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Like everyone else, I am getting fed up with the cable / satelite product being offered in Canada. Expensive, lack of choices of channels we want, useless channels, etc, you get the picture.

I live in Windsor On, so getting the major networks in HD from Detroit is no problem. Where I am conflicted is that my wife and I like certain specialty channels, Food Network, HGTV, TSN, Golf, Discovery and History. The rest are just fluff.

Are there alternatives to getting these products? I would glad play a little extra in my internet to expand my cap if necessary. I know being Canadian is like having both hands tied behind your back in a fight, thanks CRTC, when it comes to accessing certain internet sites. Are there legitimate sites available?

In conjunction with that, do proxy services, ex. Hotspot Shield, really work?

Any feedback will be appreciated.


Jim


Hugh.
Tried searching this forum for this topic and had no hits. But, if you think it could be categorised under another topic, please do so. Thx
 

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Are there alternatives to getting these products
No. Cable, Satellite and IPTV are the only distributors of digital specialty channels in Canada.
 

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I think many people would like to see a transition from conventional delivery to a true on demand model where they could just subscribe to individual channels or purchase programming directly over the internet. I don't see this happening in Canada due to various factors that have been discussed in other threads. OTOH, it is possible to some extent in the US. How to access those sources is also discussed in other threads. Another option is to rent or purchase seasons of TV shows on DVD. Unfortunately, I don't see many shows from the channels mentioned on DVD. It is possible to purchase live streaming of some sports events directly over the internet.
 

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an alternate would be nice or even to opt out of channels you do not want. But what i would really like to see is specialty channels actually sticking to their specialty!!

there are cartoon channels showing uncut adult movies(Fargo) Music channels that dont show music. History channel used to have great series about..historial things.
Techtv used to be about new tech. I think most of you get the idea, there is just too much cross-over of content with programs on the "wrong" channel.
 

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TechTV Canada was pretty much a victim of the demise of the USA TechTV channel. When G4 bought it out, they immediately proceeded to demolish everything that made TechTV great, most notably The Screensavers.

Luckily, the Web site http://live.twit.tv is quickly becoming a reborn version of TechTV, with none of the constraints imposed by broadcast television. They're even building new studios to film their various shows. So in a way, you do have an alternative source for TechTV.

For the other channels, check out if they have your favourite shows available on-line from their Web sites. It's not the best solution out there, but it's better than nothing, and better than paying huge cable bills for the handful of channels you actually watch.
 

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There's quite a bit of TV content available for purchase through the iTunes-AppleTV route. A bit pricey, but I've pretty much replaced the SPACE channel with purchased HD versions of their content that I want.
 

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It has come to my attention that C band dish subscriptions are still legal in Canada. That allows reception of US specialty channels. The downside is that a significantly larger dish is required and it is more difficult set up.
 

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Scary, could you elaborate on your statement that C band subs are legal? Why are they legal and small dish subs not?
 

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You will also need to check your municipality's bylaws regarding satellite dishes. In many cases in Canada, just installing a Cband dish could result in a bylaw violation.

Some examples:

hXXp://www.calgary.ca/DocGallery/BU/dba/brochures/satellite_dish_antennas.pdf

hXXp://www.markham.ca/NR/rdonlyres/195754FC-DA45-46F4-9968-49010977C9E1/411/bylaw_276891.pdf
 

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Some of the specialty channels you mentioned are available on both Free To Air C & Ku band and subscription C band (i.e. HITS TV). History Channel is available on Ku Band FTA on a 33 inch or larger satellite dish.

The HITS TV subscription service offers Cooking Channel, HGTV East, HGTV West and Golf channel. Discovery Channel itself is not currently available (will soon be) but some other Discovery networks are such as Investigation Discovery, Science Channel, The Military Channel, Planet Green and Fit TV are all available. In Windsor, you need at least a 1.5 meter dish in order to receive this service. However, I would recommend going with at least 1.65 meter for a more reliable signal or at least a 1.8 meter if you also want to receive C band FTA as well on the same dish.

The nice thing about HITS TV is that there are no contracts and no basic package requirements. As well, all channels are on the same satellite so a motorized dish is not required. However, you do have to pay to have the system installed and purchase the receiver first as there are no subsidies to recover the installation cost. With the lower cost of programming however, you will quickly recover on your initial investment.
 

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C-band subs are technically illegal under the law, but under the radar of the law and providers.
Incorrect, C-band subscription programming is perfectly legal in Canada. The current Canadian law states that non-Canadian DTH providers are illegal. Industry Canada defines DTH as: "Direct-to-Home satellite broadcasting or DTH is the distribution of television signals from high-powered geostationary satellites to small dish antennas and satellite receivers in homes across the country."

As you know, C-band uses large dish antennas as signals are received from low-powered geostationary satellites so it cannot be considered as a DTH provider. As such, it is exempt from current Canadian law. I had our lawyer confirm this as well. In a nutshell, any provider using Ku band or the higher power DBS satellites is considered as a DTH provider under Canadian law due to the smaller dish size used. At this time, this includes Dish Network, DirecTV, Globecast on Galaxy 19, Home2US on SES 1, TVPool on SES 1, Claro TV on Intelsat 1R and TuVes HD on Telstar 12.
 

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DrSat, I haven't been able to find out which satellite Hits TV is on. Can you enlighten me?
 

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There's quite a bit of TV content available for purchase through the iTunes-AppleTV route. A bit pricey, but I've pretty much replaced the SPACE channel with purchased HD versions of their content that I want.
I've found that TV on DVD/BR is a better/cheaper alternative overall. More competition from more stores selling the product and no worries about bandwidth.
 

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There's also the option of the public library, especially if you're into classic films and TV shows. La Grande Bibliothèque in Montreal has an entire floor dedicated to film, TV and music.
 
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