A full list of channels carried by these three satellites is available from satellite-related sites such as Lyngsat. Anik F1 carries most mainstream English-language programming; Anik F2 programming includes French-language and HDTV broadcasts. A third planned satellite, Anik G1, was launched on April 15, 2013, and then later reached orbit on May 29, 2013. This new satellite provides Shaw Direct customers with access to over 210 HD channels, beating out rival competitor Bell TV as having the most HD channels in Canada.
August 2003: Launched its first fully integrated High Definition receiver, the Motorola DSR500 HD.
September 2003:WTSN dropped from lineup because of the channel's demise.
February 2004: Added 18 additional channels including 2 high-definition ones.
July 2004: Announced the expansion of new channels as a result of the launch of the Anik F2 satellite.
May 2005: Launched the dual tuner High Definition Digital Video Recorder.
November 2005: TCM (Turner Classic Movies) is introduced to the Canadian market for the first time.
September 1, 2006: AMC (American Movie Classics) is introduced to the Canadian market for the first time.
October 2006: A&E HD, Discovery HD and SRC HD (Montréal) launch on October 12, 2006. Super Écran HD launches October 30, 2006.
December 2006: Showcase HD and National Geographic HD launch on December 19, 2006 bringing the total amount of free HD channels to 17.
January 2007: Launched the DSR317 receiver, featuring a faster processor than previous Standard Definition receivers, and picture-in-guide. Superstation WGN was swapped for the local Chicago feed on January 17, 2007.
February 2007: Launched the DSR207 receiver, featuring a faster processor than previous Standard Definition receivers, and picture-in-guide.
March 2007: Star Choice announces the addition of GOL-TV, World Fishing Network, WGN-HD and HDNet.
March 2007: Star Choice celebrates its 10 Year Anniversary
June 2007: Séries+ HD and Canal Vie HD launch on May 31, 2007. MuchMusic and TLN move to essentials and PunchMuch is removed. Casino and Gaming Television was added on June 5, 2007 to the essentials package.
July/August 2007: A new interactive program guide was deployed to all DSR505's and DVR530's. The new interactive program guide introduced new features such as instant on capability (Guide will load within 3 minutes after power failure), support for Open TV and support for 8PSK modulation.
September 2007: PPV HD, MMore HD, Movie Central HD2, Canal Z, ABC West HD were added to the line-up
March 1, 2010: Sex TV and Drive-In Classics will be removed from the Shaw Direct lineup. They will be replaced by W Movies on channel 634/216 and Sundance on channel 635/217. This was decided by the broadcaster. OASIS HD launches and is included in the HD Extra Bundle. In addition, Yoopa launches, as Yoopa makes the first satellite TV debut solely on Shaw Direct since Big Ten in December 2008, and the first TV channel to debut under the Shaw Direct name but not on rival Bell TV.
August 2010: Shaw Direct launched a more advanced dual tuner High Definition Digital Video Recorder (HDPVR630), their first receiver to be MPEG4 compatible.
October 6, 2011: A software error knocks out Anik F2, one of the two satellites serving Shaw Direct customers, for approximately one day.
February 2012: Shaw Direct began implementing simultaneous substitution for the Global HD station (ch. 256) for all of its customers, a practice they had previously only applied to areas where they were legally required.
March 2012:HDNet dropped in favour of Space HD and Dusk removed due to channel's demise.
April 15, 2013: Shaw Direct launched their 3rd satellite, Anik G1. New HD channels will launch later in the Spring of 2013.
May 30, 2013: Shaw Direct launches new '2nd Home Program' and charges existing customers an additional 50% of their home Shaw Direct bill for using their service at customers 2nd home. This '2nd home program' replaces the 'home away from home program' that customers have enjoyed at no cost for years. (Shawdirect.ca)
May 29, 2013: 90+ high definition channels are launched including various locals and speciality channels.
A Shaw Direct 45x60cm dish, with new triple satellite LNB compatible with Anik F1, Anik F2 and Anik G1
The system requires an elliptical antenna of at least 45x60cm in size with a special LNB pair built as one unit to accommodate the narrow 3.8° spacing between satellites; the receiver uses the Motorola-proprietary Digicipher II system which has so far been virtually free of the problems with pirate decryption that have plagued other providers such as rival Bell TV. The standard 18" DBS antennas used by other providers are not compatible with this system as the signals differ in both frequency and polarization. Shaw Direct is relayed via FSS satellites, Anik F1R, G1 and F2.
Shaw Direct currently features over 760 channels including all major Canadian & American networks, popular specialty services, PPV, sports packages and over 30 High Definition channels. Key services include:
The monthly packages range from $30 for the basic service, up to $107.99 for specialty and movie channels. Individual premium and specialty channels can also be purchased. The receivers range from $99 for a basic system to $399 for a high-definition personal video recorder.
In addition, Shaw Direct provides specialty services
2nd Home: Allows for programming at a secondary location
Seasonal Break: Allows you to temporarily suspend programming anywhere from 14 days and up to 180 days, with an automatic reconnect date
Refer-A-Friend: When referring new customers to the service, you are eligible to receive up to a month of free programming