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Thread: Cord Cutters

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    In the western world, we call it Geofiltering. ;)
    You are correct that they've been basically able to do this under the guise of copyright however OTA is different.

    Also Netflix (by pushing aside the copyright issue by being the legitimate copyright holder for Paramount titles in Canada) has debunked this.

  2. #22
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    you can get free vpn to access us content

    It is easy to run a free vpn on your laptop or netbook and stream hulu,Netflix usa etc.... No need to pay for vpn service when there are many free ones out there that are great.:D

  3. #23
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    Watching American content without a VPN, or similar service.

    I recently noticed that I can stream many of the American TV shows (like The Big C) BEFORE they air in Canada, without needing to use a VPN or similar service. I don't have high-speed Internet service (or even a laptop), so I use my local Public Library for streaming (I don't know how to use a free VPN with the Library computer, or if it's even possible -- perhaps by using a thumbdrive for the download?).

    Anyway, now that I can stream American TV shows like The Client List (merely to see what outfits Jennifer Love Hewitt is squeezing into) for free (often before they even air in Canada), I'm not worried about cutting my Rogers Cable cord (at the end of July), or even watching fewer OTA broadcasts because I'm spending more of my time at the Library, streaming American content.

    As long as many of the American websites (Lifetime, USA, TNT, etc.) continue to be geo-blocked, I'll continue to stream some of the programming from unprotected links. If it's not illegal to stream geo-blocked American content using a VPN or similar service, I doubt it's illegal to watch the exact same content using simple Google searches and alternate geo-free links.
    Last edited by PokerFace; 05-19-2012 at 03:35 PM. Reason: typo

  4. #24
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    The Perfect Storm has arrived in the form of the Internet and my Blu-ray player

    With less than a week to go before my Rogers Cable contract ends, I've been spending more time at various Public Libraries downloading and streaming content that is quite often not available through Rogers.

    Throw in all the Canadian websites that offer quite a bit of exclusive content for free, and it appears that a "Perfect Storm" is brewing. Now that I also purchased my very first Blu-ray player (still no HDTV, however), I can use its USB port to watch all the free content that I downloaded from the Library.

    Although I can live happily without Rogers, I assume that my next step will be to buy my very first laptop and use the free WIFI service that's offered at various WIFI hot spots (even closer to me than my local Library) to make things even more convenient for me (I still only have Dial-up Internet service for under $10/month).

    I'm very slow to embrace new technology, but as the price of Cable and Internet services continue to rise (and more and more US programming is delayed, or not carried by our Canadian channels), I'm less reluctant to expand my horizons and explore new ways to experience the entertainment world.

    In 2010, I correctly predicted that I would buy my first Blu-ray player in 2012, but I never imagined that I would be using it primarily for its USB port to view my Library downloads (plus free Blu-rays from the Libraries also keep me busy).

    However, I'm quite surprised that The Toronto Public Library system only carries a few Blu-rays (apparently all donated) and has yet to purchase any new Blu-ray discs (that I'm aware of). Other Public Library systems throughout Canada (yes, even Hamilton) carry hundreds/thousands of Blu-rays, but Toronto seems to be dragging its feet in the Blu-ray arena (I guess Toronto isn't the centre of the Universe, after all). ;)

    I assume that it will be many years before I upgrade to broadband Internet service (2014 at the earliest, but 2017 is more likely), so I have no need for Netflix or any other paid service that relies on broadband. I assume that my first HDTV will be Netflix-ready, but since I also predict that 2014-2017 is the purchase date for my new HDTV, I'll stick with free broadband service for now.

    Even though Americans seem to have an unfair advantage in gaining free access to much of the US programming that I sometimes struggle to find, I'm still able to find the majority of what I'm looking for using the Library computers, and have little time left over to worry about the content that is either too difficult to find, or might have to actually pay for (since I currently don't use Torrent sites that most freeloaders ... I mean downloaders, take advantage of).

    2012 has been a very good year for me, as far as entertainment goes ... I have been able to steer myself away from most online DVD purchases and instead stream or download content for free from the Internet (or else use the Public Library system for DVDs, Blu-rays and some CDs).

    Thanks to the Internet, the expensive and often frustrating experience of relying on Canadian television providers for my entertainment is about to come to an end. I certainly enjoyed myself over the past year with Rogers Cable TV, even with all the frustration of 4x3 SD Cable feeds that should have been shown in 16:9 (like most Bell-owned channels now offer ... and just like my OTA antenna still provides), but if I have to choose between free broadband Internet service and expensive Cable TV, I'm going to choose the Internet every time (even if I had to pay more for it than Cable TV).

    ---------------------

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...rticle4424327/
    [The picture grows dimmer for cable investors]

    Tuesday, July 17 2012

    Cable stocks bask in the popular perception that they are stable generators of cash flow and dividends. But are they really that safe in a world full of young pirates?

    My brother is 30 years old. He doesn’t own a TV. He therefore doesn’t have cable. But he watches a lot of TV, which, like millions of other people, he downloads from the Internet. He doesn’t pay for these shows, to my knowledge, but even if he did – buying them from Netflix or iTunes – he still wouldn’t need cable.

    The loss of cable subscribers is called cord-cutting. I brought it up in this space as a potential threat to cable companies about two years ago. The tendency appears to be gathering steam – and it turns out cable companies are also burdened by other irksome problems, particularly the rise of Internet television services from phone companies. Investors should tread carefully.

    Shaw continues to lose basic cable subscribers, more than 20,000 in the latest quarter compared to about 14,000 in the same period a year before. For the first nine months of the fiscal year the company lost more than 50,000 basic cable subscribers, again higher than last year. This was offset by more digital subscribers but the rate of increase in that area has slowed to a crawl – only 246 new digital subscribers in the latest quarter. Internet customers fell, and phone customer growth is slowing down.

    Shaw has been able to mitigate deteriorating fundamentals by playing with its prices – raising them and then discounting. But it has not been able to fix the underlying problem. If it offers discounts, it slows the loss of subscribers but cash flow falls. If it doesn’t offer discounts, its cash flow is more robust but the trickle of customers toward the exit resumes.

    Where are these subscribers going? Some are presumably dropping cable all together. They download, legitimately or otherwise. They go back to rabbit ears, which carry digital signals now. Some defect to Shaw’s phone-company rival, Telus Corp., which, given its subscriber growth, appears to have a compelling Internet TV offering.

    Based on the anecdotes I hear, many younger people never get cable in the first place. They often don’t even buy TVs because their computers will do just fine for watching movies or shows.

    In the meantime, Shaw’s stock price has held up reasonably well despite the ravages of competition and technological change. The dividend helps. So does the belief held by some investors that Rogers Communications Inc. will eventually come along and buy Shaw.

    Remember, though, that Shaw’s payout is not guaranteed. And Rogers has the same cable issues as Shaw.

    Bottom line: Investors should ponder the clouds gathering over the cable industry. It’s easy to be complacent given the history of these companies, but complacency can be deadly.
    Last edited by PokerFace; 07-19-2012 at 07:57 PM.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    Throw in all the Canadian websites that offer quite a bit of exclusive content for free, and it appears that a "Perfect Storm" is brewing. Now that I also purchased my very first Blu-ray player (still no HDTV, however), I can use its USB port to watch all the free content that I downloaded from the Library.


    I grew tired of Rogers VOD services since they disabled fast forward and in some cases, the pause function, but I wouldn't give up my high speed Internet, Rogers, Bell or wholesale. Too much part of my life (and work).

    As for the "Perfect Storm", Its no where near perfect, Bell's and Telus IPTV services is what is starting to eat away at cable. Even thought most are going back to the "bunny ears", but to make it a true perfect storm should show the same loss across all BDU providers; IPTV, cable and satellite.


    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    Although I can live happily without Rogers, I assume that my next step will be to buy my very first laptop and use the free WIFI service that's offered at various WIFI hot spots (even closer to me than my local Library) to make things even more convenient for me (I still only have Dial-up Internet service for under $10/month).
    Most WIFI hotspots like Toronto Public Library (TPL) or Starbucks will throttle your connection to a extremely slow speed if you surf large amounts of data, so do expect the greatest speed in the world. If you want a good high-speed provider, I would recommend a wholesale for home, but if your someone who is on the move a lot then I recommend you research into Wind Mobile or Public Mobile Mobile WIFI or Mobile Phone with a data plan and tethering support. Although make sure your in their coverage area.


    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    I'm very slow to embrace new technology, but as the price of Cable and Internet services continue to rise (and more and more US programming is delayed, or not carried by our Canadian channels), I'm less reluctant to expand my horizons and explore new ways to experience the entertainment world.
    Cable and then Satellite gave us more access to programming choices back in the day, but with nothing but repeats of old movies, reruns after reruns mixed with a few new shows, and with services like Netflix, and torrent for the more advance users, makes BDUs existent redundant.



    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    In 2010, I correctly predicted that I would buy my first Blu-ray player in 2012, but I never imagined that I would be using it primarily for its USB port to view my Library downloads (plus free Blu-rays from the Libraries also keep me busy).
    Your're ahead of me, I don't own a Blu-ray player, but I use my phone, with bulit-in HDMI port, to view my Library content in HD on my TV.


    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    However, I'm quite surprised that The Toronto Public Library system only carries a few Blu-rays (apparently all donated) and has yet to purchase any new Blu-ray discs (that I'm aware of). Other Public Library systems throughout Canada (yes, even Hamilton) carry hundreds/thousands of Blu-rays, but Toronto seems to be dragging its feet in the Blu-ray arena (I guess Toronto isn't the centre of the Universe, after all). ;)
    I think there is more, its just spread through the system. Hamilton and the towns and cities around Toronto will always have a bigger content because they have smaller library locations.
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

  6. #26
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    All very good points, Mayhem, although the minuscule quantity of Blu-rays at TPL is quite shameful if you ask me. I suppose Rob Ford (Toronto's Mayor and supposed Library hater) would have a heart attack if TPL spent funds to actually buy any Blu-rays. I think Vaughan's Library system is one of the best large library systems in Canada (not a huge Blu-ray collection, but it's bearable and growing) ... if it's not, I'd love to visit the province that has a better system with more content.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    Cable and then Satellite gave us more access to programming choices back in the day, but with nothing but repeats of old movies, reruns after reruns mixed with a few new shows, and with services like Netflix, and torrent for the more advance users, makes BDUs existent redundant.
    .
    Wait until you get married and have kids, I bet your opinion will change.

    It's a myth kids don't watch television on TV. Plenty still watch TV. Just because they watch some programming online doesn't mean they will be okay with losing television. Try telling them you are canceling YTV, Family, and Nickelodeon for Netflix and see how they react. Online viewing is a great addition, but not a replacement. Also, Besides the bigger screen, one advantage Cable/Satellite has is that it doesn't die. My 7 year old will wait until her iPad is totally dead before she recharges it. So even if Netflix had all the same programming as Family, ect. (and they don't!) the Netflix app is useless if the tablet is dead (yes I know you can connect Netflix to Wii but for that you need a TV, what's the point of spending hundreds/thousands on a TV when it's only being used for wii once in awhile). PVR's don't die, in fact with a PVR you can make your own version of Netflix with new episodes of the shows your kids like, shows that aren't available on Netflix

    Your husband/wife may not be okay searching online to find the latest episode of their favorite History Television, HGTV, Food Network, Lifetime, Nat Geo Wild, ect. show the day after it airs (and let's not forget live sports!) Many people still enjoy watching TV live, the night it airs, on their TV. Ratings data is pretty clear that the vast majority of viewers watch TV live in primetime. You can't watch that online.

    This is why cable and satellite companies don't have anything to worry about. It's pretty unlikely everyone in the family will be okay with cutting the cord. They may lose a few subscribers, but it's not a redundant service, it still has lots of value.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVViewer View Post
    Wait until you get married and have kids, I bet your opinion will change.
    Not a surprising reply from a Shaw Media employee. Cord-cutter means less subscriber revenues for Shaw Media's reruns warehouses. You also carefully listed Shaw Media's most popular channels like if there was no other canadian specialty broadcasters...

    Is it possible to live without cable/satellite TV? YES.

    PVRs are not exclusive products of cable/satellite, they do exist for ATSC signals, and some of them are equiped with a cable-card, something that our canadian cable providers refuse to offer, for good reasons.

    Many people still enjoy watching TV live, the night it airs, on their TV. Ratings data is pretty clear that the vast majority of viewers watch TV live in primetime. You can't watch that online.
    Ratings data are right, conventional channels are the most watched channels in primetime. By coincidence, they're broadcasting for free OTA, live.

    Back in 60's, 70's and early 80's, conventional TV was the only option, sometimes 2 or 3 channels max, there was only a few shows for kids and a few sports, which today all went to specialty except when there's a simsub to perform. If our parents (and grandparents) survived this, so can we.

    @Pokerface: I wonder how you do it. You are likely paying at least 23$+tx for your landline phone service, and 10$ for your dial-up internet service. On the other hand, you could get, for example, Teksavvy Basic Cable internet (3Mbps) for 25$/month and a VoIP service (such as freephoneline or voip.ms) for less than 20$ per year and keep your phone number.
    Last edited by InMontreal; 07-20-2012 at 09:17 AM.
    "It's not a rerun if you haven't watched it yet." (© 2010 by TVViewer)
    "Ne jamais s'obstiner avec un épais. Il va vous abaisser à son niveau et vous battre avec l'expérience."

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVViewer View Post
    Wait until you get married and have kids, I bet your opinion will change.

    Alright, you make a very valid and solid point. However I was looking at this from non-family groups, and groups of people who have to cut because its eating into their budgets or people who lead a very busy life who don't get enough usage of paying a BDU every month.


    Quote Originally Posted by TVViewer View Post
    PVR's don't die, in fact with a PVR you can make your own version of Netflix with new episodes of the shows your kids like, shows that aren't available on Netflix
    PVR's are great, some will die depending on usage, but the fact is, if you record a season of a show on your PVR to watch later, does it make sense investing $50-$100 a/month in a BDU subscription?



    Quote Originally Posted by TVViewer View Post
    This is why cable and satellite companies don't have anything to worry about. It's pretty unlikely everyone in the family will be okay with cutting the cord. They may lose a few subscribers, but it's not a redundant service, it still has lots of value.
    I don't think BDU's are going to die off because of the Internet, anymore then radio dying off when TV came round in the 50's. However, I think there is going to be a contraction in the market for BDU services that will level off over time. So the question would be, how far is the market going to contract, and will it cause a BDU to go under as a result?

    I can also see people who do invest in a BDU service aren’t buying the big ticket pay-TV packages and only sticking with the basic, plus the extend package. The same story reported by FP noted that Astral/Corus are stating to show signs of subscriber loss to their pay-TV channels as BDU subscribers are cutting back or not buying at all as the result of other non-BDU services.

    I'm worried that any market contraction may result in a war the BDU providers might launch on non-BDU providers like Netflix. Bell, Rogers, Shaw and Telus didn't make their money on getting customers to like them, they made their money because the law made them the only option available to customers as result allowed them to charge what ever they wanted to customers.
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

  10. #30
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    Knowledge is power ... Grow a brain and suck it all in!

    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    @Pokerface: I wonder how you do it. You are likely paying at least 23$+tx for your landline phone service, and 10$ for your dial-up internet service. On the other hand, you could get, for example, Teksavvy Basic Cable internet (3Mbps) for 25$/month and a VoIP service (such as freephoneline or voip.ms) for less than 20$ per year and keep your phone number.
    I'm not good with moderation, so if I had broadband at home, I would need unlimited service. Teksavvy apparently lets you download what you want over your limit in the early morning hours, but I don't want to be staying up all night just to save money. Thus, I assume I would have to spend over $40 a month for Unlimited broadband service (even from Teksavvy). The VoIP price is very good, but since I've never used VoIP (I assume it needs a Broadband connection), I'm not yet willing to read more about it.

    I currently pay Bell $16.88/month (including all taxes) for my landline (yes, it's a special deal Bell had a few months ago, or perhaps still has if you ask for it?), and $6.67/month (all taxes included) for my unlimited dial-up (though I might eventually lower it by $3 -- perhaps a bit slower service). That's only $23.55 a month in total that I currently pay for my phone and Internet service, but if I switched to broadband, I would also probably buy an external 1.5 terabyte storage device and a bunch of other equipment to help me keep up with all my downloading ... which means I would quickly turn into one of those Internet pirates spending weekends in prison (I don't look good in an orange jumpsuit).

    I'm not good at moderation, but since the libraries don't stay open past 9pm, I'm able to curb my enthusiasm. I suppose I could pay $2 for 30 min to an hour of Internet use at a nearby Internet place (after 9pm), but I'm not that addicted to bother (at least not right now).

    Once too many people started putting up the pizza-sized Satellite dishes in Canada, DirecTv suddenly went from grey-market status to ILLEGAL (even if you were paying for it).

    How many people still buy CDs? I still occasionally do, but since I'll generally settle for a lower quality mp3 version (free from the Internet or for a mere $1) of most songs, buying CDs is something that doesn't interest as much as it used to (and of course libraries also have CDs for borrowing).

    The HD content and PVR freebies seem to keep a lot of folks hooked on the BDUs, but as the popularity of the Internet spreads to rookies like me, the BDUs are going to have to come up with even sweeter deals than $10/month for Digital Basic to get my money again; I'm thinking more along the lines of $15/month for the VIP package (yeah, right, like that's gonna happen).

    Knowledge is power, but since I have very limited knowledge at this moment, there's only so much damage that I can actually do. I'm not the only person to have suddenly grown a brain ... so as this "knowledge virus" spreads to more and more rookies, the BDUs will continue to suffer ... unless the laws are changed (or more rigorously enforced).

    My "PVR" is at the library; I simply surf the net while my PVR is loaded with content, one episode at a time. My only major problem is that there's not enough time in the day to watch everything I'd like to see. Cue the violins. :(
    Last edited by PokerFace; 07-20-2012 at 05:58 PM. Reason: added a word ("more")

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    I'm not good with moderation, so if I had broadband at home, I would need unlimited service. Teksavvy apparently lets you download what you want over your limit in the early morning hours, but I don't want to be staying up all night just to save money.
    I wasn't aware that Teksavvy had unlimited in early morning hours. As far as I'm aware its a limit 24/7 thanks to Bell.


    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    Thus, I assume I would have to spend over $40 a month for Unlimited broadband service (even from Teksavvy). The VoIP price is very good, but since I've never used VoIP (I assume it needs a Broadband connection), I'm not yet willing to read more about it.
    VoIP is only useful for someone who make a lot of calls, especially long distance calls, otherwise it wouldn't be for you.


    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    but if I switched to broadband, I would also probably buy an external 1.5 terabyte storage device and a bunch of other equipment to help me keep up with all my downloading ... which means I would quickly turn into one of those Internet pirates spending weekends in prison (I don't look good in an orange jumpsuit).
    Unless your planning to create a hosting site for all your 1.5 terabyte of data, then they won't come after you. If they haven't come after you for singing "Happy Birthday" once in your life, then your safe.


    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    Once too many people started putting up the pizza-sized Satellite dishes in Canada, DirecTv suddenly went from grey-market status to ILLEGAL (even if you were paying for it).
    Its still consider grey-market and not consider illegal, since consider it "stealing" would require you to have the option to pay for it first. The law itself doesn't have enough justification for its existent, other than patriotic reasons. We'll hand over personal information, allow Canadian citizens arrested by the American police in Canada, but allowing them to sell BDU services in Canada is where we draw a line.



    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    How many people still buy CDs? I still occasionally do, but since I'll generally settle for a lower quality mp3 version (free from the Internet or for a mere $1) of most songs, buying CDs is something that doesn't interest as much as it used to (and of course libraries also have CDs for borrowing).
    mp3 is the de facto of music media, but you can get higher quality (higher than CD's or MP3's) from iTunes who use AAC format, a lot of music on the web uses AAC (aka m4a or mp4).

    People still buying CD's? Nope, there heading the way of cassette tape, vinyl and 8-track. I was reading in The Globe and Mail that a high school that dug up a time capsule recently, the teacher explain to the students what one of the items, a cassette tape, was used for. I know, I feel old too :(


    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    Knowledge is power, but since I have very limited knowledge at this moment, there's only so much damage that I can actually do. I'm not the only person to have suddenly grown a brain ... so as this "knowledge virus" spreads to more and rookies, the BDUs will continue to suffer ... unless the laws are changed (or more rigorously enforced).
    Not unless BDUs move us to a Max Headroom type of world, where TV the only permitted form of news and entertainment and its illegal to turn your TV off. Don't you think Bell/CTV has that Network 23 vibe about them? :D
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

  12. #32
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    Paranoid or simply ParAnnoyed ... you decide.

    From the Teksavvy website:

    Unlimited Usage between 2am and 8am

    For our DSL customers we are offering unlimited usage between 2am and 8am. This allows our customers to download large items free of charge during this time period. Items downloaded during this time do not count toward your Bandwidth limit.
    --------------------

    I still consider DirecTv illegal because back when they started to seize/block the dishes and receivers at the Canadian border (remember those Rogers commercials calling out the crooks), all the newspaper installation ads mentioning DirecTv or Dish Network suddenly disappeared. Try to discuss DirecTv on that other website and they're likely to ban you for a decade. ;)

    Since you can pay to watch Showcase through Rogers, or stream much of its programming for free from Showcase.ca (with some added forced commercials), Shaw doesn't want us to watch that content on DirectTv, or through other websites. Is it illegal if I choose to watch Showcase programming elsewhere? I doubt it, but if they throw me in jail because they decide to twist the laws to suit their own needs, then what? When it comes to American programming, I expect Canadian companies to do WHATEVER it takes to scare the public into submission, or at least try to get them to feel guilty about what they're doing.

    In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if all Public Library systems started to block specific foreign websites that contained links for copyrighted material. You already need a VPN or similar service to stream content from many geo-blocked websites, so how tough is it to set up the Library computers to disallow access to other various foreign websites? If I can't do what I'm doing now, I'll need to get broadband service at my home (or buy a laptop and stream from WIFI hotspots) ... and since the BDUs have very fast downloading speeds, they'll have a better shot at attracting new Internet customers once the computers at Public Libraries are even further limited as to what they are capable of doing.

    Scare tactics are often used as a form of intimidation and to mislead the public, but if that doesn't work, I suppose some laws could be altered or completely changed so that previous law-abiding citizens are suddenly considered to be engaging in illegal activities.

    Most of the Canadian websites that I've tried have lousy streaming capabilities and annoying commercials, so I'll often just stream from better foreign sites. It's not against the law to do that as far as I know, but I'm sure the BDUs would be happier if I thought it was and simply visited Canadian websites for all of my streaming and downloading needs.

    I'm not sure how easy it would be to take away the freedom of the Internet at our Public Libraries, but if enough people started to use the same loophole that I'm using for watching free TV, I'm afraid that my free ride will eventually come to an end (unless I buy a laptop and stream/download from WIFI hotspots).

    Am I a bit too paranoid? I think so, but I'm certainly not going to go around and inform the masses about how easy it is to watch American TV at the library ... I certainly don't want to anger the mighty and powerful BDUs. Uh oh, Rogers is knocking at my door; time to hide under my bed (please don't sneeze, please don't sneeze).
    Last edited by PokerFace; 07-20-2012 at 07:21 PM.

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    Unless your planning to create a hosting site for all your 1.5 terabyte of data, then they won't come after you. If they haven't come after you for singing "Happy Birthday" once in your life, then your safe.
    Yep. I believing making a copy (ie downloading) of copyrighted material is considered to be legal in Canada; it's only illegal is you upload the said content. That may have changed with the recent amendments to the copyright law by the Conservatives, but I haven't looked into it. It would technically be illegal to use torrents for downloading TV shows, music, movies since you're uploading at the same time, but as far as I'm aware, nobody has been sued in Canada for using torrents. If you're using an FTP server or Usenet, it would be legal.

    mp3 is the de facto of music media, but you can get higher quality (higher than CD's or MP3's) from iTunes who use AAC format, a lot of music on the web uses AAC (aka m4a or mp4).
    AAC does produce better quality per bit, but nothing can hold a candle lossless FLAC or WAV audio. If you're an audiophile, that's what you want to have your music in.

    People still buying CD's? Nope, there heading the way of cassette tape, vinyl and 8-track. I was reading in The Globe and Mail that a high school that dug up a time capsule recently, the teacher explain to the students what one of the items, a cassette tape, was used for. I know, I feel old too :(
    Wow. I feel old as well, I can't be more than a few years older than these kids and I still know what a damn cassette is. Next thing you'll know, they wouldn't even know what a VHS or a floppy disk is. :(

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    I still consider DirecTv illegal because back when they started to seize/block the dishes and receivers at the Canadian border (remember those Rogers commercials calling out the crooks), all the newspaper installation ads mentioning DirecTv or Dish Network suddenly disappeared. Try to discuss DirecTv on that other website and they're likely to ban you for a decade. ;)
    It is and it isn't illegal, hence why they call it grey market. Normally they'll charge people who sell grey market dishes than people who buy or use them. Going after people who use dishes might get as much as a fine for buying a dish from a "unauthrozied" dealer, but no jail time. But grey market dishes haven't been as popular as they once where in the early 2000's, most forums will forbid talking about grey market dishes so the police won't give them trouble.

    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    Since you can pay to watch Showcase through Rogers, or stream much of its programming for free from Showcase.ca (with some added forced commercials), Shaw doesn't want us to watch that content on DirectTv, or through other websites. Is it illegal if I choose to watch Showcase programming elsewhere? I doubt it, but if they throw me in jail because they decide to twist the laws to suit their own needs, then what? When it comes to American programming, I expect Canadian companies to do WHATEVER it takes to scare the public into submission, or at least try to get them to feel guilty about what they're doing.
    The laws that give such protection to broadcasters, is in itself illegal now under NFTA and WTO, but protected under a grandfather clause. Its why the CRTC is reluctant to go after Netflix, because the current Broadcasting Act doesn't allow or disallow services like Netflix, and changing it will leave the Broadcasting Act open to attack from NFTA and WTO that could shoot it down and leave Canadian Broadcasters and BDUs exposed. It's why BDUs have snatched up all the big broadcasters, and bought all the content to keep they eyes glued to their screens and try to suffocated new players out.


    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if all Public Library systems started to block specific foreign websites that contained links for copyrighted material. You already need a VPN or similar service to stream content from many geo-blocked websites, so how tough is it to set up the Library computers to disallow access to other various foreign websites? If I can't do what I'm doing now, I'll need to get broadband service at my home (or buy a laptop and stream from WIFI hotspots) ... and since the BDUs have very fast downloading speeds, they'll have a better shot at attracting new Internet customers once the computers at Public Libraries are even further limited as to what they are capable of doing.
    Content surfing isn't illegal if you get access it from a licence site. Geo-blocking is done on the host site end to block specific users, but it isn't illegal if you by-pass the geo-blocker to view the content. Only if you try to take the video from the site you'll be in trouble.


    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    Scare tactics are often used as a form of intimidation and to mislead the public, but if that doesn't work, I suppose some laws could be altered or completely changed so that previous law-abiding citizens are suddenly considered to be engaging in illegal activities.
    Its very hard for such laws to stick, since you have to find a way to create a law that tip toes around a individual rights and the law it self can't be used maliciously for other uses, such as violating privacy rights. Although the government does have legal ways in the Constitution to make such laws work without it being illegal for them; the political backlash would be to severe for any politician to attempt.


    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    Most of the Canadian websites that I've tried have lousy streaming capabilities and annoying commercials, so I'll often just stream from better foreign sites. It's not against the law to do that as far as I know, but I'm sure the BDUs would be happier if I thought it was and simply visited Canadian websites for all of my streaming and downloading needs.
    I think Canadian streaming sites like CTV, CBC, Global and else where where designed to be horrible, so you'll go back running to them and their wonderful channels and BDU service.


    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    I'm not sure how easy it would be to take away the freedom of the Internet at our Public Libraries, but if enough people started to use the same loophole that I'm using for watching free TV, I'm afraid that my free ride will eventually come to an end (unless I buy a laptop and stream/download from WIFI hotspots).
    That "freedom" will be decided by the Library if you can stream content or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    Am I bit too paranoid? I think so, but I'm certainly not going to go around and inform the masses about how easy it is to watch American TV at the library ... I certainly don't want to anger the mighty and powerful BDUs. Uh oh, Rogers is knocking at my door; time to hide under my bed (please don't sneeze, please don't sneeze).
    I wounder why the Library are using a IP address that is outside of Canada? IANA provides a list of IP address that is used in Canada and a list of IP address that can be used only in the U.S.A. and Geo-Blockers use these lists to determine where your are.
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emarsee View Post
    Yep. I believing making a copy (ie downloading) of copyrighted material is considered to be legal in Canada; it's only illegal is you upload the said content. That may have changed with the recent amendments to the copyright law by the Conservatives, but I haven't looked into it. It would technically be illegal to use torrents for downloading TV shows, music, movies since you're uploading at the same time, but as far as I'm aware, nobody has been sued in Canada for using torrents. If you're using an FTP server or Usenet, it would be legal.
    Normally they can't go after individuals, they've tried in the past, but the laws have always been throw out by the courts because it would violated a individuals rights.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emarsee View Post
    AAC does produce better quality per bit, but nothing can hold a candle lossless FLAC or WAV audio. If you're an audiophile, that's what you want to have your music in.
    FLAC isn't supported by Apple (last I checked). Android only started supporting FLAC around Gingerbread and WAV is bigger than CD audio track (MPEG2) format. AAC is recommenced because most device manufactures will include a hardware decoder in embedded devices along with H.264 video decoder so it doesn't eat CPU time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emarsee View Post
    Wow. I feel old as well, I can't be more than a few years older than these kids and I still know what a damn cassette is. Next thing you'll know, they wouldn't even know what a VHS or a floppy disk is. :(
    They don't, I don't think I met any kid under 20 that knows what a VHS or floppy disk is. Of course no one expected to remember what Zip Disks where
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    VoIP is only useful for someone who make a lot of calls, especially long distance calls, otherwise it wouldn't be for you.
    Absolutely NOT !
    I rarely use the phone. With a Bell phoneline costs 23$/month for basic service, plus call display which was 6$/month at the time. And whenever I wanted to make a long distance call within the same province (like my parents up north), I had to either pay 43 cents per minute or pick a long distance plan and pay an extra 5$ network fee. That's ridiculous.

    VoIP comes with call display, voicemail and other options for free. So, freephoneline is just free for local calls, and 2 cents per minute for long distance, but costs 50$ for setup. voip.ms costs 1$ per month, 1 cent per minute for incoming calls and half a cent per minute for outgoing calls, and more free options than I need. Over the top, I've setup a sub-account and a VoIP adapter for my parents and we now call each other for free. So, since I rarely use the phone, no wonder it costs me less than 20$ per year.

    So no, VoIP is not for heavy users, it's for everyone. You just need to find the provider adapted to your needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pokerface
    The HD content and PVR freebies seem to keep a lot of folks hooked on the BDUs
    There's no need for a BDU subscription for HD content, nor to get PVR functions. Get an antenna, get a PVR for over-the-air usage, program the shows from conventional channels you get. Then get the "specialty" shows from the internet. This will lower your internet usage.

    Bell Media and Shaw Media, which carry original canadian content, will sometimes rerun one of their shows on the OTA channel (for example, Global has program History's Ice Pilots NWT and Showcase's Lost Girl and Slice's Housewives of Vancouver, and foreign USA Network's Psych and In Plain Sight). By the time you catch up to get to watch those shows, they're distributed for free OTA.

    Montreal library have DVD boxset of scripted TV Shows, so Toronto Library probably does too. It's better to rent them than download the episodes.
    Last edited by InMontreal; 07-21-2012 at 12:41 PM.
    "It's not a rerun if you haven't watched it yet." (© 2010 by TVViewer)
    "Ne jamais s'obstiner avec un épais. Il va vous abaisser à son niveau et vous battre avec l'expérience."

  17. #37
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    VoIP had me at hello, but I like the price even more.

    VoIP has certainly improved over the years, so I'm not going to rule it out as a future possibility once I get a home broadband service. A landline is less intimidating to me, but it is more expensive and might have to be dumped.

    Mobilicity has various specials (from $20 to $40) for "unlimited" (they can still throttle you) Internet service that can also be tethered to a computer.

    Bell's long distance plans have always been ridiculous, so many people just use one of those buck-a-call companies, or YAK, or whatever else is out there.

    There are so many options to consider before getting broadband, that I wonder if I'll ever make the time to do the research and also sift through all the various deals. The learning curve seems to be astronomical at this point, so I keep myself busy and avoid the inevitable chore of moving forward into the world of broadband (I'm still hooked on free broadband).

    I'll get back on topic with my next post (already written) ...

  18. #38
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    Cable TV has a lot to offer, but I want fewer restrictions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    I wonder why the Library are using a IP address that is outside of Canada? IANA provides a list of IP address that is used in Canada and a list of IP address that can be used only in the U.S.A. and Geo-Blockers use these lists to determine where your are.
    I didn't mean to confuse you, but ALL the Canadian libraries that I've been to, DO use a Canadian IP address and that's why when I was geo-blocked from the TNT, Lifetime, USA Network (etc.) websites, I initially thought that I wouldn't be able to easily find and watch American programming for free (without using a VPN at home or with a laptop).

    The A&E and AMC websites are NOT geo-blocked to Canadians (I've streamed content from them), but since the content on the geo-blocked websites that I mentioned can usually be found unblocked elsewhere, it's still easy to watch American (or some British) TV while at the library (in most cases, downloads are trickier unless I was willing to pay for that privilege or do more extensive searches). Content from HBO, Showtime, Starz and the like can also be streamed/downloaded from the library for free without the use of a VPN or similar service (by using alternate unblocked sites).

    Most or all of the American websites (there are still some loopholes) no longer get away with listing links to copyrighted material that they don't own the rights to, but other countries are not as lenient as the USA. It's easy to find exploitable loopholes and then offer copyrighted content to the world, but if it's not illegal, it sure pushes the boundaries.

    As much as I love the ability to watch some of the American TV channels without simsubs (using my indoor antenna), I still prefer the greater variety of content that Cable TV offers. Combining all the various options of TV-watching is obviously better than choosing only one option, but if I had to pick only ONE option, I would choose the Internet (the broadband free version) for TV content. I would still need to borrow/buy DVDs for much of the less popular movie content (I'm not including Netflix in my online world because it's not free), but since I'm more addicted to TV content, I'd rather miss out on the movies and focus on the Internet TV content (before it's perhaps removed or blocked for whatever reasons -- download speeds have already been recently reduced for free accounts).

    If Rogers wanted to make cutting the cord almost impossible for me to do (aside from reducing the VIP package price to $15 or $20 a month), it would have to allow me the right to pick any channel that I wanted to add on to Digital Basic and then cancel it at any time (rather than being forced to pay for a minimum of one FULL month, assuming it's an a la carte channel).

    Many many years ago, Rogers would let me cancel a channel online (even after 1 day) and then my bill was pro-rated to reflect the actual number of days that I subscribed. They told me I can't do that anymore (bills got too confusing to explain, etc.), but at least I have access to the Libraries' free broadband Internet service that allows me to pick and NOT pay for each TV episode that I desire.

    Free streaming of copyrighted material seems too good to be true, but if I lived in America (and used a VPN for foreign streaming), I might not even bother subscribing to American Cable TV (or would cancel it after a year of service).
    Last edited by PokerFace; 07-21-2012 at 01:26 PM. Reason: smoothing out a few wrinkles

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    Absolutely NOT !
    I rarely use the phone. With a Bell phoneline costs 23$/month for basic service, plus call display which was 6$/month at the time. And whenever I wanted to make a long distance call within the same province (like my parents up north), I had to either pay 43 cents per minute or pick a long distance plan and pay an extra 5$ network fee. That's ridiculous.

    VoIP comes with call display, voicemail and other options for free. So, freephoneline is just free for local calls, and 2 cents per minute for long distance, but costs 50$ for setup. voip.ms costs 1$ per month, 1 cent per minute for incoming calls and half a cent per minute for outgoing calls, and more free options than I need. Over the top, I've setup a sub-account and a VoIP adapter for my parents and we now call each other for free. So, since I rarely use the phone, no wonder it costs me less than 20$ per year.

    So no, VoIP is not for heavy users, it's for everyone. You just need to find the provider adapted to your needs.
    I was giving what the averaged person would use VoIP for compared to what other options, like unlimited local and national wide calling from Wind or Public Mobile for the same costs as VoIP. Don't get me wrong, VoIP is useful, but if your someone who is never in the same place the whole day then a mobile service with unlimited calling would be better suited.
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

  20. #40
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    Day 1 without Digital cable ... I'm still surviving!

    Cable TV ... meet the dinosaurs. However, it's a good thing I overdosed on sports this past 6 months, or else I might have been longing for some extra NFL coverage mixed in with a few auto races (AKA: The CIRCLE Game).

    Now that my cord has once again been cut ... Today is my first day without Rogers Digital Cable since last year at this time (my analogue will probably be cut later this week by a Rogers tech).

    I was then offered a lame 15% off the VIP package and a free HD box rental, OR 10% off the Digital Basic package (previously had it for only $10) using my SD box that I now own.

    My Rogers Cable rep countered with Digital Basic (with SD box) for $20/month for 6 months and then regular price for the next 6 months (year contract). No thanks, I'm too spoiled now that I use the Internet more often than in the past.

    So, since my Super Channel is now gone, I decided to go to the Library and see how easy it would be to download today's (Wednesday July 25) new episodes of The Closer ("Drug Fiend") and Rizzoli & Isles ("Cuts Like a Knife" - which aired July 24th on TNT and 9pm tonight on Super Channel). I already know how easy it is to stream them, but wanted to see how the downloads worked.

    It seems that the majority of the free downloads (no Torrents, remember) take up to 2.5 hours for a small 25 minute episode (like HBO's VEEP), down to only just a few minutes. The trick is to start a few long downloads and then search for the fast (6-10 minutes for an hour show) or medium speed downloads (50-70 minutes, for a 45 minute show); while they download, I surf the net or stream other things.

    For The Closer, I used a medium-speed download (about an hour), and then also downloaded an earlier episode at the same time [both were the TNT feeds with great sound and picture - and obviously no commercials, just like watching it on Super Channel (but with an added TNT logo), or like watching wild feeds on a C Band Satellite dish, like I used to do many years ago].

    For Rizzoli and Isles I used another medium-speed download and was surprised to discover that it was the Canadian feed (that I assume was used for tonight's Super Channel broadcast) with the Canadian rating showing in the left corner for a few seconds and NO TNT logo at all. So, I had finished downloading the newest Rizzoli & Isles episode BEFORE it aired on Super Channel (at 9pm EST) tonight.

    For some super-fast downloads, I mixed in some Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episodes (that only aired on TV in Australia, so far), and some Young Justice episodes (some had forced foreign subtitles and the one without the subtitles was mono). I still had time to download the second episode of Newsroom (with foreign subtitles, but since it only took about 6 minutes to download, I'm still happy). I really liked the first Newsroom episode that I saw for free on Monday (using Rogers On Demand, channel 100) and will look for some medium-speed downloads of episode 3 and 4 tomorrow.

    The Library closed while I was still trying to finish downloading (at medium speed) an episode of Army Wives (at 92% complete-- oh, so close), but since I had several downloads going at the same time while I was streaming another episode and downloading some YouTube concerts, I'll just go back tomorrow and watch the streams to save time (while I try to download other things that nobody wants me to).

    Warning: Worst written paragraph is up next ...

    So, as great as free streaming is (today I watched a bit of the latest episode of The Glades on the A&E website, but had to stop because the picture quality was AWFUL -- even though previous Breakout Kings' episodes looked fine on the same A&E website last year), it's much more fun to try and beat the system by downloading free episodes (which saves even more of my time for surfing YouTube, etc.) and watching them later (at home on my 32 inch tube TV). The downloaded episodes often look just as good as they did when I watched them through Rogers Cable.

    All this without having broadband at home, a laptop, or by making use of a VPN or using torrents.

    Before the Mounties scream bloody murder, in the past I would often wait until one of my local libraries got the DVD versions of various shows and then I borrowed them for free. FREE is my favourite word ... CAN'T is my least favourite.

    Since my technology is lacking, I can only imagine how much easier this would all be if I also had a laptop and broadband at my home. Cue the violins. ;)

 

 

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