The Saturday Weekly Review

The Saturday Weekend Review #42: Don’t cancel that cable subscription just yet

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Would you pay per channel The Mass Debate Surrounding The TV


The run up to and the day of the Speech from the Throne was surrounded by the controversial subject of single channel subscription rather than getting multiple channels bundled together.

According to recent sources there is a growing trend towards free to air TV which is received through the more traditional aerial on the roof.

A large proportion of TV in the UK is broadcast by either traditional aerial reception called terrestrial TV or satellite via the main provider that is BSkyB. Cable does exist and is available to a large portion of homes but is not that popular.

There are 50+ free to watch channels in the UK with quite a number in HD through a digital set top box and if you get a Free Sat (Satellite) box there’s even more free television. TV channels already generate enough cash flow from advertisements so why pay again to watch them?

Both the free to watch boxes available in the UK cost money up front plus you pay a TV licence every 12 months but it’s still far cheaper for a far superior service than what the average Canadian receives.

One of the problems that Canadian TV seems to have is that a vast majority of the channels are bought in from the US, so in order to cover the cost of buying the channel you have to pay to watch. Unfortunately you end up paying to watch completely irrelevant advertisements.

Another growing trend is Netflix, where you can watch on demand programming and movies for $8 a month. Sure, you’ll still need to pay for a good internet service so how much are you saving unless you’re already subscribing to a fast service because you use the internet a lot. If Netflix isn’t your scene you can still watch TV programs streamed online from a multitude of sites.

Rogers Basic TV package costs $38.67 per month then you’ve got to add in the receiver boxes at $4.51 a month for the main tv in the living room then you have to pay for 3 extra outlets at $6.99 and then the government wants their share by charging you tax. You have to pay all this for roughly 50+ channels.

That’s pretty pricey for bare basic, run of the mill viewing pleasure considering the amount of money already generated by advertising on these channels. Some days I swear I’m just paying to watch adverts.

As for us, we tend to watch a very limited number of channels although we tend to negotiate with Rogers retention department every year for a deal I’m not sure how that would work in the future. For me it’s BBC Canada and a couple of the documentary channels like TVO, the News and the Weather. Mrs CBB likes one particular soap opera of which will rename nameless for now.

If Ottawa has its way and changes the rules of bundled TV channels I’m not sure I could justify spending $8 a month for one channel just as an example. I think there needs to be a bigger overhaul of the TV broadcast system.

There are worries that smaller niche channels may disappear, but if they broadcast relevant meaningful material they could be subsidized, possibly by the government.

It’s the constant reality TV that gets streamed in from other sources that irritates me. I don’t really want to pay to watch a bunch of people with less brains than a cheese sandwich fight it out on Jerry Springer. I can watch better fights by tuning into Canadian Hockey.

Going back to my first remark about the shift towards free to air TV. I’m currently looking into this too, although depending on where you live depends on what channels you can receive. It all has to do with broadcast antenna (transmission tower) range and signal strength.

I’ve also learned that you may need more than one aerial due to broadcasts in different directions. I would suggest contacting your local TV installation/repair business, as just throwing up an aerial and hoping for the best may prove to be a fruitless task.

I found this article from the Globe and Mail written 3 years ago on the exact same subject. This man obviously has a little more detailed information on what can and what can’t be achieved through swapping to free to air TV.

The one piece of information that caught my eye though was the signal compression on cable, which would explain why we have terrible quality sometimes considering we’re supposedly paying for High Definition.

What I can tell you is that if you’re seriously thinking of jumping on the free TV bandwagon, do your research first. Don’t cancel that cable subscription just yet. My best advice is be informed and choose what ever fits your budget and lifestyle the best.


Canadian Budget Binder this week


If you missed any Canadian Budget Binder posts this week you can catch up by clicking any of the links below. Something is always brewing at CBB so subscribe to the blog today and get my daily post sent to your inbox!

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Making a difference


my personal finance journey

My name is Jacob, a 28 year old chemical engineering PhD student from Virginia that is currently studying Alzheimer’s disease drug development. On the side, I am also the owner, author, and creator of the personal finance blog,

I started this site back in January of 2010, and since then, have poured my heart and soul in to the site to produce a product I am proud of and I think adds value to the world.

On, my purpose is to offer actionable personal finance advice with the goal of achieving long-term success. I also do not hesitate to apply numerical financial analysis to cut through some of the hype and half-truths that surround personal finance and investing.

Specifically, I really enjoy making a difference in the lives of readers by helping them in the following areas: long term investing and asset allocation strategy analysis, deciding how to prioritize new funds as they come in to various spending requirement areas, and how to develop a lifestyle of frugality and live according to your life dreams and life values.

Since finances are involved in pretty much every aspect of society, imparting knowledge to others in the realm of personal finance can really improve people’s all-around qualify of life.

Along with providing content on personal finances, my blog also gives away 10% of the net income it generates each month, with 5% going to readers and 5% going to a charity selected by the reader giveaway winner.

To date, I have given away over $3,100.


Blog post sharing


I really appreciate when other blog owners recognize my hard work at Canadian Budget Binder and share my posts with their fans or even mention my blog on their blog or website.

Here are the blogs that did just that this past week, so please head over and check them out. If I’m missing you it’s because I didn’t get a ping back so please send me an email and I’ll add you next Saturday.


What is a blog carnival?


Some fans have asked me just what is a blog carnival so a little explanation is due here for anyone reading for the first time or for my long-time fans. A blog carnival is where a blog or website hosts what we call a carnival of blog posts from around the web.

Most blog carnivals have a theme and certain rules for submitting which must be followed. If you are a blogger and would like to learn what blog carnival directories I submit to each week you can find the information in a previous Saturday Weekend Review post that I wrote.

A big thanks to these pages for accepting my blog posts and sharing them in the following carnivals


Carnival glory





Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog.

Here are a few of my favorite searches that may have even brought you here and you’re reading this, right now.

  • Did we kill the mortgage loan by putting money on the loan?– It all depends on what you mean by kill…
  • Cake using vinegar- Now that’s interesting
  • What women want in a husband?– That sounds like a blog post I can handle
  • OSAP didn’t give me enough– Time to go to work
  • Is barn break a low gi food?– No idea what barn break is
  • Rent a goat Canada- Ya… I knew Canadians would rent goats

That’s all for this week’s edition of The Saturday Weekend Review #42. Join me next week same time, same place to see what trouble I can get myself into. Have a great week everyone.



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  1. Are you talking about OTA or FTA? You are talking about aerials in the article which makes it sound like you are putting up stationary antennas, or are you talking about motorized satellite dishes. There’s several websites that show you the satellite’s that cover your area of the world and what languages they transmit in and the hours they are best seen at.

    1. Hi,
      I’m talking about over the air free to watch through a stationary aerial/antenna. I hadn’t considered motorized satellite dishes as they are a little more expensive to buy and install. I am starting to research this so I don’t know all the ins and outs of it so it’s nice to get feedback from the fans. Cheers mate.

  2. We heard about the breaking up of bundles with cable… Not sure where that will go but we will be watching closely. Hubby mentioned the other day he caught part of something on TV about a new kind of antenna, he said it looked like a BBQ rossitiere unit on end. This would be something we could look into over the next while. We had the old school aerial back years ago when we lived in the country and it did have a motor that turned the unit to catch the signal. Or at least it did until the tower was hit by lightning and fried!!!! So you may not need more than one aerial if there is a motor. I don’t really care much what they do about cable as I simply don’t watch TV unless I’m somewhere like the sister-in-law’s place and they are watching it. It’s the only reason I was watching curling during the tournament of Hearts earlier this year. Or I’m looking after the grandson and he is watching Treehouse…

  3. I would pay per channel if it were reasonable (1.00 each) as we only watch a few channels. I have already cut our satellite to basic service and cancelled all the movie channels. Then we signed up for Netflix. We save about 50.00 a month doing this. 9 times out of 10 I miss the shows I want to watch and end up watching them online anyway and we can watch broadcasts of the local news shortly after they are on TV. The weather is sent to my computer/phone daily. I would definitely not pay $8.00 a channel. I would cancel my satellite subscription and hook up my laptop to the TV before I paid that much!

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