Television and movies on demand! Without cable! It’s a beautiful dream! Unless you live in Canada where it’s kind of a nightmare.
Sure, we can depend on iTunes to provide us with movie rentals and purchases and to buy season passes to many of our favourite television series from. But not everyone wants to buy into Apple’s walled garden content ecosystem and premium-priced hardware.
And then there’s Netflix: a service you can access from any computer or mobile device, through a number of Smart TVs, set-top boxes and gaming consoles. But compared to the embarrassment of riches that Americans using the service enjoy, the library Netflix has to offer us north of the border makes Canadians look like content-poor paupers. And while we’ve got access to lesser known alternatives like VDIO, Crackle, CinemaNow, none of these services can compete with massive amount of high quality content home entertainment aficionados in the United States have access to through services like Hulu+, HBO Go or Amazon Prime Video, which, once again, we don’t have access to up here.
But it’s not all doom and gloom: despite the lacklustre selection of top drawer streaming services available to Canadians, the inclusion of a streaming media box to your home entertainment setup is a smart upgrade that can provide hours of entertainment with a relatively small investment in the hardware.
Best streaming media player: Apple TV (Third Generation)
Best for non-Apple folks: Roku 3
Best for the sprawling digital library: WD TV Live Media Player
Best for Android: Sony Internet Player with Google TV
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