It is always disappointing as a Canadian when a new channel is released on the Roku that receives well earned praise from critics and users a like… only to find out the channel and all its content are ‘US only’.
This is exactly the experience I had with this years unveiling of the SlingTV service for the Roku.
Thankfully where there is a will there is a way! That way is also very easy and totally affordable!
Currently SlingTV offers three base packages for their services followed by a bunch of ‘add-on’ feature packages.
The three base packages are essentially ‘package 1‘, ‘package 2‘, or ‘both package 1 & 2 at a discount‘. Then you have options for add-on packages like sports, kids, Spanish, movies, HBO, etc.
You will probably find all this familiar as it’s very similar to the cable/satellite setup. The key differences are this is generally cheaper and there is no long convoluted contracts and rental devices involved. Simply subscribe and watch streaming live and on-demand content from the Roku as long as you like and in the price-range of your budget.
When you are done unsubscribe and forget about it.
Also SlingTV has a free 7-day trial period that allows you to try any and all of their services/channels before committing to anything. So even if you are only interested in the basic package at $20 USD + $15 USD HBO package you can give it a try and cancel at any time online easily.
Now this is all well and great if your are looking for a live sports/news/etc channel for the Roku but what if you are like me and find yourself living north of the border in Canada with no access to SlingTV and it’s many benefits?
Well thankfully I’ve written a guide for setting up an American Roku account to access the American-only Roku channels and you can find that guide, here. This requires a SmartDNS or VPN service from a provider such as Overplay to work around the geo-blocking that these services use to identify your location and the content you are able to access.
Overplay has guides to setting up their services on your network router/hub. With the services setup on the router the Roku will appear to be ‘geo-located‘ in America, giving you access to the same content American’s access.
This popular work around is an old standard for solving geo-restricted issues and is used by many people all over the world.
After you have Overplay’s SmartDNS or VPN service setup and an American Roku account setup you are ready to activate SlingTV within minutes.
The work around for getting the American service SlingTV on Roku in Canada is actually pretty simple and straight forward. The only thing that is tricky is that when you enter your credit card information SlingTV asks for the valid zip code attached to the credit card. If you are living in Canada then your credit card is attached to your Canadian address with the postal code… seems like an impossible situation.
But it’s not impossible thanks to a simple trick that takes your postal code and morphs it into a valid zip code. It involves taking the postal code and stripping it of the letters, leaving only the numbers. Then the numbers (you should have three) need to be followed by two more zeros.
ie. Postal Code A1B 2C3 would become ‘
A1 B2 C3′ => ‘123’00 => 12300 ZIP Code
Then simply check to see that this is a valid zip code, here. If it is not a valid zip code simply try a ‘1’ at the end and count your way up until you find a valid zip code.
ie. If 12300 isn’t a valid zip code try in this sequence until you find a valid zip code: ” 12301, 12302, 12303, etc “
So in summary the steps to get SlingTV on the Roku for a Canadian are:
- Subscribe to Overplay and setup their SmartDNS or VPN on your network router.
- Setup an American Roku account, guide here.
- Subscribe to SlingTV (need Overplay setup to access the website)(Change Postal Code to Zip Code)
- Install SlingTV’s Roku channel, here.
- Login to SlingTV on the Roku.
- Enjoy live sports, news, movies, etc.
Please feel free to let me know if this guide stops working or if there is any need for clarification!