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What this is… is a post written by a Canadian TV Addict, nay consumer, fed up with his television provider. So much so that I decided to look into legal alternatives to Canada’s cable giants Bell and Rogers.
Since 2013, VMedia has been providing Southern Ontario (and soon the rest of Canada) with television services via their IPTV solution. IPTV by the way, stands for internet protocol television and basically means that the traditional channels that one would normally subscribe to in any cable package are delivered via the internet* Oh, and did we mention that they arrive at a fraction of the cost versus what I am currently paying for now.
(*Note: Subscription to any VMedia television package requires a very affordable unlimited VMedia internet plan)
Now I know what you’re thinking: Sounds too good to be true right? My thought exactly! Which is why I decided to put in a call to VMedia’s Toronto head office and see if they’d do up a little demo for theTVaddict.com and my readers. A request, the young upstart VMedia was only too happy to make happen. But before I get into the positives following a two hour demo let me first go into a little more detail as to why I’m so fed up with my current cable provider.
Simply put, they are no longer living up to their end of the value proposition. Putting aside the TWO HUNDRED PLUS dollars per month I currently pay for cable and internet combined, the most offensive thing about my cable provider isn’t so much the cost, but rather the value. No, really. As my oodles of Apple products so clearly illustrate, I have no problem paying for quality. What I do have a problem paying for — particularly in an age where my Apple TV allows me to flawlessly cue up Netflix through a simple voice command — is an antiquated PVR/DVR solution complete with a sluggish and incredibly un-user-friendly interface. I also have a problem paying for premium programs that aren’t ever ever on demand when they need to be, a PVR/DVR that never seems to record programs I’ve asked it to, and a big and bulky black box that crashes virtually time I try to load a menu! (Don’t even get me started on their insanely bad iPhone apps…)
Okay, I’ll just say it, ROGERS should be embarrassed by their NextBox 3.0. It is virtually unusable and the major reason as to why I’ve begun investigating alternatives for my cable needs. Which brings me back to VMedia and the demo they doled out. Here are my five big takeaways:
VMedia has developed all of their own technology from the ground up. Their non-descript small Apple-TV-like device known as the Vbox (pictured above) was developed in-house using the Android platform as its building blocks. Which means, consumers not only get a very easy-to-navigate interface in which to navigate their channels, but also access to everything the Google Play store has to offer. Netflix, Shomi, CraveTV, Plex, Kodi, you name it, you’ve got it! Cooler still, since VMedia is constantly looking to expand the feature set of their VBox to provide their customers with the latest and greatest, it’s constantly being updated with new and exciting features. Features such as…
Forgot to schedule a recording of one of your favourite shows? Never fear, VMedia is here! Here that is with their (patent-pending) CloudTV which constantly records twenty-five of the most popular channels seven days at a time. In other words, thanks to VMedia, you’ve automatically got the previous seven days worth of programming at the touch of a button regardless of whether you recorded them or not.
If you’re anything like this TV Addict, you’re constantly making that “Sophie’s Choice” when it comes to freeing up space on your always overstuffed PVR/DVR. With VMedia, that struggle is no longer real (!) because, unlike Rogers’ neutered NextBox, your Vbox allows you to plug in any USB 2.0 thumb drive, flashddrive or harddrive to vastly expand the recording capabilities to the size of the device that you plugging into it.
I hate to harp on price, because it’s not everything, but Canadians are paying far too much for cable television these days. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge believer in paying for content — just ask my friends who no longer mention GAME OF THRONES lest they run the risk of a twenty minute lecture on why stealing is not okay! That being said, when not a week seems to go by without a story about how Netflix has turned us into a nation of “Cord Cutters,” I can’t help but feel that Rogers, Bell et al should be rewarding those of us who still believe in paying for cable versus stealing it rather then gouge us with bigger bills and insulting offers such as the recent roll-out of so-called skinny packages.
Bell, Rogers and, to a lesser extent, Telus and Shaw, have far too much power as a result of a feckless CRTC. As such, when I discovered that there was a more affordable and equally awesome option, I immediately thought I should look into it. And look into it I did!
That being said, there is one caveat to this entire love letter to VMedia. I haven’t actually signed up for the service myself because I’m a bit daunted by the headache that is switching to a new provider. Rest assured, every time my NextBox crashes on me, I’m inching closer and closer. But am I really ready to throw away fifteen years with the devil I know (Rogers) for the “devil” I don’t?! It’s a big decision and one that I am continuing to wrestle with. In the meantime, more information on VMedia can be found over at vmedia.com And if you happen to be one of VMedia’s 18000 strong subscribers and growing, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.