Streaming online shows to my tv - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-06-03, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Orillia, ON
Posts: 7
Streaming online shows to my tv

I hope this is in the right place, if not please move it.

I have been without cable for a year and have been watching the shows I enjoy either over the air or online through the City-TV/CTV/CBC/etc websites. My wife and I would both prefer to watch these shows on the TV instead of the computer monitor but after alot of searching I am still looking for the best way to do this.

At first I considered buying a PS3 or Xbox360 to also add games and Blu-ray (with the PS3) but it seems I won't be able to stream my shows from the internet through these devices properly. Is this true? Can I use the console browser to go to City-tv, CTV, CBC, etc and watch new episodes as they are posted?

From what I can tell Boxee seems to be my best bet for this type of thing but I lose the gaming and blue-ray capabilities. Is an internet ready tv the way to go since I will probably upgrade my TV anyway?

I also have some movies and TV shows on my PC that I would like to be able to watch on my TV but it seems this is minor and can be done with anything I buy.
Vrain is offline  
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-06-03, 03:25 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver Island, BC Canada
Posts: 75
I have a computer hooked to my LCD via HDMI. I use as a proxy service to gain access to US content such as hulu, netflix usa, fox, espn, on and on. I use media center on windows 7 for netflix, and internet tv channels from microsoft. All other sites like TruTV etc just use a web browser in full screen looks good. Seeon and Veetle are great resources

Stay away from boxee box it's not very good. Apple TV blows in canada as well. A home built PC media server is best. Long as you have a dual or quad core pc and a decent video card all you need.

Internet ready tv can only do so much. IF you having gaming consoles like a wii or xbox360 you can check out playon another cool media server with tons of channels and 3rd party plugins. If you want blu-ray just get a internal one for a pc run you about $75.

LED or LCD is best for this setup. Plasma is not great in the long run being a monitor..
lumberslayer is offline  
post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-06-03, 03:52 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: The Highlands
Posts: 773
Originally Posted by lumberslayer View Post
Apple TV blows in canada as well.
I disagree.
A jailbroken ATV2 with XBMC is quite a robust little device in an attactive and minimalist footprint.
There are threads on here discussing the ATV2's full potential.
Start here- XBMC Now Available For AppleTV 2, iPhone, and iPad
Ham.Clan is offline  
post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-06-03, 05:38 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Calgary
Posts: 1,830
Originally Posted by lumberslayer View Post
Apple TV blows in canada as well.
You should add that this is your opinion.

IMHO, I think that the ATV2 is an excellent device, but if it is not jail broken, will not work for what the OP needs are.
jshel101 is online now  
post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-06-03, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver Island, BC Canada
Posts: 75
Well i typed it so is that not my opinion? IF you want to hack ATV better off with the 1st version not the 2nd with a small foot print.
lumberslayer is offline  
post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-06-04, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Kincardine ON.
Posts: 4,440
You could use Playon to stream from most web streaming site, to a DLNA client device (PS3 and Boxee Box are that, there are others, including many Blu-Ray players). Playon installs and runs off of a PC in your home, so you need to have a PC running for it.

I am in the camp who have a PC connected directly to the TV, athough being a Linux PC, does not have access to pay services, but gets what I want.
classicsat is offline  
post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-06-04, 02:08 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,605
Another one here with his PC connected to his TV. Only it's connected with a DVI-HDMI cable since the PC doesn't have an HDMI Out. Same result though.

One thing to verify however is if you'd be better off setting the video output to 720p instead of 1080p. On my 40" TV, even though it can technically do 1080p, the TV's staggered pixel structure is incompatible with the square pixel structure of the video card. This causes fine detail to become all blurry. So I set my video output to 720p instead, and now everything's perfect.
Francois Caron is offline  
post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-06-04, 02:31 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Kanata, HDhomeRun Duel, EyeTV 3.0, macMini (2011)
Posts: 359
We've got a macMini jacked into our lcd tv. We use the ipad or the macBook to control it.

My experience is your best bet is some form of computer plugged into your tv for maximum flexibility, especially if you are hitting the network sites to stream flash. Any set top will have drawbacks, whether it can't play flash, silverlight etc, get to all our websites... Google TV units are currently blocked by all major networks in the US etc.. Crap like that is all avoided with a PC

Out setup:
Google Chrome Browser, default page:
Hulu Desktop installed
subscribed to ($5/month) for USA connections
Netflix USA ($8/month)
Hulu Plus ($8/month)

Rogers-free since Jan '11 and loving it...
bucketo is offline  
post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-06-06, 11:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Scarboro
Posts: 6,330
My personal opinion is to stay away from internet-ready TVs as this technology is changing so quickly and you want your TV to last for at least a decade although you may move it to a secondary room after a while.

As has been mentioned, a PC is the most flexible way to watch TV. If you have a Windows PC try setting up Windows Media Center and tell it that you live in the US. Set up a one-week free trial at unblock-us Then try the Hulu desktop and integrate it into WMC. That, along with the other online content available to US domiciled PC users.

If you want you can try Netflix US but that requires a little more "fooling" as you require a US based credit card of some sort. This works really well in Windows MC. Netflix doesn't have everything you want but if you have an open mind you will find lots of interesting stuff on Netflix.
Wayne is offline  
post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-06-07, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ottawa (Overbrook)
Posts: 174
I also use PC connected to TV. DVI to HDMI converter to 52 inch Sharp LCD TV.

I am curious to know if I would see any benefits going from browser to Windows media center re: picture quality.
Yroc is offline  
post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-06-07, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Scarboro
Posts: 6,330
I doubt the picture quality is different but that depends on your codec, video card setup, etc. The main thing is that Windows Media Center has a 10' UI compared to the 2' UI of your PC.

In other words it is designed to be used from a remote control on your couch rather than from a keyboard and mouse. But then you may need to buy a remote and IR receiver for your PC - alternatively I think you can get IP based remotes that you can use from an iPhone/iPad/Android, etc.
Wayne is offline  
post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-06-07, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,605
I just use a wireless keyboard and mouse, and leave the computer as a computer. This way, I can watch videos and surf the Internet at the same time.
Francois Caron is offline  
post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-06-07, 10:27 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Oakville
Posts: 23
I use Slingcatcher with the pc in a different part of the house wired with cat5.All your have to do on the pc is box in the video from any source and it streams to the slingcatcher which is hook up to the TV via HMDI
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-06-24, 12:00 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 8
usa access

Hello I am a total rookie, non techie. Have been watching cbc news and a few shows online on laptop and HDMI to TV but tonight I felt like some mindless comedy and searched for Big Bang Theory. CBS plays it live but it came up as "not available ion my geographic area". I have no idea how to change settings to what is required - info overload !!

So then I see that there are a million download or streaming sites, but all the streaming sites I went to seemed to prevent streaming without some sort of ad where you had to enter a mobile ph #...Ihave no mobile - yeas hard to believe but I am one of those ! So that did not work.

Then I see this "emule" thing which somehow allows me to download content, so I dwnload this but dont really have any clue how to use it. Isearced for Big Bang again in it and I started downloading something....but the went away and after some time the download stopped and emule was closed....I have no idea if anything downloaded or if it did where it is located.

Ya I sond like an idiot - and I am with this stuff.....I can help you out with running, paddling, or cycling and camping questions tho in trade !! :- )

I thought watching the couple hours of TV that I want to watch per week would be easy online but I am lost (aside from CBC online content). Any help much appreciated !

mikeabraham is offline  
post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-06-24, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Kincardine ON.
Posts: 4,440
People at this forum will recommend some commercial VPNs to get content from foreign sites which block access to viewers foreign to them. There is at least one thread describing what services to use.

Big Bang Theory belongs to CTV in Canada, so you should be able to watch there.

eMule is considered illegal file trading. Those streaming sites where you have to ented your phone number are probably illegal.

Depending on where you are, you could skip Internet streaming and watch from antenna, if you receive the stations digitally, or at all. You would connect an antenna to your TV.
classicsat is offline  

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