Happy Without TV Cable

43-manicured_bushes When I walked through the Costco Wholesale television department, a cable/satellite representative greeted me and asked, “Do you have cable?” and I happily replied, “No, I don’t, but I like it that way.”

Internet television services are becoming increasingly popular and easily accessible in Canada and the U.S. There are only a handful of Internet television sources in Canada – Netflix Canada and network websites (e.g. CTV), so those sources alone will likely enhance your existing cable subscription and probably won’t replace it – especially if you prefer being current on your tv shows. Canada is home to only a few cable television providers – the big players are Shaw TV, Rogers Cable and Telus TV. Competition in this sector is sparse in Canada.

By contrast, competition in this arena in the United States is fierce – that is, cable versus Internet television providers. The major cable providers in Silicon Valley are: AT&T and Comcast. Between catching video streaming from official news network websites for current events (e.g. CNN, watching the latest season episodes from official network websites (e.g. PBS, CBS), and to Internet video streaming from subscription providers like Netflix U.S.A., Hulu and Amazon. This combination of multiple media entertainment sources can even outperform a basic cable subscription in value and choice.

Popular Internet video providers:
Avail. in
Canada
Cost
(CAD)
Avail. in
U.S.A.
Cost
(USD)
Amazon Instant Video $2-$5 per video rental
Amazon Prime Instant Video FREE viewing of limited selection of videos with $79/year membership
iTunes $3-$5 per video $3-$5 per video
Hulu FREE
Hulu Plus $7.99/month
Netflix $7.99/month $7.99/month
Vudu $2 per video rental
TV Network Website
e.g.
CTV
FREE
e.g.
CBS
PBS
FREE
A quick comparison of the viewing options/features between the current major Internet video providers:
Documentaries Movies Series Kids For Rent Exclusive Series Productions Ads
Amazon Instant Video
[link]
Amazon Prime Instant Video
[link]
iTunes
[link]
Hulu
[link]
Hulu Plus
[link]

(limited)
Netflix
[link]
Vudu
[link]
TV Network Website
Exclusive Series Productions are television series produced by studio departments/branches of video streaming providers. For instance:
  •   Amazon is producing “Alpha House” and “Betas“.
  •   Netflix is producing “House of Cards
The list below summarizes the kind of genres you can expect from each of the video streaming sources mentioned:
Hollywood Movies Foreign Movies Animes TV Series Documentaries Kids’ Movies Kids’ Shows Movie Trailers
Amazon Instant Video
Amazon Prime Instant Video
iTunes
Hulu
Hulu Plus
Netflix
Vudu
TV Network Website
Latest video vintage from the video streaming providers:
  •   Amazon Instant Video: current series, new release movies and series
  •   Amazon Prime Instant Video: > 1 yr. old, some new release movies and series for limited time
  •   iTunes: new release movies and series
  •   Hulu: current series
  •   Hulu Plus: current series
  •   Netflix: > 1 yr. old
  •   Vudu:: new release movies only
  •   TV Network Website:: latest series season only, season episodes available 1-2 weeks after air date and until the end of the current season air period

Netflix has a sizeable library of B movies, foreign films (e.g. movies starring Hong Kong actors like Andy Lau, Jacky Chan), Japanese anime series and European flicks. Netflix content tends to be one season or one year behind. For instance, the sitcom How I Met Your Mother is currently in its 9th season, but Netflix only has Season 1 thru 8 available. Where Netflix excels, however, is their incredible collection of documentaries. I have been pleasantly surprised countless times of documentaries that Netflix has recommended me based on my past viewing preferences and personal film ratings. The majority of time, the recommended documentaries ones that I would not have stumbled upon, let alone seek to watch. These documentaries include Sienna, Tea, Koala. I look forward to what Netflix will be recommending me to watch next.

For the children in the house, “Netflix for Kids” is available. As a Netflix subscriber, you automatically have access to the “regular” Netflix and kids’ Netflix. The “Netflix for Kids” simply bundles all of the children shows in one interface (e.g. Thomas the Train, Dora the Explorer, Curious George) and holds a larger collection of animated films than the “regular” Netflix.

Although Netflix is available in Canada and the U.S., the available content differs between the countries because of licensing agreements. For instance, Coco Before Channel is viewable through Netflix Canada but not on Netflix U.S.A.. At this time, there is much more content on Netflix U.S.A. than Netflix Canada.
———
Video licensing agreements are always in flux, as such, please have an in depth look into each of the video streaming subscription features and video offerings listed on the provider’s websites before subscribing.
To being a well-informed couch potato and having excellent entertainment 😉

One response to “Happy Without TV Cable

  1. Pingback: Addicted to Amazon Prime | Silicon Valley Loonies·

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