Why should you compare streaming providers? For a long time, Canadians have been paying through the nose for their news, sport and entertainment. And while we’ve become accustomed to services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, there are now new players on the block such as Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus and local providers like Crave TV.
Playing catch-up, accessing premium entertainment is easier and more affordable than ever. Comparing what each service offers and how much it costs could save you a fortune in the long run.
What do I need to compare?
- The price of the service
- The content on offer
- The streaming quality supplied
- The devices that are supported
There are many things you need to consider before signing up with a streaming provider. It boils down to a few comparable factors: price, content, quality and compatible devices.
That’s just the start. Which services offer a free trial? Which services have a lock-in contract?
We’ve done the hard yards for you and answered all those questions and more in the table below.
If you’d like to dig a little deeper, we answer some commonly asked questions and explain why streaming is taking over further down this guide.
What is Internet TV and streaming exactly?
Internet television is televised content that is delivered to all sorts of connected devices, from personal computers to smartphones and video game consoles. Also referred to as Internet protocol TV (IPTV) or online streaming, this technology enables viewers to watch television shows, movies, news and sport in real-time over the Internet.
The streamed content is viewed through a website or native application that gives the viewer access to a live stream or library of TV shows and movies.
With a steady Internet connection and compatible device, there is little difference from what traditional broadcast options offer.
I’m sold but I don’t know if I have the right equipment. Which devices can I use to stream?
This is a common deterrent for people looking to make the switch to streaming. Don’t worry, there are plenty of devices you can use to stream Netflix, Crave and more. In fact, you’ve probably got 1 or 2 in your home already.
If you’ve got a PC or Mac desktop or laptop computer, you’re already halfway to streaming most major streaming services. You can access almost every streaming service in Canada with the web browser you use daily.
Smartphone and tablet
One of the more popular devices to stream video on, smartphones and tablets allow you to binge TV shows, movies and news on the go. Most major streaming services are compatible with iOS, Android and Windows phones and even offer offline viewing options so you don’t chew through your data.
Why fork out for a new television when you probably own a streaming-enabled device already? Game consoles such as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have native apps for Netflix, Prime Video and more. The 4K-ready PS4 Pro and Xbox One X also allow you to stream 4K/ultra high definition (UHD) content when connected to a 4K TV.
Streaming media devices
If you’re not looking to fork out for a smart TV, there is a huge selection of affordable streaming hardware options. Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Fetch TV and more transform your standard television into a smart TV.
There’s a whole suite of devices and gadgets you can stream on but device compatibility varies from service to service.
Understanding your streaming options
Why is streaming taking over? Convenience. While you can live stream TV shows and movies as they happen, the main draw of streaming television is the thousands of classic movies and recent blockbusters available with the press of a button.
The wide selection of compatible devices also means you don’t have to wait until you’re home on the couch to catch up on the latest news and premium TV shows. You can access streaming and Internet TV services from your office computer or on your smartphone on the commute home. When you get home, you can continue what you were watching on your smart TV without missing a beat.
Streaming is also relatively cheap. For years, cable and satellite providers that usually charge huge fees and require some kind of contract or ongoing commitment dictated entertainment. On the other hand, Netflix charges just $8.99 per month at its lowest tier and offers quality original content and options for HD and 4K streaming at its higher tiers.
What are my options for streaming?
There are various ways you can view content over the Internet. Some are convenient but take a toll on your data while others take longer but allow offline viewing. Let us break down the differences.
Frequently asked questions
How is the content delivered to my device?
This is all well and good but how exactly did Daenerys and her dragons end up on my smartphone? While it’s not breathing fire or raising the dead, it’s still quite magical. Let us show you how it’s done.
More questions? You’re not the only one. See what other people are asking.
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