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Author Topic: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?  (Read 4577 times)

Elly Dalmaijer

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"Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« on: June 05, 2014, 11:12:51 PM »
I am looking for a small gadget to stream Netflix. Here in Canada both the Roku and the Chrome stick are marketed as "Canadian Version".  Since we summer in Canada and winter in the USA we need something that works in both countries.
 
What do you know about the limiting of these things? Does Apple TV work in both countries?

Thanks for any info that will help us make an informed decision.

Elly
Either at home in St Albert AB or working in Africa or in our 1993 Itasca Sunrise.

Molaker

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2014, 11:32:47 PM »
Chrome stick?  If you are talking about the ChromeCast, they only cost $35, at least for the U.S. version.  It worked great for me, at least until I lost my good Internet service.  You could buy one for both countries.
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Elly Dalmaijer

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2014, 11:51:55 PM »
Has anyone used one streaming gadget in both countries? Is there an American who traveled in Canada and used his US gadget here? Or a Canadian who used his in the USA?

I am really eager to hear from someone who has the experience.

Does Apple TV work in both countries?

Elly
Either at home in St Albert AB or working in Africa or in our 1993 Itasca Sunrise.

SeilerBird

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2014, 05:21:29 AM »
I have been using Amazon's Fire TV for the last month and it is incredible. However I don't think it works in Canada.
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docj

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2014, 07:40:56 AM »
Has anyone used one streaming gadget in both countries? Is there an American who traveled in Canada and used his US gadget here? Or a Canadian who used his in the USA?

I am really eager to hear from someone who has the experience.

Does Apple TV work in both countries?

Elly

I used my Roku for a month last summer in Alberta.  We had an internet connection through the Rogers network.

The Roku doesn't know what country it is in; the content providers you are connected to can detect what country you are located in and that will determine what you can watch.  For example, our US Netflix subscription would refuse to let us watch some movies that we had no trouble viewing in the US because their content wasn't licensed for viewing in Canada.

If we had had a US-based internet connection while in Canada (and had been willing to pay the roaming charges) we might have been able  to continue to watch US video content since it is the internet connection that the content provider uses to make the "where are you" determination. 

It's worth noting that our US Netflix account didn't instantly notice that we were in Canada.  Sometimes we could begin viewing material only to come back later to discover that it was no longer available to us.  It's as if the use of a US Netflix account in Canada was something it had trouble dealing with.

We'll be back in Canada in another month and we'll try again, this time with HuluPlus and Amazon as well as Netflix.  I assume the results will be similar, but I'm hoping that maybe I'll find content not yet available in the US.  For example, HuluPlus just took away the second season of the Swedish version of The Bridge because their license isn't valid until the fall; who knows, maybe it will be available across the border?
« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 07:44:13 AM by docj »
Sandie & Joel

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Alfa38User

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2014, 12:57:11 PM »
Has anyone used one streaming gadget in both countries? Is there an American who traveled in Canada and used his US gadget here? Or a Canadian who used his in the USA?

I am really eager to hear from someone who has the experience.

Does Apple TV work in both countries?

Elly

Yes!!

A Canadian, like you, who simply uses our Wii  that was originally bought for 'game and exercise' purposes is used for Netflix. Don't see why Apple TV wouldn't work in both places, but I don't have one. There is (was ?) a subtle difference between a Canadian subscription and US one on Netflix, but I have yet to detect a big difference and nothing that prevented my Wii from doing an excellent job. The same subscription works on both sides of the border. We have not run into the 'can't be shown in Canada' thing likely because they would not be shown as available on the Canadian subscription menu if it were the case.

On my Canadian computer I can see and use the US version by using an unblocker (Hola) which makes the connection look like it is in the USA. Unfortunately the unblocker is not effective using the Wii-router connection alone. As I am unaware of any particular film with those restrictions I have not tested this to see if it really works to avoid the licensing issue. It does work for other countries if one is to believe the hype.

There are a number of streaming gadgets sold in both countries that should work as well. The ones I have seen in Walmart and similar stores sell in the neighbourhood of $60-70 and the packages specify which services they can use, usually quite a few different ones but you might hit the same problem with them that you described.

(Note: the Wii has a wifi connection to my router(s) and thus internet service and a Netflix "app" which has to be downloaded (free from Nintendo) via the internet and installed )
« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 01:19:45 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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John From Detroit

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2014, 04:21:04 PM »
One word of caution on any internet video device... I toss video around the house all the time, it travels on the INTRAnet though not the INTERnet (LAN not WAN) never going outside the motor home,, Usually it travels by wire.

About 1 Gig of bandwidth for each hour of video (That is approximate) so if you have a limited bandwith Cellular service you either quickly burn up our allocation and get throttled to watching grass grow speeds (My provider) or CHA-CHING hit with overage charges (Verizon is famous for that).  or if using a "Pre-Pay" ... never get to see the end of the show.

If you are on park Wi-Fi, please get off.
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Elly Dalmaijer

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2014, 10:25:07 AM »
Thanks all for you helpful comments. In particular Stu, a fellow Canadian, who knows from experience the ups and downs of being a Canadian traveling in the US.
One final question: does a Roku/Chromecast/Apple Tv plug into a USB port in the TV?

Elly
Either at home in St Albert AB or working in Africa or in our 1993 Itasca Sunrise.

Ned

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2014, 10:53:29 AM »
The Chromecast can use a USB port for power, but connects to an HDMI port for the audio/video.
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Molaker

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2014, 11:51:41 AM »
The Chromecast can use a USB port for power, but connects to an HDMI port for the audio/video.
If a USB port is not available, the Chromecast comes with a power adapter to plug in 120vac outlet.
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Ned

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2014, 12:01:50 PM »
If a USB port is not available, the Chromecast comes with a power adapter to plug in 120vac outlet.

That too.
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Elly Dalmaijer

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2014, 07:25:50 PM »
Got it. USB or 110V for power. HDMI for audio/video. Phew!

Thanks all!

Elly
Either at home in St Albert AB or working in Africa or in our 1993 Itasca Sunrise.

Daddo

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2014, 09:41:12 AM »
In most cases the service provider, such as NetFlix, Apple, or a TV station's website uses your IP address to determine your location. Most will them restrict what content can be viewed by to only that licensed for viewing from your location. As an example, even if you have a US NetFlix account, content from their US web service cannot be displayed on a system known to currently reside in the US and vice versa, their Canadian NetFlix site won't display content for a system located in the US. It certainly is a pain in the backside.

Some system (few) such as Apple TV do allow all of their content to be viewed in either the US or Canada, but only the content from their service provided by Apple. You can also access NetFlix and other services through your AppleTV but those are typically restricted by your current location.

For those with the right system and a degree of technical knowledge, you can also spoof your IP address using an application such as Hotspot Shield or one of many others that enable a proxy server, making your computer appear as being located elsewhere. Unfortunately most purpose built devices such as those mentioned above are designed to prevent this, or at least make it more difficult.
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docj

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2014, 01:37:11 PM »
As an example, even if you have a US NetFlix account, content from their US web service cannot be displayed on a system known to currently reside in the US and vice versa, their Canadian NetFlix site won't display content for a system located in the US. It certainly is a pain in the backside.

I don' t think you wrote what you meant to say.  A device such as a Roku is the same regardless of whether it is purchased in the US or Canada.  When in use it will have an IP address associated with whatever internet service it is using.  This IP address can be identified as either US or Canadian and services such as Netflix will provide you access to whatever content is available in the country in which it is being used.  For example, we are currently in Canada and our Roku can access anything available on Netflix.ca even though our Netflix account is a US one.  By  contrast, we cannot access Hulu since it does not have license for its content outside the US.
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Alfa38User

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2014, 05:48:57 PM »
Quote
This IP address can be identified as either US or Canadian and services such as Netflix will provide you access to whatever content is available in the country in which it is being used.

Exactly!!! But this IP address can be 'spoofed' by using an unblocker or a proxy connection such as Hola as mentioned above when my computer is used to view the movies.. These are very popular in Europe, China etc. where access to such things is blocked by government decree or for other reasons. I have not tried to use a proxy in a router so the WII (or Rocu etc) is forced to use it and perhaps get different results. My current 'router' is built-in to a DSL modem and does not seem to have the ability to configure a proxy but my previous stand-alone router was configurable, although I never tried it as we did not use Netflix at the time.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 05:54:51 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
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"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

Elly Dalmaijer

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2014, 08:37:51 PM »
We have a place in Arizona with our own (US) router and our house in Canada has its own router. It seems that I can safely assume that in Canada I can watch  the contents of netflix.ca and in Arizona of netflix.com.  Fine with me. Variety is the spice of life.
I heard that netflux.ca offers the British version of The Office which is not available on netflix.com. Should be good!

No doubt there are pros and cons of each country's netflix. When I travel I expect to see things that are different out of my windows and also on my TV. No big deal.

Elly
Either at home in St Albert AB or working in Africa or in our 1993 Itasca Sunrise.

Alfa38User

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2014, 09:35:18 AM »
Our situation is similar to yours but substitute Florida for Arizona. We use a Comcast cable DSL connection down south and my old router for WiFi access to the systems. (Gotta have the DW's IPad heh heh...)

For Netflix, I think there are two elements at play here:
a: the subscription, Canadian or USA
b: the IP address.

I am not sure how these interact but the one thing I am pretty sure of is that I always get the Canadian version of the menu (Canadian subscription) no matter which side of the border I am on. Those films that Elly (who has a USA subscription) has run into and that cannot be played in Canada for licensing or other reasons will simply not appear as available on the Canadian subscription menus. I do know that the films themselves when downloading come from the .com address, and not .ca   In other words there is likely only one data base containing the actual films (and it may even be shared by other providers), but the rest is controlled by their software.

I do know that at one time I did have a menu problem in that the "My List" on Netflix was on my Canadian menu with my additions listed at one point and after a trip to the USA I was unable to add or delete my choices. I was told by Netflix it was because the Canadian subscription did not have such a list but they were incorrect as it had been there since day one and functioned well prior to the trip. It has now come back but the why is still unknown, change in policy? Update to the software app?  It is working fine now but it took a while to be  re-established.

It would be interesting to see what would happen with an unblocker and a subscription on Hulu (but I am not about to try it myself heh, heh! but the Hola unblocker is free for use on a Windows based computer. Another Canadian with a with a Hulu subscription might be able to try it ).

Elly, if you do remember the exact title or titles of the films that you could not receive in Canada I would be curious to try and find them by using the unblocker and see if it makes a difference. I have been told it does, but not convinced yet!!

« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 10:04:17 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
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"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

docj

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2014, 06:51:26 PM »

It would be interesting to see what would happen with an unblocker and a subscription on Hulu (but I am not about to try it myself heh, heh! but the Hola unblocker is free for use on a Windows based computer. Another Canadian with a with a Hulu subscription might be able to try it ).


I'm currently in Nova Scotia  and I just loaded Hola and pulled up my Huluplus subscription on my laptop.  It worked fine whereas it had refused to load before I turned on Hola.  So I could watch TV if I wished by connecting my laptop to my TV with an HDMI cable.  However, I don't know a way to make my Roku use Hola or anything equivalent.  Hulu only seems to care about the IP the device has that is accessing it.
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Alfa38User

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Re: "Canadian" Roku or Chrome stick?
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2014, 08:46:09 AM »
Good!! This is exactly what I expected to happen according to my son's explanation in convincing me to get Hola!!

One of the Samsung HD TV's here has a PC input connection input that can be selected and the laptop has a screen output that is used to connect it to the TV. Neither the second Samsung here nor the Vizio HD TV in the trailer (in USA) have a PC input available. I have connected to Netflix using the Laptop and Hola on the one TV and it worked fine.  Laptop is a Toshiba. Unfortunately, until now, I was unable to prove whether or not Hola was effective.

Your test pretty much says it does what I expected but still to be  proven is the effect of my Canadian subscription on the selections available on the menus, heh heh. Both look about the same right now but without knowing a specific film, too difficult to prove.

I don't know how you would connect the Roku to force it to use Hola either unless the router in question could run the equivalent of the Hola proxy. I have the same problem using the WII but could get around it in a pinch by using the portable computer connected to the TV in the one case.

Thanks docj for your test report!!! Enjoy your stay in the Canadian Maritimes!!!!
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 09:10:49 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

 

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