I imagine, many of you, like me, don’t have the time to watch all the TV shows that you want when they’re on the air (assuming you get those channels in the first place). Nor do you necessarily remember to set your PVR (if you have one) to record everything you’re going to miss.
I mean, not everyone, stays at home alone in front of the idiot box every night waiting for someone (anyone) to call them up to do something exciting.
You might be going out to bars and coffee shops and sitting alone while you wait for that call on your smartphone. You may have even brought a laptop with you to surf the Internet on the establishment’s Wi-Fi. So what better way to waste your waiting time by catching up on the TV you missed by not being at home…
As anyone who has tried to watch shows legally online in Canada knows, you can’t watch American shows on their originating networks, because the shows are geoblocked. Of course, you could use a proxy server, go the route of illegal streaming sites or download the episodes through a BitTorrent client. But then you’d be a sinner and get sent to Hell where your eye sockets would burn for all eternity… Unless you’re an Atheist like me. Then, you’d likely be sent to some kind of limbo where the only television repeatedly screens nightmarish shows from Canada’s past, such as Check It Out and Dear Aunt Agnes.
So you’re forced to watch the shows on the sites of the Canadian networks who have the broadcast rights here. And, at times, it’s hard to remember what’s on where.
But a new site hopes to simplify things. Vubalu.com is an online catalogue of television shows available for viewing in Canada – whether they’re from here, the U.S. or even Europe. (That being said, the site seems to focus exclusively on English-language content so there much, if not all, of Quebec programming is left out. Vubalu also states on its FAQ page that it currently does not have access to live NBA and NFL streaming.)
Essentially, it works like many TV listings sites, such as Watch Series or TVDuck. It presents a list of shows, which are organized both alphabetically and by category, but instead of linking to sites, such as NovaMov or Filebox.com that illegally host the content, it links you to the show on the Canadian network site.
A rather simple idea, really. But a useful one. Now you don’t need to remember that Fringe, Community and Revenge are available on Citytv’s site, while Awake, House and NCIS are on Global’s.
Vubalu isn’t perfect. The site doesn’t break down a series episode by episode, it just links to the episode search page on the network site. And Vubalu is also limited to whatever episodes the Canadian network still has the rights to. Even some of their homegrown shows aren’t accessible anymore. (For example, you can no longer watch Corner Gas on CTV.ca.)
And, of course, since the videos are on legal sites, you’re subjected to ads between the act breaks, sometimes the same one multiple times in a stream, depending on how good the online sales team is at a given network.
But the image quality on Canadian network sites are better than most of the illegal options, and the videos tend to buffer much faster.
And you won’t have to worry about the Internet cops busting down your door and dragging you away in your underwear when the latest copyright bill (C-11) finally becomes a law.