Cutting the Cable: 2023 Update

The streaming service landscape in Canada has evolved rapidly, providing Canadians with a wide range of options for entertainment. As more people cut the cord and move away from traditional cable and satellite TV, understanding the available streaming choices becomes essential. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top streaming services in Canada, their unique features, and tips for newbies to make an informed decision.

Top Streaming Services in Canada (Costs are per month) in 2023

CBC GEM FREE or $4.99/month for premium (live TV)

CBC Gem is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) dedicated streaming platform, offering a diverse range of content tailored to the Canadian audience. This service provides viewers access to live and on-demand programming, including local and national news, sports events, documentaries, and an extensive selection of Canadian TV shows. CBC Gem caters to various preferences and budgets, with a free ad-supported version and a premium ad-free option available for a monthly subscription fee. The platform also features a curated selection of international content, ensuring a well-rounded entertainment experience. With its user-friendly interface and device compatibility, CBC Gem allows Canadians to stay connected to their favourite local programs and discover new content from the comfort of their homes.

Netflix Canada:  $5.99 (ads)/ $9.99 / $16.49

Netflix is a global leader in streaming services and offers a vast library of movies, TV shows, and original content in Canada. With a user-friendly interface and frequent updates, Netflix ensures a smooth streaming experience for its subscribers.

Amazon Prime Video Canada:  $9.99/month (included with Prime)

Amazon Prime Video is another popular streaming service, providing access to movies, TV shows, and Amazon Originals. Prime Video is included with an Amazon Prime membership, making it an attractive option for those already subscribed to the service.

Amazon Prime is included with your prime shipping services. 

Amazon Prime has also partnered with other streaming services and offers “add-on” services like Stack TV (Global, Food Network Canada, HGTV Canada, W Network, History, Adult Swim, Slice, Showcase, National Geographic, Treehouse and YTV), STARZParamount+AMC+BritBoxDiscovery+  and many more for between $3.99 and 8.99 a piece extra per month.

Crave:  $20

Crave is a popular streaming service in Canada featuring a mix of exclusive HBO, Showtime, and Starz programming, as well as Canadian TV shows and movies. With various subscription plans, Crave caters to different preferences, allowing users to customize their streaming experience.

Disney+ Canada:   $11.99

Disney+ is the go-to streaming service for family-friendly content, boasting a vast library of Disney classics, Pixar films, Marvel movies, and Star Wars franchises. The service also offers National Geographic content and original programming.

Example package: 

Shaw Cable 75+ $79

CBC GEM $4.99

Netflix $9.99

Sportsnet Premium $34.99

Total per month: $128.97, including Internet

 

Sports Streaming Services in Canada: Never Miss a Game

For sports enthusiasts, several dedicated streaming services in Canada focus on live sports events and related content.

Not all streaming devices will run the Sports Apps listed. Consult the streaming service for compatibility as it changes. Most devices will allow you to install specific apps for these streaming services.

Sportsnet NOW: 

Standard: $14.99/month or $149.99/year
Premium: $34.99/month or $249.99/year

Sportsnet NOW offers a wide range of live sports events, including NHL, MLB, NBA, and CFL games, as well as soccer, tennis, and more. Subscribers can also access on-demand content and exclusive features.

TSN Direct: 

$19.99/month or $199.90 per year

TSN Direct is the streaming service of Canada’s sports leader, The Sports Network (TSN). It provides live streaming of various sports events, including the CFL, NFL, NBA, MLS, and international soccer, as well as on-demand content and highlights.

DAZN Canada: 

$24.99/month or $199.99 per year

DAZN is a global sports streaming service available in Canada, specializing in combat sports like boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA). The platform also streams various other sports, such as NFL, soccer, and tennis, depending on regional availability.

 

Choosing the Right Streaming Service in Canada

When deciding on the best streaming service for your needs, consider the following factors:

  • Content: Examine each service’s content library to ensure it offers the movies, shows, and genres you prefer.
  • Pricing: Compare the subscription fees and available plans to determine which option fits your budget.
  • Device Compatibility: Confirm that the streaming service is compatible with your preferred devices, such as smart TVs, gaming consoles, or mobile devices.
  • Offline Viewing: Some services offer offline viewing capabilities, allowing you to download content for viewing without an internet connection.

Some of the FREE TV Stations Available. For these, you may need to install a specific app, and not all shows are streamable. Live TV may be an option on some paid plans like CBC Gem.


The Fire TV Cube has revolutionized my streaming experience! Its octa-core processor delivers lightning-fast app starts and seamless navigation through various content platforms. The 4K Ultra HD picture quality is truly impressive, and with support for Dolby Vision, HDR, and Dolby Atmos audio, it creates a genuinely immersive cinematic atmosphere. I’ve enjoyed endless entertainment options from popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+, ensuring there’s always something great to watch. The groundbreaking Wi-Fi 6E support also allows smoother streaming, even during peak internet usage times. If you want to elevate your streaming experience, the Fire TV Cube is an outstanding choice I highly recommend.


The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is a fantastic streaming device that packs powerful performance into a compact form factor. With support for 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision, it delivers stunning visuals, ensuring an immersive viewing experience. The addition of Wi-Fi 6 support allows for smoother streaming and faster app loading times, even during peak usage hours.

Navigating the vast selection of content from popular platforms like Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+ is a breeze, thanks to the intuitive Fire TV interface. The included Alexa Voice Remote with TV controls adds an extra layer of convenience, allowing for quick content search, playback control, and even smart home integration using voice commands.

The Fire TV Stick 4K Max offers an impressive array of features at a competitive price point, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a reliable, high-quality streaming solution without breaking the bank.

Tips for Maximizing Your Streaming Experience in Canada

Optimize Your Internet Connection

A stable and fast internet connection is crucial for seamless streaming. Ensure you have a reliable internet service provider (ISP), and consider upgrading your plan for higher speeds, if necessary.

High-speed Internet, also known as broadband Internet, refers to internet connections with significantly faster speeds than traditional dial-up services. 

High-speed Internet can be delivered locally through various technologies, such as Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL), cable and satellite.

For streaming, the recommended internet speeds depend on the video quality and the number of devices connected simultaneously. However, here are the general speed recommendations for various streaming qualities:

Standard Definition (SD) streaming: A minimum of 3 Mbps is recommended for streaming standard definition (480p) video on a single device.

High Definition (HD) streaming: For streaming high-definition (720p or 1080p) video, a minimum speed of 5 Mbps is recommended for a single device. However, if multiple devices stream HD content simultaneously, you will need a higher speed.

Ultra High Definition (UHD) or 4K streaming: To stream ultra-high-definition (2160p) or 4K content, a minimum speed of 25 Mbps is recommended for a single device. If you plan to stream 4K content on multiple devices, you will need an even faster internet connection.

It’s essential to note that these recommendations are for each device streaming content. If you have multiple devices streaming simultaneously, consider increasing your internet speed accordingly. Additionally, other internet activities, such as online gaming, video conferencing, and large file downloads, may require higher speeds to function optimally. To ensure a seamless streaming experience, it’s best to choose an internet plan with speeds that can accommodate your household’s overall usage and the number of connected devices.

A 5 Mb/s connection will work for one lower-resolution stream on one device. However, the Internet will be almost unuseable for anyone else on it. 

25mb/s is the bare minimum for proper streaming.

These are the companies operating in our area:

Company Type Speed (mb/s) Cost (month)
Bell DSL 5$50+
ShawCable75 $79
ShawCable1000$135
Starlink Satellite 100-200+ $140 *

Starlink Requires Hardware purchase

  • Starlink has recently cut their hardware prices in half and then again to $199 for rural Canadians making it a viable high-speed option for anyone currently underserved or without access to any high-speed. Starlink is now portable as well. 

 

 

Equipment choices

If you have a Smart TV already it probably just needs to be setup although some smart TV’s are very limited in what they can do and a TV box can be used instead of the smart TV where features are lacking.

Equipment like keyboards, mice and the air mouse all use Bluetooth to connect to the Smart Tv or TV Box which is relatively easy and can greatly enhance your experience.

I do carry some of the equipment onsite however the links provided are directly from Amazon.ca where there are many many more choices.


The Google Chromecast with Google TV (4K) is a versatile, user-friendly streaming device that delivers a seamless, high-quality entertainment experience. With support for 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision, it provides stunning visuals and vibrant colours that enhance any compatible TV. The device’s integration with Google TV offers a well-organized interface, allowing for easy navigation through a vast selection of content from popular platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+.

The included voice remote with Google Assistant functionality is a game-changer, enabling quick content search, playback control, and even smart home integration using simple voice commands. The Chromecast’s compatibility with other Google devices and services, such as Google Photos and YouTube, further adds to its appeal.

Setup is a breeze, and the device’s compact form factor makes it an unobtrusive addition to any home entertainment system. Overall, the Google Chromecast with Google TV (4K) is an excellent choice for those seeking a powerful, feature-rich streaming device at a competitive price point.

The remotes that come with devices may be lacking. I suggest one of these types of remotes that I use to enhance the experience or act as a backup. I currently use these two; there are many others of similar form.

Mini Air Remote, Wechip Wireless Keyboard 2.4G Smart TV Fly Mouse W1 Multifunctional Remote Control for Android TV Box/PC/Smart TV/Projector/HTPC/All-in-one PC/TV (W1 air Mouse)

Rii i8+ Mini Wireless Touch Keyboard, Handheld Remote, LED Backlit Compatible with Android TV Box, Android Smart TV,HTPC, Raspberry Pi, Win 7 8 10,Mac OS


The Apple TV 4K (2022) 3rd Generation is an impressive streaming device that delivers a seamless, high-quality entertainment experience. With support for 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision, this device provides stunning visuals, making the most of any compatible TV. The 64GB storage capacity ensures ample space for downloading apps and games from the Apple App Store, further enhancing the entertainment options.

The intuitive tvOS interface allows for smooth navigation and integrates seamlessly with other Apple devices, enabling features like AirPlay and HomeKit for added convenience. The Siri Remote is a standout feature, offering quick voice commands, easy content search, and precise control over playback. The device’s Wi-Fi performance is robust, ensuring smooth streaming even during peak usage times.

While it may come at a higher price point compared to some competitors, the Apple TV 4K (2022) offers a premium experience that is well worth the investment for those entrenched in the Apple ecosystem or seeking a top-tier streaming solution.


The Roku Express 4K 2022 is an excellent choice for those seeking an affordable yet high-quality streaming media player. Its compact design allows for easy installation and setup, making it perfect for users of all levels. The 4K streaming capabilities, paired with HDR support, provide stunning visuals and vibrant colours, significantly enhancing my viewing experience. Navigating the intuitive Roku interface is a breeze, granting access to a vast selection of streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video. The Roku mobile app is an added bonus, enabling remote control functionality and private listening through headphones. Overall, the Roku Express 4K 2022 offers exceptional value and performance, making it an ideal addition to any home entertainment setup.


The Roku Streaming Stick 4K 2022 is a fantastic streaming device that offers top-notch performance in a sleek, portable form factor. With support for 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision, this device delivers stunning visuals and vibrant colors, taking the viewing experience to new heights. The user-friendly Roku interface grants access to a vast array of streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video, ensuring there’s always something great to watch.

The included Roku Voice Remote with TV controls makes navigating content a breeze, and the voice search functionality adds an extra layer of convenience. The compact design of the Streaming Stick allows for easy installation and portability, making it perfect for on-the-go entertainment or use in multiple rooms. Overall, the Roku Streaming Stick 4K 2022 is an excellent choice for those seeking a high-quality, portable streaming solution that doesn’t compromise on features or performance.


The Roku Streambar is an exceptional all-in-one solution that combines 4K/HD/HDR streaming capabilities with premium audio for a truly immersive entertainment experience. Its compact design makes it perfect for various setups, including smaller spaces or wall-mounted TVs. The Streambar delivers powerful, room-filling sound, significantly enhancing music and movie audio without additional speakers. The user-friendly Roku interface provides easy access to a vast selection of streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video, ensuring endless entertainment options. The setup is simple, and the included voice remote makes navigating content a breeze. Additionally, the Streambar’s Bluetooth connectivity allows for seamless streaming from mobile devices. Overall, the Roku Streambar is an outstanding choice for those seeking a high-quality streaming media player with integrated premium audio, delivering an exceptional home theatre experience in a compact package.


T95 Android Box,Android TV Box10.0,Android Box 4G RAM 64G ROM with Mini Wireless Keyboard,H616 Quad Core Chip TV Box, 6K Full HD /2.4G & 5G Dual-Band Wi-Fi/BT 5.0/H.265 TV Box Android. 

 


Android TV Box, Android 12 TV Box 4GB RAM 64GB ROM with Wireless Mini keyboard, Android Box 2.4G/5.8G WiFi6 /BT 5.0 4K/6K Utral HD / 3D / H.265 TV Box Android

 


Android 12.0 TV Box, T95zplus 6k/3D HD Tv Box H618 Quadcore 4GB RAM 64GB ROM 2.4G/5.0G Dual WiFi & BT 5.0 Android Box Support Multi-Lingual IPTV Box with LAN Ethernet 10/100M for Chat Movie Game etc.

 

Android TV Boxs

An Android TV box is a small computer (box) that connects to your TV via the HDMI cable. They have software called Apps that expand the functionality of the TV well beyond just a TV, turning it into a simplified computer. There are various Android Boxes of various functionality by a plethora of “brands”, basically little black boxes with varying names pre-loaded for streaming.

Pros of using an Android TV Box

Android boxes offer a highly customizable and versatile streaming experience, allowing users to access a wide array of apps and content from the Google Play Store. This flexibility means that users can tailor their streaming setup to their preferences, installing popular streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu and lesser-known apps and services. Furthermore, Android boxes often support additional features such as gaming, web browsing, and even file management, transforming your TV into a comprehensive entertainment hub.

Another advantage of Android boxes is their frequent compatibility with third-party apps and add-ons, enabling users to extend the functionality of their devices even further. This openness allows for integration of custom media players, VPNs, and other tools that can enhance the streaming experience. Additionally, many Android boxes come with USB ports and expandable storage options, making it easy to connect peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and external hard drives for added convenience and functionality.

Cons of using an Android TV Box

Despite their versatility, Android boxes can come with some drawbacks. The sheer number of options available in the market can make identifying a reliable and high-quality device challenging, as the performance and build quality can vary significantly between different models. This inconsistency can lead to user frustration if a chosen Android box does not live up to expectations or fails to deliver a seamless streaming experience.

Another downside to Android boxes is their sometimes complex setup and user experience. The potential for a steeper learning curve comes with a highly customizable interface, particularly for less tech-savvy users. In addition, navigating the vast selection of apps and settings can be overwhelming, and users may need to invest more time and effort in configuring their Android box to their liking.

Lastly, Android boxes may sometimes offer a different level of support and updates than more established streaming devices like Roku or Fire TV Stick. This lack of ongoing support can result in outdated software, security vulnerabilities, and compatibility issues with newer apps and streaming services, ultimately diminishing the overall user experience.

 

Android Boxes are constantly changing with newer versions of Android and apps. Therefore, the ones listed may not be available, or there may be newer versions. Try to get the most recent version with the highest version of Android available. of course, consider the price as well.

Smart TV

A Smart TV has a built in computer component that basically means your TV is now a simplified computer.

Where to start with cutting that cable?

The very first thing you do is make a list of the TV shows that you watch on a regular basis. Answer the following questions.

Do I have any off air antenna feeds? If you are luck enough to live in a city of some size (Thunderbay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, etc.) you have an option of using an off air antenna to pick up local TV stations. These antennas are small square mats that stick to a wall or window or outside that bring the HD off air TV signals from local broadcasters like CBC, CTV, GlobalTV.  They cost between $20 and $100 one time fee and can usually be setup in minutes.

What live TV shows do you watch regularly? Regularly sit in front of TV at initial broadcast.

What TV shows you watch occasionally? Occasionally is if you watch it on DVR, maybe the following week, or when you see it on re-run.

Do you watch sports? Sports feeds are tricky as they tend to be live, there are some paid options though.

Do you watch news? Like sports feeds the news is live, and local news is usually sparse however it is possible to find. Live news like CBC Newsworld is available via stream for $4.99/month (along with their TV show library).

Now you know your viewing habits.

From here its a matter of looking to see if the streams of your shows are available using the links further up the page and using google searches (I do this as part of my cutting the cable service).

Live broadcasts of sports and news will need a paid option listed further up on the page. Keep in mind in most cases the paid live streams go directly to the network/channel, not marked up from cable companies.

If there are any shows or programming that are not available to you, decide if it is worth paying the full price for a cable package. Usually there are a couple shows you cannot find free streamed, a simple cost/benefit analysis will tell you if its worth spending the money for a full cable package.

We pay around $65 (average) per month on our cable TV/Satellite TV packages, we also pay a similar amount in high speed internet. If you can stream most or all of your TV shows and with the paid live options have access to everything you really need is it worth paying an extra $65 for cable when you can access it all using just your internet.

For Example:
I have found nearly all my shows on FREE live stream, those I cannot are not worth me paying $80 per month for Expressvu. I like my news and Netflix so paying for Netflix at $11.99 per month and CBC at $4.99 gives me a monthly fee of  $17 per month.

If I watched sports I could grab a TSN streaming package (owned by BELL Media) for $24.99/month. This would give me a full package for around $40 dollars a month plus with Netflix in there I have a huge number of movies, specialty TV shows and more original series than you can get on a standard cable package.

Where to from here?

If you want to cut that cable then its a matter of finding the streams directly on your smart TV and/or getting a TV box programmed with what you want. I provide both of these services.

Once you have live streaming TV setup, use it, learn some of the caveats and tricks to it, see if you like it BEFORE you cut the cable. Some people don’t want the little extra work involved in live streaming and that’s fine.

Give yourself a month of live stream and see if you can live without cable. One of the things I noticed was a reduction in sitting in front of the TV as my TV shows stream on anything – TV, Smartphone, Computer, Tablet, Etc…

Watch your data usage during your month of streaming – if it goes above your allotted amount simply call your provider and ask for an upgrade and usually they will make it retroactive to cover any overages.

The number of shows and broadcasts available via streaming will only grow in the future to a point in the not so distant future where everything will be streamed via the internet, even here in Canada.

NEED SOME INNOVATION?

INNOVATION

CONTACT US

nipigoncomputer.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases through our links.

STAY IN TOUCH

155B Railway Street (Nipigon red Rock Gazette)
Nipigon, ON. P0T 2J0

807.889.0707

glenn@hartspace.ca

VISIT US ON FACEBOOK

Share This