TV Options For Your Canadian University Dorm Room
It’s back-to-school time, and across the country students are packing up their stuff to settle into a dorm room for the next ten months. Having lived in a university dormitory for four years myself, I know that getting TV into your room is always top of mind on move-in day. Until recently it was a futile effort in most schools, but this year things are different.
Over The Air
Starting September 1, the airwaves surrounding our country’s colleges and universities will be overflowing with free high-definition digital TV. You’ll need an antenna to pull in these signals, and based on research I recommend the Terk HDTVa for your dorm-room window.
You can simply plug the antenna into a small HDTV and you’re good to go. However, since you likely already have a laptop in the dorm room you might want to use that instead. For a Windows laptop, I’d recommend going completely wireless with the HDHomerun3 tuner and a fast 802.11N wifi router. Once you’ve got the tuner set up, you can use Windows Media Center (included in Windows 7) to watch Live TV or Record TV using the PVR functionality. If you’re running a Mac, you can get the same tuner bundled with the EyeTV software which also lets you watch TV on your iPhone. For a little less money, the Hauppauge 950Q is a well-regarded and tiny USB tuner.
See the table at the bottom of the article for what you can expect to receive from your dorm room at some of the schools around the country.
Most of the major Canadian networks make their primetime shows available on the Internet. Quality isn’t nearly as good as you’ll get over the air but you can’t beat the convenience (assuming your dorm-room connection is fast enough for streaming video). While you can go to each of their individual websites, I recommend using an app called Boxee. With Boxee, you get all of the shows nicely organized like an Internet PVR without all the clicking. You can install Boxee on your laptop or if you can get a little Boxee Box to plug in to your TV.
Summing it all up…
When I was working in the dorms, the game was trying to steal cable from the lounge (which never worked BTW, at least not on my watch). With the availability of Over-The-Air high definition TV and Internet TV there’s no reason to run afoul of your RA’s wire cutters any more.
The table below summarizes the channels you can expect to get with an indoor antenna at the more prominent (according to Macleans) schools across the country. You can always check your exact address at tvfool.com to get a more detailed report.
|McGill||TVA, TQ, Metro, V, CBS, NBC, PBS|
|University of Toronto||TVO, OMNI2, SUN, CHCH, CW, CTS|
|University of BC||MeTV, KBCB, CHEK, PBS|
|University of Alberta||CTS,|
|Queen’s University||CBS, PBS, ABC|
|McMaster University||,||CHCH, CTS, TVO, OMNI2, SUN|
|University of Calgary||CTS|
|Western||SUN, OMNI2, CTS, TVO, CHCH|
|University of Saskatchewan|
|University of Ottawa||TQ, TVO, TVA, V, CHCH, SUN, CTS, OMNI2|
|University of Montreal||TVA, TQ, V, Metro, CBS, NBC, PBS|
|University of Manitoba||JoyTV|
|Simon Fraser University||MeTV,KBCB, PBS, JoyTV, CHEK|
|University of Victoria||MeTV, JoyTV, KBCB, PBS, CHEK|
|University of Waterloo||TVO|
|University of Guelph||TVO, CHCH|
|University of New Brunswick|
|Carleton||TQ, TVO, TVA, V, CHCH, SUN, CTS, OMNI2|
|University of Windsor||TVO, CBS, PBS, MyTV, ABC, Fox, NBC, WADL, CW, TCT, DTN|
|University of Regina|
|York University||TVO, OMNI2, SUN, CHCH, CW, CTS|
|Concordia University||TVA, TQ, V, Metro, CBS, NBC|
|UQAM||TVA, TQ, V, Metro, CBS, NBC|
|University of Northern BC|
|University of Lethbridge||CTS|
|Wilfrid Laurier University||TVO|
|St. Francis Xavier|
|University of PEI|
|University of Winnipeg||JoyTV|
|St Mary’s University|
|University of Ontario Institute of Technology||TVO, OMNI2, SUN|
|Brock University||TVO, CHCH, CTS, CW, SUN|
|St. Thomas University|
|Ryerson||TVO, OMNI2, SUN, CHCH, CW, CTS|
|Mount Saint Vincent|
|Universite de Moncton|
|Cape Breton University|
|Nipissing University||CBS, ABC, 3ABN|