Shaw Direct  Satellite Coverage and Recommended Antenna Sizes
                     107.3 West / Anik F1R coverage map
                     111.1 West / Anik F2 coverage map
                    107.3 West / Anik G1 Extended Band coverage map
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SHAW DIRECT, a Canadian subscription programming service, transmits from the 107.3 and 111.1 West satellite orbital locations.  Anik F1R is at 107.3 West, and covers most of North America, with Anik F2 at 111.1 West serving similar regions.  A third satellite named Anik G1 has just been placed in the same position as Anik F1R (107.3 West), with geographic coverage limited to just a few hundred miles into the U.S.  It does NOT replace Anik F1R, but rather supplements it with increased capacity to transmit mostly High Definition TV channels, many of which are local broadcast stations from across Canada finally available in HD.

Power levels are measured in dBw contours, with populated areas in southern Canada typically getting +48 dBw or higher signal.  Shaw Direct has typically provided a 60 cm (24 inch) elliptical antenna for much of Canada, with a larger 75 cm model available by special order for outlying regions that have lower signal  strength.  Northern regions are lower in power by design, with coastal areas often having excessive moisture conditions that may call for the larger model to minimize weather outages.  Coverage into the U.S. Lower 48 varies slightly, with 107 sometimes having a 1 to 2 dB advantage over 111 in southern locations.  Much of Mexico enjoys in excess of +44 dBw on 107, while southern parts of the country may be closer to +42 dBw.  Use of even the stock Shaw Direct 75E elliptical antenna becomes marginal into Mexico, especially on weaker MPEG-4 and HD signals, that are primarily on 111, but not limited to just that satellite.  You may hear of certain snowbirds attempting to use their 60E antennas from Canada while touring Mexico in a motorhome, but they are often a struggle to align, and will work only on the stronger channels during fair weather.

A glance at the bottom map above will show you the coverage of Anik G1, but its contours are only shown down to a +48 dBw.  What this means is that if you are more than about 50 miles beyond the +48 contour, it will become increasingly difficult to receive Anik G1 on a stock Shaw Direct 75E antenna system with Xtended Quad Ku LNBF.  Signals drop off rapidly, but there is a region of perhaps 300 to 400 miles past this contour where it is still possible to use a larger antenna to get both satellites on 107, the size determined by how large it needs to be to get Anik F1R.  You could then install a separate 75 to 90 cm dish to receive Anik F2 from the 111 satellite position, and join signals with an electronic switch.  Or you could finalize the setting for Anik G1 and F1R with a very unique LNBF that we sell specifically for these two satellites on 107 West, and then improvise an adapter bracket to install a conventional 10750 MHz local oscillator type LNBF for Anik F2 at 111 West, using the same large dish.

Shaw Direct no longer encourages installations outside of Canada, and specifically does NOT provide technical assistance for anyone attempting an installation to receive Anik G1 outside Canada's borders.  Those enrolled in the previous Home Away From Home program prior to May 30, 2013 can continue to receive what they previously had at their "cottage" locations, within the limitations of the program.  Any new installations must be registered specifically at a Canadian address only.  This will mean that you must either have such an address from having a home within Canada, or can otherwise provide a legitimate Canadian address to acquire and continue service.  Contact us if you have any questions on your particular situation.

Once you have the subscription issues cleared, we can provide antennas separate from those normally supplied to customers to be installed in Canada.  Two separate antennas are recommended for 107 and 111, with an installation package that includes our own privately designed and sourced Ku-band LNBF that will work for Anik G1 and F1R where signal is available, and a separate regular Ku-band LNBF for Anik F2.  When connected to a receiver with a 22 KHz switch joining these signals, it is backwards compatible with a stock Shaw Direct 75E or 60E system such as those used in Canada.

How large an antenna?  If you are interested only in Anik F1R and F2, we can suggest a pair of 85 or 90 cm offset antennas, with appropriate LNBFs, and they will work as far south as southern Mexico and northern Central America.  This same antenna should also be able to receive Anik G1 down to about the +45 to +46 dBw contour, or somewhere from 75 to 100 miles outside the +48 contour listed above on the Anik G1 map.  Our next antenna size is 1.2 meters (4 feet), and we have increasingly larger and more costly antennas in the 1.5 meter (5 feet), 1.8 meter (6 feet) and 2.4 meter (8 feet) diameter sizes.  Outside the +45 dBw contour, it is best to consult with us before purchasing an antenna---so we can compare notes about what has worked in your area.  As time goes on, we are creating a larger database of technical information, based on live signal measurements in various locations. 

For more information, visit our website at           GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS       Telephone  608-546-2523