore. This reason more than any other has allowed the Gateway with all it’s flaws to remain in the homes of so many Shaw customers – they have no choice if they want more than 1-2 HDTV streams, a Networked PVR and MultiRoom capability. These features are the most highly desired and at this time no other service provider has an viable alternative either – hence Gateway it is until something better comes along.

        Herein lies the rub …. Until something better comes along. If Shaw were to offer Networked PVR and MultiRoom PVR on the Motorola platform DCX cable boxes I seriously question how many Gateway owners would keep their systems with an alternative available? Secondly if Telus can upgrade their Optik TV service to include 2-4 HDTV live streams – now you’re talking and lastly Dish network in the USA uses the same hardware platform as Bell and has a networked PVR which means it’s only a matter of time till one lands here in Canada for Bell.

        What this means moving forward is unless the Gateway experience radically improves there are going to be a lot of disgruntled Gateway owners out there as competitive alternatives become available.

        This is the main reason why we can’t recommend the Gateway system to our clients at this time – on a purchase or ownership basis.

        We think the Gateway system is fine on a rental basis – which if things improve Great you keep renting and if competitive offerings become available then you ditch the Gateway and go with the system with the highest performance and features and the fewest BUGS and Glitches.

        If you need more than 2 HDTV streams Shaw Cable or Bell are your only options. If you want MultiRoom PVR capability with more than 2 HDTV streams then – Shaw Gateway is your only option, glitches, bugs, flaws and all. This is the price you pay of being an early adopter of technology. Things are going to dramatically improve, shift and change in the coming months so make your decisions carefully by gathering all the information you can on all three systems Shaw, Bell and Telus.

    • djsedm says:

      Way to go GWSurvey, good to see the results on a broad spectrum of Shaw Gateway owners, the comments section is the most revealing.

      I think we all want the Shaw Gateway to be a success (or some other Shaw cablebox with similar features). Multiroom PVR and up to 6 Channels of HDTV programming and recording capability is a requirement of many families and households and these are two of the Gateways’ strongest attributes it would be great if they could work the bugs out or enable these features on the Motorola cableboxes too.

      Good Work GWSurvey and thanks for posting the results.

      If you haven’t read the results of the Gateway survey click the link and read the results and comments – it’s very revealing of the Shaw Gateway pros and cons.

  13. S Demi says:

    Hi this has been a good forum and thanks for the candid reviews. Shaw recently had a 2day surprise sale in Vancouver at a temp retail outlet and Gateway was extremely discounted. Had I known the remote was not as efficient and the speed perhaps not as good I probably would have just bought a new DCX to replace my 4yr old model that no longer functions with 2 tuners. Instead it did sound too good to be true to have a customizable interface and 6 channel recordings plus networking and auto software updates so I went with it. With a very short wait for a free install I will have an open mind and see how I like it. If I’m not happy I will trade it in for a DCX.

    • djsedm says:

      Shaw had a huge discount and blow out sale here in Edmonton too, Up to $300 cash back when subscribing to all three Shaw services Cable, Phone and Internet plus a huge discount on the Gateway and also the DCX Boxes.

      Please don’t take the comments made by myself (moderator/host) or other readers as strictly negative. The “THOUGHT or DREAM” of the Gateway or similar devices is what everyone WANTS, unfortunately either because of poor design of the Gateway product, software engineering or limitations to Shaw’s network the Gateway has performed poorly and is filled with bugs and glitches leaving many users with a very aggravating and frustrating experience. While the Motorola lineup is less “SLICK” then the Gateway it does offer more reliable and stable performance and at a lower cost. DCX3400 Shaw PVR Cableboxes were selling in Edmonton last week at $129 for boxing week! Some original DCX3400 owners paid $500 bucks for their boxes only 14 months ago. The same holds true for the Gateway, initially it was $600 only 6 months ago – now you can pick it up for under $350.

      The real frustrating thing with Shaw and the Motorola vs Gateway offerings is that BOTH Cableboxes are capable of doing PVR Anywhere and Networked PVR with Portals. Commcast in the US has been offering and selling networked PVR Anywhere Motorola DCX3400’s since last year, yet Shaw chose to offer PVR Anywhere and network PVR only on the Gateway because it has a SEXIER Interface and they though that would make it compete with Telus Optik better. The truth is while the Gateway and Telus Optik look better – the Motorola with it’s old school Guide and interface is hands down more reliable and rock solid than either Gateway or Optik.

      If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind a little tweaking here and there, some glitches and rebooting a few times a week the Gateway will probably deliver a reasonable experience for you. If you’re more the Set It and Forget It, Plug N Play kinda of guy or gal then you might be in for a rocky road with the Gateway.

      Good Luck with your New Gateway – my sincere wish is that you have a Positive Experience, either way, Positive or Negative it would be GREAT if you would come back after a month of using the Gateway and post your feedback for our readers.

      All the best in 20112!

  14. DaveInBC says:

    About three weeks ago I signed on to the new Shaw gateway experience, using the Arris equipment. My past experience with Shaw and the Motorola PVR granted me the confidence that I was making a sound decision. I was very disappointed, and will be returning all of my Arris equipment in the morning, after three weeks of poor performance. It reminds me of when I first tried Telus TV, when it was first unleashed in its early form. The constant signal drop outs and ridiculously slow guide, as well as the guide freezing, and disappearing for long periods of time are all I can take. Did Shaw not test this system before releasing it for sale? I’m going back to the Motorola equipment. It works.

    • djsedm says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience with the Gateway Dave. I just noticed in my London Drugs flyer today Shaw’s now selling the Gateway for $206 for the Tuner Hub and Portals are now only $142 each.

      I wonder if Shaw is giving any money or credits back to the early adopters that bought the first Gateways back in May and June for $600-$800?

      • Aaron says:

        I purchased Gateway on December 31st in Victoria at Shaw’s ‘Secret Sale’. It was installed on the 4th, the PVR and 4 portals. I paid $196 for the PVR and 1 portal, the other 2 portals were free with the exchange of my old Motorola PVR’s, which I thought was a great deal. So far my experience has been quite good, I find the picture and sound quality to be great and so far I have not had any of the problems that anyone else has described. I to have noticed the absence of an ‘Exit’ button which I feel is necessary, I think the guides look great but function slightly slower than the Motorola’s. The Shaw technicians that did the install were great and made sure that everything worked before they left. There is also the nice plus of more content available in the OnDemand section, so far so good…

      • djsedm says:

        Thanks for sharing your Shaw Gateway experience. Most of the shaw techs are great guys so glad to hear your install went well. Yes Shaw needs to come up with a firmware upgrade and new remote with an EXIT feature – my god what were they thinking? Give us an update from time to time and let us know how the Gateway is working for you in a month or so and if you have any freezing or rebooting or hard drive issues.

        Best wishes and good luck, sounds like you got a great deal!

  15. koot says:

    if you push left on the remote, that is the exit, works the same as the ps3 interface

  16. Dave says:

    The Live button is the Exit button on the remote, this should be made clear to customers.

    • Larry says:

      But if watching a PVR recording and I am in the menu and hit live I go to live TV, not an exit from the menu system.

  17. rsingh says:

    I just bought the gateway and 2 portals for my two HD TV’s at home. Honestly I’m not impressed at the moment. The remote control is so hard to use and I don’t know how to re-program it so I can turn my TV on and use volume controls. Now I have to use 3 remotes, to get audio/video (TV, Portal and Receiver) The menu on the Pace was far easier to use as well…

    Shaw did promise updates to the Portal and the ability of the Gateway to act as a WIFI router. I hope that happens soon. Hopefully the updates can be to the user interface to make it easier to use.

    • djsedm says:

      Yes the Gateway is a fundamentally flawed product which unfortunately doesn’t match up to the Hype.

      While Shaw keeps promising updates and upgrades the ones to date have done little to enhance the user experience, functionality or reliability of the Gateway.

      I find it interesting that you consider adding the ability of the Gateway to act as a Wi-Fi router a Benefit? Rock solid, reliable and cheap, Wi-Fi N & g high speed routers are available from Netgear, D-link and Cisco which are faster and more stable than anything built into the Gateway. The problem with using the Gateway as your WHOLE HOUSE Solution for everything is that you will have one device doing everything and a SINGLE POINT OF FAILURE. This isn’t good, since the Gateway already has so many issues and problems – ask yourself, Do I really want to run my internet and Wi-Fi through the Gateway also. What happens when you have to re-boot the Gateway? you’re rebooting all your Wi-Fi connected devices too! How about firmware upgrades or patches – they might affect your Wi-Fi too, what about Wi-Fi speed and range, it you can’t get high enough speed or long enough range with the Gateway what are your options for improving these?

      Thanks but NO Thanks – adding Wi-Fi to an already problematic piece of equipment isn’t an improvement but rather adding more to go wrong and asking for more problems.

      Customer service is another issue with adding Wi-Fi to the Gateway. Sure it’s great to have one number to call when things go wrong however when the wait on hold for that one number is in excess of 30-1hr wouldn’t it be nice to have another customer support number to call at a different company.

      The more things the Gateway does the harder it is to troubleshoot the problems and the more devices and services become affected.

      If all you have to do is troubleshoot a cable modem or a Wi-Fi router or a cablebox then you can focus and drill down at a specific problem with each device. If a single device does all these functions and more then the difficulty in troubleshooting the device compounds and multiplies as does all the other devices connected to it.

      Sorry I don’t see adding Wi-Fi as a bonus or improvement on the Gateway – I’ll stick to running separate Netgear Routers with 250-450mbs N speed Wi-Fi rather than sub 100mbs from a built in router with all it’s associated problems.

      If Shaw is offering you a money back return for the Gateway you should take it back and get your money back and buy or rent a different solution. By the time or should I say if Shaw ever gets the Gateway to perform as advertised there will be other product offerings on the market which will be better, more reliable and easier to use than the Gateway and the Gateway will be old news.

      Bell will be coming out with the new Echostar Hopper satellite system later this spring which was introduced at CES 2012. The Hopper solution is built around proven technology and unlike the Gateway is intuitive, reliable and easy to use, oh ya … an the remote is Radio Frequency no RF so it works all over your house and is programmable similar to other echostar remotes to work your other devices.

      Several cable providers in the USA have upgraded their Motorola DCX firmware to offer PVR anywhere and Multi Room PVR plus streaming to mobile devices.

      In addition to Motorola, Pace and Arris there are several other makers of STB’s which will be releasing new products and refining their existing products so by the time the Gateway becomes all that it can be … it will be surpassed by other manufacturer’s and technologies.

      I wish you well with your Gateway Experience please update us from time to time on your experience – all user experience Good or Bad is helpful for the community.

      • Denis says:

        My experience and that of a couple of co workers continues to be good. I have added a harmony remote to the living room which is working fantastic. I have 37 series recordings scheduled, never have to worry about running out of space or not being able to watch a show because two others are currently recording. I don’t have to remember to swap tuners to avoid losing the buffer on the show I’m watching when I want to check another channel. When my kids want to watch a recorded show I don’t have to give up the TV it was recorded on, they can go watch it on theirs. I can access, search and order VOD much more easily and in the summer using Movie club was excellent (no time for movies in the winter).

        With all these discounts that have been mentioned though I will be calling shaw to see if I can get some money back as I paid full price as soon as it was available. In the past they have been very accommodating in this regard offering promo discounts off of my current package to compensate.

  18. Collin says:

    Thank you for your reviews and everyone’s comments. For me this has been an eye opener.
    My Christmas gift was a 60″ HDTV. I have Shaw Direct but have my own PVR’s (Toshiba’s that have worked flawlessly for years) . I am trying to decide what service to now use for HD and what HDPVR to use. I do a lot of Recording of TV shows and rarely watch anything live. What system works the best for recorded broadcasts? I am in an area where they have just stung fiber. Any comments one way or another would be appreciated.

    • djsedm says:

      Collin – each service provider has pros and cons

      Fiber is a GOOD THING and Telus Optik TV and Shaw both work better when delivered over fiber.
      Bell and Shaw Direct are satellite – so fiber doesn’t help them out.

      I personally have Shaw in my home but will be switching back to Bell as soon as Bell brings the new Dish Hopper System to Canada later this spring or fall.
      I just installed a Bell system in a 1.75 million dollar home and have to say they still have the best GUI and PVR on the market. The Dish Hopper system will make Bell even better.
      Satellite does have have 3 drawbacks:
      1 – Wiring, unless you use Dish Pro Plus (DPP) system you need two coax to each dual tuner Satellite Receiver and there is a maximum of 6 Sat receivers on a single account
      2 – Weather – satellite occasionally loses signal or pixellates due to rain or snow fade (a bigger dish helps prevent this)
      3 – Satellite Dish – obviously satellite requires the installation of a dish on your home and some home owners and municipalities don’t like seeing the dish on the roof.
      I guess a 4th drawback with satellite is the cost since it is the most costly of the three services since you can’t bundle services in many areas.

      Next up is Telus Optik TV. The GUI and Interface on Optik TV is great and the PVR works fines. The main obstacle with Optik is internet bandwidth. Most homes can only receive 1 HD and 2 SD signals on Optik TV. Newer areas with fiber can usually get 2 HD feeds and 1 SD feed but that’s about it. Unlike cable or satellite watching TV on Optik will slow down your internet speed so if you’re surfing and watching TV your internet speed will drop. Telus routinely offers 25mbs speed to homes with fiber and if you’re watching TV expect your internet to slow down to about 7-10mbps.

      Most of the customers we have with Telus TV are indifferent about their Telus TV. 90% have experienced some form of freezing or having to reset which seems likely since the service is delivered over the internet. Some clients don’t like the speed of Telus internet when running Optik TV and others don’t like the ability to watch only 1 HD stream at a time. For households with larger families where kids will be watching tv or surfing the web while parents also want to watch TV or surf the web – Telus Optik can easily show it’s bandwidth limitations when everybodys accessing media at the same time.

      Shaw Cable is king when it comes to internet speed at 50mbps and the ability to add as many cable boxes as you want without effecting HD quality or internet speed. I have don’t installations with as many as 18 HDTV Shaw Cable boxes in a single location. Typical home installs have 4-6 HD cable boxes. Shaw offers two PVR products the Motorola DCX3400 and Shaw Gateway. Of the 2 Systems the Shaw Motorola DCX3400 is the more reliable and rock solid performing DVR compared to the problematic plagued Shaw Gateway. The motorla DCX3400 is also the easiest to connect using a single Coax Cable while the Gateway requires configuration and multiple cabling options. The GUI on the Shaw Gateway LOOKS Nicer and is more in line with Telus Optik however performance wise the Motorola DXC3400 is still the better unit for easy of use and reliability.

      All four service providers will provide similar HDTV picture quality and channel selections. If I was to rank the systems Bell would be number 1, followed by Shaw for convenience, faster internet, greater flexibility and price, Telus Optik would be third due to it’s limited bandwidth – although very attractive GUI and Shaw Direct would be last.

      Choosing a service provider isn’t all about the equipment – HD content is also important, as is price.

      Once again Bell has the most HD channels followed by Shaw and then Telus.

      Price is a different story, all three providers offer Bundled services and that’s where the price savings are. Subscribe to any service provider individually and the cost is much higher than if you bundle your TV, internet and telephone services. You can save as much as 30% by bundling services which is a factor which can’t be ignored.

      Both Telus and Shaw telephone are good, reliable telco service providers. Shaw is the fastest when it comes to internet and Bell doesn’t offer phone or internet services to most markets out west.

      The best suggestion I can give you is DO NOT SIGN UP FOR ANY LONGER TERM CONTRACTS until you’ve fully tested and tried the systems.

      Each system has pros and cons and in many cases what works great for one person or family is entirely the wrong option for another. Geographical issues also will affect the performance of each service, Telus, Shaw and Bell will all work better in some areas and neighborhoods and not as good in others. Some service providers may not be available in your area and internet service speeds radically change even within the city limits. One area of Edmonton can only get max 3mbps on Telus while another can get 25mpbs, Same for Shaw some areas cannot get 50mbs internet and 25mbps is the highest.

      Telus offers a bunch of freebies with a 3 year contract, so does Bell, if you choose either of these providers ask them for a 3 month (not 30 day) out clause, that way if you don’t like the service after 3 months you can discontinue services without penalty. I recommend a 3 month rental option to customers and although the service providers don’t normally advertise it they often will engage a 3 month rental period (at a marginally higher rate) – if you like the service after 3 months then sign up and continue for the 3 years and reap the savings.

      Lastly – if you’re not in a hurry and satellite is an attractive option for you the Dish Hopper system debuted at CES2012 is hands down the best system out there which will be available in Canada on Bell sometime this spring or fall. The Hopper will offer 3-6 tuner PVR, PVR anywhere, steaming ability and up to four HDTV set top boxes per system. Dish network and Bell share the same equipment manufacturer Echostar and their GUI and Platform is attractive and reliable.

      Good luck in your quest for the ultimate HDTV PVR – drop us a line and let us know what system you decided to go with and how it’s working out for you.

      Enjoy you’re new 60″ TV!

      • Collin says:

        I appreciate your reply. Shaw Direct has a policy of 30 days notice for cancellation so I will give notice at the end of this month. That means it will be the end of March before I need a new provider.
        Right now I am leaning toward Shaw Cable since they have the fastest internet speed, they are 30% lower in price than every other competitor I can find and you recommend them. While Bell may have the best service, your right, you cannot ignore the price saving from bundling your services. I will let you know who I finally pick and how it goes.

  19. djsedm says:

    Speaking of price you should be able to purchase the Shaw Motorola DCX3400 for $147 dollars, pricing changes from time to time between $199 and $147 so watch your sale flyers or ask Shaw to match the $147 price …. they should.

    One thing I didn’t mention with Shaw is the problem with Audio Drop Outs. This is a common problem with Shaw were occasionally the audio will drop out for a couple of seconds and then come back again. The audio dropout occurs only on the audio out (digital or analog) and does not drop on the coaxial RF feed. The problem has something to do with the packets of data being lost or scrambled when receiving the stream and the buffer in the DVR unable to compensate. This doesn’t happen too often but can be annoying when it does. Shaw direct satellite, Bell and Telus don’t seem to have this audio glitch but certain have other pros and cons.

    Shaw is pretty aggressive with their pricing especially bundling – Get a load of this one. I just finished a clients house who has Shaw for Internet and Telephone and Bell Satellite for HDTV. The cost for just telephone and internet from Shaw was over $150 per month, however if he subscribed to cable also the price drops to $96? My customer subscribed to all three Shaw services to get the lower rate although he is not going to use the CABLE portion of the service and the cablebox is sitting on a shelf in the closet not connected, while he saves $54 per month.

    Depending on the region of the country you live in Shaw’s pricing plans vary – make sure to ask your Shaw customer service agent about any special promotions or Bundling.

    When I signed up for my Shaw Service I bundled all three services phone, internet and TV and received a free HDTV cable box rental (DCX3200 non PVR) for as long as I’m a Shaw subscriber. The total cost of all three services, cable TV, internet and phone was also 22% cheaper than having cable and internet with Shaw and Telephone from Telus.

  20. Bob hindman says:

    How do I change the clock setting? My tv changed along with ever thing else but cannot find a way with the portal and this is screwing me up

    • djsedm says:

      Bob, the guide and clock on the Gateway should be updated automatically by Shaw. To my knowledge there are NO Time adjustment settings, just the option to display either the TIME or CHANNEL on the front LED Display of the Portal or turn if off completely.

      I do not have a Gateway or Portal System in my home, (if you read this blog you will know my feelings on the product) however I do have Motorola DCX3200 and 3400 boxes which the guides and clocks all auto updated today when receiving the guide and streaming info from Shaw.

      My first suggestion to you is to call Shaw Support directly and see what they say. I realize that sometimes you may have to wait on line with Shaw for extended periods of time and this forum might be quicker but Shaw Support either by phone or Ask Amy online should be your first step.

      There is at least one Shaw Employee that reads this blog and has commented on it leaving his email address for any Gateway user who has trouble to contact him his email is:
      and he goes by the name SHAWSEAN on this blog.

      With that being said if you can’t get help from Shaw I do have one suggestion you might want to try but no guarantees that it will work and this is to reset your gateways and portals by unplugging them all waiting a few minutes and then plugging them back in.

      This will reset and reboot the Gateway and each Portal initializing them back with Shaw’s network and your internal home network, I’m not certain if this will work or not but it is the only suggestion I have for you.

      Good Luck and let us know how you solved your problem.
      Other readers may have a similar issue and your feedback may help them out.

  21. Wainos says:

    I have had the Gateway for about 6months now and have some of the problems already listed. Turn on TV and get no connection or the rolling shaw screen so have to turn off and restart,sometimes unplug. I have lost sound to the TV several times and have to unplug wait couple minuets and retart system which has always come back on with sound. As was sasid before I’m fairly happy with system when working but not impressed for the cost and hype of the new technology. TV listing should have sports and movies in different colors to easily pick out from menu. As far as customer service, it’s a joke which is hard when you need assistance.

    • djsedm says:

      Thanks for sharing your gateway and shaw experience with us, your comments are very similar to many Gateway owners.

      I have noticed Shaw’s customer service has taken a dip lately. In fairness to Shaw, other BIG companies including Telus, Bell, Rogers, Emax, Direct Energy etc have their customer service challenges also. Big companies such as these can provide an adequate level of service to hundreds of customers a day and all it takes is one bad experience and POOF there goes their customer service reputation.

      I deal with Shaw, Rogers, Telus and Bell on a regular basis and have had my share of both positive and negative experiences with each one of them. On any given day my opinion of each service provider can shift from high to low based on that day’s frustration with CSR, Sales Rep or Tech Support.

      It’s important to let companies know when they’re screwing up and equally important to let them know when they’ve done a great job.

      I’m not certain why Shaw’s service has declined lately but I have noticed my wait times have increased steadily over the past six months.

      Hopefully Shaw will be able to higher more staff and decrease their on-hold wait times which can be excessive at times.

      Thanks again for sharing your Gateway Experience with our readers.

  22. Wayne says:

    Hi, I agree service is not as good as years ago, they do not seem to care. The Gateway, is full of flaws and a piece of junk.. to keep it clean. Fast forward and it goes to Call Shaw, then works.
    Tonight I was watching a show that stated it was 2 hours long, when i tried fast forwarding it went back about 10 minutes. This was very frustrating. I reset the box and it’s one hour now and works????
    The blue display is very hard to read. The menus are missing channels, I subscribe to HBO and Movie central, HBO will not show on the guide?? The recording feature works great, and picture is good, but many of the features are disabled. (USB) Router feature? It’s a lot of cash for something that does not work even close to 100%. The menus are slow to update, when you scroll beyond the screen. Don’t buy this machine yet it’s not working, all I hear is we are working on it, maybe when the payment is due I should say I am working on it. Good luck to everyone.

    • djsedm says:

      Well said, unfortunately I’ve heard comments similar to yours all too often. I really don’t know what Shaw was thinking when they evaluated this cablebox, certainly they must have noticed many of the flaws and glitches in the Gateway. Many of the Gateway problems are fundamental design flaws and not just simple software fixes.

  23. Grizzlybear says:

    We have had the Gateway boxes now for a few months.
    Major issues with audio and video sync using HDMI cords. This was solved going back to the green/red/blue cord which we were assured would not affect picture quality. Problem resolved and no issue with that since.
    I DO have a HUGE issue with the fact that setting up a favorites channel listing is impossible if you do not subscribe to most of Shaw’s channels ( a known issue apparently). We only have basic cable, so if I uncheck all the channels we do not get (becuase why would I want to know what is playing on a channel I don’t get, right?) you end up with alot of empty space in the channel guide AND channels you subscribe to not even showing up! INSANE! We had to resort to enabling back a block of channels we do not get (71-122), just in order to have our channels show up in our favorites guide. We just have to remember that when we reach channel 70 to skip up and up and up until we reach channel 200 and then we can see what’s on tv. Shaw rep said if you “hide” more than 40 channels, you will end up with issues in your guide if you have created a personal channel guide for yourself with the channels you subscribe to. Doesn’t that seem rather ridiculous in this tech age?

    I would like to point out to those with these boxes that Shaw confirmed there is a huge update coming to the boxes over April 25 and 26 that will address alot of issues (except my issue described above), but will most certainly fix the laggy issue with fast forwarding, rewinding and stuff like that. If you do not notice a change in those behaviours by May 1st, I was advised to call Shaw and make sure we did indeed get this big update.


    • djsedm says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience with the Gateway, I also heard about the new firmware update but unfortunately I’m not as optimistic as you. Shaw’s previous firmware upgrades on the Gateway and on other problematic boxes like their PACE cable boxes have done little to address the inherit problems with the engineering and design of the hardware and software.

      I sincerely hope for all the frustrated Gateway owners out there that Shaw’s latest firmware upgrade will fix many of the Gateway glitches and issues but for now I’ll save the fanfare until I hear back from Gateway owners after the update is released.

  24. bbak says:

    Not sure if this is still being looked at or not, but there was an update carried out on June 4-8, and everyone in my household has noticed that on the movies tab where it used to show up in time sequence, it now shows up in channel sequence, even when you ask to change to a future time slot. I contacted shaw support and they maintain it was always that way, anybody run into this?

  25. kbrough says:

    I started having *additional* issues with my system after the latest firmware “upgrade”. Ironically I received an actual piece of letter-mail from Shaw touting the improvements. I now have audio dropouts, frame-freeze and, impossible as this may sound, an even slower channel guide. Last night it was taking 15, count ’em, 15 seconds to page up or down in the guide. Prior to the upgrade things were mostly OK, nowhere as bad as others have experienced. Just the usual frustrations with the atrocious UI.

    There have been other firmware changes over the last few months, but the only noticeable changes have been UI tweaks. It is becoming more and more apparent to me that the hardware just isn’t up to the job, and no amount of software tweaking is gonna help.

    I’m in N Vancouver.

    • djsedm says:

      Thanks for sharing your Gateway experience, not sure if your problems are related to just North Vancouver or across the entire Shaw Network and Gateway Equipment. We did have some minor PVR/Guide issues two weeks ago with the Motorola DCX3400’s but that seems to have been cleared up either through a firmware upgrade or something directly on Shaw’s end.

      I do have one Gateway client who’s been complaining about the VERY SLOW Guide since day one (April 2012) but he hasn’t called this week to say it’s become even worse.

      The bad thing about firmware upgrades is while they often FIX or address a specific problem or issue they sometimes end up creating another problem. This sounds like whats happened to the Gateway in your area or perhaps across the Shaw Network.

  26. ShawTech says:

    With the latest 7.0.4 code, anyone have any new comments they can share about the gateway. Also the super ticker feature has come out, curious on users thoughts.

    7.0.4 for me has increased menu and grid guide speed immensely. Everything is much snappier and menus come up instantly. Can record ppv now, and delete more than 35 episodes in a folder. I guess there is more improvements on trick modes and skipping, and that still is working flawlessly for me since the 7.0.3 update.

    Anyone else have comments?

  27. RG Persson says:

    In the dictionary beside the definition of “dog’s breakfast” there is a picture of the Arris Gateway and its amateurish programming. Shaw had better be prepared to offer financial compensation to those of us who were suckered into this abysmal piece of garbage when and if they ever replace it with something that has actually been thought through and not just tossed together by a junior programming class.

  28. Carol says:

    Thank you mr. Serink for creating this blog. This blog confirms I’m not as crazy as I thought I was. I believe I have experienced most of the problems discussed above. And another one I’d like to add to the list. The other evening when it was very cold ( like colder than -30 ). Every time I started to watch a program, within five or ten minutes, I would get the black screen with the ( signal lost message ). I changed the channel several times back and forth. The problem repeating itself. One of the programs that kept loosing its signal was ‘ first wives club ‘. At first I thought the powers that govern the universe were trying to tell me I shouldn’t be watching this kind of crap on TV. Then I decided to pvr it. The next day I played the show in my pvr in its entirety and the gateway recorded it perfectly…
    I thought about calling shaw, but they always tell me to reboot or always try to just make me go away. The one time I insisted on a repair guy, he told me it was because I have too many TVs. I have 4 TVs, 2 hooked up with the gateway.
    Adding to this is the hundreds of dollars I’ve spent with the geek squad trying to be able to play a DVD (haven’t been able to in years), access my Apple TV (a Christmas present from 2 christmas’s ago) and program a $200 universal remote that has stopped working.
    So I’m back to the shaw remote and the tv remote.
    I have 2 university degrees and am a CA, but I don’t get this stuff.

    • kootneyboy says:

      Hi carol what this sounds like is the gateway is getting to much signal or db coming through. when it gets cold the cable feeding your house actually tighten up and become shorter thus increasing your signal. when it was installed if it was on the highend of its max level, when it got cold it was getting to much db pushing the frequency beyond its max causing multiple channel to do this. If you call into shaw ask what the levels are. If its +7 or higher this would be causing the issue as you don’t want to exceed+10. this may not be the case but is a good possibility and a easy fix for one of the service techs

  29. darren says:

    I have a gateway with six portals. I think I might be one of the beta testers when it comes to this system. I have 4 portals set up in one room as I am a football fanatic(I live for Sundays). Problems with the gateway/portal system include picture freeze(cant handle bandwith),and Independant remote control (radio frequency would be nice where you have 4 portals in one room). I had starchoice prior to this system and assumed portals would be able to be manipulated independantly. Also somewhat expensive. Have had pretty good support from shaw however not worth it for the money. I am considering an alternative.

  30. J-D says:

    Anybody know if the USB slot on the Portal can be used; if so, how? There’s no indication
    in any of the user guides where I can see this discussed – only that the USB exists.

  31. Fred says:

    Does anyone have a comment or opinion on coaxial or optic cable. Pros & cons of each? The reason I am asking, recently I asked a Telus rep. if their TV Optik service was a true optic fibre service and the response was. Kind of. When I ask for a clearer explanation I got a bunch of tech speak and gobbledygook. Can someone on this blog explain in laymen’s language what is Optik the way Telus spells it as to Optic. Is one better then the other. Perhaps this one is a good one for you to answer, Doyle. Thanks in advance.

    • djsedm says:

      Not sure exactly what you’re looking for in an explanation? Telus’s Optic TV is simply a BRAND Name no different than Ford Escape or Comcast Xfinity. Escape and Xfinity are simply brand or marketing names for their respective products, one being an SUV and the other a Cable Service Bundle from a US Cable Company. Shaw used to market their cable service with a catchy brand name a few years ago, but it was so catchy I can’t even remember what they called it now. Shaw’s currently marketing their internet service and mobile internet extension as Shaw Go WiFi and their mobile TV App as Shaw Go App.

      Fred Telus Optik TV is simply a marketing name for broadcast TV services delivered by Telus.

      I think you’re trying to determine perhaps which service is Better … The truth there is both companies have good products and like there is No Right Car for every driver there is no One Size Fits All TV solution for every customer.

      With regard to Optical VS Coaxial? These are two methods of delivering the same digital signal. Once again each method has benefits and drawbacks but the end result to you the consumer is the same. There is a difference between analog and digital transmission however depending on your specific requirements sometimes there is no inherent benefit to digital vs analog it really depends on your criteria. Digital signals often have copy protection and display data built into them allowing for higher resolution sometimes but with the caveat of copy guard, Analog signals are generally not copy protected and area often easier to distribute compared to digital (No HDCP and Not EDID)

      As far as digital transmission to your home of cable signals Digital is Digital. When it works it works and when it doesn’t it doesn’t. Whether the digital signal comes into your home via Copper Telephone Cable, CAt5/6 Cable, Coaxial Cable or Fiber Optic Cable the end result is the same. They’re all good when they work and not so great when they don’t.

      Telus and Shaw’s networks are a combination of all of the above mentioned data transmission methods and depending on where you live determines which type or types of cables will carry the signal to your home.

      Cable TV signals and reception are similar to cellular phone or internet receptions, Most users don’t care how the signal gets to their phone or computer, they simply want it to work and work quickly and reliably … the say holds true with broadcast TV reception, Cable, Satellite, IP Base Streaming TV they are all different methods to delivering the same streaming video content.

      • Fred Borg says:

        As always your ability to articulate your answers in plain simple language is very helpful. Thanks again Doyle. Cheers, Fred

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