Shaw Increases Prices on Motorola Cable boxes in hopes to shift customers to Buy the Problematic Gateway

Shaw increased the wholesale and retail prices of the Motorola DCX3400 and DCX3200 cable boxes this week in hopes that customers will decide to buy the new Gateway Hub and Portal based on price rather than features and advanced technology.

Between December 15, 2011 and January 15, 2012 the Shaw DCX3400 PVR was selling in Edmonton for $147-$149 dollars while the Motorola DCX3200 was spotted as low as $99.  Since January 15th, 2012 the price of the Motorola DCX3400 averaged $199 while the DCX3200 retailed for $149.  This week pricing on the Motorola cableboxes skyrocketed to $349 for the DCX3400 and $198 for the DCX3200.

Correction:  Sean at Shaw Cable contacted Techtipsandtoys today, to let us know the price increase only applies to the Motorola DCX3400 PVR,  the Non-PVR Motorola DCX3200 is still $142.00 as of 2/21/2012.  Sean commented the price increase was due to a promotion expiring.  Thanks for providing the official pricing information Sean.

Why the price increase?  Did the Canadian dollar lose 50% and the exchange go up? No.  Did Motorola double it’s wholesale price to Shaw – No,  why the increase then?  Simple,  Shaw is trying to persuade customers to buy the problematic Gateway Hub and Portal based price rather than features and benefits.

I spoke with salespersons at two large electronics retailers this week who told me they get 90% return rates on the Shaw Gateway and hate selling them because they make no money on the product and a few days after the sale 9 out of 10 customers bring it back to the store wanting to refund or exchange for a Shaw Motorola DCX3400, Telus Optik TV or Bell Satellite receiver.  One sales person told me they try to hide or slip out for lunch when they see a Shaw Gateway customer coming back to the store only a few days or week after they purchased the product.  “We know when they have the box in their hands that they’re not here to purchase another TV.  I’ve sold six Gateways in the past month commented one sales rep and every one has come back”.  When the Motorola DCX3400 PVR was priced at $149 dollars, customers were bringing back their 3 or 4 portal Gateway systems and purchasing three DCX3400 PVRs.  The price of three Motorola DCX PVRs was $450 dollars vs the single Gateway system which was $498 a couple weeks ago.   For a short period of time the Gateway was on sale for $398 dollars and even at that price customers still returned it in favor of the Motorola DCX PVR.

The Gateway system was supposed to be Shaw’s killer product to compete with Telus Optik TV. With all it’s features and supposed benefits the Gateway was to sell at a PREMIUM Price and be the most envied set top box and system available.  Unfortunately for Shaw and it’s customers, myself included the Gateway has been a disappointing and frustrating product whose actual function fell far short of the hype.  One Shaw cable tech I spoke with on a recent job site installation even commented that he wouldn’t install a Gateway in his own house, it’s got too many issues right now he said.

With the new pricing the Gateway hub with 4 portals will cost $940 while 4 Motorola DCX3400 PVRs would cost $1,400 before tax.  Shaw is hoping that $460 dollar different is enough of a saving to persuade customers to purchase the Shaw Gateway instead of the Motorola cable boxes and further once they get it home and experience all the glitches Shaw’s banking the $460 dollar price difference will be enough of a deterrent to make customers keep the problematic Gateway rather than returning it.  Wow what a marketing campaign …  Buy a Gateway – it’s cheaper and has more problems than other competitive products but look at the money you’ll save!  I’ve got news for you Shaw, you can dress it up anyway you like, but if it looks like a dog and barks like a dog …. it’s still a dog.

You may have noticed that Shaw has stopped promoting the Gateway and is now marketing their HD Programming under the new name SHAW EXO.  Shaw is claiming  EXO to be better Telus or Bell but is it really?  As a systems integrator who gets involved with all three service providers weekly and has Shaw personally as my cable provider I cannot say that it has superior HD to either Bell or Telus.  I can say that Shaw’s internet service is faster but as far as HD picture quality and sound – Shaw’s not better or worse than Telus or Bell.  On the Audio Side of things I would say Bell and Telus are better than Shaw as my personal system and several of my client’s Shaw Cable boxes experience audio dropouts from time to time with some customers experiencing these audio dropouts more frequently than others.  I have never experienced audio dropout on Telus or Bell.

Shaw is definitely better than Telus with respect to high speed internet and I highly recommend Shaw over Telus for the best internet experience.

Shaw’s new pricing strategy is a Win – Win for Shaw and a Lose-Lose for it’s customers.  Shaw wins because if you by the flaky Gateway and keep it they get rid of some of their inventory and build up the Gateway customer base (hopefully they’ll be increasing their support center staff also to handle the increased Gateway support calls).  If customers return the Gateway or decide to purchase Motorola boxes instead then Shaw makes extra bonus profit margins on these boxes which help to offset the loses on the Gateway so either way Shaw wins and it’s customers are the big losers.

There is of course another scenario which Shaw must have thought about … what if customers switch to Bell or Telus due to the high equipment cost of Shaw’s Motorola boxes?  The higher Shaw raises their equipment prices the more attractive the alternatives become and with Bell rumored to be bringing the Dish Hopper and Joey to Canada later this spring or fall,  Shaw’s ill fated Gateway just won’t be able to compete with the slick new Whole House PVR from Bell.

So If a person needs to purchase a cable box today – What should they do?  My best advice is to SHOP AROUND,  while some electronics retailers increased the price of the Shaw DCX3400 PVRs this week another retailer London Drugs, is advertising the Shaw DCX3400 for $198 at least for another week.  Keep in mind that most electronics retailers Price Match so if you’re not close to a London Drugs, Visions, Best Buy and Future Shop should match London Drugs pricing.

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30 Responses to Shaw Increases Prices on Motorola Cable boxes in hopes to shift customers to Buy the Problematic Gateway

  1. ShawSean says:

    Hi there, this is Sean from Shaw’s Social Media team and just wanted to chime in and provide a bit of clarity around the recent price changes. The reason the Gateway and Portal pricing has changed is because our promotional pricing for it ended on February 1st. As for our DCX3200, it hasn’t changed in pricing and is still available for $142.

    We know every customer has unique entertainment needs – that’s why we offer a number of different options. For example, if you have only one or two televisions and primarily only use one of them, the DCX 3400 might make sense for you, while someone else might prefer the Shaw Gateway if they have multiple TVs in the home and like to move from room to room.

    If you’re having any issues with your Gateway, feel free to fire me a quick email at and include your account information.


    • djsedm says:

      Hi Sean, thanks so much for your comments on the recent price increase on the Motorola DCX3400.

      It’s good to know the pricing on the DCX3200 will remain the same at $142 and is competitive with Bell at $119-$149 for their HDTV box and Shaw Direct at $99 – $199 for the DSR600 and 605.

      It’s disappointing to all use Shaw customers to see the price of the DCX3400 increase and it will definitely make some customers LOOK at Alternatives from Telus and Bell at the new price point. Telus seems to be offering a FREE PVR with some of their packages so customers who aren’t to thrilled with the Gateway may opt for Telus not that the Motorola DCX3400 PVR price has increased. Of course things will really be interesting later this spring or fall when Bell updates their hardware platform and brings the echostar Hopper and Joey to Canada. I personally have seen the dish network Hopper and Joey system working south of the border and must say it’s most impressive.

      The Motorola DCX3400 has the capability of being networked via MOCA (multi media over coax alliance) which would allow Shaw customers the advantage of multi-room PVR anywhere on the Motorola DCX boxes similar to Telus and the Shaw Gateway.

      Cable companies in the USA are using the Motorola DCX3400 and offering Multi-room PVR capabilities already, Motorola has MOCA technology built into the DCX3400, IS Shaw going to enable MOCA on the Motorola DCX Series cable boxes? If so when? and if not, why not?

      Sedan Please Don’t take my comments on the Gateway is a negative rant, it may seem that way sometimes however I like most SHAW Customers want the Gateway to WORK or a different hardware System like the Motorola DCX with Multi Room PVR and networking capabilities between boxes. The Gateway experience has been less than positive or frustrating for many Shaw customers and the bottom line is we all want Shaw to provide use a rock solid, reliable HDTV solution with multiroom PVR capabilities and ON-Line Programming access. Every Shaw customer who reads this blog wants a working solution and so far the Motorola has been more reliable, intuitive and easy to operate than the Gateway even after the software upgrades. My self and the readers of this forum just want Shaw to give us the best experience when it comes to HDTV. Shaw is already doing an excellent job on the Internet Side of things and a pretty decent job with Shaw Phone as well. I personally have recommended and influenced more than 60 customers, clients, colleagues and family members to Shaw internet and Shaw phone. Each customer I’ve recommended Shaw phone and internet services has had nothing but positive comments for the most part, unfortunately I don’t hear the same feedback with Shaw Cable and HDTV especially the Gateway.

      I personally wish Shaw all the best with the Gateway product and hope they get it RIGHT sooner rather than later. I strongly believe if Shaw were to implement MOCA connectivity on the Motorola DCX3400 it would provide a VERY POSITIVE User Experience.

      It’s great to have a SHAW Voice on this Blog, Sean, please reply back to us with an Official word from Shaw regarding the status and potential of Shaw Enabling MOCA on the Motorola DCX boxes! There are thousands of readers of this blog who would be very interested in Shaw’s official response to MOCA on the Motorola Platform?

      • Camryxle says:

        I presently own a Shaw motorola DVR 6416. Shaw has recently addes 2 new channels, National Geo Wild and Sportsnet World. Although both of these are available in HD I am unable to receive them in HD as my box is not MPEG4 capable as per Shaw. I want to upgrade to the new Gateway primarily because of the 6 tuners.and it has MPEG4. I phoned Shaw today and was told by customer service that personally she would not go to Gateway and suggested I buy the DCX3400 due to the many problem calls they receive on the Gateway. The DCX 3400 is priced at $348 and the Gateway with one portal is $498. There is no refund on my old DVR6416. There is a 30 day return on the GAteway. After many years of bundled service with Shaw I will check out Telus.

      • djsedm says:

        If indeed the Shaw CSR told you NOT to Go with the Gateway, she did you a FAVOR because she indeed is right the GATEWAY is riddled with problems and glitches and certainly should be avoided. The SHAW CSR is was also right to recommend the DCX3400 because as far as Shaw’s current product offering is concerned the Motorola DCX3400 is by far the most reliable set top box available right now.

        As far as Telus is concerned – their commercials look great however sometimes the Telus Optik TV doesn’t work quite as smoothly as their slick commercials and careful consideration should be taken before changing service providers.

        The big bonus with Telus is the ability to do PVR Anywhere – this feature is great but is not without some serious trade offs to consider ….

        1 – Only 1 or 2 HD streams can be viewed live at once. Depending on the area where you live Telus Optik TV can only deliver 1 or sometimes 2 Live HD streams at one time to an entire household. You mentioned in your comments that you like the Gateway because of the SIX (6) Tuners, I assume then that you are going to want to watch more than a single HD Channel at one time, perhaps you have a household or 2-4 kids. Telus won’t cut it for you if that’s the case, usually 1 HD channel can be watched live while 1 or 2 more SD channels can be viewed at the same time.

        Shaw has a real benefit here because you can have several cableboxes all steaming HD live without any problem. We’ve got sports bars with upwards of 20+ Shaw boxes all streaming HD with no issues, that’s something Telus just can’t do.

        2 – Fiber vs Copper – Telus TV works best in newer areas of the city which are supplied by Fiber Optic Cable to the Ped (Pedestal). Generally speaking Telus TV doesn’t work as well with older areas which have plain old copper wiring to the Ped. You should inquire with Telus about the wiring in your area before you make the jump to Optik TV and if it is copper instead of fiber be prepared for streaming issues including pixellation and stuttering etc…

        3 – Internet Speed? This is a big one. Shaw definitely wins this battle hands down and has the FASTER internet speed available to residential customers. Shaw can provide up to 100Mps download speeds while Telus is capped out at 25Mps to residential customers and some can only receive 15Mbs. Further when using Telus Optik TV with Telus Internet the speed of the internet decreases if you are watching or recording TV programming. Once again I read your comment about 6 HD Tuners and question if you have a large household with several users or high internet traffic, Telus TV may not be the best solution for you in this circumstance.

        Summary: Full disclosure, I am a Shaw customer with Motorola DCX3200 and DCX3400 cable boxes at my home and Shaw 50Mps internet. Does everything work great with Shaw – NO, I experience regular audio dropouts through the digital output of the DCX3400 which is annoying but better than having only 1 HD stream with Telus and 25Mbs internet speed slowed down when watching TV. That’s my reason for being a Shaw customer now, however I am patiently waiting for a NEW PVR from Bell with PVR anywhere. When Bell comes out with their new PVR satellite receiver with multiroom PVR I will be switching from Shaw to Bell for TV programming which in my 25 years experience is better than either Shaw or Telus, Bell is still not perfect, it will just meet my needs better once the new equipment is release.

        The reason I write this response back to you is to let you know that the best position to be in right now may be a WAIT and SEE attitude. IF you Must have a new PVR TODAY Then your choices are Shaw and Telus Optik which in my opinion the Motorola DCX3400 is the way to go. If you can wait it out you might want to wait for Bell, but then again nobody knows when they’re going to release their new hardware, one thing is for certain when Bell comes out with their new equipment Shaw and Telus will react – probably dropping the price of theirs.

        Speaking of Price: When it comes to all Cable, Telephone and Internet – CASH IS KING and not matter which service provider you choose the price will drop significantly if you bundle all your services. Telus, Shaw and Bell all offer discounts for bundled services and this should be factored into your decision.

        As of today’s date – Telus is the least expensive for services and equipment followed by Shaw and then Bell. Generally speaking because Bell does not offer wired internet or telephone options in Alberta Shaw and Telus usually have a pricing advantage when bundling.

        Equipment Rental: As mentioned the pricing of both Telus and Shaw equipment is likely to come down sometime this year when Bell releases their new hardware. Shaw to my knowledge has stopped renting equipment however if monthly rentals are an option they should be carefully considered.

        Lastly – Negotiate. While Telus and Shaw both publish their pricing and special offers then are willing to negotiate pricing especially to retain good, long term clients. It is important when negotiating with Shaw or Telus to be FAIR and HONEST. Both Shaw and Telus CSR’s are trained and aware or each others competitive offers so if you lie to either, they will know what your saying is TOO GOOD to be TRUE. If your fair, honest and straightforward with Telus or Shaw when discussing their pricing you’ll be amazed at how hard they will work to achieve a WIN-WIN Solution.

        Good luck with whatever road you choose and write us back and let us know if you decide to go to Telus or the Gateway.

    • Paul Charlier says:

      I love my exo ! I haven’t had any issues (Shaw installed the whole system labor free
      I love the ability to record more shows at the same time, Pause what I’m watching and continuing watching in my bedroom TV. There are a couple features I’d like to see added to the menu but its still young and I’m sure it will get even better in the future.
      I’m happy with my decision that’s for sure!

  2. ShawSean says:

    Hey again,

    While there are some boxes capable of MOCA, there are a lot of complexities and other factors involved in making sure it gives our customers a seamless entertainment experience. We’re certainly exploring the option but can’t speculate on whether or not that is something that will be possible in the future.

    As for service issues, we’re always happy to assist yourself and/or any of your readers should problems arise. Our goal is to ensure each customers equipment is working properly and we’ll do everything in our power to see that it’s met.

    Some alternative methods for support contact are:

    Chat –
    Facebook –
    Twitter –


  3. cableguy says:

    I work for Delta cable where we use DCX3400s & DCX700s, (poor man’s DCX3200), with multi-room enabled. The configuration of our moca hubs is identical to Shaw with their Arris gateway systems. I have been trying to get moca enabled on my boxes, no luck so far. all DCX3x00-m boxes have the moca option listed under the d11 “interface/port status” option of the diagnostics menu. For some reason, Shaw refuses to enable it. I don’t see what complexities or other factors could be holding them back from enabling this option as it just activates communication packets between boxes outside of the normal broadcast frequency range. as long as the moca hub is properly filtered, as they are on the gateway, the changes are isolated withing the moca hub and have no effect on other equipment in the home or network at large.

    • djsedm says:

      I totally agree with you, MOCA is already built into ALL Motorola DCX series cable boxes, Comcast uses it for multi room PVR yet for some reason SHAW will NOT enable this feature on their DCX cable boxes, forcing customers into the dysfunctional Gateway box for no good reason. The unofficial word from several Shaw tech’s I’ve talked to regarding Moca on the DCX boxes is that Shaw is a small player and doesn’t get the support from Motorola that the big guys like Comcast gets and they get better service and support from Arris- really? that’s the reason for not enabling MOCA on the DCX boxes and offering your clients a better viewing experience, while forcing them to continuous frustration with the Gateway? If you read behind the lines a little you can discern what’s more likely the reason Shaw won’t turn on Moca on the Motorola boxes and that is Money and Profit Margins. Sure Shaw may be a smaller player than COMCAST and may not receive the say preferential treatment that a large cable provider might, however I know of a couple very small regional cable companies, much smaller than Shaw that also have MOCA working on their cable boxes, certainly this is not a technological or support issue with Motorola but merely a Monetary move by Shaw. Straight up … Shaw is making more money on the Gateway Hardware than the Motorola equipment. Secondly Shaw has a huge investment in time, money and resources into Arris and the Gateway Product which makes the choice of enabling MOCA on the Motorola DCX boxes a Monetary decision rather than a technical option. Shaw was hoping the Gateway would be the NEXT BIG THING however now that it’s not, sales are floundering and customer frustration continues to grow. Enabling MOCA on the Motorola DCX boxes would all but KILL Gateway sales now, this is not a technical problem but an economic problem now for Shaw. First Telus took 350,000 + customers away from Shaw in the past 24 months with OPTIK TV and then the Gateway which was supposed to lure those customers back and solidify their base flops leaving them with excess Gateway inventory and nobody to sell it to. Enabling MOCA now on the Motorola boxes would bring Gateway sales to a stand still leaving Shaw with excess, unsellable Gateway inventory as well as the problem of no feature rich, high tech looking interface to compete with the good looking (poor functioning Telus Optik box).

      Enabling MOCA on the Shaw DCX boxes is way more an economic and marketing decision than it is a technological or customer experience question. It’s technically possible and from what I’m told fairly easy to enable MOCA on the DCX for Shaw. The experience of multiroom, PVR anywhere is what ALL customers are longing for and provides an enhanced viewing experience for the user! There’s no technical reason for Shaw not to turn this feature on, merely an economic one and as they say – That’s Business folks! In the end Shaw has to answer to their shareholders first and having a bunch of happy Motorola MOCA customers at the cost of high Gateway inventories, lower equipment margins and sales and lower overall profits is not something shareholders want which is why you might not see MOCA on any Shaw product other than the Gateway for a long time yet.

      Note: Dish network in the USA released a Networked Satellite Receiver with multiroom PVR anywhere capability in the February 2012. Sales of these new satellite receivers dubbed the Dish Hopper and Joey (portal) have been brisk and customer feedback has been very positive. BELL in Canada uses the same hardware manufacturer as DISH in the USA – Echostar, and it’s reasonable to assume since BELL does not have a multiroom PVR solution yet, that they will be bringing the HOPPER/JOEY product to Canada this year – perhaps as early as the spring. The new Dish System seems to be working well south of the border and will definitely lure some customers away from Shaw. I for one was a Bell subscriber 5 years ago at which time I switched to Shaw. I want networked cableboxes and PVR functionality but refuse to by into the Shaw Gateway hardware platform. If Shaw doesn’t enable MOCA on the Motorola DCX boxes – I will definitely be switching back to BELL if they bring the HOPPER – JOEY to Canada. Something tells me I’m not the only one that’s going to jump ship back to BELL when this happens.

      Once Bell brings a multiroom PVR product to Canada – Shaw will certainly have to up it’s game to retain and grow it’s customer base. Shaw does have the BEST INTERNET out their but the Gateway is far from the best set top box. Shaw’s marketing their cable EXO Network to be superior to Bell and Telus, however my personal experience and experience with my customers still indicates that BELL has the distinct advantage on the television side of things over Shaw or Telus.

      Cable wars are certain to heat up when Bell introduces their new Multiroom PVR – Shaw’s competitive advantage will be on PRICE and INTERNET, TELUS will be on Superior Hardware and PRICE, Bell will certainly have the superior product – the only question is a what PRICE? If BELL prices their multiroom PVR right, they will be able to regain back some of the customers they have lost over the years to Shaw and Telus and perhaps even capture a number of new, frustrated Shaw customers.

  4. leslie says:

    I switched from Bell to Shaw six months ago and I absolutely HATE the Shaw PVR (don’t have Gateway) which sounds even worse. I would give my eye teeth if I could have a Bell. Unfortunately, I live in a Condo & the trees have grown so that the satellite signal is very sporadic (seems to depend on which way the wind is blowing). Shaw PVR is like driving a Model T Ford, compared to the Bell which is more like a 2012 Ford.

    • djsedm says:

      You’re absolutely Right Leslie, Bell still has the best GUI and best PVR on the market hands down!

      I hated the Shaw Motorola DCX3400 PVR when I switched from Bell to Shaw, the programming options are horrible especially for series recording.

      Bell will even be better when they bring the Dish Hopper and Joey whole house system to Canada sometime this year.

      Shaw does have two competitive advantages over Bell,

      1 – PRICE: Shaw services (Internet, TV and Telephone) when bundled are less expensive than any of the alternatives

      2 – INTERNET SPEED: Shaw offers up to 100mbs internet speed to some residential customers with 25-50Mpbs as there standard offering

      We all have a love/hate relationship with our ISP, Cable TV and Telco providers. There is no WIN-WIN Solution only compromise and finding the best service provider to meet your needs – of course based on the availability and coverage in your area.

    • Chris MacLean says:

      Dont get the gate way .. It freezes , looses signal and then shuts down !! Very frustrating when you are watching TV or even recording a program

      • Chris MacLean says:

        We had 4 techs come 4 different times and they still cant get it right !!

      • djsedm says:

        Sorry to hear about your frustrating experience with the Gateway, I had a customer with a similar experience, 2 techs at 2 different times and they still couldn’t get it to work right. Customer returned the Gateway and got Motorola DCX3400s instead – Much Happier.

        Personally I feel bad for both Shaw and their customers. First how could a great company such as Shaw make such a huge error in choosing the Gateway? Really didn’t anybody in their product development vet this product prior to committing big dollars and resources to it? Then there’s the customers, surely Shaw customers deserve a better product than the Gateway. Shaw really needs to be honest with this product and let customers know the real performance expectations of the Gateway allowing them to make and informed purchase decision.

        Gateway aside – Shaw still has the fastest and in my opinion BEST internet service available. There phone service is also competitively priced and works great. As far as cable is concerned, the Motorola DCX cable boxes work the best while the Gateway and Pace branded cable boxes are problematic and should be avoided if at all possible.

        Personally I don’t have much faith that Shaw will every get the Gateway box working up to its potential or hype. I find it ironic that Shaw named this product Gateway which primary definition is “a point of entry or exit, bridge between two points”. Perhaps Shaw knew that their Gateway product wasn’t going to be the ultimate cable set top box on the market but rather a point or entry or bridge between their existing product offering and something better to come.

        For now Shaw seems to have a large amount of money and time invested in the problematic Gateway so I don’t anticipate them jumping ship and bring out something new. They could appease thousands of customers by enabling MOCA on the Motorola DCX cableboxes and give their customers PVR anywhere functionality on a more reliable platform, however that will only cannibalize future Gateway sales and seal it’s fate so don’t look for that upgrade anytime soon.

        Chris keep up posted if Shaw fixes your problems and gets the Gateway working for you.
        If you keep the Gateway let us know more about your experience, Shaw is supposed to be releasing a new firmware update next month which apparently is going to fix a number of Gateway problems so maybe things will get better or perhaps worse who knows?

  5. Kate says:

    Djsedm: just found this page by accident and wish i had known about ur blog when i was dealing with sh^#*+} shaw, its very informative. I think you gave good advice to camryxle on May 22 2012 when u said the best thing is to wait, for now, till bell comes out with something. However, i disagree on your comment about negotiation: a) that they are interested in keeping long term clients and b) they are knowledgable about each others offers. My parents were with crap shaw from the beginning, when Rogers was taken over by Shaw in the west. I dont remember when it was done, but if i include their contract with rogers, they have been with shaw for nearly 40 years. They had their tv service first then we added on the internet. I dont know how shaw defines “long term customer” but apparently 40 yrs or so does not qualify. My parent received a letter from shaw stating they we going to INCREASE THEIR MONTHLY RATES by $1.30 or so. My mom and i phoned them to give shaw a chance to retain their loyal contract with us by eliminating the increase, otherwise we were going with telus and their current promo at the time offering an HP laptop in bundles. The CSR we got from Shaw flatly refused to our request, and when i stated then we r terminating our sevice with you and going with telus and their promo, he said that the telus promo is going to cost us more because in the fine writing, there is a $17 charge per month in addition to the bundle, for the laptop. I had my ipad infront of me, as i do have wifi (i dont know why this rep did not realize IHAD WIFI WITH THEM, i would also have devices that can instantly access the internet, hence information). I had the telus site in front of me and scrolled down to the bottom and read the fine writing to him that said the $17 was applied IF YOUR CONTRACT WITH THIS PROMO IS TERMINATED EARLY (later, i also confirmed this with telus-no additional costs). At the end of the conversation, there was no solution!!! No proposal or counter offer from Shaw. Shaw basically has no interest in keeping their customers, nor do they have competent CSR, or CSRs who think you dont use the services you subscribe with them, or have the capacity to do so. In a nut shell, i advise people to read the fine print, educate yourself inside-out on the offer, assume there is no such thing as longterm loyality and get ready to put ur lawyer’s cap on when dealing with shaw. Also have all the info of all parties you are considering. And finally, assume the CSR has no idea what they are talking about.

    • djsedm says:

      Kate – in my business I deal with Shaw, Bell and Telus every week and sometimes several times a day. Like any BIG Company employing hundreds and sometimes a couple thousand employees you’re bound to have a bad experience or two over the years. Personally just last week we spoke to Shaw no less than 22 times in the course of conducting our daily business – of those 22 calls 18 of them went very well, two (2) were OK and two were terrible resulting in calling back and speaking with another CSR who was able to quickly assist us. I can say I’ve certainly had similar experiences with both Telus and Bell, mostly good, sometimes Great and occasionally horrible. It’s too bad you had such a call with Shaw. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if you had called back Shaw and spoke to a different CSR – you may have had a completely different experience.

      Thanks for reading techtips and feel free to chime in anytime, your comments are always appreciated!

      • Kate says:

        Thanks for your reply. Cudos to your patience, and its necessary in ur business. Yes, Telus aint much better: their wifi is slower, and their customer service sucks. Hate them both really, so i was pleased and surprised to learn of bell’s future plans for this market. During the time we switched, shaw was loosing a good number of their customers to telus. U would think, as a business, they would clue in and make a greater effort to retain the customers they had, regardless of the number of loyal years. Also, it could not be reflected from my rant above, but the guy who i spoke to was not friendly at all, and began to argue with me over the rate increase, which did not help to diffuse the situation or even make us see a reason to accept it and stay with shaw. At that point i was ready to jump ship, regardless. All in all they all need to train their CSRs better with consistency. I feel like i have to choose between two mouldy tomatos!!! Yuck!!

  6. JH says:

    I currently have a Gateway system at home and it’s the worst piece of cr*p ever. It’s so unresponsive that I sometimes spend more than 3 mins of frantic pressing of the power button to even get it turn on. If you want to switch to a channel > 100, good luck! It cannot process the 3rd digit no matter how many times you try, so that I am always stuck at channel 20 when I want to get to channel 200. To launch the Guide, and to scroll thru the guide requires so much patient you pretty much have to be slow like a tortoise to get use to it. NEVER, NEVER get it.

    • djsedm says:

      Yes the Gateway is soooo bad even current and ex-Shaw employees won’t put it in their homes.

      I was talking to a current Shaw employee a couple weeks ago at the lake and asked him if he had a Gateway at home, and he said hell no there’s too many problems with them.

      Just two days ago I was speaking to another tech in the security business who used to work for Shaw and recently left to get into the security industry. I asked him what he had at home for internet and TV and was surprised to hear that he had Telus TV and internet rather than Shaw. I asked him why and he said I got a better deal with Telus on both the equipment and programming. I asked him specifically about the Gateway and he too said “there a piece of crap, Shaw’s stock took a beating because of them, I don’t know why they teamed up with Arris on that one but it was a big mistake”.

      I personally have Shaw as an internet provider and find there internet service to be the best in the industry. I also have some Shaw Motorola DCX3400 and DCX3200 cable boxes for television programming but will switch back to Bell when they come out with their Whole Home PVR solution based on the Dish Network Hopper and Joey equipment.

      I find it interesting when I speak to current or former Shaw employees and find out that they do not have the Gateway System in their own homes and in many cases with previous Shaw employees have Telus or Bell TV or internet in their residences. You would think working for the company they would be able to purchase the equipment at a discount but even some of Shaw’s own employees don’t hold the Gateway in high regard.

      Like most Shaw customers – WE ALL WISH the Gateway was Better and since it’s not, PLEASE Shaw release the firmware upgrades on the Motorola DCX cableboxes to do multi-room PVR and MOCA networking … enough of the Gateway, give up, cut your losses and let’s finally get going on the motorola boxes.

      • djsedm says:

        Speaking of Motorola Boxes …. while I was watching the hockey game tonight I saw two commercials for Xfinity Cable Packages in the USA and guess what they were using for Cable Boxes – The Motorola DCX Series. The Xfinity cable package in the USA will do MultiRoom PVR and streaming to your smartphone and tablet (iphone/ipad) to allow you to watch on portable devices, not to mention program your PVR via the internet. If Xfinity can do all this with the Motorola DCX Cable Boxes so can Shaw!

  7. Brian says:

    Rogers has MOCA enabled on their DCXs now. I wonder when shaw will follow suit.

    I was about to order the Gateway and 4 Portals so thank heavens I found this blog!

  8. Mark says:

    We’ve Gateway since it was introduced and have literally hated it from Day 1. From the delay in getting a tech out to install it (seriously?) to the frequent freezes and shut downs. So why do we continue to put up with his? The ability to record multiple programs at the same time. Especially Sunday evenings. Plain and simple. I can’t find an alternative to Shaw in Calgary that offers that same feature. Our home is a Telus-free zone and I’d like to stay that way. Any suggestions?

    • djsedm says:

      Unfortunately there are only three choices:

      Shaw – Gateway :-C
      Poor interface, fully of glitches

      Telus – Optik 😦
      Great Interface however only 1 or sometimes 2 Live HD Streams and 1 or 2 SD Streams
      PVR Anywhere usually works good but you are restricted in multiple HD Programming so recording multiple HD streams at one time and watching another LIVE HD Stream is highly unlikely

      Bell Satellite: :- ?
      Good Interface and PVR Capability. No PVR anywhere feature YET? May require rewiring some cabling in your home and placing a dish on the outside of the home. Also sometimes programing is interrupted due to rain or snow fade.

      Your choices in Calgary are basically the lesser of 3 evils …. Shaw Cable or Satellite, Telus Optik and Bell Satellite.

      If Telus is not an option you may wish to take a look at Bell.

  9. Joe says:

    I was curious as to where some people have posted from. I had the Gateway installed here in Ontario, for the first 3 months or so ( had it done in Mid April 2012) it was good, but had some glitches, but since the Aug update, it works flawlessly, just as smooth as the DCX34, and I will say the PVR functions work better than the DCX34.

    Now the Bell Fibe TV has been down here for a while and it has issues, its well known that depending on how many HD streams you have going your internet will slow down big time, also they can’t do 1080p on demand with the Bell Fibe TV. It has a nice user interface, much better than the DCX34, but would not say that when comparing to the Gateway as they both have strong points about them.

    The new Shaw 3510 HD PVR with the new HD Guide, that right now I would stay away from as it is very slow, really nice interface but very problematic at the moment.

    • djsedm says:

      Most Shaw Gateway commentary is based on the GATEWAY experience in Alberta and BC. Glad to hear your Gateway experience is a mostly positive one.

      You’re right the new Shaw 3510 HD PVR with HD Grid Guide seams slower than it’s predecessor the DCX3400. In additional the DCX3510 does have some glitches at the moment.

      I am evaluating the 3510 right now (hands on) and will comment on a later date – for now the Shaw Motorola DCX 3400 is still my recommended PVR for HD Viewing. The guides not as pretty as the new 3510, but the performance is hands down better than the Gateway or new 3510 at this time (12/18/12)

  10. Hi DJSEDM: glad to have found you!! Had a Gateway installed last week and for 3 days hardly watched any telly as the guide and remote were so hard to use. Thought it was just me. Last night it went blank, which I’ve read about above. Biggest complaint is that the guide grid is so wide as to hide 2 of 3 channel numbers, so how do you know where you are in the channel lineup.
    1.5 hours on the phone with tech support and issue not resolve.
    Installer coming tomorrow to take away the Gateway and install the Motorola 3400. Main reason for the Gateway was to have only the channels we get show on the grid. Can we do this on the Motorola in some way?

    • djsedm says:

      Hi Vince,

      I’m sorry but I don’t fully understand your question, perhaps another reader may have an answer for you or of course you can ask the Shaw tech tomorrow when he comes to install the Motorola.
      I’m certain you’ll be more happy with the Motorola, it’s far more stable and reliable then the Gateway.

  11. noa30 says:

    Had our Gateway installed just about a month ago and I’m finding it to be much nicer than the PVR (DCX3400). I found the PVR to be slow in just about everything, and it just always frustrated me. We got the Gateway w/the 2 for 1 promo and have yet to use the 2nd portal but the main one we have we’ve been pretty impressed by. It’s fast and we can record ALL of our shows as we had a lot of issues w/whose program was going to take precedence and hubby was getting sick of losing out to me and my shows :P.

    Not going to say that it hasn’t had it’s challenges. I don’t like that there’s no “exit” button.. if/when you bring up the guide or anything, hubby figured out that the “zoom” button on the remote is what will take you back to the TV show. Didn’t initially like the way you set up recordings either but now that I’ve figured that out too (w/the help again of hubby), I find that it’s better than the PVR.

    I LOVE that you don’t have to record all of the shows that don’t show the details. For example, I’m Chelsea Handler junkie and the guide NEVER seems to show the correct info (just says Chelsea Handler talks about pop culture) which meant w/the PVR I was stuck w/10 epi’s 8 of which were repeats. I can select the time that I want the portal to record and not have to go thru that! It’s AWESOME. Also love the fact that he can watch his shows up in his man cave if he wants to regardless of the box it was recorded on, but haven’t had a need for that just yet. 🙂 It’s MUCH faster than the 3400 in fast forwarding/skipping/rewinding. The VOD menu is WAY easier to find stuff an see things and we don’t have to push any extra buttons to move between the TV and the PVR box (little thing I know but I hated always inadvertently turning off the cable box and not the TV).

    I just wanted to throw this out there that there are people that are liking the Gateway experience and I would recommend it to people that have more than one TV in the house and like to record way more TV than they should.

  12. T says:

    I live in BC and need to upgrade my Shaw PVR boxes – looking at used ones and have come across the DCX3400M and DCX3510M – which would be the better to purchase?

    Now that I am reading everything above – I am wondering if Bell has introduced that new system to BC and if there are any new thoughts on what is happening in the telecommunication realm. TIA.

    • djsedm says:

      Both DCX3400 & 3510 are HD cableboxes with PVR built in. The 3510 is a newer model and has a HD (wide screen) guide while the 3400 is the older model and has a Standard Definition (4×3) guide. The remote control which originally came with the DCX3400 had more features and was universally programable for up to 5 devices. The newer DCX3510 remote control featured backlight buttons however it could only control 2 devices – your TV and Cablebox.

      Personally I would recommend the older DCX3400 PVR over the newer DCX3510 and here’s why:

      1 – FASTER! Believe it or not the older DCX3400 is faster at loading the guides and general processing than the 3510. This is mainly due to the 3510 rendering all the guides and menus in HD rather than standard 480P definition. The 3400 is more responsive to channel surfing and quickly changing channels.

      2 – Intuitive Interface: While both cableboxes essentially do the same thing – the older interface on the DCX3400 is easier to navigate and more intuitive to use. The guide and menus on the 3510 are harder to read and ultimately less intuitive than it’s predecessor

      3 – Reliability/Dependability: Once again the DCX3400 owners experience fewer problems than the newer 3510 mainly due to the HD guide and HD menus of the 3510.

      The best way to describe the sluggishness of the DCX3510 is to compare it to an UNDERPOWERED PC or an underpowered CAR. The DCX3510 lags, stalls and sometimes freezes when channel surfing or navigating similar to a SLOW PC. Video freezes more often on the 3510 and overall the whole feel of the interface is SLoooo…wer. When booting up both cable boxes the DCX3400 boots up faster and the guide loads quicker simply because it requires less information to download compared to the DCX3510.

      Pros of the 3510: The major benefit and biggest selling feature of the Motorola DCX3510 is supposed to be the HD Guide. The wide screen guide looks nicer than the standard definition guide of the 3400 however many 3510 users don’t like it, and think it’s harder to read. Both comments are fair and true. The HD Guide of the 3510 does look nicer however the printing and font size is smaller and therefore harder to read. There are settings in the setup menu which will help you increase the FONT size of the guide to help make it easier to ready but it still won’t be as BIG as the DCX3400.

      The guide, menu and interface on the DCX3400 looks old, dated and simple, while the interface on the DCX 3510 looks hipper, cooler and more modern … even if it is slower to load and harder to navigate.

      Based on my personal preference and the feedback I have received from my customers who have DCX3400 and DCX3510 cable boxes, The DCX3400 WINS.
      Other than the guide there is little difference between the DCX3400 and DCX3510 in appearance. As far as performance the DCX3400 will run faster and smoother than the 3510 and based on the data will have fewer problems, hicups, freezes, stalls etc.

      From our customer base – more customers are happier with the 3400 than 3510. We have fewer complaints and problems from 3400 users than 3510 owners. This experience seems to mirror Shaw’s I’m told … they to have happier 3400 clients and more complaints, problems and troubleshooting with the newer 3510 boxes.

      BELL: As far as Bell in Canada is concerned, they are WAY OVERDUE for NEW HARDWARE. The DISH HOPPER system has been around in the USA for 3 years now and has had 4 or 5 hardware and firmware upgrades making it the best choice for watching TV in the states. BELL uses the same technology as DISH in their receivers YET for some reason they have not upgraded their BELL hardware in 5 years. The current BELL hardware has gone over some minor firmware updates and changes to the user interface but overall the BELL receivers today are largely the same ones that were being sold 5 years ago. I’m not sure why BELL hasn’t upgraded their HARDWARE yet but overall the CABLE and BROADCAST Industry in Canada is much less competitive and far less progressive than the Cable and Satellite Companies South of the Border.

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