Hot on the heels of the 1.5% tax that consumers will have to pay to the Local Programming Improvement Fund, and fee for carriage that is sure to see our Cable and Satellite bills ballon even further, the CRTC has stuck it to the consumer once again. Effective September 1st, Canadian broadcasters are now allowed to air as many commercials as they want, previously, broadcasters were limited to 15 minutes per hour of advertising. I have a feeling that this slipped past the media as two of the Canadian broadcasters, Global and CTV own the newspaper and TV news outlets.
If so, you will be receiving a new 6131 from Bell TV!
Starting on April 1st, Bell TV will be switching their transponders over to use 8PSK signaling, which will allow them to offer more HD channels. The change only affects the older first generation HD recievers, which is a nice gesture on the part of Bell since the early HD adopters paid the way for Bell to expand their HD services.
If you have a model 6000, then you should be recieving a letter from Bell (assuming you havn’t already). Simply call the number in the letter to arrange for the delivery of your new 6131, and the retur of your old 6000.
Stay tuned for updates on new channels once the 8PSK switch starts on April 1st 2009.
The day Bell 6141 HD reciever owners have been waiting for is finally here. Last week, Bell TV (ExpressVu) began delivering firmware version 165 to customers. This new firmware, allows customers to connect a USB 2.0 drive to their 6141 receiver and record video!
You now have a HD PVR with nearly unlimited video recording storage, as you can swap drives to allow you more recording time. Please note that once data is recorded onto the drive, you cannot connect the drive to a computer; nor can you connect the drive to a different 6141 receiver. The 6141 can accept a USB drive up to 1 Terabyte in size, giving you a max recording capacity of up to 100 hours of High Def content.
If you have problems getting your USB drive to work, power cycle your 6141 and you should be good to go.
Please feel free to post your experiences in the comments.
In case you haven’t noticed, Bell quietly rolled out TLC HD around December 10th to all subscribers that currently receive TLC as part of their subscription. Content is simulcast from the regular TLC found in the 500′s. I have not watched it enough to notice if they are simply stretching the SD content or not. From a quick look, it appears to be in HD.
You can find TLC HD on channel 826.
In case you don’t have Bell Satellite TV, you can also get TLC HD on Shaw Cable, and Starchoice in Canada.
Is it just me, or has Bell dropped the ball lately with the program guide? Most of the shows I watch have only a generic description and nothing else, causing the PVR to either ignore the event, or record duplicates of the same show. This only started happening a lot at the beginning of October, and has caused me to set all of my times to record “All Episodes” and then manually “skip” the duplicates.
Shaw Cable on the other hand, seems to have their guide together, and it has correct info for almost every show that I checked. Now if only they had the same quality to their HD content that Bell has, and switching would almost be a no brainer.
I am at the end of my Bell contract, and extremly frustrated by the guide, and very tempted to switch now. So my question to the readers of this site is: Have you been having issues with the program guide? If so, please add a comment below with the symptoms that you have been seeing. Bell does read this site, so perhaps somebody will see this and take action!
Bell TV’s newest satellite, Nimiq 4 is due to launch today (Friday September 19th) at at 5:48 p.m. EST. Telesat, who is owned by BCE, will be launching the Satellite from the Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan (no Borat jokes).
Nimiq 4, dedicated to Bell is rumored to be the first step in its transition to MPEG-4, however, I expect to see some more HD channel offered to us non MPEG-4 receiver owners within the next year. I anticape testing taking a while as this is the first new satellite in a while. Last year, Bell leased a dying statellite from Direct TV to supplement the aling Nimiq 2, which only had partial transponder functionality, and no redundancy like Nimiq 1.
As always, if you have questions, or more information, please let us know in the comments.