Shaw and Vidéotron the latest Canadians to offer online TV

I know you just spent several thousand dollars on that big screen plasma – but you don’t really need it anymore.

In the latest tidal wave of television pouring into the internet, Vidéotron Ltée and Western Canada’s cable king Shaw Communications both announced this week that they will be offering television online. Vidéotron says it will offer more than 30 TV channels and myriad music channels through its new online service, Illico Web. The services are limited to their paying cable and satellite consumers.

The trend is not strictly Canadian – distributors like Comcast Corp. have long pushing the concept of “TV Everywhere,” AKA providing content on multiple platforms such as the web and mobile phones (restricted to paying subscribers). But Canadian companies have been jumping on the bandwagon bigtime. Canada’s Bell and Rogers Communications both launched online television services in the fall of last year.

Bigger and bigger computer screens (take a look at Apple’s 27″ iMac, which is bigger than the average television was in the late 90s) are cited as just one of many factors fuelling the drive – in addition to consumer convenience, customization, and choice. 

Do you watch any television online? Why or why not?