Free Internet TV - A Complete Guide For Canadians

Free Internet TV - a complete guide for Canadians

When I first published this guide more than 7 years ago – internet TV in Canada was a primitive beast...

Canadian television networks were just starting to put full episodes online and it was only for the purpose of their cable or satellite subscribers to be able to catch up on recent shows they missed. The stream quality was often poor and laggy and few people actually knew the content existed.

Those that did know usually watched hunched over their laptops – not from the comfort of their couches using a remote control.

Times have changed.

There are now almost 30 Canadian networks (listed below) streaming full episodes of their shows online using top-quality media players. Many of them even have mobile apps for viewing on your phone or tablet.

The best part is it’s all free – supported by far fewer commercials than you have the "privilege" of paying to watch with cable or satellite.

It can feel overwhelming, but we’re here to make it easy.

When you're done reading this guide, you should be ready to cut the cord yourself. You'll know exactly where to go to get full TV episodes free and legally along with all the tools and equipment you need to make your internet TV viewing experience a pleasant one.

Ready to cut the cord? Download the PDF version of this step-by-step guide.

In this guide

Can I really get TV for free?

There must be a catch, right?

How can I get such an expensive service like TV for free without breaking the law or ripping off the content creators?

There’s no catch – watching TV on the internet is 100% free, legal, and supports content creators.


The logic behind this truth is really quite simple.

The lion's share of the revenue to the major networks and television broadcasters comes from the sale of advertisements, not from the cable or satellite providers.

The providers do often pay a licensing fee for the rights to broadcast these networks through their service, but it pales in comparison to ad revenue. It makes sense that TV networks want to broadcast their shows to as large of an audience as possible using any medium to further increase revenue.

The internet and modern high-speed connections have allowed them to break free from using other people’s infrastructure to broadcast their content.

And what better place to broadcast their own content than on their very own sites?

It really is that simple.

Pros and cons of internet TV

  • It’s 100% free, legal and supports content creators.
  • Watch shows on your own schedule, not the TV’s schedule.
  • Pause, restart, rewind, and fast forward as you please (no PVR required).
  • Whole seasons or past seasons of shows are sometimes available.
  • Shorter and often less frequent commercial breaks.
  • Shows are often available in 720p or 1080p HD.
  • Some networks even have made-for-TV movies or other movies available.
  • Getting everything set up the first time can be a hassle (but this guide makes it easy).
  • Even with a proper HTPC remote and good software – controlling internet TV is a little harder.
  • Streaming video can tax your internet bandwidth and breach your download cap (solution).
  • Rarely, videos may skip, freeze, or be grainy – this is the exception, not the rule.
  • You can’t really "channel surf" with internet TV – but it's a time waster so no big loss.
  • Content is more spread out so it can be harder to find (see full episode guide below).
  • Some content, like live sports, is rarely available online (improving all the time).

Canadian networks with full episodes online

Almost 30 Canadian networks stream full episodes online – that's a pretty staggering number. I never would have guessed there would be so many if I didn't go looking for them all.

If this table doesn’t provide you with enough free entertainment to keep you busy...then you're probably watching too much TV!

Click the linked network names below to go directly to their full episode or video page.

Network Selection Usability Unlocked Sample Shows
A & E Flip This House | Hoarders | Intervention | Live PD | Storage Wars
APTN A variety of kid shows and special interest programming.
Bet Situationships | Hit The Floor | Vixen
Bloomberg News Live streaming news! USA | Europe | Asia
BNN All their business news broadcasts from every day of the week plus all of their shows as well. Very extensive library and history.
CBC Dragon’s Den | Misfits | The Great Canadian Baking Show | Murdoch Mysteries | CBC Live stream
CityTV The Bachelor | Modern Family | Lethal Weapon | Family Guy | Dancing With The Stars
CP24 News episodes and live stream
CPAC Live streaming of Canadian political meetings as they happen plus related shows and news coverage.
CTV Grey’s Anatomy | The Good Doctor | The Big Bang Theory | Magnum P.I.
Discovery Channel Canada’s Worst Driver | Gold Rush | Heavy Rescue | Frontier | Highway Thru Hell
Family Variety of kid shows.
Food Network Top Chef Canada | Chopped Canada | You Gotta Eat Here | Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives | The Baker Sisters
Global News National, global, and local news.
Global TV Big Brother Canada | Days Of Our Lives | ET Canada | The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
HGTV Home To Win | Income Property | Love It Or List It | Leave It To Brian | Property Brothers
History Vikings | 100 Days To Victory | Alone | History Of
MTV Are You The One? | Teen Mom | South Park | Jersey Shore
Much The Daily Show | Star Trek: Discovery | Teen Mom 2 | Z Nation
OMNI Blood And Water | Let's Talk English
Slice Stitched | Real Housewives | Million Dollar Listing | Four Weddings Canada
Space Face Off | X-Files | Dr. Who | Arrow
The Comedy Network The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
The Shopping Channel Live stream of their broadcast.
VICE VICE News | Chef's Night Out
VisionTV A User's Guide To Cheating Death | East Enders | Time To Sing
W Network Tessa & Scott.

You'll see that I've given a loose rating to each network website in 3 areas:

  1. Selection - do they offer a good number of shows with full episodes.
  2. Usability - how easy is using the site and the video player.
  3. Unlocked - are full episodes available to all viewers or just those with a cable/satellite.

Each area is given one of 3 possible ratings:

  • means the network does well in this area.
  • means the network does so-so in this area.
  • means the network does poorly in this area.

Watch American networks in Canada

You should have plenty of content to watch with all the Canadian networks listed above, but there’s a lot more content available south of the border. Just like Canada – most of the networks offer full length episodes on their own websites.

Unfortunately, these aren’t always available to Canadians – but there’s a workaround.

To access all this additional content, you simply need a good proxy or VPN service.

There are some free services out there, but they can be a bit sketchy. And when you think of all the information you send over your network, it’s best to be safe when you choose a VPN service.

That’s why I suggest...


Unlocator is the best paid service for unblocking USA content that doesn’t prevent you from accessing Canadian content or slow your connection down when active.

It works on all your devices by following simple step-by-step configuration guides that they provide.

You only need to configure your router once, then it’ll work on all devices connected to your network automatically.

It does cost about $5/mth – with cheaper annual plans – but that's a small price to pay compared to a cable subscription.

They also let you try the service free for 7 days to see if you like it before buying.

Give unlocator a try for free!

What you need to get started

To get started, all you really need is a computer with internet that’s capable of streaming video.

But, if you don’t want to be hunched over your computer every time you watch one of your favourite shows, here are some components that can really improve your experience:

#1. High-speed internet connection

This is essential for fluid playback and the possibility of playing HD content.

You’re going to want a 5Mbps connection at the minimum, but more speed is always better to reduce loading times, increase stream quality, and allow for multiple streams at the same time.

You’ll also need unlimited bandwidth (or a high bandwidth cap) to make sure you aren’t dinged with a lot of extra fees. If you have a bandwidth cap or a slow connection, you may be interested in my guide to saving money on your internet costs.

#2. HDMI cable

It used to be that HDMI cables cost $100 or more and no one was plugging their computers into their TV.

It’s much more common now – but in case you still don’t have one, you can pick up it up almost anywhere. They even sell them at Dollarama for around $3 each. Here’s a well-reviewed cable from Amazon for $5 with free shipping.

When it comes to digital cables like HDMI, you rarely need to be concerned about the quality of the cable itself. A digital signal will come through the same no matter how fancy the cable is.

The only time you might need a higher bandwidth or top-quality cable is if you want to maximize the full power of your 4K TV, or you have a very long cable run (more than 25ft).

#3. HDMI capable streaming device

Normally, I would recommend a dedicated Home Theater PC (HTPC) running Windows 10 as the ultimate device for free internet TV...

...But setting one up can be both overwhelming and expensive for people who are new to streaming.

So, I’ll give you a few options so you can choose what works for you based on your comfort level:

Easy setup

If you want a small, easy to use, and inexpensive device to get your feet wet streaming – I'd recommend the Fire TV Stick.

It gives you lots of streaming apps to get started with, including Netflix (but you won’t be able to stream everything from Canadian network sites like you could with an HTPC).

It only costs about $50, comes with an easy-to-use remote, and it’s basically plug-and-play.

Intermediate setup

A good compromise between a full HTPC with Windows and a limited streaming device is an Android TV box.

If you buy a higher-end box, you can do most things you can on a windows HTPC and get the benefit of the huge library of apps on the Google Play store.

Here’s a powerful model with good reviews.

The downside here is some Canadian network sites block Android devices from accessing their streaming videos through a mobile web browser.

But the good news is that several bigger ones like CTV, City, Bravo, Space, and The Comedy Network all have apps that work just fine. Simply search the Google Play store for the Canadian networks listed above and you could find even more.

Advanced setup

I use a dedicated Home Theater PC running Windows 10 plugged directly into my TV to get my free internet TV. The reasons for that are plenty...

Not only can you use a simple web browser to access Canadian network sites, but you can also easily install dedicated TV streaming software like Kodi and Plex to make navigating content easier and stream your own home videos and music (more on that here).

Then, you can run streaming services like Netflix and YouTube either through the dedicated apps or right through your web browser. If you hook up a microphone, you can even use Cortana to control many aspects of your TV with your voice.

The problem is that almost no one sells a Windows device out-of-the-box that’s perfect for this. Usually you need to start with a bare-bones system (no hard drive or memory installed), buy and install those components (very easy), and then install Windows yourself (also easy). Here are the components I recommend:

Installing the components usually just amounts to opening up the case with a screwdriver, popping the component into place like Lego, and closing it back up again. Watching a YouTube video is more than enough to be able to do it yourself with no issues.

Existing setup

If you’re not ready to buy a dedicated device just yet – then most laptops, many tablets (i.e. Microsoft Surface), some phones, and modern video game consoles are capable of hooking up to your TV and streaming video.

Do a little research into your current device and see what it’s capable of.

If you’re planning to use an existing computer, tablet, or phone – then getting a Google Chromecast to wirelessly stream video from your existing device to your TV is a super convenient way to go.

Don’t make this mistake

The biggest mistake you can make when buying a streaming device is to cheap out and buy a lower-end model.

I’ve recommended devices above that have enough horsepower to handle most things you throw at it while not breaking the bank.

Don’t go any cheaper, or you’ll most likely regret it.

#4. A good remote

To get the full experience, you want to be able to control your TV with a remote – not a keyboard and a mouse. Sitting on your couch with those clunky tools just isn’t appealing.

Fortunately, there have been many technological advancements in this area and there are a lot of HTPC remotes to choose from.

Designing a remote to control a computer isn’t an easy task. As a result, what’s available functions quite differently.

After trying several remote styles myself, I personally have settled on a basic air remote with normal controls on the top and a mini keyboard on the bottom. You simply wave your hand at the screen (kind of like a Wii Remote) to control the mouse cursor – it’s pretty easy and intuitive after a little time playing with it.

Here’s a model that works on Android TV boxes, Windows PCs, and several other devices.

Note: Both the Fire TV Stick and Android TV box recommended above come with remotes, so you won’t need to purchase one separately.

Useful software to give you more

With a little patience, using a web browser to view internet TV does work, but it definitely isn’t ideal.

Fortunately, new software is continually being developed to create a better user experience. Support for Canadian content can be spotty – but it does exist.


Plex is a free media server that allows you to stream all your media files from a single computer or NAS (Network Attached Storage) on your home network to any device connected to your internet.

It works on Fire Stick, Android TV boxes, and Windows, making it a great way to power up those devices.

There are add-ons for Plex that allow you to stream some content from the Canadian networks. These add-ons usually aren't officially supported by the networks themselves so sometimes they shut them down to encourage people to use their own apps and websites.


Kodi is a TV-friendly user interface that can be used to access both media content on your local network as well as various internet streams through their add-ons.

It can be installed directly on most operating systems including Windows, iOS, Linux, and Android.

It’s open-source software, so there are tons of community maintained add-ons available for it. The problem is that managing add-ons and keeping them up-to-date can be time consuming and takes a little technical know-how.

There were a couple of great add-ons for Canadian content – Canada On Demand and CanTVLive. The bad news is that Canada On Demand is no longer being supported and CanTVLive stops working from time to time.

A word of caution

You’ll need a little patience and some technical knowledge to get started and through the next few months as you get used to it.

Be honest with yourself about whether this is something that you’re willing to learn. If you think that the cons above seem like a huge mountain...then it might not be worth it.

Other things you can do to lower your cable costs:

  • Negotiate with retentions

Want to pay less for cable? Download this 2-page PDF guide to negotiating a better deal with retentions – in only 5 steps. Read it anywhere, anytime.

  • Switch providers and take advantage of their new customer sign-up bonuses
  • Bundle your services for a discount
  • Check out even more ideas here: How To Save Money on TV

Disclosure: Some links in this article may be affiliate links. We're letting you know because it's the right thing to do. Here’s a more detailed disclosure on how HTS makes money.

Editorial Disclaimer: The content here reflects the author's opinion alone, and is not endorsed or sponsored by a bank, credit card issuer, rewards program or other entity.

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Vaughan Killin
Vaughan Killin's picture

I see a lot of any of these work with Mac. OS X?

March 15, 2016 @ 9:02 pm
derrall's picture

I just checked out Kodi, because I use Linux instead of windows, & saw that there is a Mac version as well

March 15, 2016 @ 11:47 pm
Vaughan Killin
Vaughan Killin's picture

Thanks Derrall....will definitely look into KODi.

March 25, 2016 @ 4:25 pm
Peter's picture

The best version runs on Android TV. I downloaded the Windows version and have never used it -- TERRIBLE interface.

July 24, 2016 @ 6:31 am
Cory's picture

What are you talking about? Kodi has *exactly* the same interface whether you run it on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux or Android. But since you downloaded it on Windows and never used it, you wouldn't know that, would you?

August 04, 2016 @ 10:12 am
Tamara's picture

I use both the windows version (on desktop) and the android version (on tablet) of Kodi. The interface is not the same, nor is how you arrive at the install from zip and install from repository options. I like the windows version and so far all of the add ons I downloaded and installed on the tablet are also working in the windows version on the desktop. In the android version the path is System > File Manager, and later System > Add-ons >Install from zip (and right after Install from Repository. In the windows version it is Settings (Cog icon) > File Manager, and then later just Addons > Download > .. (go up 1 path by clicking the directory dots) > Install from zip (and right after Install from Repository). I suspect most people say the windows version sucks because they are following instructions for the Android version and quickly become lost since the options are in different places between the 2 interfaces.

January 11, 2017 @ 2:00 am
Scotty's picture

Change your skin on your windows machine to the same skin on the android machine and it will be exactly the same. Probably want to download Confluence skin and use it? Are you still running Jarvis on Android? Android and Windows interfaces are the same if you are on the same version of Kodi and have not changes the skin.

January 13, 2018 @ 1:20 pm
Michael Ronaldinho
Michael Ronaldinho's picture

hey, derrall. if you want to read more about Kodi like you want to setup VPN for Kodi then here is the guide for you.

June 22, 2018 @ 6:51 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Yes, most of what I said above would work with both MacOS and Windows as well. I've been a Windows guy my whole life. I've tried both Linux and MacOS but have never been won over. All you really need is a web desktop/laptop web browser to access network streaming sites.

March 16, 2016 @ 10:03 am
Darren MacKay
Darren MacKay's picture

I've tried some other OS too like Linux, but always come back to windows.
But if you've tried Linux lately, it has got more user friendly and I'd compare Cinnamon or 17 much more like Win7 today :)

November 27, 2017 @ 4:29 pm
David Orr
David Orr's picture

I'm assuming now that Netflix is geoblocking most DNS spoofers, that UnLocator is no longer a viable option.

March 16, 2016 @ 10:03 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Just tested it yesterday, still works fine. They do have a new special DNS that you have to use to specifically get Netflix working - but I had no issues with it at all. I also tested Hulu.

March 16, 2016 @ 10:13 am
David Orr
David Orr's picture

Thanks Stephen. Good to know. I'll check it out.

March 17, 2016 @ 9:08 am
Jamis's picture

No, it doesn't. No Hulu, no Netflix. These VPNs seem to be dead in the water and it's been this way for about six months. And yes, I've tried every end-round. Until something should change they have you beat. I am getting ticked off that yourself and others are still "selling".

April 07, 2016 @ 6:25 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I just tested it for 3rd time right now and again it works fine for me. I have tested Hulu as well and it also works fine with the Beta DNS that they have a massive red box warning in your Unlocator account as soon as you log in. If you follow the steps in their guide, then it should work fine. For me, I didn't even need to go through the advanced blocking of IPs that they suggest some people need to do. I just added the one DNS server in a couple of seconds and it worked right away after flushing my DNS cache. Rebooting your computer will also flush the cache I believe.

Also, if it was not working, I don't have the resources to test this on a daily basis. I don't work for Unlocator although I am part of their affiliate program. If I find out it stops working, then I will certainly remove the parts that say that it works for Netflix and Hulu as soon as I can confirm that. Try contacting their tech support if you are still having issues.

April 08, 2016 @ 9:04 am
Martin Caprani
Martin Caprani's picture

I used to use vpn 4years ago to get Hulu and US Netflx Hulu was the first to bump you off then netflix this past year..
I have since explored other means to get my content to me. I found it much easier to get what I want to watch on my hard drive usually within hours after being aired with a little program called sonar and nzbget to download them from usenet groups awesome setup.. try it sonar is the PVR and NZBGET is the download engine usually you can download a 4 gig episode in 2 minutes usnet is fastest way to get content.

I have tried Stephens way and half the sites you have to have a subsciption with a service provider to watch ???? thats not free TV

August 14, 2017 @ 7:03 am's picture

We use a combination of three things:
- Antennae. This provides uncompressed HiDef local channels - better than cable or satellite hi def.
- Netflix. For series and movies. I think we pay $7.99/month.
- Apple TV and Kodi for a few other things.

It was a hurdle to make the change. But the results are worth the setup pain. Watching TV where everything is 'on demand' is completely different. I can't imagine going back to cable or satellite. Our TV viewing habits have changed too much.

Plus, there's a ton of content on netflix you can't get on mainstream tv. House of Cards, Marco Polo, Better Call Saul. The TV is excellent, and not available on cable.

For those who want an easy-intermediate Kodi/internet streaming option, you can buy a raspberry pi computer for <$100. It's about the footprint of a credit card. Setup is basically:
- power on and select Kodi from the install options
- find a 'complete Kodi setup guide' and follow the directions to get a wide array of channels.
- plug in, and watch.

It'd be a few hour setup for a newb. And again, worth it.

March 18, 2016 @ 10:38 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Very useful info. I wish we had good OTA availability in my area because I heard the HD quality is excellent.

Didn't know Apple TV and Kodi were compatiable - did you have to jailbreak (or whatever it's called) the Apple TV to get that working?

I totally agree with you that the on demand convenience of internet TV is WAY better than cable/satellite ever thought of being. Even better than PVR IMO - because you don't have to think to record ahead of time.

I am aware of the Rasperry Pi angle - but I decided to leave it out of the article because it is a little more advanced and device is somewhat under powered. Want to make sure people get the easiest and best experience possible. I think paying a higher initial one-time cost is worth it for increased performance and convenience since you will be saving so much money on a monthly basis anyway. Great cheap option though for those who are willing to put in the time.

March 18, 2016 @ 11:23 am
Fawn's picture

I am new to Internet streaming with any box but with this Jodi box, is it free to stream anything? I really want to make sure sports are available for my husband... Will I be able to steam baseball games and hockey when they are on tv?

September 11, 2016 @ 9:52 pm
Bernie's picture

Is it possible to get TSN free? I would give up my satellite service if it weren't for my CFL. TSN carries all CFL games.

March 18, 2016 @ 10:41 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Unfortunately, no. They do have a live stream and some full length games available on their site but you need a cable/satellite account login to access them. You could see if any of your friends/family would share their login with you though so you could access that content without having to pay for cable/satellite. I do that with my dad's account sometimes if there is some locked content I want to watch.

EDIT: I just found out that the CFL streamed their entire playoffs free through YouTube in 2015. Wonder if they will do the same in 2016. Also, most sports leagues have streaming services where you get access to ALL the games (much better than what you get through cable/satellite). There is, Rogers NHL Gamecenter, NFL Gamepass, NBA League Pass, etc. So, if you only like 1 or 2 sports, you can still get access to them for much less than the price of cable.

March 18, 2016 @ 11:26 am
Matt M.
Matt M.'s picture

If you use a service that gets ESPN2, they simulcast all the TSN CFL games.

March 27, 2016 @ 5:57 am
iain's picture

Find a friend that has TSN, get his password to watch on-line and viola... You have TSN, Sportsnet, Etc.

August 03, 2016 @ 1:29 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Yes, having a friend who will share works wonders :)

August 03, 2016 @ 9:27 pm
Frank's picture

Yes use Kodi and than go on the UK Turk lists addon
Use sports and you will find all the Canadian Sports channels,
You have to be patient as sometimes there is lagging issues however generally very good.
I wired my Kodi Box and usually can watch CFL without problems.
If you have any questions email me

September 19, 2016 @ 2:59 pm
Bonnie Lynne
Bonnie Lynne's picture

Hi again Stephen,

Just checked here to see if you had posted my comments from yesterday publically. Was glad to see that you had not! Was rambling quite abit given had been up for 30+ hours!

Will write again before end of month with specifics of Shaw negotiations!

Thanks again for this site - this section where people share is wonderful as are your very clearly written instructions.

Just a small note of disappointment: I was unable to get the free unilocator service for 7 days when I tried yesterday. They kept redirecting me to the pay for service page.

Thanks, Bonnie Lynne

March 18, 2016 @ 4:04 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Hi Bonnie - actually the comment did go up on the other article (Save Money Challenge #1: Slash Your TV Cost). When you submit a comment on my site and most blogs, they get posted immediately after you hit save/submit. I think your comment is fine, but did you want me to remove it for you?

March 18, 2016 @ 11:05 pm
Andy's picture

I agree that a dedicated PC is the best option for Internet TV but it does take more money and time set it up properly, however you only need to do it once. For those who's not willing to spend too much money and effort , Roku is a great option because it's really simple to set up as long as you have broadband Internet (Roku 2 and above are recommended). combine it with a TV antenna for live TV channels in HD, that's a great recipe for cutting your cable :)

March 21, 2016 @ 4:07 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I sure wish it was easier for the whole country to use a TV antenna Andy. I tried myself years ago but I got really crappy reception on 2 or 3 channels. You're right - the initial hassle of setting up a dedicated PC is totally worth it. It takes minimal maintenance after you get it up and running properly.

March 21, 2016 @ 3:01 pm
Rob's picture

As always the networks with the most popular shows still require a subscription to a TV provider, such as History and Showcase on your list. HBO requires a subscription. AMC as well however no Canadian providers are listed for their shows online. Is free TV on the internet really as limited as I see or am I missing something?

March 22, 2016 @ 2:32 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

It doesn't feel that limited to me Rob - always lots of shows to watch. If you supplement with Netflix or other streaming service, it's way more than I could ever watch. It doesn't have everything, that's for sure, but I guess it depends on how much those extra shows are worth to you. Is $100 a month for Game of Thrones really worth it when you could just buy that show for download or on DVD/Blu-ray in addition to internet TV and still be way ahead?

March 22, 2016 @ 2:35 pm
Greg's picture

try [removed] USA stations and [removed] for CTV from Regina and Edmonton

March 22, 2016 @ 10:43 pm
Greg's picture

[removed] works well too for American stations. I haven't had cable/satellite for 2 years now and watch everything and more than before. [removed] has every sports event in the world, [removed] has every sports station in the world including ESPN, Sportsnet and TSN. [removed] has great American stations including History, Discovery, HBO etc plus MLB. [removed] has the CTV stations. [removed] has all the news channels, CNN, CBC Newsworld, BBC. I watch these through a laptop hooked up to the tv but have recently purchased a Goobang Doo MXQ so will be hooking that up soon. Enjoy the channels, they are all out there for free.

March 22, 2016 @ 10:53 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks for the suggestions Greg. Those sites are most likely hosted internationally so they can skirt copyright laws and prosecution. Using them isn't technically illegal - but the content creators almost certainly aren't getting a cut from viewership through those sites. I try to stay with the official sites myself but everyone has to make their own choice on these things.

EDIT: I am removing the names of the sites Greg listed because I tested one of them and it was filled with spyware and malicious code that tries to get the user to take actions that could compromise their computer.

March 22, 2016 @ 11:07 pm
Walter's picture

I also use [removed]. It works okay for movies and television but content availability and quality will be disappointing for those interested in live sports.

March 25, 2016 @ 11:58 am
Louis's picture

Hi Stephen,

Over the air TV (OTA) is a good option for free TV if you live within the coverage area of the TV stations. As already told in this thread, all you need is an antenna and the picture will be top quality.

More : if you want to skip the ads, there are a few Personal Video Recorders (PVR) that enable you to. These are not cheap, their cost is similar to the ones of the cable/sat companies. Just take a look at the Tablo TV, I bought their PVR a few months ago and I am satisfied with it. From time to time they have refurbished units that are cheaper, I bought one. By the way they are in Kanata ON.

To locate the local stations, try this tool :

March 24, 2016 @ 6:55 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Yes, I really wish that I lived an area that had better access to OTA channels. Here in the Maritimes we have really few channels available with very spotty coverage. I have used TV Fool before to locate towers, but in the end it wasn't worth the effort for me.

I have written a bit about OTA in my main guide to saving money on TV.

March 25, 2016 @ 10:24 am
cheekysaver's picture

I have been streaming tv for almost 10 years now. If I pay for cable to get all the tv I am getting it would cost over $100 a month and I would have to watch commercials. It is worth the time it takes to learn how to use it.

March 25, 2016 @ 2:08 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Absolutely - $100 is fantastic recurring savings!

March 25, 2016 @ 10:24 am
Lynn Oliver
Lynn Oliver's picture

I am currently a cable subscriber, but love the thought of saving money, but am concerned that I would lose the golf channel, tsn, sportsnet, and the food networks - can u confirm that I would still receive them

March 25, 2016 @ 10:47 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Unfortunately sports is still a tough things to get through legal free internet channels. You are able to get it through some sketchier sites that basically rebroadcast cable or satellite feeds. If you live in major metro area, like southern Ontario, then going with Over The Air (OTA) would give you access to some stations with sports. However, I don't think TSN, golf channel, and sportsnet specifically are broadcast OTA.

CBC does stream the odd sports coverage online. They were doing Hockey Night In Canada online some Saturdays in the 2015/2016 season. Check out the online schedule here:

March 25, 2016 @ 10:54 am
Justme's picture


I see you don't list The Travel Channel. Does that mean it isn't available?

Or National Geographic? I tried to access one of their programs online, and couldn't, even if I get it through Bell Fibe. I emailed them and got no answer. I think you can only do that from the U.S.

What about the international channels, like the BBC and al Jazeera?

March 25, 2016 @ 11:05 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Those two are not available to my knowledge. I think The National Geographic channel does stream online in the USA, but you need to log into with a TV subscription account to get access.

All the BBC channels do appear to be available live although they "recommend" you have a TV subscription to watch them. No sign in is required though.

March 25, 2016 @ 12:18 pm
Antoinette Starratt
Antoinette Starratt's picture

Except there is this message when you click on that link:

BBC iPlayer TV programmes are available to play in the UK only. Find out why.

If you are in the UK and see this message please read this advice.

March 26, 2016 @ 2:09 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Aha - I guess I must have had my Unlocator account active when I clicked the link myself and not realized it. Unlocator truly is a useful program as it positions you in the correct country depending on which site you are viewing automatically. It only does this for media sites with video, so you will still be treated as a Canadian on all other sites.

March 26, 2016 @ 8:26 pm
Rob Daman
Rob Daman's picture

I use an android box to watch my tv online. I've had a couple of different ones. The one I have now is a MyMatrixTV box. They have quite a few international channels including Jazeera

August 24, 2016 @ 5:10 pm
Jake Chip
Jake Chip's picture

This android box is for streaming tv shows and movies? I'd like to look into this. I googled it and found I assume this is the correct website you got it from?

September 19, 2016 @ 12:20 pm
Claire's picture

Hi Stephen,

I'm looking at cutting the cord from Bell, to really cut cost down from the very basic satellite Bell package (which is getting way to expensive for seniors on a fixed income), to watch only free TV online, no netflix, no sports or paid content. This would replace what we watch now on CBC, CTV, Global and PBS. I've tested CBC online and we can get everything we want online, so it's the American content that I'm after, to replace American shows on CTV, Global and mostly PBS. We're located in Quebec and there is no OAT reception here.

Would you be so kind as to clarify a few points for me...all that I have been reading and researching these past few weeks is still not completely clear for me.

1) By installing a DNS proxy on my laptop (connected to TV with HDMI), would I have to make changes to the DNS settings on the computer every time I want to switch between watching American channels and CBC/or other Canadian web content?

2) Is there any obvious difference between unlocator and unblockus if I want to stream through my laptop or eventually /maybe through a ROKU?

3) When looking at both unblockus and unlocator, would I be able to get ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS and CW on either proxy, on my windows laptop for free, not 7 days only viewing or such limitations? Would I be able to get these channels on a Roku?

Thanks in advance

March 28, 2016 @ 3:39 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Hi Claire,

I'm glad you're able to find most of the content you want online already. I think you would be able to get the rest of the American stuff using a proxy like you're trying to do.

1) With Unlocator, I'm pretty sure that you'll never have to touch your DNS settings again unless Unlocator updates their DNS for some reason. They only route you through the United States (or other country) when you are viewing well known website that serves video streaming content. Otherwise, you will always appear as Canadian, which includes all the Canadian network websites. They even let you control your setting on a site by site basis for some sites where you might want view content from multiple regions like Netflix. You get different content if you are American vs Canadian, so you can switch back and forth as you please using your Unlocator account. UnblockUS doesn't mention any of these things on their homepage and I don't remember it working that way when I tested it a while back. I'd stick with Unlocator for the added convenience and features.

2) I have the most experience using Unlocator and highly recommend them. They provide detailed easy to follow instructions for setting up each of your devices, or you can make a one time change to your router and then all devices connected through your router (wired or wireless) will automatically work including Roku. The only thing with Roku, is that it might depend if you register with them as a Canadian or an American. I'd test it using the Unlocator 7 day free trial just to be sure it will work.

3) There is a $5 monthly cost for Unlocator, but as long as you pay that then your access will not have limitations. There are also no limitations on the 7 day free trial - full immediate access. Getting channels on a Roku is difficult because Roku has "apps" and you can only view content from apps they support. I don't know if Roku natively supports all those channels, I don't think so. You might be able to get a little more on Roku in conjunction with Plex, but I haven't tested that.

March 28, 2016 @ 10:38 pm
Claire's picture

Thank you so much Stephen for such a quick reply and for clarifying all this for me.

Knowing that I don't have to switch DNS settings on my laptop once it's set up, and that ROKU doesn't easily stream the channels we're looking for and might not anyway, really simplifies things...I'll stick with the laptop and forget about spending on the ROKU. I'll just set up a very clear favorite list of channels and shows that we watch on the laptop...we don't actually watch that much TV and don't channel surf.

Thank you for recommending Unlocator for their ease of setup, use and features, I'll go with them and set up the trial on the laptop only, when I know I'm ready to do some final testing...sooner than later. Last year I cut the cord on the phone with Bell and set up with and it is working so beautifully, I wouldn't want to take any chances and mess it up by fiddling with the router/modem.

So I now have another question for you Stephen. One to make the experience even more comfortable :)

I have been using a cordless mouse and one remote for the amplifier, to control the sound volume and mute commercials :) ..and actually another remote to turn the TV on, since I've never got around to integrating the two remotes.
You suggest an air remote, which I've looked at on Amazon. If I understand well, it would replace the mouse (I haven't used a keyboard in the tests I've done but it might come in handy?)
...and could I integrate my other two remote functions, TV on/off, volume and muting as well, and have only one remote to do everything? ! :)))))))))))))))

Thanks in advance Stephen

March 29, 2016 @ 12:28 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I used to recommend the Logitech Harmony line of remotes as a single remote that can (theoretically) control everything. At the time years ago when I did this myself they didn't have an "air mouse" version. You had to use arrow keys on the remote to control the mouse cursor which was a major pain. I also needed to use a USB infrared receiver to receive commands from the harmony remote because that was its main method of communication.

I'm thought harmony would have something better now, but I just checked and they still don't have an air mouse type function. Using the harmony software to recognize and configure all your devices is a challenging task anyway. If you want it to operate everything with a single button click like "watch TV" that turns on your computer, turns on your receiver, turns on your TV to the correct input, sets the volume, etc the programming can be tricky and error prone. If one command doesn't get through to a device, then you're left trying to get that one device up and running.

Although, stuck with multiple remotes, I still recommend the air remote control option like I recommended in the article. If you're happy with a mouse, then just getting a remote that can control your TV, receiver, and any other devices would be the best option so you only have 2 remotes/devices to worry about.

March 29, 2016 @ 2:20 pm
Claire's picture

Thanks for replying Stephen.
I don't think I was clear in my question, so I'll give it another try...words are not my best way of expressing myself :))

I don't expect one button click to do more than one action and I really like the idea of getting rid of the mouse and I plan on continuing to turn the computer on and off manually, so the the air remote with the flying mouse that you recommend is extremely interesting to me.

I was just wondering if the 5 IR programmable buttons on the GooBang Doo MX3, can be matched individually to actions on the TV (turning it on/off) and an amplifier/receiver (muting the sound) that has infra red capabilities.
Does that make more sense? I so appreciate your wisdom.

Thank you in advance

March 29, 2016 @ 8:22 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Yes your question does make more sense now, but I just threw in the "one button click" stuff as extra information that you may not have known was possible.

In terms of if you can control your receiver and TV with the GooBangDoo remote, I'm not 100% sure. I have a similar remote I bought a while back from another company and I wasn't able to get it to do something like that. However, I see in the item description for this model it does specifically say it has an IR learning functionality that allows it to control up to 5 buttons on your TV remote. To me that would indicate that you could train it to control both your TV on/off and receiver on/off.

March 30, 2016 @ 2:56 pm
Claire's picture

Thank you Stephen, I value your expertise.
Many blessings

March 30, 2016 @ 5:43 pm
Looweez's picture

I just bought a Roku today in southern Ontario hoping this would be a way to get rid of cable. Unfortunately, it would be wonderful for movie watchers, but I can't see that it replaces any of the channels my husband watches. He likes his sports and BNN, and I don't see any replacements for that. Re the sports, we got NHL for free, and I understand it allows him to watch any hockey games even if they would be blacked out in our area. But he said, hockey's almost over, what about baseball, and I couldn't find any baseball channels for him. So if you're looking for specific channels, Roku doesn't do it.

March 31, 2016 @ 4:29 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Yes, Roku is a little challenging for streaming TV. The reason I have it listed under the easy setup is because it is really easy to get up and running with little technical know-how or patience. However, for what you get in convenience you pay for in available content. Most of the network streaming sites aren't available. You may be able to get some of them using a hookup with Plex.

Roku is supposed to support most of the sports streaming subscriptions I mentioned a few comments above yours (of course you have to pay yearly subscription fees for those). However, I'm not completely sure they work in Canada. They should because most of those streaming services are supported in Canada, but I haven't tested it myself.

March 31, 2016 @ 9:13 pm
David Anderson
David Anderson's picture

Hi Stephen. I'm very tempted to give your suggestions a try. Does the recent crackdown by Netflix affect your recommendation to explore Unlocator?


April 04, 2016 @ 12:41 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

No, I've tested it after they started blocking proxies more and it still works fine. It is possible that they could somehow stop Unlocator in the future permanently, but it will still work for other sites like Hulu and American network websites. Still worth it IMO. Also, you can cancel anytime. If you're concerned, give the free trial a go and see how it works for you. Important - you do need to use their new DNS server settings specifically to get Netflix working though. They give you a big warning in your account settings about this so it is hard to miss.

April 06, 2016 @ 11:01 am
Tammy's picture

Great article. How are you accessing Hulu? I have been set up to watch US (or any other country) Neftlix for quite some time but have never been able to access Hulu as it requires a US credit card when you sign up for their monthly plan.

Knowing how you achieved this would be most helpful.


April 04, 2016 @ 10:33 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

You don't need a USA credit card to stream the free content. You just need to find the well-hidden free checkbox that shows up when you are browsing content. I usually use the Popular Shows view to browse. Once you check that off, it will show you the video available to everyone without a paid subscription (still a lot).

April 06, 2016 @ 11:11 am
Dominique's picture

Thanks Stephen for this info. Is there a lot of french shows and movies on internet tv ? Cause Crave tv and netflix does not offer much.

April 13, 2016 @ 7:21 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Hi Dominique, you'd have to check and see if French-specific channels are available...Unfortunately that isn't something I've gone looking for 

April 15, 2016 @ 11:27 am
Sylvain Bournival
Sylvain Bournival's picture

If you are looking for live quebec tv such as TVA and Radio Canada french, you can get it through Kodi with the Made in Canada IPV addon.

For Movies and series translated in french it is with librecine video addon

There is also a lot of French channels from Europe easily accessible on Kodi

October 18, 2016 @ 5:31 pm
steve's picture

Ok.I need some basic help. we want to cut the cable but I need a recommendation as my tech knowledge is very limited. I want to watch netflix, nfl games and hbo. I have an older sony bravia which i have apple tv connected to but dont use much as bell fibe has netflix. I desperately want to cut the cord but want to transition in a smart way. Any suggestions which android tv box to buy? my wife is not tech savvy either. Thanks

April 14, 2016 @ 8:52 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Well, you've got Netflix covered. Most devices can do Netflix no problem. If you want to watch NFL games, I'd look into a NFL Gamepass subscription - right now that's showing as $49.99 (rest of season) for me but I think the price changes depending on how far through the season it is.

Getting HBO might be a bit harder. You can subscribe for it online in the USA I think but not in Canada. I think there are ways using Unlocator and maybe a USA credit card to sign up for HBO USA service if you are in Canada - but that isn't something I've tried. Would you consider just buying the shows you watch on HBO directly either on optical disc or through Google Play or Apple iTunes?

The Android TV box I mentioned in the article above should be plenty for your needs. You get access to all the apps in the app store which includes the NFL app and the HBO app if you are able to get the USA version working.

April 15, 2016 @ 11:32 am
Stephen P Taft
Stephen P Taft's picture

Stephen, I want to watch BBC. The player that you recommended requires you to have a UK location. You mentioned "unlocator". Where do I find it and where do I install it? I have ROKU, high speed Internet, recent TV, windows 7 laptop and Samsung tablet.
If possible, I would prefer not to use the laptop.
Great article, thanks in advance.

January 07, 2017 @ 9:57 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

There is a link in the article above. You would have to configure it on your router if you want to use it on all your devices. They have guides that show you how to do that.

January 10, 2017 @ 1:05 pm
Jim's picture

Is it possible to have TV and Telephone (what happens to my email?) through the internet? As of now I have internet, telephone and sat TV all with one company for $191.00 per month. I am 76 on fixed income and just cant afford it! I do not want Netflix, sports channels etc. We like news, history, PBS, national geographic etc. US channels would be a bonus. I want to send the TV (wirelessly) from my computer to my Samsung 40" TV. It is a HDMI-Type un40eh5000-Mod un40eh5000fxzc. I also need something like a link stick--wis12abgnx/xaa, but cant find one. If you can help me I would be MORE THAN THANKFUL.

Jim PS I live I BC. Postal code V0K2G0. Hope this helps.

April 22, 2016 @ 5:10 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Jim, if you want to use your existing computer, then I would suggest a ChromCast for streaming from your computer to your TV using hte Chrome web browser.

You'll have to check and see if there is enough content on internet TV to keep you happy. Some live news coverage might be harder to get. Just play with the list I've provided above and see if that is enough for you.

You can use magicJack or Ooma for your telephone - just wouldn't trust it in an emergency. If you have a cell phone backup then it's fine.

May 10, 2016 @ 2:57 pm
Jim's picture

Stephen; One thing I forgot, is can my wife watch TV and can I be on the internet at the same time? My hobby is genealogy. I need the internet for that. Once again THANK YOU.


April 22, 2016 @ 5:27 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Sure, with different computers on your network no problem. You just have to make sure your internet speed is fast enough to handle it. 10 MBps+ should be more than enough for you.

May 10, 2016 @ 2:58 pm
Yvonne's picture

My Apple TV is a few years old, will it still work or am I better off to get GooBang Doo First Generation XB-I Quad Core Android TV Box 2GB RAM 16GB ROM + 4335 Wifi Module(Support 802.11AC) + Newest Kodi with All Preloaded Add-ons?

How does my iPad configure into this? I currently watch shows on Netflix via my iPad while on treadmill in a room with no TV. I'd like to maintain that.


May 10, 2016 @ 1:29 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

There's nothing wrong with AppleTV and the list of Canadian apps they support is growing. However, with an Android box you get the full Play store, whereas with Apple I believe they have a restricted store that is only good for AppleTV.

No reason you can't continue to use your iPad in tandem with whatever other device you buy. You could also consider AirPlay to get content from your iPad to your TV. I don't use Apple products personally so it is possible that they can do more than I give them credit for.

May 10, 2016 @ 2:53 pm
Ken's picture

Hello Stephen
I just discovered this site. It's great!
I am not very technologically advanced. I have recently spoken with someone from INL3D. Their Android box seems quite user friendly. Do you know anything about their product? Is there anything I should be know before committing to this ?
Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to provide.

May 28, 2016 @ 9:32 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I don't have a ton of experience with Android boxes myself, I just know lots of people use them and have read about them. They basically work just like an android phone but are more powerful (usually) and are meant to plug into a TV.

You can get all kinds of different software for them that help you get a wide variety of content. Getting some of it to work well can be challenging and require tech savvy (like Kodi). However, if you just stick with apps from the Google Play store for streaming content, it's as easy as pie. Then you can play with more advanced stuff as you have time if you're so inclined.

Don't know anything of that particular box so I can't really comment. Make sure you don't go for the cheapest model though. More power is better with these boxes.

May 29, 2016 @ 2:36 pm
sanichtonian's picture



"Is it possible to have TV and Telephone (what happens to my email?) through the internet?"

Short answer - Yes.
Long answer. - You do not say who your current ISP is. Whether it is cable or ADSL, there are smaller providers that can offer substantial savings over Shaw, Telus, or others of that ilk.

You can search you area for alternative ISPs through

If you switch to a VOIP (Voice over IP) phone line, the limiting factor is the upload speed. This should be at least 1 to 1.5.mbps, otherwise you might sound 'choppy' to the people on the other end of the call.

If you email is with you provider (, than it would probably be gone, although you might be able to transfer it to a friend's account if it is with the same provider. Otherwise it would probably mean getting an email account with yahoo or some other universal free email account.

What I have done...
I have a cable internet connection ( 25down/2.5up ) with a local small ISP for $44.74/month with taxes. This can run my VOIP phone ($5.54/month with taxes) and allow two streaming video computers going at the same time. I use linux (free) on my laptops as it can make a slightly older machine seem young again, installed kodi with the exodus plugin on one, connected it to the TV, and I have TV on demand.

I also have a cell phone plan that has run me $112.00/year with taxes for occasional use. My VOIP home phone allows me to setup a 'simultaneous ring', so that if I am out and about, or the power goes out at home, calls to my home number still go to my cell.

With internet, home phone and cell phone, I have it down to less than $64.00 / month, and don't feel I am lacking anything.
I intend to shave a little more by switching to 7-11's speakout service for cellphone when my present plan expires next fall.

It takes a little research and work, however it is possible to cut down the cost of all these 'mod cons' considerably.

May 31, 2016 @ 5:38 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Nicely done!

May 31, 2016 @ 10:04 pm
Jim's picture

My current ISP is Telus, ADSL. Sense your note on Mat 31, 2016 I have been told that the highest broadband I can get is 6Mbps down and one up. I am DSL (I think) with Telus. Teksavvy tells me that @ 6mbps VOIP phone likely would not work good-cutting in and out etc. I don't have a cell phone. If I can make this work I will have to get a router to send my TV which is in another room about 40 feet away. Also I only have one computer and will need to allow someone to watch TV at the same time I am on the computer doing genealogy. I am beginning to think this can't be done in my area. I am paying 45.00 for phone, 43.00 for Internet, and 81.00 for sat TV and I don't watch 1/4 of it. You folks have helped a lot and I thank you very much. If you Stephen or any one else can help, I thank you more than I can express, other wise I guess I will start YELLING at these CROOKS and see what happens.

July 05, 2016 @ 8:07 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I've had VoIP on a 5mpbs connection before and it was decent. However, if you are heavily using your connection for other streaming purposes at the same time, the quality could suffer.

It is tough to get a decent and reasonably priced internet connection in some areas - wish I could help you more with that.

July 06, 2016 @ 1:22 pm
Linda S
Linda S's picture

I have to say I tried Unlocator and simply could not get it to work. You are right, the instructions for installing the Smart DNS were simple to follow. I tried every suggestion made and there was no way I could access Netflix. I really do not feel this is an option anymore.

June 11, 2016 @ 1:54 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Last comment I made it was working just fine after testing it several times. However, the last few times I tried in recent days it didn't work for Netflix - but it did work for other sites. I thought it was probably because I haven't gone through the full configuration of my router (didn't need to previously). I haven't had a chance to test it out fully yet with the router to see if it still works. I will report back once I've had the chance to test.

If anyone else has experience from today onward, please chime in.

June 13, 2016 @ 10:05 am
Eleanor Thomas
Eleanor Thomas's picture

Is there any way to stream sports like hockey, baseball, and NFL to my laptop? I'd love to cut the cord, but sports is pretty much all I watch. Thanks for any advice.

June 12, 2016 @ 5:54 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

In terms of legal ways, most of the major sports leagues now offer their own online streaming services. The prices vary and it changes depending on how late in the season it is. You will get a LOT more games with these services than you would get from cable. I'd pick your one or two favourite leagues and get a subscription.

June 13, 2016 @ 10:03 am
Lynda Johnson
Lynda Johnson's picture

Having recently dumped cable, I was very interested to read this article. However, I ran into the usual problems. When I tried to watch a video on Discovery Channel I got the usual log in with your cable provider bs. When I tried to watch a video on OLN, I got the you are outside of the US bs. Not going VPN, so I'm pretty sure your article is pretty useless.

June 15, 2016 @ 9:24 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Only clicking a couple of links and calling the article useless seems like a bit of a stretch without much effort on your part. In the table it is clearly spelled out which sites have some locked content. Discovery is one of those. For OLN, you were clearly on the US OLN site not the Canadian one - user error, not a problem with my article.

June 26, 2016 @ 10:40 pm
sheila 's picture

Hi there. I am going to cut my cable and go to an Android box, but I am not clear if I can watch shows as they are being aired? example : I watch the Bachelorette on Monday evenings, will I be able to watch shows the same as cable ? so confused lol

June 27, 2016 @ 12:26 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Not unless you have a friend with a tv subscription and you can piggy back off their login. Otherwise, you can catch your shows starting anytime the next day.

June 27, 2016 @ 8:57 pm
Jey Sutherland
Jey Sutherland's picture

I have TVMC which is an older version of Kodi. I used to be able to get Global TV live, but it seems like they've blocked this now. I'm in Canada, near Toronto. I'm mostly interested in the news channels.
Anyone at least tell me how to get Global?

June 28, 2016 @ 7:42 pm
Meghan's picture

Hi, Thank you so much for all the great info! I am wondering... can I use my xbox 360 to watch tv shows? Right now, I use the netflix app with no problem, but I'm not sure how to watch tv shows... I tried going on the internet app and then going on the website for each channel, but the videos didn't stream at all. Just came up with some error every time.

June 29, 2016 @ 9:18 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I haven't tested this myself, but it sounds like the browser isn't a full-fledged browser that can handle streaming video.

You might look into 3rd party apps like Kodi or Plex if those are available for Xbox360 to help make it possible.

June 30, 2016 @ 2:21 pm
Scott Carlson
Scott Carlson's picture

Here is the biggest problem that I think Canadians have when trying to use DNS servers to get U.S. shows.
They essentially succeed with a "partial" success rate by being able to access some U.S. shows but the large
sites like Netflix and Hulu detect that their Gateway IP is from the Canadian ISP and they give up.
The problem: Bell Canada's DSL routers to not allow full bridge mode and their always shows
up as your Gateway ip.

This has been a nightmare for me. I have tried 5 different smart servers, including Unlocater, and 1 VPN and I still can not remove Bell's Gateway address. If you really would like to help Canadians with this issue, please give a step by step procedure to set up a "full" bridge mode, most importantly how to stop Bell's IP from showing up on their DLS service. (Trying to go to Bell with this issue is futile).

I have tried their 2 Wire and now their newer Bell 1000 (a Sagemcom FAST 4350) with my Netgear N300, along with disabling their DSL, and every other button in their hub, plus using a wrong sign-on in their
connection hub, and it still does not work. The internet is filled with stories of frustrated Bell customers spending many hours trying to get their bridge working properly and eventually are forced to go back to Bell and have them re-set their system which they can no longer access.

So, as much as the Smart Server techs can help me in, for example, blocking Google DNS on my Roku 2, when it comes to stopping Bell's Gateway from getting through (ping-ipconfig)-Windows 7, they can not stop Bell's IP address from showing up on my secondary/slave router. All these suggestions are meaningless if Canadians if a DNS smart server can not block Bell's ip.

Any suggestions to a very frustrated Canadian.


July 20, 2016 @ 8:55 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I didn't know this problem existed for Bell customers Scott thanks. I am sort of a Bell customer, but in the Atlantic Canada region so I think things are different for us here. I wish I could be of more assistance to you on this but you've reached the limits of my expertise on this one. I hope someone else will chime in to help guide you.

July 21, 2016 @ 10:49 am
Cory's picture

Scott, you don't disable anything, and as a network engineer based on what you're saying here (especially your comment about bridge mode) I'm thinking that you don't understand how a VPN works.

Basically VPNs work like this:

Similar to how when you visit a website and a connection is opened to that server to get the HTML, images, etc... that make up the web page, a VPN programme opens up a connection to a VPN server. Where the web connection shuts down after loading the web page, the VPN connection stays open until you shut down the VPN programme. After connecting, the VPN programme creates a fake, or "virtual", network adapter on your computer and makes it look like it has a cable connecting your computer directly to the VPN server on the other side. The VPN server gives your computer a private IP address just like how your Bell xDSL modem gives your computer an address in the 192.168.1.x range. The VPN programme then tells your computer that all traffic destined for the Internet is now supposed to go through that virtual adapter and to the VPN server instead of directly out your Bell xDSL modem.

If you check your public, Internet-facing IP address with a website like before and after starting the VPN programme, you will see that it changes. You can also use a command like "tracert" on Windows or "traceroute" on OS X or Linux. On Windows, for example, "tracert" will show you the path that your data takes to go from your computer to the Hulu. Just like the public IP address shown with, that path will change after you connect to the VPN with the VPN programme.

If those two simple tests do not show any differences, then you have incorrectly set up the VPN programme.

The type of modem you were using for your Bell xDSL link has absolutely nothing to do with how the VPN programme operates.

BTW, a "bridge" in networking is when you take two or more separate network interfaces and combine them into a single virtual interface. You might does this when you have a PC with 4 network cards in it. Normally, each port will be associated with a different network block (i.e. 192.168.2.x, 192.168.3.x, 10.1.2.x, etc…) and have it's own IP address, and for any device connected the traffic will have to be routed proper so they can communicate with each other. To make things easier, you bridge those four ports together into one virtual one and then it would act like the 4 port switch on the back of your xDSL modem or your WiFi router where everything gets an address from that same 192.168.1.x block and can see each other with ease.

A second example of bridging has to do with what is doing the authentication and login for your Bell xDSL connection. For the default setup that Bell likes to use for residential customers, you enter your Bell credentials into the xDSL modem you got from Bell and it manages the connection. Alternatively you can bridge the xDSL interface of the modem with the 4 ethernet ports so you can plug a second device into the modem. Then on that second device you would configure a PPPoE connection using your Bell credentials and it manages your internet connection with the xDSL modem essentially turning into a dumb pass-through device.

As for those stories of "frustrated Bell customers spending many hours" that you mention, as somebody with 25 years of professional experience in computer networking, including working for small telecom competitors to Bell, I find that they are the type of people who know enough to be dangerous but don't really know anything about networking. They read some set of steps off a web page, don't understand what they really mean or why they might not apply to their specific situation, which is why they screw things up and have to call Bell (or Rogers, or Shaw, or Telus, etc…) to get things reset.

August 04, 2016 @ 11:13 am
Cindy's picture

Hi there: My husband and I just bought an OTTV TV Box unit that lets us watch tv streams, shows and movies from different stations and sources. There are many US and European stations listed, but how can I find the Canadians stations like global, CBC, CTV etc. Many thanks.


July 24, 2016 @ 2:45 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Sounds like you have an Android box Cindy. Simply search the Google Play store for the Global, CBC, and CTV apps. You won't be able to get all Canadian stations that way, but most of the popular ones have apps.

July 25, 2016 @ 12:07 pm
Cindy's picture

Thanks Stephen:

Do I access the Google Play store on the Google browser on the TV and download from there? Thanks for the help



July 25, 2016 @ 7:25 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

The play store should already be installed as an app by default. You just need to access your "app drawer" - I think that is what it is called" and look for the app called "Play Store". It may not be on your home screen, but I think it would probably be there as well.

July 25, 2016 @ 10:53 pm
Scott Petrowski
Scott Petrowski's picture

HI just came across your info because I was searching how to watch canadian tv and to get rid of my shaw..I live in the country I have high speed threw a company called netset1, its been awesome so far...I use to have an android box to watch some netflix now I have a samsung smart tv, there is alot more I can do and including crave tv but everyone wants money and im tired of it, already pay 100 a month for the 150gigs of data and 65 for shaw then 20 more for netflix and crave tv..enough already...
so I guess what im finally asking is I should be able to use the browser to setup what I want on my samsung smart and have at it correct???

I even purchased a bluetooth key board and mouse to use the browser it is much faster can even do youtube etc if needed..your thoughts, thanks


August 01, 2016 @ 6:16 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I doubt the Samsung browser is considered to be a full-featured desktop/laptop browser and therefore some streaming sites won't work with it. You'd have to test them yourself to see if it works, but I highly doubt it.

I'd say you'd probably get more support through your Android box using Play Store apps than you would with the Samsung TV and any apps/channels it offers. Let me know how you make out.

August 03, 2016 @ 9:29 pm
Chris's picture

Great article. You should also know that Sony Pictures Television has a streaming app called CRACKLE that is 100% free (limited ad supported model) in Canada. Can be downloaded from your App Store, comes with Roku and is available through many other devices including smart TVs, and their original content lineup is outstanding.

If you own a PlayStation, Crackle is also embedded (via the PlayStation Store section) so that may offset the need to buy a device if budgets are an issue. With over 6.5 million okay stations in Canada expect to see a lot more Crackle viewing as well.

Happy Streaming!

August 04, 2016 @ 1:11 pm
Chris's picture

Typo - 6.5 Million PlayStations in Canada, not 'okay' stations! (Thx autocorrect + couldn't edit after posting!!)

August 04, 2016 @ 1:14 pm
Cathy 's picture

Hi there - loving the advice on your site. I haven't had cable/sat for a while and am lucky to get plenty of channels by antennae. I also have AppleTV and a Netflix subscription. I recently bought a new TV and they threw in a Chromecast which I've set up but not used much yet. So I'd like to access Hulu content with a US DNS (I used to have one from Unblock US but let it lapse) but I'm not sure whether I should put the DNS in my new-ish Chrome laptop or an old HP laptop that has Windows 10. The old one is reeaallly slooow. Do you have any advice on how I should best use my devices and laptops once I get a US DNS?

Thank you so much for your helpful site.

August 06, 2016 @ 12:46 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I would suggest setting up the DNS directly on your router so all your devices work the same. Unlocator is best for this because foreign IP addresses only activate on sites that need it. Otherwise, you still get to use your Canadian IP.

August 15, 2016 @ 10:26 pm
Gerry's picture

Hey there I purchased a m8 & a mxq android box about a year ago & totally wiped out my cable bill. Totally worth the cost I paid 60$ each. Small price to pay to not have a 100 to 150$ a month cable bill. It doesn't require a computer but u need internet. There's a app u can download that's called MOBDRO. It's fantastic. I get about 140 channels including HBO, BRAVO,AMC A&E. There are also lots of channels from the UK. For all the people asking about sports channels it carries everything from TSN 1 to 5 NBCSN ,FOX SPORTS. They all stream live sports. I'm a diehard nascar can & I haven't missed a race since I've had this box. I bought it thru a friend but u can buy them thru Amazon or just Google android box. Just thought I'd let u in on that app MOBDRO if u didn't already know. Well happy TV ing.......

August 14, 2016 @ 3:29 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Sounds like a great app Gerry, thanks for the tip. Just so anyone reading knows, this wouldn't be the most legitimate avenue for getting your content because nobody can make money from it (except possibly MOBDRO). You need to at least be viewing commercials so that content creators are getting paid for your viewing.

August 15, 2016 @ 10:28 pm
JJ's picture

Thanks Gerry,

I have been contemplating the switch to an Android box and cutting the overpriced cable myself. Being a die hard NASCAR fan, like you, I was worried I would miss my NASCAR races and have been holding off mostly for that exact reason. Knowing that I can get those races live, I think I am that much closer to snapping up an Android box and trying it out.

March 02, 2017 @ 12:11 pm
Steve's picture

I live in the country and the fastest internet speed I can get on my iPad ( through wifi) is on DSL @ 6 Mbps through Bell lines. I am with Mustangtechno. The fastest speed I have recorded on at my house over the years is 5.11 Mbps down, 800 Mbps up. Averages around 4.7, 600.; same thing at my neighbours places (with Bell) too. We don't have fibre out here and won' t be getting it any time soon.
I would like to cut Shaw satellite off, switch home phone to VOIP, and go with a skinny Internet TV package ( to supplement our Netflix on Roku) , saving a lot of money every month. Can this be done with my lousy download speeds? Do you have any recommendations for an Internet TV provider in Ontario? I have seen Vmedia, and Zazeen for TV. I only have 1 TV ,Roku ,both e-cabled,and the iPad (wifi) to connect. So far the Roku has run well except when it rains and the 1950's Bell technology at the closest hub (1 mile away) goes screwy.
Any suggestions?

August 17, 2016 @ 5:50 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

You're cutting it close with those speeds Steve. You aren't going to be able to stream to multiple devices reliably at the same time - but with only one device streaming at a time you could get away with it.

If you use Netflix a lot on multiple devices and haven't had quality and lag issues, then I'd say you'd be safe to try out some other free streaming sites like I've mentioned here. If those go well, then go ahead and cut the cord. It probably won't be perfect, but it might be good enough to make the savings worth it for you.

August 29, 2016 @ 9:19 pm
Steve's picture

Just an update, and I can not understand it either.
I Cut off my Bell land line and went with wireless home phone. Land line still had a dial tone. Internet is now running at 2.63 mbs. Watching Netflix USA using proxy server while surfing internet is all good. Netflix is HD sharp and surfing is just a little slower. Everything is fine.
Called isp and made appointment for dryloop on land line ; they say one week, turns out to be two. Everything runs fine on "dead" line, that still has a dial tone. Bell worker calls up on our "dead" line , on time, to install dry loop. I ask why there is still a dial tone: "Because you live in the country, we want you to be able to call 911 from this line in an emergency". OK, fine , that's nice. But why did I need a dry loop in the first place?
Netflix US works for a week, then quits. Cant explain it, but it did work well on 2.63mbs.
Maybe the slow setting was just slow enough to fly under their radar.
Yours, Steve

October 28, 2016 @ 5:55 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks for the update Steve - Netflix USA is pretty much dead for everyone now unfortunately. They really worked hard to make sure people can't region hop on their service anymore. I think internally they are region neutral, but the content creators themselves are pressuring them to prevent it. I'm all for paying the content creators - but I think these crazy border laws are silly and archaic.

November 01, 2016 @ 10:13 am
Steve's picture

OK, thanks. I might just have to keep my satellite with the skinny pkg.

August 31, 2016 @ 3:47 pm
nic's picture

A question from an obviously non-technical person. I have a new smart TV (SAMSUNG) and an XBOX One. Would I still need to get an Android box or Chromecast? And how does an Android box differ from Chromecast? The TV seems to have apps for Crackle and Netflix and so on installed, and I have streamed some TV episodes from YouTube on it, but when I tried streaming from HGTV it really did not work at all (constant freezing etc. despite many tries). Someone here said Crackle is free, but it was not when I tried to use it? Thank you to all of you tech savvy people for helping :-)

September 08, 2016 @ 4:19 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Your Smart TV and XBox One are capable of doing some things, but maybe not everything. I would imagine Android would have a lot more possibilities with the Android Play Store vs whatever apps are available through your TV. I wish I could tell you more about the XBox One but I've never owned an XBox. I know some things are possible.

A chromecast will let you stream content from devices that are compatible with it (like Android phones or computers running the Chrome web browser). Chromecast is the cheapest way to get more content to your TV using an existing computer (Windows, iOS, or Linux).

Crackle works great on my Android phone.

September 08, 2016 @ 7:52 pm
Lizze's picture

I have cut off shaw cable as I have Netflix, and set up unlocator yesterday - works great... and the plan was to get HULU as well because I want my prime time shows!! in real current next day ish time!. not a year old etc. (as to the issue of unlocator not unlocator account when looking at it on my phone says not connected, but since I changed my DNS in the tv manually that makes sense. not really. I turned the tv off and on a few times and no US Netflix... until to be honest, I realized I had to LOG out of Netflix for it to reboot, and turning the tv off didn't do that. finally, I logged out of Netflix and logged back in and voila:( haha. - my little drama last night.

Now, my issue with HULU or not having Prime time shows within a week or so of airing!

I have an Visu smart tv, comes with Netflix and HuluPlus and amazon as well as yahoo facebook and some other apps in it. No web browser that I am aware of. Amazon is all pay per view. When I went to sign up with HuLu - have to do it online not tv - it wouldn't accept my payment etc. it recognises it's Canadian.

so how do I get by that? I tried using a card with a real zipcode and it still knew it was Canadian. same with the paypal option. it appears that I will not get my primetime shows now... and will have to go back to cable. ?? :(

is my only other option from what I understand a ROKU? I don't have a computer to hook up to the tv. does this RoKu give you free primetime content?

September 21, 2016 @ 5:07 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Glad you got Netflix working with Unlocator - I think it is getting more and more difficult to access even with them. Where it used to always work for me, it nows fails most of the time if I just set upt he DNS. I haven't gone through the complete guide blocking ports on my router though. Unlocator is your best chance for Netflix - but it may no longer be problem free.

I haven't signed up for the American services, but I know there is a way. Try googling for a guide. You might be able to purchase an American prepaid credit card and use that.

HULU should have primetime shows right away if you have Google+. Trying going directly to the network website if HULU doesn't have it. What about the Canadian sites that let you stream primetime shows like CTV, Global, etc? They're usually available next day.

September 22, 2016 @ 11:40 am
Paul's picture

Hi Stephen,
Thanks for a great article but I'm a little confused about Kodi.
I currently have a Mac setup. MacBook laptop, iPad, and Apple TV. Presumably, I can stream, say, Global TV from my iPad to my TV via the Apple TV using AirPlay?
What does Kodi enable me to do?

September 27, 2016 @ 1:53 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Kodi is a more TV friendly interface that also has a lot of custom community built apps that give you access to various types of content.

Nothing wrong with using a web browser or apps on your iPad to stream content but not quite as remote friendly as Kodi is if you can get it set up well. If you're happy with your setup as it is, no need to change. I don't use Kodi either. I like the interface, but I find you can get more Canadian content with less technical issues using a web browser and a desktop operating system.

September 29, 2016 @ 10:06 pm
Lynn's picture

Hi Stephen:

I just came across your blog. I am a technically challenged Maritime senior trying to figure out how to watch my fav tv shows without going back to cable. I have high speed internet and phone and that costs enough each month.

I have a Roku, however, can't find much on there to watch. I like reality shows, true crime, the History Channel to name a few and I have been finding some of those shows online, along with other great shows on YouTube. The problem is the quality of the shows. I hook my laptop to the tv with an HDMI cable and I have Windows 10. CBC shows and some CTV shows cause a problem. They pause, stop, flicker and do all kinds of weird things. Some days I want to pack it in and go back to cable, but I don't want to do that. It's too expensive for me.

I did have Kodi, however, I wasn't using it much so uninstalled it.

Would an antenna help with reception? My Acer laptop also freezes sometimes when I plug the HDMI cable in and turn on the tv. Can't figure out how to stop that. I know CBC is working with Windows 10 and Chrome for a fix, but it hasn't happened yet.

What are some of the things you suggest for me to try? Remember, I need it explained in Sesame Street language. lololol

Your blog is very interesting. Thanks for all the advice and information you share on here.


November 10, 2016 @ 12:42 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Well actually it sounds like you have a really good handle on things Lynn.

Unfortunately I can't explain the freezing you are experiencing - I can only guess. The first thing I would say is it might be your laptop. There are a lot of Acer laptops with not very good specifications/hardware. I'd try someone else's computer on the same internet connection and see what happens.

Next, I'd go to and run a speed test to see how fast your internet connection is. Anything above 10mbps download speed should be fast enough to avoid stuttering video.

I  haven't watched CBC in a while but I never had issues with Chrome before. I'd try Firefox and Internet Explorer as well just to see if that fixes it for you.

If you struggle with a slow computer, the best upgrade you could ever do is to get a solid state hard drive. It will make any computer feel brand new again. May not fix your issue, but if your computer is slow in general it will help a lot.

November 14, 2016 @ 8:53 pm
Lynn Ellis
Lynn Ellis's picture

Thanks, Stephen, for your reply. I just did the scan and the download speed is around 39mpbs.

When I'm watching CTV shows the day after airing, it's horribly frustrating. I've tried Chrome and IE and it's about the same.
I'm not sure if the problem is with CTV and CBC or not. The History Channel seems to run ok. And YouTube runs ok. So, will have to look further, I guess. Maybe I should take the laptop for a much-needed cleaning out of the junk.

Today I read a post where McAfee sometimes causes problems on Acer. So, I followed the instructions for making sure it's totally uninstalled and it hasn't frozen since. Fingers crossed that that was the problem.

Thanks again,


November 16, 2016 @ 7:47 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

That very well could be the issue. If you have Windows 7 or 10 it comes with antivirus built in (Windows Defender). You probably don't need anything else unless you want to be ultra careful and tend to visit bad neighbourhoods on the internet.

November 28, 2016 @ 2:53 pm
Wendy's picture

Hi Steve,

Have you heard anything about an Android box called Sidekick tv? I understand they are based out of Victoria BC and I saw a demo at the mall today. Looked pretty good, but am hesitating as I don't feel like I know enough about it. Right now we have the largest cable package including movie channels, as well as Netflix. We also live stream using a Chromecast. I need to keep a family of four happy, but would sure like to cut down on my huge monthly cable bills. Thanks.

November 20, 2016 @ 1:02 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

What they've done here is repackaged and rebranded an Android box that you could traditionally purchase for around $100-$150 most likely and customized it to be more user friendly. I have no experience with them directly, but I've seen others try to do the same.

I can't comment on how much better these customized devices are to use compared to a standard android box. I imagine it won't be perfectly smooth sailing no matter which device you choose.

November 28, 2016 @ 2:56 pm
Trevor's picture

Your site is awesome. What do you think of Red Rhino streaming box? ...and does it gives access to USA programming?

December 02, 2016 @ 11:02 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks Trevor - but unfortunately I have no experience with that box either.

December 08, 2016 @ 9:41 pm
keith's picture

I want to go cable free, have a roku three, but here's the thing I pay $81 a month for cable, counting uup different subcripptions for shhows in USD with the current exchange rate to CAD makes me pay more than I do now. #missingsomething?

November 27, 2016 @ 12:20 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

It all depends on what shows you want to watch and where you get them from. Maybe you should consider an Android box instead or a PC using Chromecast or HDMI.

December 08, 2016 @ 9:43 pm
keith's picture

So the streaming stick is no good then? Why would I choose chromecast?

December 11, 2016 @ 12:49 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Chromecast makes it easy to use an existing full-featured computer to display content on your TV. This opens up more options than some of the other devices.

December 20, 2016 @ 2:57 pm
Iam Sam
Iam Sam's picture

i have been using chromecast for many moons mine is the first version of chromecast costed me $45+tax cnd and i stream everything from my computer mainly European sports.
the most difficult part was to find the websites now i have a list of them for sports is good.
yes for a 76 year young jock i need LARGE prints and tv becomes a great monitor.

August 14, 2017 @ 8:02 pm
Dave Pattee
Dave Pattee's picture

Are you able to get the TSN sport channels?

December 13, 2016 @ 3:00 pm
keith's picture

I will check today

December 18, 2016 @ 12:10 pm
keith's picture

Tried to get it with no luck as yet

December 19, 2016 @ 8:57 pm
Jax's picture

Hi Stephen, silly question but can I use my smart tv instead of my computer?

December 24, 2016 @ 6:40 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Sure you can - just depends on what capabilities your smart TV has. They are all different. You have to test and see if it is enough to meet your needs.

January 02, 2017 @ 10:24 am
Carla Praught
Carla Praught's picture

Just wondering what the best way to get the most content available and a quality streaming? We are in Nova Scotia. Is it best to hook up a laptop to the tv or can you get a box that will give as much content ?

December 27, 2016 @ 2:29 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

It's hard to beat a full computer - especially for streaming stuff completely legally through official network websites.

January 02, 2017 @ 10:25 am
Ron's picture

New to all this. I have a BluRay Player and stream Netflix from it. Works really well, but still tied to Shaw for TV. Can I use the BlueRay to stream TV?

January 16, 2017 @ 8:45 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Most likely not depending on which apps it supports. Seeing as it is a BR player - support is probably pretty limited.

January 17, 2017 @ 10:10 pm
topcat's picture

Hi Steve
I like this site so I will tell some of my experience trying to save $$
I started out with a Raspberry Pi2 and Libreelec sd card (kodi)
Worked fine but a bit under powered got movies and tv shows but didn't like getting streaming from priracy sites
So i eventually got Netflix and the Prime Video which came with my Amazon account
I have Shaw satellite and I cut my service to the new basic package and the Sports pack for $50
This works well for me as my kodi has only legal sites now, I get British tv and some US channels free with a bit of experience for using kodi for about a year (youtube a great help finding free sites )
I have made a HDTV antenna for cheap about $10 ( from youtube ) I get 6 CND channels
I am considering getting a HDHomerun for the antenna in my attic then my kodi will be able to play them on the tvs and on my wifes and my tablet which I can the use in the garage.
Hope this helps someone.

January 29, 2017 @ 11:35 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks for sharing your experience - sounds like you have a great setup that meets your needs.

January 31, 2017 @ 10:26 am
Monique's picture

Hi, thanks for the guide! Question I hope you (or another reader) can answer. I recently got a Roku smart tv for Christmas and am looking to cut my cable (done with Telus. So so done with their TV). Can anyone recommend a good antenna so I can pull in OTA channels? I saw one person made on but I'm not especially technical. Thanks!

February 04, 2017 @ 3:23 pm
topcat's picture

Hi Monique
A loaded question for sure, indoor hdtv antennas depend on where you live.
If you live in a big city then a large paper clip inserted in the antenna port on your tv may give you some channels.
If you live in a condo or basement suite the antenna will be a problem, antennas need to be as high in a room as possible (on a book case) and point to the broadcast tower. I made an antenna from a loop of 12 guage copper wire with a diameter of 7 3/4 inches (wrap around an 8 inch plastic mixing bowl, you can make 1 inch legs on the wire circle to mount the antenna loop to the wood base) and an old cable tv cord, I cut one end off and stripped to expose the shield wire (twist shield wire to make a single wire and the core wire to seperately point out each side of cable). I made a small loop at each end of the antenna circle (with pliers) and screwed the tv cable shield wire to one end and the core wire to the other (with flat head wood screws to the wood base, the two wires donot touch make sure of this) to a flat piece of wood for a stand base. The antenna sits on the wood base sticking up bend bottom loops flat to wood to do this. Point the flat of the antenna (the hole) to the tv broadcast tower. Connect the antenna cable to the antenna port of your hdtv tuner. Then go into settings and search for open over the air channels not cable channels. Most cities have at least five channels.
If you live in country the you need to search on youtube (search for Dave Hodges, he is an antenna wizard)
Hope this helps

February 07, 2017 @ 11:48 am
Aysel Ozkan
Aysel Ozkan's picture

I only see few channels , is it possible to watch BNN with antenna, Thanks, A.O.

February 10, 2017 @ 8:45 pm
john's picture

Hi steven,

wanted to cut my cable..been reading the comments as well and need your help..I have a smart tv and want to cut cable and just pay more for my internet..but having hard time to find a site or app for the smart TV(LG) to subscribe or use..wanted to have a cartoon channels for my kids, sports channel and HGTV for the wife..I have a Netflix subscription and tried the amazon prime but it mostly has the same movies/series/shows with Netflix in dire need of you advise and not a very techy person.

February 26, 2017 @ 4:02 pm
R's picture

I came across your very informative website. I am probably a rare breed because I don't have a TV and I haven't had one for years. However, I am a little tired of watching DVD's and the news on my laptop and I am planning to buy a smart tv now.
I am not really that technical savvy and would appreciate some help. I am getting a bit confused what kind of TV to buy. Am I limited to the apps that the TV offers, or can I use my laptop to access programs I already watch? Can I add apps to the TV? And which smart TV brands give me the most options for free internet TV?
Thanks, Renee

February 27, 2017 @ 2:24 am
Helene's picture

I have been looking over your recommendations for the bare bones mini PC. I want to be sure that I buy the right stuff because I am not tech savvy like some people. The Amazon site that I linked to has two internal SSD that I am looking at - the first one is Crucial BX200 240GB SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD - CT240BX200SSD1 with 240 GB and the newer model Crucial MX300 275GB SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD with 275 GB. The second one is newer and cheaper. I was interested in purchasing that one, but I need to be certain it will be compatible with the Intel NUC NUC5i5RYH with Core i5 Processor that you also recommend. Any advice?

March 16, 2017 @ 2:21 pm
topcat's picture

Hi Helene
I have a Crucial MX300 275Gb in an i7 NUC and it works great. I have have had it for about 6 months now with absolutely no problems. It boots up very quickly with Windows 10 and Mint Linux 18
Hope this helps

March 17, 2017 @ 11:10 pm
Helene's picture

Hi TC,
Thanks for the response, but I don't think that answers my question. I am wondering if the MX300 will work properly in Nuc i5, not an i7.

March 21, 2017 @ 10:42 am
John's picture

I just bought a relatively high end Sony Bravia TV. It has Android TV installed. It has Netflix, crackle and other apps pre installed. I downloaded Kodi.

Where do I sit vis a vis getting live Internet TV up and working on the TV?

What do I have to do?


March 18, 2017 @ 10:39 pm
Chemz Eddine
Chemz Eddine's picture

You are talking here about Canadian tv where are the French language channels? It isn't British tv we are talking about. Also your advice on how to save on cable simply won't work here in Canada.

April 15, 2017 @ 1:10 pm
Pete Lautenschlager's picture

In Canada, we are paying for some of the highest internets in the world. For the best quality, you need a good bandwidth speed. The cost for some people that are dropping cable in favor of streaming media. Can be nominal as the cost of internet only with a with a decent bandwidth can cost still over $100 per month. Not to mention subscription fees on the various providers you sign up with.
But if you do it right a streaming media player can save you money, in the long run, especial when DVR box rentals costing around $20 per month.

July 05, 2017 @ 12:24 pm
Alt's picture

Anyone with experience with Fibe 50 and Kodi? ..Is it fast enough for proper streaming?

July 14, 2017 @ 2:55 pm
Marpy's picture

Got rid of Rogers and switched to Fido (yes they are owned by Rogers but a lot cheaper). Got rid of cable TV completely. Was paying Rogers $230/ month for high speed internet (70 up/ 10 down) phone (no long distance) and cable tv ( basic plus and a couple of packages). Rogers did offer to drop it to $177/ month but I declined. I now have unlimited internet (60 up/ 10 down) for $60 plus taxes , home phone with Canada wide calling, answering and other features for $18 plus taxes and Netflix for $11.99/ month ( up to 4 - 4k streams at the same time) . i am not big on sports and between, Netflix, crackle, You Tube and the other apps on the smart TV, I find plenty to watch. I am looking at putting up an antenna and getting an android box but am in no hurry. The home phone Fido gives you is actually a stationary cell phone. You can take it with you when you go on vacation and if in an area they service, plug it into a power (120 volts) receptical and it will work. You need to monitor their web site for a special offer to get a good deal or you will pay more. Also - no contracts!!

July 23, 2017 @ 7:35 pm
Kirk's picture

I can't believe no one has mentioned Showbox... showbox is similar to Netflix, but current and Free. You can install it on Apple, Android and with a little work Windows devices. (Just google Showbox app).
It has all movies available once they become available in digital (they don't record movies in theatres), and add current episodes of TV shows within 12hrs of it airing on TV.

August 09, 2017 @ 2:24 pm
Terry Jackson
Terry Jackson's picture

I have been trying to srt up Kodi on my wondiws pc but it won't open zips or fownloaf from the repositories. Not sure what ths problem is.

September 09, 2017 @ 1:14 pm
Johnnie mac
Johnnie mac's picture

How do I split the in-bound signal so neighbour can watch her channel and I mine

September 21, 2017 @ 6:06 pm
Will's picture

Simply buy an applied cable splitter. One wire to your TV, one to hers.

September 27, 2017 @ 4:12 pm
BOB SCOTT's picture

Know anything about the GR8 box -- seems like support has disappeared

October 07, 2017 @ 2:06 pm
BOB SCOTT's picture

Reviewed your TV list for watching previous broadcast shows

Do you know anyplace I can see episodes of new Star Trek Discovery ?

October 07, 2017 @ 2:08 pm
Jacqueline Montpetit
Jacqueline Montpetit's picture

When logging on AE content for example, the Menendez series is blocked, only the current episode is available for free for a week. Is it possible to unlock the previous episode for free?

December 22, 2017 @ 4:21 pm
Jack's picture

I read through a lot of the viewing setups and thought I would throw one more configuration out there. I have been using the following setup quite happily for the past 8 years, which is when I cancelled my $70 a month cable subscription:

1. A MacMini to stream movies, docs and tv shows. A MacMini is an excellent media centre and will effortlessly stream just about anything on the internet including Netflix, Apple TV, Hulu and a whole lot more. You can pick up a used MacMini for the same cost that you will pay for cable for 6 months. Because you are only using the browser, you don't need a computer with a fast processor, a lot of memory or a great big HDD. The MacMini is the only Mac that comes with an HDMI plug to connect the computer to your TV.

2. An over-the-air antenna for watching live tv. The antenna cost me $70, 8 years ago and brings in around 20 high definition digital channels including all of the Canadian networks and all of the U.S. networks. It works well for me as I live in a large metropolitan area (Toronto). Very pleased with the results and the best part of all is it's free (well almost free).

3. A DVD player to watch movies that are hard-to-find or that you want to maintain in a movie library.

That's it. Hope this was helpful. Happy viewing...

December 28, 2017 @ 6:03 pm
Jason's picture

I see this article isn't titled correctly and like many other articles, does not talk about free STREAMING tv. Just because some stations have archived-video servers, doesn't make them streaming tv servers.
Does anyone know of a channel or collection of channels where you can actually find a network's STREAMING content? News, sports, etc? I have an antenna which gets 4 local channels for my news and sports - is there something on the net like that?

January 21, 2018 @ 10:07 am
hal patterson
hal patterson's picture

Missed it or not found. I live in a remote area for my services and have TV and Computer reception by satellite. I am a steady user of Netflix thru my computer. There are a few channels I enjoy from Bell but mostly fed up due to 50/50 time share with commercials. Apparently I can make a quide of my channels and get rid of my present services.

March 16, 2018 @ 1:02 pm
Nancy's picture

It looks like this is obsolete in 2018. If you click on the network names to go to the "free" episodes pages - you are now required to sign in through your TV Service provider. So cord cutters have no access.

April 28, 2018 @ 10:33 am
Steve Bonin
Steve Bonin's picture

HI Stephen,
Just 2 points.
When using a VPN on a router, netflix usually sees it and stops any US Geolocked content after a few seconds.
PLEX has stopped supporting any plugins, which really sucks.

I am thinking I am going to an antenna to get OTA content, drop a tuner into my computer and use the PLEX DVR to "tape" shows.

antenna -$500
tuner - $150
PLEX - $90/year
NO cable bills - Priceless

December 09, 2018 @ 5:09 pm
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

Hey Steve,

Netflix has been cracking down on VPNs for a while, so it's often hit or miss which ones will work.

That's a good idea with your antenna – those 1 time purchases + $90/year for Plex is a lot less money than paying for cable every month.

Happy saving!

December 10, 2018 @ 10:57 am
Rick's picture

Hi Stephen,

Your original article is now almost a couple of years old. I'm looking at cutting the cable and am wondering if your recommendations have changed.

I have a Surface Pro 3 (no HDMI plug). I do have a Microsoft Display Adaptor 54 which is OK but not ideal. Would I be best to purchase an Android TV Box or similar? If so is the one you originally recommended still the top of the list?
I'd like to be able to get mostly sports, specifically CFL, NHL and English Premier League, plus BBC World News as well as CBC or Global. Plus Netflix which I already subscribe to.

I'd like whatever I go with to be reasonably portable as I plan on using it in Mexico, the UK and Europe as well as Canada.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks, Rick

December 18, 2018 @ 4:24 pm
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

Hello Rick,

Actually, this article was almost completely updated mid-November, so everything is up-to-date.

If your Surface is giving you the performance you need, it might be fine to keep using it. Buying a wired HDMI adapter for your surface would be another option if you want to increase quality without purchasing a new device (Wired usually gives better quality over wireless). But if you're still looking to make some changes to improve the experience, then the Android TV Box linked here is still the one we recommend.

CBC and Global both have plenty of videos available for free on their websites and through their Android apps, but CBC has a better selection overall. BBC currently doesn't offer free streaming anymore.

As for sports, Canadians have a couple of options for paid subscription services, including Sportsnet NOW which will give you both NHL and Premier League. It's 19.99 to $27.99 a month if you want to subscribe. CFL's website seems to have pretty good streaming on it's own that's free.

Hopes this helps! Happy saving.

December 19, 2018 @ 12:03 pm
Linda's picture

We're trying to cut the cord - we've had satellite service for many years but currently not able to get satisfactory service. It appears we can get an antenna but it looks like it would only give us a few local channels (farmer-vision) with no networks. We aren't savvy enough with all the new technology to know what we should do. Although our internet service is DSL high-speed, we have very low download speed, but are usually able to stream Netflix (by subscription) without too much trouble, so assume we'd be able to stream other services and network programming ? Or does our location prevent us from receiving the network services because it just isn't transmitted here ( only shows our local stations transmitted within a reasonable radius from our location) ? We are on the edge of a city, Winnipeg - not a major center like Toronto, but still a metropolitan area with lots of cable and satellite service including networks (CBS, ABC, NBC, etc.). If we try a Fire TV Stick or stream using the computer and HDMI cable or Chromecast, should we expect to receive that programming ? And although we know our internet download speed/service, how do we determine our bandwidth capability/cap if it exists ? Would we be best to rely entirely on streaming programming or do it in combination with an antenna for local channels ?

March 12, 2019 @ 1:51 pm
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

Hi Linda!

The sites listed here can be accessed directly by internet on your computer/phone/tablet, so it may help to give them a try and see how your download speed does. I find streaming a bit smoother on Netflix than most other sites, but hopefully it's not too noticeable for you.

Your location would affect what you're able to receive via antenna, but it wouldn't change which of these sites you'll be able to access. These are available for all Canadians with internet access. This is true for FireTV and ChromeCast as well.

Your internet service provider will be able to tell you your bandwidth and any cap you may have on your internet. The fastest way to find this out is probably to call them, but there may be some information on their website.

You could try buying an inexpensive HDMI cord and try out streaming. If you're satisfied with the programs you can get for free, then you're all set. But if you feel you could use more local programming, then include the antenna option. And if your internet can't handle the streaming, you only spent a few dollars on it so it's not too big of a loss.

On a side note, if you think your internet is slower than it's supposed to be, you may want to consider calling the company and getting them to check your router. It's a common problem.

Hope this helps! Thank you for your comment and I wish you the best of luck :)

March 14, 2019 @ 3:37 pm
Linda's picture

OK, so now I'm completely confused . . . I can't figure out how to access any of those listed sites and actually get to see any programs/episodes. I tried on the internet on both my computer and a newly purchased android box. I tried the links to the networks listed, and every one I tried requires me to log in with my tv provider - of course the whole idea of "cutting the cord" is that I no longer have a tv provider, so what do I do ? That was the obstacle I encountered on both the computer and the android box.

I just purchased the android box, managed to get it hooked up and on my network, but I have no idea how I can find any of the networks I'm looking for (CTV, Global, City, A&E). Can someone please give me a clue what I need to do or what I'm doing wrong here ? I was hopeful that we'd be able to capture episodes of programs carried on Canadian networks, and maybe even eventually follow some of the tips for snagging some US as well (we're only 75 miles from the border).

I'm new to the new technology as we've been reliant on satellite for many years and things have changed a lot. Sorry, but I know I have a lot to learn and just want to watch some quality tv. Please help me. Thanx !!

March 23, 2019 @ 1:07 am
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

Hello Linda,

Not every episode on the listed sites are available for free viewing – they still keep a lot of it behind a paywall. But all of them have at least something available, it just might take a bit of searching around the site. For best results, stick to the sites listed that have a green checkmark in the "Unlocked" column of the table.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that you're expecting your Android box to work similarly to a satellite. It's quite different actually – it's essentially a mini computer that connects to the websites via internet. Your location doesn't actually affect what you receive most of the time, unless there are geographical restrictions (which Canadian channels won't have for Canadians).

On the Android box you'll probably want to download the official app for the channel from the Google Play Store to access the contnent. For example, download the CTV app for access to CTV content. Going directly to the network's website using a web browser on an android box may or may not work depending on the network. If they have an app though, it will definitely work.

No need to apologize! I hope we can help. :)

March 25, 2019 @ 1:28 pm
Sarah's picture

All my husband cares about is his UK/EU soccer (mostly Scottish Leagues and championship games. We have a sports subscription with Rogers for which they charge $20/month (in addition to their obscenely priced cable service) but it is mainly English Leagues or relatively unknown EU teams. Subscribing to Nordvpn only gave us access to pay-per-view premium UK stations for live soccer which is more costly than here in Canada. We are not looking for free or cheap- cheap, we just want to watch ‘live’ soccer matches at a reasonable cost.

March 28, 2019 @ 6:10 pm
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

Hey Sarah, thanks for writing in.

I did a bit of research and not sure if there's any perfect solutions for you. The best sports streaming service I can find for Canada is SportsNet Now for $19.99 to $27.99 a month. I've read that there are select games available from the Scottish Premiership on this program, but not sure how many and if it would justify the pricetag.

Sorry I couldn't be more help. Canada really needs to step up its sports streaming game.

April 01, 2019 @ 1:31 pm
Umed's picture

I have Samsung smart 4K tv.

I am in Montreal.

What apps i should download - SmartIPTV or Smart std or stbemu?

After that who do I subscribe to for the channel.

Thank you

March 30, 2019 @ 1:35 pm
Dennis J
Dennis J's picture

Hey Steven:
I am a snowbird that has until now relied on Shaw to give me service in the USA. Due to the footprint change I find myself wondering how to get Canadian news, sports, and standard TV programming in California. I have an Android box with KODI already but have not ventured into many apps. Any suggested Apps or setup to replace our lost Shaw satellite? Also are these sites available in the USA as well as Canada or do I need an " unlocator " or VPN type of system to make it look like we are in Canada?

April 15, 2019 @ 1:32 pm
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

Hello Dennis,

Have you looked into Slingbox? I've heard that works pretty well. And according to their FAQ, you don't need a VPN to watch your Canadian television.

Hope this helps!

April 16, 2019 @ 4:11 pm
Toni mcfeely
Toni mcfeely's picture

This may seem the most simpleton of questions. I am furthest from tech savy as is possible to get. Can I just stream to my laptop and watch there until I can manage to learn enough to follow along the rest of the way through to my TV? I have High speed internet and a HDMI laptop, I already stream netfix without difficulty. I Am sure I can, but It begs the question....

April 20, 2019 @ 4:12 pm
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

Hey Toni,

Yes, you should be able to stream the sites listed here on your laptop no problem! You can even stream on your phone if you'd like :)

April 22, 2019 @ 3:26 pm

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