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CTV (CA)

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ctv.ca

I have always been a little bit envious of the television options available to Canadians. Between that and the healthcare, I have considered emigrating to Canada, myself! Not only do Canadians have access to all of the usual suspects when it comes to streaming movies, but they also get to take advantage of some truly exceptional streaming sites that are only available in Canada.

One of those streaming sites, of course, is none other than CTV.ca. Not only has CTV become one of the best TV streaming services of the 21st century, but it has also been one of Canada’s most popular and widely used cable networks since the 1960s. Few cable companies have managed to cross over into the age of information with nearly as much grace as CTV. This network has proven that they are able and willing to keep up with the times, catering to a new generation of viewers who would rather cut cords than tune in.

As a user of CTV, you get the best of both worlds … the traditional and the modern. You can cut the cord, or not. The choice is up to you! As a CTV customer, you can tune into traditional cable on your television, or you can tune in live on their streaming site, providing the ultimate and comprehensive cable experience.

If you prefer, though, you can always use CTV as you would Netflix as well. Simply stream any movie or TV series from their vast library whenever and wherever you feel like it. If you are in the market for a cable company that isn’t afraid to keep up with the times, CTV is the one for you. Or perhaps you are already a CTV customer … why not begin taking full advantage of everything that CTV has to offer by making use of their TV and movie streaming service. So long as you have your OTT cable login information, you can start exploring everything that CTV has to offer today!

History

Although the network has never officially announced it, it is generally assumed that CTV is an acronym of Canadian Television. Seems like a safe enough assumption to me, wouldn’t you say? I can’t think of anything else that would make more sense. Either way, over the last nearly 60 years, CTV has made itself synonymous with Canadian Television (at least if we are talking about privately-owned cable!).

Believe it or not, private cable networks didn’t exist in Canada prior to 1958 when Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and his government passed the Broadcasting Act. Doing this established a Board of Broadcast Governors that would act as the governing body for Canadian broadcasting. This effectively dissolved the CBC’s dual role as broadcaster and regulator. This new body’s first task was to review applications for the nation’s 2nd TV stations. This came as a result of widespread outcry for an alternative to CBC. There were 9 stations that made the final cut.

It wasn’t until 1961, though, that CTV would officially air for the first time (October 1st, to be exact). The reason, it turns out, why CTV never had an expanded meaning behind its acronym is due to the fact that the CBC claimed that it had exclusivity over the term “Canadian” in a network name. As a result, CTV kept their acronym but never made a statement about what the letters stood for (we all know the truth, though … sorry to say, CBC).

In CTV’s first 2 years, 9 programs were in rotation, 5 of which were Canadian productions. Under the leadership of the company’s first management (Caldwell), the network was driven to near-complete financial ruin. This led to Caldwell’s departure in 1965. The company was on the brink of bankruptcy when CTV’s affiliates all teamed up and decided that they wanted to buy CTV, running it as a cooperative.

By the middle of the 1970s, this move seemed to have turned things around for CTV. Its footprint had expanded significantly across Canada and it really made a splash when it was able to convince CBC news anchor Lloyd Robertson to switch networks in 1976. Robertson went on to serve as CTV’s main news anchor until 2011. The network also developed one of the most popular Canadian morning news shows, known as Canada AM (now Your Morning as of 2016).

From there on, it was all relatively smooth sailing for CTV. The network continued to expand, year after year, decade after decade. It has reached exclusive and unprecedented deals with some of the biggest cable networks in the world. In 2005, for example, CTV announced an agreement that had been made with MTV, which resulted in the launch of MTV Canada on CTV. And in March of 2009, CTV became the first cable network to offer their programming online, streaming in high definition.

Today, CTV remains one of the most popular and widely viewed cable networks in Canada. Plus, they have risen up to position themselves at the forefront of cable TV and movie streaming as well, providing one of the best TV streaming experiences of any Canadian network. CTV has certainly come a long way from its bankruptcy scare in the 1960s.

Design

CTV offers a very intuitive and user-friendly site design. I think that my favorite feature of CTV’s site build is how neat and organized everything is. This makes for a very smooth and easy TV and movie streaming experience. Everything is right where it should be, in its logical and orderly place.

For instance, there is a site menu bar at the top of the page that makes navigating the site simple and pleasant. Quickly browse the contents of the site by Shows, Movies, Channels, On Air, or My Library. These quick portals to every major section of the site offer the kind of convenience that you hope for from a movie and TV streaming site such as this one.

Below the site menu, you will find a large banner of featured titles. The options carousal on their own, but you can also click through from one to another at your own pace. If you are ever at a loss for what to watch, this section of the site is here to lend a hand. Or, just below this, you can peruse a selection of TV channels in case you want to browse content in a more general sense.

Keep scrolling down and the site design begins to resemble that of, say, Netflix or Hulu. You’ll find several different categories and genres, each of which allows you to browse titles by side-scrolling through your options. The site design, overall, is familiar and intuitive, I would say. My only complaint is that I am met with loading errors more often than I would like. But, who knows, that could just be my VPN acting up.

Content and Features

What I love about CTV is how easy it makes it to stream my favorite shows and movies on-demand or stream live TV from my favorite CTV channels. I love the fact that I don’t have to miss out on any live events. Plus, sometimes it can be fun (in a retro sort of way) to schedule in a time to watch a TV show live (instead of waiting and watching it once the episode becomes available). With CTV, however, I can watch in whatever way I prefer.

As far as TV channels go, CTV offers a great variety. Tune into MTV, Much, or any of CTV’s original channels: Throwback, Movies, Comedy, Sci-Fi, Drama, Life, or Snackable. Additionally, CTV offers plenty of great movies to stream whenever you want. The selection of movies, TV shows, and events that you can stream on CTV will certainly not disappoint.

Mobile and Desktop Experience

Unfortunately, there is not a CTV streaming mobile app. There is a CTV News app, of course, but that is something else entirely (a great news app, nonetheless). That being said the site itself is very mobile friendly. In fact, it feels very much like an app – every bit as smooth and intuitive as you would expect. Although naturally, a dedicated app would be preferred, the mobile site is good enough that I won’t lose sleep.

Pricing and Plans

CTV requires a cable subscription to use. You cannot just subscribe to CTV (as of yet).

Likes & Hates:
Lots of great channels, shows, and movies
Solid site design
Mobile friendly site
No app
Only available in Canada
Need cable provider to use