: Streaming online shows to my tv

2011-06-03, 02:15 PM
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.

2011-06-03, 03:25 PM
I have a computer hooked to my LCD via HDMI. I use unblock.us 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..

2011-06-03, 03:52 PM
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- http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=135632&highlight=ATV2

2011-06-03, 05:38 PM
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.

2011-06-03, 06:15 PM
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.

2011-06-04, 11:16 AM
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.

Francois Caron
2011-06-04, 02:08 PM
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.

2011-06-04, 02:31 PM
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: http://bucketo.ca/tv
Hulu Desktop installed
subscribed to unblock.us ($5/month) for USA connections
Netflix USA ($8/month)
Hulu Plus ($8/month)

Rogers-free since Jan '11 and loving it...

2011-06-06, 11:42 PM
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.

2011-06-07, 12:41 PM
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.

2011-06-07, 12:48 PM
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.

Francois Caron
2011-06-07, 06:00 PM
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.

2011-06-07, 10:27 PM
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

2011-06-24, 12:00 AM
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 !


2011-06-24, 09:29 AM
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.

2011-06-24, 09:44 AM
The simplest option for you, in my opinion, is to download Boxee from Boxee.tv, and use that on your computer to access content. It aggregates content that is available to you in Canada from Canadian sites and puts it into a relatively easy to use interface.

But yes, there is more and higher-quality content available in the US which is blocked here in Canada unless you use extraordinary measures.

My guess is that you'll be happy with Boxee.


2011-07-08, 04:10 PM
Have been able to figure out how to watch say CBC (on pc hooked via cable to tv), live streaming a curling match, but is it possible to record this to a portable device (flash drive, dvd, etc) that you cld then take somewhere and watch later. If a station is showing something on the internet and not available on the tv, can I somehow record it and then give it to someone to watch?

2011-07-09, 08:11 PM
You can use google to find various programs that might help you do what you want ... and then there's this:

[Startup unveils PlayLater, a DVR for Netflix, YouTube and other online video]