A movie collection in the cloud

The one-two punch of having Netflix and Hulu is how many cord cutters get their TV & movie fix without having to subscribe to an expensive cable or satellite TV package. The one thing that neither Netflix nor Hulu have however is a way to watch the latest movies. Many of the cable and satellite companies offer a selection of pay-per-view (PPV) movies at prices roughly comparable to what the neighbourhood movie rental store charges, assuming your neighbourhood even has a movie store these days.

For those who prefer to buy rather than rent, or those who want to be able to view some of the titles they've already paid for on a variety of devices like tablets and smartphones, Hollywood sure doesn't make it easy on you.

Read on to find out how the ownership landscape for movies is finally moving into the 21st century.


Getting Hulu Plus in Canada

In a few of my earlier postings I mentioned that we've been using Hulu Plus to help fill the void after cancelling our Bell satellite service in the spring of 2012.

For those unfamiliar with Hulu, it's an American streaming service that began in 2008 with backing from ABC, Fox, and NBC. It was originally free and allowed US-based customers to view recent TV shows via their web browser - similar to what you get in Canada from watch.ctv.ca, www.globaltv.com/video/, and so on for the other networks. The service was supported by advertising and only worked with a web browser. In 2010 they added a paid version called Hulu Plus at $7.99/month that reduced or eliminated the advertising (depending on the show) and added viewing apps for popular streaming devices such as the PlayStation 3, XBox 360, Apple TV, Roku, WD TV, smart TVs, and some BluRay players. The free version still exists but it's web-browser only, and just the last few episodes of shows are available rather than entire seasons.

The catch for those living outside the US is that the service is restricted to US customers, so if you're Canadian and you missed last night's episode of The Office, you'd have to watch it on your web browser via Global TV's site. If you could somehow get Hulu Plus to work in Canada you could watch it on your TV via your favourite streaming device, or even on your smartphone!

Read on to find out how to make it happen.