Barrhaven cord cutters rejoice – a new made in Canada Netflix competitor is just around the corner

Rogers cable is partnering with Shaw cable to bring Canadians a new “made in Canada” streaming video service similar to Netflix. The service is called Showmi and will be available this fall to existing Rogers cable and Internet subscribers. I guess the message from Rogers is “if you can’t beat them, join them” – a strategy that I think will pay off handsomely for them. If they’re going to lose market share to online video providers, they might as well try to get a piece of the pie for themselves. Well played.

As a consumer, I don’t see this new service as a competitor to Netflix; I see it as a valuable addition to an existing suite of streaming video options. Let me explain.

I’m a cable cutter. That means I’ve cancelled my cable TV service and have redirected a portion of the savings to a higher end internet package in order to access additional monthly bandwidth. Total savings are of the order of $80 per month.

I now consume video content from three primary sources:

Source 1: Over the air HDTV

As I outlined in an earlier post on over the air HDTV in Barrhaven, I’ve had an HDTV antenna professionally installed on my house at a one time cost of $200. This installation provides me with 16 crystal clear HD television channels for free. Forever. Can’t beat that.

Forget all about the horrible picture quality that analog antennas delivered. The new digital transmission standards offer picture quality that in my opinion is better than cable (because the video is uncompressed).

Source 2: Apple TV Podcasts

Apple TV has (what is in my opinion) the best video podcast directory of any media streamer. What are video podcasts? They’re short, made for the internet videos on just about any subject you can imagine. Like to watch cooking shows? You can choose from dozens of culinary podcasts, most of which are available in full HD. Got a thing for gardening? There are podcast for that as well. The point is, the Apple TV podcast directory is a HUGE repository of quality content that is better than most of the stuff you’ll find on traditional TV.

Source 3: Netflix

Confession time. I love Netflix. Yes, there’s a lot of low quality content there, but there’s also lots of gems. House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Dexter, The Killing and Breaking Bad are just a few of the titles that are oh so addictive. But what I really like is finding the cinematic gems that tend to fly under the radar. I check the WhatsNewOnNetflix website almost daily to make sure I never miss a thing.

Using the three sources of content listed above, I’ve managed to save a considerable amount of money while seeing a significant bump in the quality of the content I consume. Win-win in my book.

So how does Rogers new video streaming service fit into this mix? My guess is it will probably end up being an addition to my current suite of video sources. Rogers cable is well aware that its new service won’t be a Netflix killer. It’s meant to complement Netflix, not compete with it. And on that score, I think their service will succeed.

I like Rogers focus on “quality over quantity” and the fact that shows from many Canadian specialty channels such as HGTV, FX Canada, Showcase and A&E Canada will be making an appearance. Who knows, maybe someday Rogers will expand the service to allow consumers to watch Pay-Per-View hockey games. There’s lot of potential here.

Will I pay $8.99 for Showmi? That will depend on if the content justifies the subscription price. But from what I’ve seen so far, I’m willing to give the service a fair hearing. What can I say, call me patriotic. I will post a complete review once the service launches in Barrhaven this November.

You can read more about ShowMi on