Toronto TV Service Options

tvWhen it comes to television, what's the most sensible option in Toronto?

Bell and Rogers seem to offer an assortment of digital TV programming packages, with or without a PVR. But it can start to cost you an arm and a leg. I have a very important question for you smart people...

What's the best television programming option in Toronto? What do you tv viewers have and how much do you pay?


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How to Automatically Download TV Shows as Soon as They've Aired (or Turn Your PC into a TiVo)

March 20, 2011 @ 3:31 PM


If you're running Windows or Linux, you can use a neat little application called TED to schedule your show downloads. You can also use TED on a Mac, so you can use these instructions to set up TED on your Mac as well. First, download and install TED. To get started, cick the "Add Show" button up top of the opened app and you'll be presented with a new panel containing a large list of shows. Find the one you want by browsing or search, then click on it. You'll be given information about the show as well as a few options. Select which episode you want to start with, whether or not you want to watch it in HD, and click the "Add" button. Once you do that, just repeat for all the shows you want to add and wait until they download. TED will let you know when the next air date is for each episode and will check for new episodes every 60 minutes (which you can change in TED's settings). When TED finds a new episode, it will download a torrent file to your computer and open it in your default BitTorrent client.

That's it, you're all set!

March 20, 2011 @ 3:39 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

But what about live sporting events?

March 20, 2011 @ 3:41 PM


I rock Bell in kitchener but I play them like fools. 4 of us split the bill of about 120 a month.

You can do that with Starchoice/Shaw satellite too...just don't let them find out.

March 20, 2011 @ 3:56 PM


Sports is where the internet falls apart. I asked the same question on this blog a few months ago. There is not alot of live streaming. I tried Justin TV, where I was able to watch a leafs game from Phoenix. The quality was crap, and you had to listen to the local broadcast team, who were horrible. If you want regular contant, I have friends that subcribe to basic cable or get the free over the air stuff, and download the rest.

March 20, 2011 @ 4:11 PM


This website streams most major live sports:

March 20, 2011 @ 4:16 PM


Over the Air HD - get yourself an antenna and you'll get free HD.

March 20, 2011 @ 5:08 PM


I miss the old roto antenna we had growing up in the suburbs. A round dial (sitting upon the wood veneer cabinet TV) to turn the roof-tower antenna between Barrie and Hamilton. U.S. channels were as U.S. channels and not simsub copies.
I quit cable service a few years ago. However, I haven't upgraded to a newer TV or added a converter box. So, I'm missing out on all the Buffalo channels, all the non-basic cable included Buffalo channels, AND all their subchannels too.
lol - I'm not missing out on the old-time CHCH mid week Leafs games coverage.

March 20, 2011 @ 5:56 PM


I gave up on tv and tv on the internet is brutal. rent movies from the library for free or better yet read a book. Tv shows on dvd are great.

March 20, 2011 @ 8:32 PM


I left my 42" HD TV on the side of the road in July and haven't looked
back. One of my better moves.

I have never been a big TV person. I watched: National Geographic,
CBC, BBC, Discovery and TSN/RSO/LeafsTV. That's about it. I was paying
Almost $200/mth to Rogers for their top-of-the-line package of
Internet and TV and dropped the TV and just stream whatever I want

Here's what I've found: Justin.Tv is not good for North American
sports. It appears the stations and cable companies will shut down
streaming channels within minutes of them starting and European sports
(F1, Footy) are not bad on Justin.Tv. I'm a big F1 fan and all the
practice, qualifying and races are live on Justin.TV. Also a couple of
channels that stream old F1 races 24hrs a day which is awesome if I'm

Hockey is really tricky-especially Leaf games for some reason.

This is pretty good. Have a look to see how large the signal is before
clicking. There is a 30 sec wait for all the streams. Sucks, but just
like regular TV.

Here's the 2nd one that I have been using more and more and have been
extremely reliable for the games for me. For away games, if I can
stand the commentators, I usually watch the games from where their
broadcast. EG: If it's from Boston, I watch the local Boston
broadcast. Gives a much more balanced approach than the Leaf
broadcasts, I find.

Between Justin.TV and those two streaming sports sites, I have rid
myself of Bell & Rogers. My phone is with Telus and I'm quite happy
with their service. It's a tremendous feeling. I will probably get the
Apple TV and a netflix subscription. I got one as a wedding gift to my
two friends and they are head over heels with it.

@elvis - Quite right. Here's an old article that I had sent to friends
a little while ago. - it's about free HD
stations in the GTA.

Remember, cable and satellite compress their HD signals and there is
at least one generation loss. Over the Air HD is uncompressed and the
highest quality HD signal you can receive. *Fact*

Have a look around at some of the amplifiers that an really boost your signal.

I've just upgraded from a Macbook to a Macbook Pro that can display
higher quality on external monitors and TV's. I think I may get
another HD TV down the road, though probably a Plasma this time round.

Hope some of this helps.


March 20, 2011 @ 11:05 PM


I don't have TV. I can get my Habs games on the Internet on I can get the radio broadcasts. That's all that matters. No use in me having TV. I'm blind. The radio explains it better anyway.

March 21, 2011 @ 9:18 AM


Well I was thinking of looking at the new Bell Fibe TV...but there are some good options here. Thanks Declan.

March 21, 2011 @ 9:26 AM


Just look to your top of the post Mike. An antenna is the best way to go in Toronto. All the major networks from both the Toronto/Buffalo stations. Aside from getting the antenna, cost = $0! 100% legit and true HD.

March 21, 2011 @ 12:03 PM


Hey Mike. I acknowledge that this is a Toronto tv thread - but I found it interesting when I moved to London to find that the majority of people here still use an antenna (small country, I guess?)

March 21, 2011 @ 3:36 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


That's London, Ontario, right? ;-)

March 21, 2011 @ 5:15 PM


IF you have a PC hooked up to your flatscreen, you could download HotSpot Sheild, which gives you an American IP address you can turn off and on at your leisure. Turn it on, download Hulu, enjoy.


March 21, 2011 @ 6:03 PM



How does hooking up your TV to a PC give you a US IP addressÉ What am I missing.

March 21, 2011 @ 8:10 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Argie: I think just like youtube, they recognise Canadian IP's and block the signal to you. This probably is the work around I've been looking for, thanks Zach!

March 21, 2011 @ 8:55 PM


Argie: Hotspot Shield is a VPN service provider with end points in the US. Once installed, it assigns an American IP to you. Hulu "thinks" you're in the US then.

I've done it and it works well for But no, you don't need to connect your PC to your TV. Only if you want a picture bigger than your regular PC monitor :)

March 22, 2011 @ 7:44 AM


One of the perks of going OTA are the two music video channels available from Buffalo, The Country Network (29.2) and The Cool TV (49.2). The Cool TV in particular will appeal to anyone who watched MuchMusic in the early days. Lots of older videos as well as new stuff.

March 22, 2011 @ 9:12 AM


just make sure you turn off Hotspot Shield when you don't need it. I'm sure it's fine to leave running but I'm always paranoid about extra programs running :D


March 22, 2011 @ 5:02 PM


I agree with Greg...Cool TV is great (although I do wish I knew what was coming next, but it's a small price to pay to not have any annoying vjs!). I've gone without cable/sat for a few years and I really only wish I had done it early. I do miss a few channels, but until the day I can pick and choose what I want, I can't see me going back any time soon!

March 24, 2011 @ 7:50 AM

Guy Montag

I have an HD television set but cancelled cable years ago. Through a cheap pair of "rabbit ears" I pick up 24 channels including 18 HD channels. This includes channels you cannot get through cable such as Cool TV, PBS Think Smart, and Retro TV. It's free and it's all I need.

March 25, 2011 @ 2:32 AM


with an HD TV and an outdoor antenna you're hooked up with more American channels then Canadian ones.

March 25, 2011 @ 9:30 PM

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