Archive for August, 2010

Back-to-school contest: Win a new laptop with Rocket built-in, a Rocket mobile hotspot or a BlackBerry prize pack

rogers-redboard--back-to-school-contestWith back to school season in full swing and the first day of classes around the corner, it’s never been easier or more affordable to stay connected, productive and entertained.

While you can check out our back to school products and services here or URmagazine’s latest gift guide here, some must-haves from our fall lineup include:

  • Social View smartphones that let you stay on top of every tweet, status update, text and email in one easy-to-use timeline.
  • Rocket mobile internet sticks, hotspots, hub, and laptops that provide online access for work or play anywhere on the Rogers wireless network – perfect for updating your profile in between classes or the impromptu coffee-shop study session
  • Rogers On Demand Online gives you instant access to a variety of primetime and web-exclusive TV, sports and movies so you can watch The Bachelor while your roommates are watching the hockey game.

It’s contest time
Now listen up, class. We here at RedBoard hope we can make going back to school a little bit easier by giving away five prizes that will make you the envy of your study group or staff lounge:

  • One new HP laptop with Rocket built-in – one of the coolest additions to our 2010 lineup that has an 11.6-inch high-definition LED display, an HDMI port to easily connect to an HDTV, up to 6.5 hours of battery life, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n plus Rocket mobile internet built right in so you can stay connected even when you’re not in an internet café.
  • Two Rocket mobile hotspots so you can create your own password-protected hotspot for five, when and where you need it – and small enough to fit in your pocket.
  • Two BlackBerry prize packs that include a backpack, USB key, tshirt and $100 Rogers gift card.

How the contest works

  • In 100 words or less, tell us how winning the prizes above would change the school year for the student or teacher in your life. Or, if you are a student or teacher, the impact they’d have.
  • You must submit your entries via the comments field below.
  • The contest is open as of right now and will run until Thursday, Sept 2 at noon ET.
  • The RedBoard team will narrow down the entries to our favourite five submissions and publish them on the blog Thursday afternoon along with details of the prize each won.

Consider this your first homework assignment of the year. Marks will be given for creativity…and spit out that gum.

Richard Bloom is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

Contest closes at 12:00 noon on September 2, 2010. Open to residents of Canada, excluding residents of Quebec. Tell us in 100 words or less, on the Rogers Redboard blog how winning the contest’s prizes would change the school year for the student or teacher in your life. Or, if you are a student or teacher, the impact they’d have. One (1) HP Laptop with Rocket Hub built-in(TM) valued at $549.99 to be won as the grand prize. Second and Third place winners will win one (1) of two (2) Rocket Mobile Hotspots™ each valued at $249.99 . Fourth and fifth place winners will win one (1) of two (2) BlackBerry® prize packs each valued at $175.  One entry/person. Odds of winning depend on the quality of the post and the number of eligible entries. Mathematical skill-testing question to be correctly answered to win. No Purchase Necessary. Full Rules at http://redboard.rogers.com/2010/redboard-back-to-school-contest

Update (September 2, 2:03 p.m.): The entry period for our Back-to-school contest has closed – and we’re thrilled by all the submissions. From poems to heart-felt stories, the quality was fantastic and certainly creative. Well done. You each get an A for effort — but we had to narrow it down to five.

Here are the winning submissions and each winner’s prize from our random draw (we will get in touch with each of you via email to arrange delivery):

Chris G (Prize: Rocket mobile hotspot):
Winning the laptop for my cousin would be awesome, between work playing for the basketball team and in class he’s constantly on the move. Simply finding wifi isn’t possible, especially during the long road trips during away games. Overall it gives him an added advantage to succeed in all that he does. I think he would take the mobile hotspot and let his teammates jump on to catch up on school, or connect with friends and family while on the road. The $100 gift card will come into play when he inevitably loses his phone (happens once a year).

Kim S (Prize: BlackBerry prize pack):
Winning any one of the prizes would make school much easier for my sister. She has 4 kids, and is doing her masters online. She spends all her money on her kids, so her computer and cell phone are older, slower models with limited features. It would be awesome to help her out if I could.

Derek (Prize: Rocket mobile hotspot):
Generation X teaching Generation Z – how do we keep up? If you can’t beat them, join them! When I was a student, I communicated with phone calls and notes being passed back and forth in class when the teacher wasn’t looking (and walked uphill both ways of course!) Generation Z is always connected. More and more is being done online – handouts, discussion forums and student-teacher evaluations. This mobile pack will help me work and teach anywhere from field trips to the library dead zones. So class, let’s get out of the classroom this year!

Jessica Straus (Prize: HP laptop computer):
I thought I would express how much these prizes will help me through a limerick.
There once was a girl from Brock
Who’s computer was more like a rock.
She tries to be cool
When she brings it to school.
But that dang things works worse than a clock.
If that doesn’t convince you… here is a hiaku.
To be the winner,
There could be nothing better,
A sweet new laptop!

Lynn G. (Prize: BlackBerry prize pack):
I am a Gr. 5/6 teacher who does everything in her power to add technology into her classroom (students gets very motivated with computers, cameras and the Internet). Finally, I get access to my own Smartboard this year! But the problem is there is no Wi-Fi at my school and using the short cord to reach the wall is such a pain. And the sign-out list for the “teacher laptop” is brutal. Therefore, having my own laptop would make my Smartboard a permanent fixture in our classroom. Which will help motivate my students to become more engaged lifelong learners!

BTS-winners

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Help flood victims in Pakistan now by texting HELP to 4357

With millions in need of shelter, clean water and emergency services, you can help those affected by the recent flooding in Pakistan right now by texting HELP on your mobile phone to short code 4357 (HELP).

A $10 charge will appear on your next bill but doing so will actually send $20 to the Canadian Red Cross’s flood relief program as the Canadian government said yesterday it will match all donations made to registered charities.

The text-to-donate program is available to all Rogers and Fido customers and 100 per cent of the donations raised will go to the charity.

For more information on ways you can help, please visit www.redcross.ca.

Richard Bloom is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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Rogers Super Sports Pak: Every NFL snap in HD plus hockey, basketball and more

super-sports-pakIt’s the most wonderful time of the year.

You see, not only is my favourite sports team – the Buffalo Bills – playing down the street here in Toronto tonight, but the pre-season game also means week one of the 2010 NFL season is just around the corner.

I love NFL football: bus trips, fantasy football pools and the buzzing of non-stop alerts pushed to my smartphone. Each Sunday through February is blocked off to watch the pre-game shows, the early and late games — and, yes, sometimes Sunday and Monday Night Football.

If you’re like me – or you have a sports-fan in your life that resembles the above – put down that Fantasy Draft Guide and listen up. Rogers has a way for you to not only stay on top of every NFL snap but also every second of your favourite hockey, basketball, baseball and NASCAR teams through our Super Sports Pak.

What’s great about the Super Sports Pak? Whether you’re a fan of a certain team or the Rams’ rookie quarterback, Rogers Cable customers can get the out-of-market games from across North America that you simply wouldn’t have access to unless you were living in, say, Dallas, Green Bay or Indianapolis.

The 2-minute drill
For $29.95 a month, the Super Sports Pak gets you:

  • NFL Sunday Ticket, this year broadcasting every NFL game in HD – that’s up to 13 games every Sunday. (At this time, HD for every game is available for Ontario customers only).
  • More than 3,000 hockey, baseball and basketball games from venues across the continent through NHL Centre Ice, MLB Extra Innings, NBA League Pass and OHL Action Pak.
  • NASCAR Hotpass. In-depth race coverage including access to exclusive views with in-car cameras, unedited communications between drivers and crew, as well as the speed and horsepower during races.
  • US College Football. Catch your favourite teams such as Alabama, Texas, Florida, Boise State, Ohio State, TCU, Iowa, Penn State and so much more.
  • Premium Canadian Soccer League and select Major League Soccer games.

Rogers 2010 Rookies
In addition to the Super Sports Pak, we’re also excited to tell you about some new additions to our NFL lineup this year, including:

  • NFL Sunday Ticket Online. If you subscribe to the Super Sports Pak or just NFL Sunday Ticket you can also watch every game live on your computer at NFL.com for a one-time fee of $30.
  • NFL RedZone. Poolies rejoice! This new channel gives you live coverage of every touchdown from every game, plus highlights and stats all on one channel, for a one-time cost of $49. This also gives you online access to RedZone via Rogers On Demand Online (online access available in October).
  • NFL Network online. Not near a TV? Not a problem. Watch the NFL network 24-hours a day on Rogers on Demand Online at no additional cost to Rogers Digital Cable subscribers (available in October).

Grab a beer and your remote: it’s game time
To order the Super Sports Pak, visit rogers.com/football select the Quick Start menu’s GET MORE TV option or call us at 1-888-ROGERS-1.

So, are you ready for some football? What’s your favourite way to watch sports?

Richard Bloom is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

Update (September 23, 1:20 p.m.): Good news football fans and fantasy poolies! Digital Cable customers can watch a free preview of NFL RedZone this Sunday, September 26th, on Ch. 440. If you’re in Ontario, it will also be available in HD on Ch. 498.

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On-screen ordering, colour coding & more: Rogers enhances Quick Start menu

Rogers Quick Start MenuIf you’re a Rogers Digital Cable customer in Ontario, you may have already started to notice some new features to the Quick Start menu. We’re rolling out five new enhancements to improve your viewing experience, so let’s get to the details.

GET MORE TV: Easily add programming packages by remote control
Let’s say you want to watch Entourage on HBO Canada but you don’t currently subscribe to the package containing this channel — no problem.

Now you can order more than 50 packages or channels (including The Movie Network, Super Channel, the HD Speciality Pak, adult channels, sports, multicultural programming and more) by clicking on GET MORE TV on the Quick Start menu and following the on-screen steps (see image below). The new channel or package will be automatically added to your account, so no need to call our Customer Care centre.

You can also use this new feature by clicking on the channel itself and following the on-screen steps to order.

Quick Start order setanta sports

White, Green & Grey Channels: Quickly see what you are authorized for
All channels within the Quick Start menu are now colour coded so you can quickly and easily see what you’re authorized for and how to get it if you’re not:

  • White channels: Subscribed to and able to watch.
  • Green channels: Not subscribed to, but you can subscribe through the Quick Start menu’s GET MORE TV.
  • Grey channels: Not subscribed to, but you can subscribe through Rogers.com or 1-888-Rogers1.

Other Quick Start menu Enhancements

  • My Favourites: All channels that you have set as a favourite will be available from My Favourites within the What’s On section of the Quick Start menu.
  • IPG Program Info: Pressing INFO on any channel link within the Quick Start menu will display the most current program information for that channel.
  • Channel Preview: Pressing the right arrow on any channel link within the Quick Start menu will tune to the channel within the right video window. To view as normal, press OK/SELECT.

How do I find the Quick Start menu?

Most customers will find it when they first hit the GUIDE button. If you re-sequenced your remote, simply hit GUIDE twice to find it.

You can learn more about these enhancements by visiting this site or by clicking What’s New on the menu’s home screen.

Have you tried out any of the new features? What would you like to see added in the future?

Richard Bloom is a regular contributor to Redboard.

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Rogers Serves Up the 2010 Rogers Cup

Rogers Cup LogoFederer. Nadal. Sharapova. Jankovic.

If these names get your heart beating, you’re in for a real treat as the men’s portion of the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank hits Toronto August 7-15 and the women’s tournament touches down in Montreal August 13-22.

This year, you can catch every serve, volley and smash with Rogers on the screen of your choice:

On TV

  • Rogers Cup will be broadcast live in HD on TSN and TSN2 (channels 506 & 507) and CBC (channel 514), while digital cable customers can also tune to channel 385 to get scores, schedules and updates 24/7.
  • Rogers On Demand (channel 100) will feature one match per day of the Rogers Cup men’s tournament broadcast. Semi-finals and finals of the women’s tournament will also be available.
  • Can’t wait? Rogers On Demand also has men’s and women’s finals from 2007 to 2009 to get your tennis on early.

Online

  • Rogers On Demand Online will have semi-finals and finals coverage of the women’s and men’s tournaments available on demand — to access anywhere in Canada that you have an Internet connection.
  • Also available: men’s and women’s finals classics from 2007 to 2009.

On Mobile

  • Rogers customers with BlackBerry, iPhone and Android devices listed here have exclusive access to live-streaming of semi-finals and finals coverage of the women’s and men’s tournaments through the Rogers on Demand Mobile app.
  • Available for $5/month, it can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store, Android Market and via the Rogers mobile portal. You can also subscribe by texting ‘MYAPPS’ to 555.
  • Check out the Rogers Cup App for live scores, news, schedules, photos and more, available for download free from the your smartphone’s app store.  Search “Rogers Cup” to find it.

For more info on the Rogers Cup three-screen experience, click here.

In Person

For some of us, nothing beats the real thing. Here’s what you need to know to make it courtside:

  • Rogers Wireless customers can get tickets for the tournaments via Rogers Wireless Box Office. As an added bonus, Rogers pays the ticket service charges. And, if you’re buying tickets for the Montreal tournament via the service, you get another 25 per cent off the original ticket price and a free souvenir.
  • Neck hurting from all that tennis? Chill out at the Rogers Clubhouse in Toronto or the Rogers Techno Court in Montreal

Are you a tennis fan? Who do you think is poised for ultimate glory at Rogers Cup?

Stacey Fowler is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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Rogers on Demand enhancements: 48 is the new 24

Rogers on Demand main menuWhen it comes to ordering a movie through Rogers on Demand, sometimes 24 hours just aren’t enough.

In fact, that happened to me and my wife a few weeks ago. We ordered a movie Saturday night, fell asleep in the middle and didn’t have time to watch it before it expired the next night.

We no longer have to worry about re-arranging our schedule to fit in a flick thanks to some enhancements to Rogers On Demand (Channel 100), including the extension of the viewing window on most movies to 48 hours.

But that’s not all. We’ve also rolled out improvements you may have already started to notice, such as:

  • A movie-poster carousel to browse as if you were at the video store
  • The ability to create playlists to program up to 15 videos in a row
  • The addition of a progress bar with time and marker to see where you’re at during a program
  • We activated the Info button to let you quickly get information on a movie or show while browsing or watching a program.
  • We improved the look and feel to include a faster, more-responsive interface

The changes, which are now live for Rogers Digital TV customers in Ontario, come at no additional charge. Playlists and the progress bar are also available if you live in Atlantic Canada.

What’s on Rogers On Demand?
Next time you go to Channel 100, check out what’s new as you search for the latest rom-com or action flick. New movies are available as soon as they hit the video store, so there’s no need to worry about standing in line or late fees.

Want to learn more?
Check out this page on Rogers.com to get all the details on Rogers on Demand. Or, click around channel 100 on your set-top box to see it in action.

Have you tried Rogers On Demand recently? What do you think of the new features and functionality?

Richard Bloom is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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Rogers launches improved unlimited family and student plans

Rogers Unlimited Family PlanWith back to school season around the corner, you may be thinking about buying a new cell phone for a member of your family. Or, perhaps you want to give a special going-away present to the student in your life as they head off to college or university.

We’re now making it easier than ever to stay connected and get great value through a variety of unlimited and shared features, such as unlimited messaging, unlimited talk evenings and weekends, unlimited social networking, and more.

We are family…

Rogers is offering new Unlimited Family Plans that offer more options to share voice and data – and may help quell fears that your teenager’s insatiable texting habit or your spouse’s long phone conversations will take a huge bite out of your plan.

While Rogers has had Family Plans for some time, what’s new is that you can add a line to a Family Plan for just $15 a month (voice only) or $25 a month (voice and data) plus Government Regulatory Recovery Fee and share all the unlimited features of your plan, such as unlimited national calling between family members and unlimited evenings and weekends (starting at 9 pm).

And, if you sign up for a voice-and-data plan on select devices, you also get unlimited social networking to a selection of popular social media sites.

If you already have a device, you can add the plan but don’t worry if you don’t have a device just yet. With any new line added, you’ll also be able to get a $0 device or smartphone from an expanded list of our coolest devices like the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini , Acer Liquid E or the BlackBerry Curve 8520.

For more information on Unlimited Family Plans including a full list of plans and unlimited options, click here.

New teachers, new friends, new shoes…new cell phone plan

Rogers Unlimited Student PlanAlso available is our Unlimited Student Plan that offers a long list of unlimited features that matter most to students including unlimited evenings and weekends, unlimited messaging and unlimited social networking to popular sites.

On top of great plans we’ve got a great back-to-school lineup of exclusive BlackBerry and Social View devices including the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 and X10 Mini, Acer Liquid E and the recently announced Motorola Flipout.

Another Rogers exclusive: all BlackBerry student plans on devices that support WiFi or UMA come with unlimited WiFi calling. Calls made from a WiFi access point do not count towards your monthly bucket of minutes – perfect for students on WiFi enabled campuses. UPDATE (October 14, 2010, 11:44 AM): BlackBerry 9300 and 9700 customers: you can now upgrade to a new OS that supports WiFi calling, which can be used on the BlackBerry student plan – more details here: http://bit.ly/cgwRSV. And remember you can always go to http://www.blackberry.com/update for the latest OS updates.

For more information on Unlimited Student Plans, check out http://www.rogers.com/unlimitedstudentplan.

Are you heading back to school this year? What do you think of the new plans? What unlimited features would you use most in your family?

Update (August 11, 2010, 1:10 PM): There have been a lot of questions about our new plans, and the now-updated pages on Rogers.com will better explain how some of these new plans work.

For new family share plans, visit www.rogers.com/family and then click on “Connect Your Family” in the top right corner. From there you’ll see a step by step process that lets you build the features that fit your needs.

For new student plans, visit www.rogers.com/unlimitedstudentplan and then click on “Get Started.” You’ll get to a tool that will take you through the components of our new student plans.

The most questions have come in about our new family share plans. Here’s an example that should illustrate how it works:

Two parents each have a BlackBerry on the $100/month (plus Government Regulatory Recovery Fee) Family Share plan with the unlimited messaging feature. They have two teenagers who don’t have phones but would mostly text and use BBM, plus make the occasional call home and to friends.

They add each teenager for $25/month (plus Government Regulatory Recovery Fee) each, getting two BlackBerry 8520 smartphones for $0 on a three-year term. Now all four family members get access to unlimited messaging, unlimited family calling, and unlimited evenings and weekends. On top of that, they can all share the additional 400 daytime minutes in the plan. On the data side, they share 1 GB, which enables the family to send and receive a lot of e-mails and visit the Internet.

So – for four people using four smartphones (two of them new), that comes to $150/month, plus Government Regulatory Recovery fees. This is the lowest possible entry point for a family with all these benefits.

There are also other options. Instead of the unlimited messaging option, they could choose My5, which lets each person choose their own My5 for unlimited talk, extreme text, picture and video messaging.  They can also choose unlimited calling to anybody on the Rogers/Fido/Rogers Home phone network or choose to double their weekday minutes making the shared minutes 800.

They could move up to the next plan to add more minutes, plus an additional $15/month (plus Government Regulatory Recovery Fee) allows the family to double the data for all four people to 2 GB.

If you have further questions, we’ll try to answer as many as we can below.

Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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Samsung Galaxy S Captivate coming soon to Rogers

Samsung Galaxy S CaptivateYou may have seen the buzz in the US about the Samsung Galaxy S. We’re excited to announce that we will be adding the highly-anticipated Galaxy S Captivate to our Android and Social View lineup in the coming weeks.

Rogers was the first to bring Android to Canada and we’re excited to add the Galaxy S Captivate to Canada’s most comprehensive list of Android devices.

More details will be available in the coming weeks.

To celebrate the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone in Canada, Samsung Mobile and Metric, Canada’s hottest indie band, will rock the downtown core tonight at 7:00 pm with a free street-level concert at Toronto’s Union Station.

What do you think of the Samsung Galaxy S Captivate? Will you be grabbing one from Rogers on launch day?

UPDATE (August 19, 2010, 12:07 PM): Reading all your comments, it’s clear that you want to know more information about the Samsung Galaxy S Captivate. We’ve just set up a page at www.rogers.com/captivate where you can sign up to get the latest information via e-mail.

In terms of the release date for the Samsung Galaxy S Captivate, we don’t have that information just yet. But as those details become available over the coming weeks, we’ll share it with all of you. Stay tuned!

UPDATE (September 8, 2010, 11:29 AM): We’ve launched a microsite for the Samsung Galaxy S Captivate. You can find it at www.rogers.com/captivate. Also, preorders for this device will be available in the coming days. We’re not ready to announce a release date just yet but in the meantime, you can sign up to get the latest information through the microsite.

UPDATE (September 21, 2010, 4:30 PM): We have news for those who have been asking about the release date for the Samsung Galaxy S Captivate. We anticipated launching earlier, but there has been a manufacturing delay.

As a result, we expect the device will be on sale by mid-October. Pre-orders have also been pushed back, and we hope to make them available later this week. We’ll update you with more news here when it’s available.

Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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Search, post, solve: Rogers opens new Community Forums

We have some exciting news today for customers and tech enthusiasts of all stripes as we open up Rogers Community Forums – a place to find solutions to technical issues, ask and reply to questions as well as discuss Rogers products and services.

The bilingual community – found at http://communityforums.rogers.com – is the latest addition to our social-media efforts aimed at helping you do business with us as well as manage your accounts when and where you want.

Discussion categories follow our current product lines and there are numerous forums under each category where you can talk about things like accessories, the Android OS, Rogers apps, PVRs and more. We also have a forum where you can provide us with feedback and discuss with other members what you’d like to see in the community.

Thanks to the rise of social media, you’re likely already used to getting advice from your peers. These forums allow you to do just that by casting a wide net for technical help from a broad group of users just like you. If members of the community don’t have the answer to your question, our technical-supports reps are on standby to assist.

And with each solution provided, you get access to an ever-growing, searchable, database of knowledge. Call it an FAQ on steroids.

Let’s get started
You will need a My Rogers profile to participate but you don’t need one to search, read and share content on the site. You can sign up for a My Rogers profile here or by clicking “Register” underneath the search bar on the forums. (You can get a My Rogers profile even if you’re not a Rogers customer).

While the best way to understand how the forums work is to actually jump in with both feet and participate, we made the video below to help you get started with the community. Hosted by my colleague Miranda MacDonald, the RedBoard video is a primer on how to register and participate.

So what do you think? Have you ever used this type of channel to troubleshoot an issue? Let us know your thoughts by leaving your thoughts below or in the Community.

Richard Bloom is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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