Shaw Direct is a direct broadcast satellitetelevision distributor in Canada and a subsidiary of the telecommunications company Shaw Communications. As of 2010, Shaw Direct had over 900,000 subscribers. It broadcasts on Ku band from two communications satellites: Anik G1 at 107.3°W, and Anik F2 at 111.1°W. Anik F1R, which had been in service for 15 years, reached its end of life in the latter part of 2020, when the services on this satellite were migrated between the remaining two. These satellites are owned by Telesat Canada and otherwise are used primarily to distribute programming to various Canadian cable TV companies. The company was formerly known as Star Choice until April 15, 2009.
A full list of channels carried by these two satellites is available from satellite-related sites such as Lyngsat. The newer of the two satellites, Anik G1, was launched on April 15, 2013, and then later reached orbit on May 29, 2013.
May 2002: Sold its milestone one millionth receiver, making their receivers a commercial success.
August 2003: Launched its first fully integrated High Definition receiver, the Motorola DSR500 HD.
September 2003:WTSN was dropped from lineup because of the channel's demise.
February 2004: Added 16 additional standard-definition channels to its lineup, which is also 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) premiered in Canada on Star Choice and Shaw Cable.
October 2006: A&E HD, Discovery HD and SRC HD (Montréal) launch on October 12, 2006. Super Écran HD launches October 30, 2006, bringing the total amount of free HD channels to 15.
December 2006: Showcase HD and National Geographic Channel 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. Super station WGN (found in the Super Stations theme pack) 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, WFN, WGN HD and HD Net.
March 2007: Star Choice celebrates its 10 Year Anniversary.
June 2007:Séries+ HD and 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 2 HD, Canal Z and 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 were respectively replaced by W Movies on channel 634/216 and Sundance Channel 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 Satellite TV.
August 2010: Shaw Direct launched a more advanced dual tuner High Definition Digital Video Recorder (HDPVR630), the 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.
April 15, 2013: Shaw Direct launched their third 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 second 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.
November 24, 2015: English Holiday Favourites, French Holiday Favourites and the Shaw Firelog Channel are launched just in time for the Holidays.
December 1, 2015: The new Disney XD HD and Disney Junior channels are launched.
February 29, 2016: The Biography Channel relaunches into Viceland.
March 1, 2016: Shaw Direct adds the Pick and Pay option and Skinny package as per CRTC Requirements. Also, in Western Canada, Movie Central was replaced by The Movie Network and Encore Avenue was replaced by TMN Encore.
July 2, 2016: Argent and Pet Network are removed from the lineup, both of them due to their demises.
September 1, 2016:Gusto was launched to replace M3, as part of a national expansion.
January 1, 2017: The add-ons HD Sports, HD Extra, and HD Extra Lite were discontinued. All channels in those were relocated to the same theme packs as their standard definition equivalents.
March 1, 2017:CP24 HD, CBC Ottawa HD and Fight Network HD were added to the lasting line of HD channels. This kicks off the HD network upgrade.
July 10, 2017: Shaw Direct launched a new High Definition receiver (HDDSR800) and a new Dual Tuner High Definition Digital Video Recorder (HDPVR830) to replace the previous 600 and 630 models. Both new models include built-in Wi-Fi for accessing on-demand content, as well as the ability to order PPV movies via remote. The HDPVR830 has a 1 TB internal hard drive, allowing for up to 300 hours of HD recordings.
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 Satellite 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 G1 and F2.
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
Starting in 2011, Shaw Direct offered a free satellite dish, receiver, installation and a handful of SD channels to Canadians who lost their over-the-air (OTA) access to television as a result of Canada's digital television transition. The offer was part of Shaw's little known Local Television Satellite Solution (LTSS) program  approved by the CRTC as part of Shaw's purchase of Canwest Global in 2010. The period to apply to the program ended August 31, 2014, three months earlier than the original extended application deadline of November 30, 2014. On April 12, 2019, the CRTC opened a public call for comments regarding Shaw Direct's licence renewal request that included its plan to end the LTSS as of August 31, 2019. According to Shaw Direct, more than 31,500 Canadian households subscribed to the no-fee LTSS. While Shaw Direct did end up offering the LTSS beyond August 31, 2019, according to Shaw Direct customer service all remaining LTSS subscribers had been disconnected as of December 20, 2019.