By Señior Tech from the June 2018 Edition
For over 15 years I have not been constrained watching my Canadian and US channels anywhere in the world. All I need is an internet connection and I can watch on my iPad, iPhone or as we do at home, on our Television using a HDMI cable connected to my computer.
Is this considered piracy? No, because I pay for the content. Is this legal? Well, I’ll leave that question to our legal scholars.
How exactly is this done? I have a dedicated PVR (Personal Video Recorder, also known as a “digital video recorder”) attached to a Slingbox. The Slingbox is connected by data cable to an internet router. The PVR can be one supplied by Bell, Shaw or Telus in Canada or any Television channel provider in the USA. (A regular cable box will work, but then content is limited to live viewing).
In Manzanillo, my wife and I watch programs that we have rec-orded in full HD. The computer version is free and the Slingbox is controlled by a virtual remote control. One advantage of the Slingbox over a satellite receiver is that stormy weather does not affect the picture quality or signal (unless your signal back home comes from a satellite receiver).
Of the 2 models, I would recommend the Slingbox 500 solely for the HDMI cable option. Connect an HDMI cable to both Slingbox 500 and your cable/satellite box and you will get the best quality picture and ease of installation.
• Watch and control 100% of your live TV on a tablet*, phone*, PC, or Mac
• View and manage DVR recordings
• Absolutely no monthly fees
• Watch on a TV anywhere via Apple TV®, Chromecast®, Fire TV®, or Roku®*
• Easy and quick setup with free live video setup assistance
• Unlimited free apps for all your devices
• Connect via WiFi or Ethernet
• Component and composite in/out
There is another option to watching Canadian and US television in Manzanillo. If you have a friend with a Shaw satellite and they haven’t used their 5-receiver limit, you can buy a Shaw receiver and pay for a portion of the subscription prices. You will also have to have a satellite dish with a Shaw LNB (low-noise block downconverter) installed. This seems to be the most popular method at present.
Shaw’s system can be shut down at any time by the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commis-sion regulates all Canadian broadcasting and telecommunica-tions activities and enforces rules it creates to carry out the policies assigned to it). Shaw’s competitor Bell Systems was forced to shut down out of country transmissions a few years back. So be warned this may befall Shaw as well.
The start-up costs are similar for either system. With satellite, a receiver has to be purchased for $150 CAD or $300 CAD for a PVR receiver. (Your system includes a dish, a receiver and a re-mote. Each additional TV will require its own receiver to view programming.) You will also require the dish to be installed. Check with your condo association to see if there are any ob-jections. I have heard of installations costing over $400.00 CAD.
The Slingbox 500 sells for $329.00 CAD and the M2 is $200.00 CAD. A cable/satellite box has to be hooked up in Canada/USA with the requisite television subscription.
Slingbox 500 has all the Slingbox M2 features plusb Watch and control 100% of your live TV on a tablet*, phone*, PC, or Mac
• Home TV interface via HDMI with live sports stats and a gallery view for easy program discovery
• Access to thousands of movies with the Blockbuster On De-mand app
• Integrated YouTube app and YouTube Web Gallery with top-trending videos
• Get contextual YouTube video recommendations, based on the show you’re watching, at the touch of a button
An internet connection in Canada/USA as well an internet connection in Manzanillo are required in order to send receive the video/audio data. Only one device can view the content at any time. This is a technical limitation. If you want more than one stream, you will require 2 Slingboxes and 2 television receivers.
I have been happy with my Slingbox but, if you elect the Shaw Direct method, you will be able to watch Canadian/US television channels either way.
Señior Tech is a technology addict that loves to share tips. He lives in Manzanillo full time and helps keep the community up on the latest tech tricks and toys.