It is very common to read online about how one of Shaw’s satellites is about to fail and all channels will be moved to a satellite from which signals cannot be received in Mexico or Belize or the Caribbean, etc. There are no facts to back up this erroneous information. For example, the most common rumor is that Anik F1R is getting ready to fail and all channels from that satellite will be moved Anik G1.
Here is a brief explanation of what is true:
- Anik G1 has only a small amount of space committed to XKU frequency transponders. There is no more available XKU space to move channels to. The rest of Anik G1 is full of KU (same frequency as Anik F1R) and C band transponders. There is no room to expand the XKU frequency transponders.
- Shaw has slowly, but surely, been changing the transponders on Anik F1R from mpeg-2 data stream to mpeg-4 data stream. Why? Because mpeg-4 is able to be compressed into taking up 1/2 of the space as mpeg-2. In easy terms, for every channel on Anik F1R they will be able to fit 2 channels into the same space with higher quality video and sound.
- Shaw is not the largest user of space on the satellites. The satellites (Anik F1R and Anik F2) are fully used and most of the space is used by telecommunications and other satellite companies in North, Central and South America.
- Simple fact: Anik F1R is newer than Anik F2.
- The company that had the satellites built and launched is Telesat. Telesat is the company that leases transponders on those satellites to their customers. And ,soon, their satellite fleet will include two more satellites that are currently under construction. For more information about Telesat, visit https://www.telesat.com/about-us/who-we-are.
The next time you are presented with negative information about satellite television think about it and then seek to verify it. You can contact us, call Telesat or whomever you judge to be an authority. But don’t accept the repeated yearly rumors about the demise of satellite television.