I learned a lesson or two after visiting the Shaw retail store in Surrey last week.
Avoid it if you can on Saturdays. I have no idea how it is on the weekdays. But, based on their business hours, it isn't an option for me.
The line up was out the door. People would be getting wet if it was raining. It's amazing how slow the line moved. It reminded me of the post office lines from the bad old days. If any Shaw manager is reading this, count this as a black eye for you. C for the actual contact with the CS person. Very poor marks for service locations, long waits in lines and general appearance. Everyone seems to be working with the slow motion attitude.
That's why my minor success today feel so satisfying. Ha!
Buy you HD decoder box from somewhere else. I don't think there's any advantage to buy it from Shaw retail. The new Pace DC758D system with 1TB of PVR space is actually 2 pieces of hardware; decoder box plus a "PVR expander." The PVR expander is nothing more than a external Western Digital hard drive with a eSATA interface.
If you want to rent the HDPVR (decoder plus hard drive), Shaw wants $20 a month if you agree to sign up to their pre-authorized payment method. I rejected that idea.
The old box by Motorola only have a 160GB hard drive. Kinda like having a 5L gas tank in a 5.0L mustang. Can we just call that a requirement defect?
There isn't really a choice when it comes to the DC758D decoder box if you want the Shaw HD service. So that's $248.
For the eSATA part, Shaw wants $200 for 1TB. I went for another option. The two items you need would be a hard drive and a external case with the eSATA interface. The Vantec Nexstar 3 (NST-360SU-BK) works perfectly. $44. 2TB 3.5-inch SATA 7200 RPM hard drive comes to $150. $5 cheaper for twice the space.
When the drive is ready, plug it in and power it up with the decoder box unplugged. No power at all. Wait at least a minute. When the decoder is plugged back in and powered up, it will go through some automatic reset. You will be prompted to format your hard drive. Then you wait maybe 30 minutes for all your on screen program guide to download from the Shaw system.
I believe heat is a major problem when this external drive is used as part of the PVR system. Higher duty cycle maybe? The case feels very warm. My current solution is a $10 4-inch table top fan from Walmart. Much cooler. This may be a clumsy solution I admit if you can't hide it behind something. This heat issue may be the cause for PVR function problems other user posted up in review I've read.
I asked around before attempting this today. No one seems to know for sure first hand. That's why I'm posting this.
Only one thing (I can think of) to confirm. Can the PACE DC758D box take advantage of the bigger 2TB hard drive?
Most of the people I know bought their HD stuff a year or two ago. I'm in late because of my price point choice. It's nice to have it now.