Poor picture quality and pixelation can interfere with your enjoyment of Shaw programming. This article provides tips you can use to restore your picture quality, by troubleshooting things like damaged coaxial cables, loose connections, and faulty splitters.

If you have Ignite TV (formerly known as BlueCurve TV), you should read the article Basic troubleshooting for your Ignite TV instead. If you see pixelation on other TVs in the home, there may be damage to your main cable connection, or an issue in your area.

What is pixelation?

Pixelation (pixelated squares) observed on the screen represent packets of data which have not been received or were lost in transmission due to a poor connection. This is an indicator of a poor signal.

Pixelation can be caused by weather conditions (thunderstorms), interference from nearby appliances or signal interference from other devices.

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Reset the TV box

One of the quickest ways to troubleshoot pixelation or poor picture quality is to “reset” your digital TV box (Entertainment Box). Follow these steps to reset your television box:

  1. Power off the TV box.
  2. Detach the power cable from the back of the unit, and from the wall outlet or power bar.
  3. Wait 30 seconds and then reconnect the power cable to the unit and the power source.
  4. Wait up to 2 minutes for the TV box to reboot.
  5. Power on your TV box and test it again.

Your guide listing may read "To Be Announced" for up to one hour after resetting the box. The guide information will automatically re-populate over time. Check if your TV picture is still having issues. Try multiple channels to see if it is channel related.

Reseat the coaxial connections

Reseating adjusts how the coaxial cable is connected to the device and wall outlet.

  1. Detach the power cable from your TV box.
  2. Unscrew the coaxial cable connection from the back of the TV box.
  3. Unscrew the coaxial cable from the cable wall outlet (or splitter).
  4. Reattach the coaxial cable to both the TV box (RF IN or CABLE IN) and the cable wall outlet (or splitter), ensuring they are finger-tight.
  5. Reattach the power cable to your TV box.


If reseating the coaxial cable doesn't improve your picture quality, you might need to replace the cable with a new one.

Bypass the splitter

Sometime picture issues can be caused by equipment issues. For example. if you use a cable splitter, you may need to remove it. Follow these steps to remove your splitter:

  1. Detach the power cable from your TV box.
  2. Leave one end of the coaxial cable attached to the TV box.  
  3. Unscrew the end of the coaxial cable attached to the splitter.
  4. Set the splitter aside. 
  5. Attach the loose end of the coaxial cable directly to the cable wall outlet, ensuring it is finger-tight.
  6. Reattach the power cable to your TV box (RF IN or CABLE IN).
  7. Check to see if your picture quality has improved.

If the picture quality has improved, and you still want to use the splitter, you can obtain a new splitter from a Shaw retail location or from a local electronics store.

Additional troubleshooting tips

If the above solutions did not work, you can try these tips:

  • If the picture quality is only poor when viewing recorded shows, the issue could be the internal hard drive failing and would need replacing.
  • Has anything in the home been changed recently? A connection may have accidentally been disconnected while doing the change.
  • If you have older Shaw TV equipment, you may want to consider upgrading your equipment.  See our article on Legacy TV box upgrade program.

As a last resort, you can troubleshoot the main splitter:

  1. Find the main house feed (also known as the ground block). You will see the main feed and the breakout/splitter with cables that lead to your wall outlets. 
  2. To identify which one belongs to your TV outlet, disconnect the coaxial cables one at a time until the TV picture stops moving. This coaxial cable is your TV feed.
  3. Remove the splitter and connect the that coaxial cable directly to your main house feed. 
  4. Check your TV to see if the picture quality has improved. If it has, the issue may be your main splitter.
  5. Reattach the splitter to return the cables to how you found them and contact Shaw.  

Note that this method will not work for all whole home PVR systems. Also, that removing the splitter will interrupt cable access to all other devices in your home.

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