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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, Got a question I would like some feed back on. I have a Chromecast in my family room on my larger TV, works great when paired with my tablet or PC. I was planning on getting one for my den/spare bedroom on a 32" TV. But have been looking at a Roku Express as well. I'll be streaming mostly Netflix and Youtube on this TV, perhaps TubiTV or some other site, and it will b used only occasionally. I like the idea of the Roku remote and that I don't need to use my tablet or PC to access videos.

Now my big question is, other than Netflix, Youtube, TubiTV and some others listed on the Roku channel page, what else does it stream? Does the Roku Channel work in Canada? What about some of these private channels like Six-Gun Cinema or the like?

Cost is not a problem as both are in the $45.00 CAnadian range.

Any help or suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #3
heans, according to a whole bunch of links the Roku Channel was supposed to have been available in Canada since late July of this year. Can someone who is not using a VPN on a Roku confirm or deny this for me?
 

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The Roku Channel
Developed by:
Roku   
using Roku Direct Publisher   
Privacy Policy
The Roku Channel features hundreds of Hollywood hits, plus live 24/7 news (US only), with no subscription, no fees and no logins required. Enjoy comedies, award-winners, classics and more-available to watch whenever you want. It's free movies and TV. For You.
 

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I just purchased a Chromecast. Crave is appears to be 720p with PCM audio. It doesn't work with Amazon Video using Android or iOS. It works well with Netflix most of the time. Using a phone as a remote is a pain. Should have listened to the reviews that said Roku was better.

The Roku interface is supposed to be the best of all the players out there and it's compatible with more services, at least in the US. The Roku does not appear to work with Crave at the present time.

The Roku Streaming Stick+ seems to be the best device for people who want 4K and its latest enhancements. The Roku Express get the nod for a basic budget streamer. The Roku Ultra is recommended for those who want a box instead of a stick. Be sure to get the Canadian version for use in Canada.
 

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@Regor12 keep in mind that there doesn't seem to be any support for Roku from Canadian-based streaming services. However, Crave, Global GO, CTV GO, Discovery GO and possibly other specialty channels support Chromecast.

Crave's best quality is currently 720p stereo, so Chromecast isn't any "worse" than any other device.
 

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That's part of the reason I went for the Chromecast. Almost all services have Android apps that support casting and they get timely updates. New services are likely to get Android casting support fairly quickly.

I didn't realize that Amazon actively disables casting, even with third party screen casting apps, on Android and iOS. Amazon seems to be losing out to other video services in the race for customers. Blocking casting is only going to make it worse.

Once again Canadians are getting the short end of the stick. They must get two or more devices to support all streaming services where US viewers need only one. Directly connected devices such as an Android TV box or a PC may be the only devices that have full support. They are much more costly and often have trade-offs such as lower quality audio and a less user friendly interface.
 

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@ExDilbert I'm not sure what you mean by "Android TV box." If you are talking about the official Google Android TV OS, I think the app has to explicitly support that OS and a lot of them don't. If you mean the cheap knock-offs that run a hacked version of the Android mobile OS, some apps actively check for a rooted OS and block access.
 

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I was thinking of something like the Nvidia Shield that has a full blown Android OS plus it supports Android TV (and a ton of other things.) Saw a really good price on one when I bought the Chromecast 4K. Almost bought it but the higher price and some of the reviews changed my mind. Regretting it now. It will cost as much to purchase two devices to support Crave plus Prime Video and the Nvidia Shield does so much more. I believe there are a few other Android devices that support Android TV with a non-hacked Android. Now that Google TV has been renamed Android TV it almost impossible to find them.
 

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I just purchased a Chromecast...Using a phone as a remote is a pain.
I'm sure you already know this, but you could use your TV's remote, if your Chromecast is plugged into a HDMI-CEC input of your TV. One of my 2 TVs has it, but that's where I have my Apple TV plugged in. With the other TV, I just use my iPad to control the playback of Chromecast, which I very rarely do anyway.

Now, having said this, I am not really sure how reliable this HDMI-CEC control of Chromecast is. Believe it or not, I haven't tried it yet. On top of that, I am connecting things through an A/V receiver, so not quite sure that it would pass through the proper signal to the TV anyway.
 

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Thanks. I tried using the TV remote but it didn't work so I assumed it wasn't supported. Just checked the TV manual and it turns out that CEC is turned off by default. Turned it on and the Chromecast was automatically discovered. I'm not expecting a lot from this but basic playback controls would be nice.

It appears that CEC is supported on all 5 HDMI inputs. ARC is supported on only one. The Chromecast is plugged into the only 4K 60Hz input (the rest are 30Hz.)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
heans. According to a press release from Roku, the Roku Channel is available here in Canada and has been since July of 2018, with out Live 24hr News. I still haven't received an answer from anyone if this channel is available here with out using a VPN. Is or isn't it?


Folks, I have a Chromecast, I know how it works, what I can stream and even have an app that lets me stream from websites that are not Chromecast compatible (haven't tried Amazon Prime Video yet). One of the reasons for looking at a Roku Express or maybe even another model, I think that the remote would give me a bit more freedom in controlling the playback, and some of the "private" or niche channels offered by Roku that I can't access for Chromecast interest me.

My main question is: How many of these aforementioned channels will work in Canada? All the ones listed on the Roku Canada page? Or only the ones like Midnight Pulp and Shout Factory that you can access to watch videos via PC here in Canada?

Thanks again for all the help so fare
 

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CEC with the Chromecast recognizes play, pause, exit and stop. I was hoping skip would work (as it does with Netflix in a browser and my bluetooth speakers) but no luck. Tried every button on the remote.

I can stream and even have an app that lets me stream from websites that are not Chromecast compatible (haven't tried Amazon Prime Video yet).
Tried that. The reports I found is that it did work with Prime Video but it quit working a few months ago. Speculation is that Amazon blocked it. That type of screen casting is not optimal. It consumes much more CPU and GPU than Chromecast supported casting and has been known to overheat phones and tablets. It's probably OK for light duty screen casting but casting full screen video can take a lot of bandwidth and processing.
 

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I own a Roku Premiere Plus, and can confirm that the Roku Channel is indeed available in Canada, no VPN needed. Also, Amazon Prime Video was added recently as well.

Unfortunately, Crave is not available on the Roku
 

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I was thinking of something like the Nvidia Shield that has a full blown Android OS plus it supports Android TV (and a ton of other things.) ... It will cost as much to purchase two devices to support Crave plus Prime Video and the Nvidia Shield does so much more. I believe there are a few other Android devices that support Android TV with a non-hacked Android. Now that Google TV has been renamed Android TV it almost impossible to find them.
Crave doesn't support Android TV - their web site says "Android tablets and smartphones running version 5.0+" and a recent tweet from CraveHelp confirmed they don't support Android TV. Bell's Fibe TV app and Alt TV do support Android TV (specifically Sony Android TVs, nVIDIA Shield and Xiaomi Mi Box.)
 

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I can also confirm that the Roku channel works in Canada without VPN. But it's just a collection of old movies and TV shows - not high value content.

I have both (multiple Chromecasts and Rokus) and we almost exclusively use the Roku simply for the remote. Might want to consider the Roku stick though so that you can take it on the road. I've used mine throughout Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia - now that HDMI and USB is a worldwide standard, it works on almost any hotel TV around the world. And having Netflix in the middle of the night helps with the jetlag :)

So apps wise, both have Netflix, Prime Video, and YouTube. Chromecast has Crave. Roku has a remote. Pick whichever is of the most value to you.
 

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Crave doesn't support Android TV
I mistakenly thought that the Crave app was supported on the Nvidia Shield but it appears that it isn't. I got the impression that the Nvidia Shield ran a full blown Android with Android TV support. It looks like it actually runs Android TV OS. Crave is not in the Nvidia Shield app list and there is some discussion about Crave not being supported. There is also a report of the Crave app working if it is sideloaded and started with a side launcher. Not sure I want to depend on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks to David1953 and North_of_Calgary for answering my question concerning the Roku Channel in Canada. North, I like old movies and TV shows so this is not a problem. Still wondering about the so called "private" or niche channels, but I can check them out for my self if I decide on a Roku.

Thanks everyone.
 

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I love my Roku and use it all the time ! but that being said my Apple TV 4K is great too for the stuff it lacks ! I'm not interested in a Chromecast.....
 
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