This is absolutely legal, 100%.
All 14 Ottawa TV stations now broadcast in digital format. Using a digital antenna you are free to receive these channels.
Is It Legal?
Why did TV Stations switch to broadcast digital signals?
The CRTC (the agency of the Government of Canada that regulates TV broadcasters) ordered TV stations in major urban markets to switch to digital broadcasting about 2 years ago. Their analog channels were reclaimed by the government who then sold that radio spectrum to the cell phone companies, making billions of dollars for the people of Canada.
The good news: The new digital format for over-the-air TV channels provides image and sound quality that is vastly improved over the earlier analog TV format. Now it is essentially DVD quality. An HD channel comes from the Antenna at 18.4 Megabits per second. (By comparison Cable-TV is usually compressed to about 1 to 3 Megabits per second)..
The bad news: With the digital format, you either get the signal and it's perfect, or you don't get it at all. The middle ground is pretty small, and it consists of pixels and frozen screens, especially for marginal channels when the signal strength drops. Snow on the roof will often do that.
The other bad news: Older TV sets that do not have a "digital compatible" tuner are unable to receive the new digital signals over-the-air. Note these older sets still work fine when used with our Internet TV boxes for watching video content over the internet. (They are also fine for the kids Video Game consoles).
The good news:
Most of the content people watch on Cable-TV is available for free, and it's completely legal.
This is because many TV stations digitally stream recent episodes of the TV series they broadcast over-the-air. The streaming is done from their website and it goes out over the internet free to anyone who wants it.
On the TROID TV box (coming in March 2015), our menu program operates in the background, creating an easy to use menu by scanning many of the top TV stations in Canada and elsewhere to make an indexed list of the legal content available.
You view this menu on your TV screen, and navigate using the remote control we provide.
In addition, many full movies and full TV series episodes are now available from Youtube, Vimeo, and other legal video hosting sites.
Also, there are dozens of TV hosting sites like HULU and Crackle. They stream TV episodes as well as live content.
The menu program we provide with the TROID TV box makes it easy access to all these sites from the comfort of your easy chair.
There are many legal streaming services that deliver on-demand movies and TV episodes.
We like Netflix the best, and it costs about $9 per month. They allow multiple simultaneous users on your account who can view separate videos all at the same time. They have thousands of movies plus all the episodes of many recent TV series.
Using Digital Antennas to get Over-the-Air Television Channels
Watching TV and Movies over the Internet
The Bad News:
However, some content is not legally available for free.
Most North-American Specialty Sports Channels are not legally availalble for free. Most other North-American Specialty Channels are also restricted.
Even many Canadian over-the-air channels that are streamed directly from Bell and Rogers owned TV stations are not available to people who are not ALSO subscribers to Bell Fibe TV, or Rogers Cable TV. Clearly their intent is to protect their core business, and prohibit people from simply watching TV over the internet.
The Worse News:
You cannot even pay a reasonable price for legal streaming TV content on the internet in Canada.
If you want to buy legal access to Streaming Canadian TV channels you can do this since 2014, but it is roughly the same cost as Cable-TV (oh shock!).
Click here to read more about why you don't want this solution.
Click here to read why our Government Regulator decided to arrange for Legal Internet TV in Canada to be priced artificially high...
Note that TheUnCableGuys.ca does not officially encourage or support the use of any particular Offshore Content provider. It is clear that each is engaged in copyright violation, and each is ignoring CRTC rules regulating Internet-TV in Canada. As a matter of practical corporate policy we officially do not condone this, (otherwise we would be getting hit with a gavel (or a lawsuit)!).
What if I don't mind viewing pirated content?
If you simply don't want to pay any monthly fees and you do not object to viewing unlicensed copyright content (also called pirated content) you have many alternatives.
Just about every DVD movie, and TV episode has been pirated, and is available for free on the internet. But getting at them requires patience and takes knowledge. Users are also exposed to possible computer viruses when downloading this content. The websites where the content is available are often unsavory, with pornographic advertisements around the edges.
If you want live streaming TV for free you are mostly out of luck. There are some channels available but they tend to be from outside North America, and what is available is usually low bandwith and grainy and halting. Not a pleasant viewing experience.
Another option is to purchase a Content Package from one of the Offshore Content Providers. There are many.
The advantage is that most include a bundle of movies along with a bundle of live streaming TV channels. Some include other useful features such as PVR services, high-def channels and more. Also since the subscription costs a modest amount of money monthly, they use that money to purchase bandwidth for their server, so you get a better quality picture with no waiting and no halting on the screen..
Unless your time is worth literally nothing and your eyes cannot detect more than blurry shapes, you will probably end up purchasing an Offshore Content Package from someone. Most people with Internet-TV boxes eventually do.
In most cases these packages are less than $30 per month for very complete sets of channels that include just about everything, such as every Canadian and US Network, a sampling of major North American Network affiliated local broadcasters, All Specialty Channels, All Sports Channels, All Movie Channels and usually over 1000 on-demand movies. Some include on-demand TV episodes, or PVR services.
Most people "Cut the Cord" and watch TV over the internet because they want movies and TV and are tired of paying cable-TV and satellite-TV bills.
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