Friday, July 13, 2012

Tuning In

Note: Another cost comparison post that may be a little boring for most of you (sorry). However, if you're interested in learning about TV options in Nunavut, read on!
I had no idea looking into television packages/providers was going to be as complicated as it has been. I feel like we've been researching so much that I'm practically an expert! We went into it thinking that we wanted something that made us feel connected enough that it felt like "home" but also wasn't going to break the bank. With very little social activities, and Netflix probably not being a viable option, we also figured we should be looking at something that offered a lot of channels.

The people that we've talked to have mostly been on Team Satellite. It gives you the widest variety of channels, but the reception may be spotty when there's bad weather. I suppose that's true no matter where you are, but I feel like we'd be more likely to have worse weather in Nunavut as opposed to Ontario. However, with satellite, you're looking at doing a self-install (I would be soooo useless in this task) and more money than going with a regular cable provider.

At the end of the day, here are the costs that we were looking at:

Type: basic, analog cable
Channels: 40
HD PVR Receiver: N/A
Monthly Cost: $50

Bell  Express Vu
Type: Satellite
Channels: ~200
HD PVR Receiver: rent for $6/month or buy for $499
Monthly Cost: $70+ (add $20 for a movie bundle or sports, etc.)

Shaw Direct
Type: Satellite
Channels: ~250

HD PVR Receiver: purchase for $199 - includes self-install kit
Monthly Cost: $81.99 (includes movie bundle AND sports bundle) + $50 ppv credit

My main concern was that everyone I talked to seemed to be Bell subscribers and I didn't want to get the equipment up there and find out that the signal wasn't going to be picked up. However, in speaking to a Shaw representative, she did a quick search of accounts and there were quite a few houses in Baker Lake that were on Shaw - I'm going to assume that the signal will work fine, then.

If that's the case, the Shaw bundle is really the most economical choice for us if we want to go satellite. The promotion that they're running for 50% off their receivers makes it cheaper to buy it directly through Shaw and have them ship it up to Nunavut, compared to us going to Future Shop and buying it for $399 and shipping it up ourselves. We also like the fact that we will then own the dish and receiver at the end of the day as opposed to renting it from Bell (even though the up-front costs are a bit more). Oh, and Shaw will also give us a reimbursement for the installation of the equipment if we hire someone to do it - we just have to send them the receipt and they'll credit us back up to $150.

The final thing that sold me on Shaw was the difference in customer service when calling both Shaw and Bell. You'd think that speaking to someone in the Sales department, you'd get really nice service. Not so with Bell. I found that their sales rep. wasn't very helpful (nor trying to be helpful) in answering my questions about our unusual situation of being from Ontario and moving to the North. Shaw, on the other hand, we spoke to two different reps, and both of them were extremely patient and helpful with all the questions that we had. Good service always wins out in the end!

We haven't ordered it yet - we were told that the equipment will likely arrive within 5-7 business days from when we order (ha! ya, right!). I will likely order it next week and hope that it will be there by the time we get there! Hopefully it's the right choice!


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