Posts Tagged ‘rogers on demand’

Weekend reading: The boys of summer, a return to Winterfell and mobile matters

Weekend readingAfter my recent gadget obsession, I was glued to the tube this week. In addition to some notable finales, it was batter up for the Toronto Blue Jays and the final countdown to the Game of Thrones season four premiere. Plus, we learned Canadians are crazy for mobile. Check it out!

Let’s go Blue Jays!

As playoff hopes rise, and fall, across sports stadiums, the Toronto Blue Jays are just getting into the swing of it all with the home opener tonight. Of course, even when the team is at home, I can’t make it out for every ball game. Luckily, all 162 of this year’s games are available with Rogers Anyplace TV. Rogers digital television customers can live stream the games on their computer and tablet with Rogers Anyplace TV and their Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE or Sportsnet 360 subscriptions, while Rogers wireless customers can tune in on their smartphone via the Rogers Anyplace TV mobile app.

Earlier this week, Sarah shared her story of catching a game while commuting. When have you watched a game on the go?

Game on

Going from the diamond to a different kind of game entirely: Game of Thrones returns this weekend! The Rogers Your World This Week team sat down with Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark) and Kristian Nairn (Hodor) to find out what season four has in store – watch the full video. In case you’ve forgotten some of the finer plot points from last year, Mashable is offering fans a little refresher on life in Winterfell, translated into emoji.

Catch the premiere on April 6 on HBO Canada, or watch it later with Rogers Anyplace TV and Rogers On Demand.

How will you celebrate the season premiere?

Making it mobile

The average Canadian spent more than 34 hours per month online in 2013, with more of those hours being logged on mobile devices than ever before, says new research from ComScore. The Globe and Mail notes that in the U.S., more than half of people’s time spent online in 2013 was mobile – a whopping 566 billion minutes! Canadians are spending that time on mobile checking the weather, social networking and searching.

Finally, getting back to that tube obsession, roughly a third of us are using a smartphone or tablet while watching TV (I was hunting Pokemon while watching TV on Monday night).

I’m definitely reading way more websites and watching more videos on my smartphone every year – how about you?

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Game Of Thrones returns April 6: Get a sneak peek

The calendar may say spring, but really, we all know that winter is coming!

We’re all anxiously awaiting the return to Winterfell when Game of Thrones premieres on April 6. To celebrate the hotly anticipated season premiere, the Rogers Your World This Week team sat down with Isaac Hempstead Wright, who plays Bran Stark, and Kristian Nairn, the man behind Hodor, to find out what season four has in store.

Catch the premiere on April 6 on HBO Canada. Forgot to block Sunday night off in your calendar? No worries – you can watch it on demand with Rogers Anyplace TV and Rogers On Demand.

What would your Game of Thrones name be?

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5 tech resolutions for 2014

Tech resolutionsMy love of the fresh start that Jan. 1 brings is on par with my enjoyment of raising a glass of bubbly at midnight on New Year’s Eve. The new year always feels so full of promise: new opportunities and healthier habits abound. But of course, in my job, my list of resolutions is not about running marathons and creating more closet space for my boyfriend (though I’ll be doing that too!), it’s also about creating better tech habits. So, here are my top five tech resolutions for 2014:

  1. I’ll stop stealing other people’s juice. Walking around asking if I can get a charge makes me feel just a tad bit creepy – but a gal needs to keep that smartphone battery running. This year, I’ll finally spring for a battery boosting case to get me through conferences and epic shopping adventures alike.
  2. I’ll become an awesome navigator. I tend to call shotgun on roadtrips, and with good seating comes great responsibility. But I also have a terrible sense of direction, so it’s time to start putting my cell’s GPS to good use, take advantage of our U.S. roaming rate, and let my maps app find the nearest coffee rather than circling random neighbourhoods hoping for the best.
  3. I’ll be gentler with my devices. While I don’t work in the field, I’m probably still a good candidate for a rugged device like the Cat B15. In addition to dropping a couple of phones in the bathtub, smashing a few screens on concrete and regularly splattering my cell with cookie batter, my devices also go through all the regular wear and tear of the nomophobe. In 2014, I’ll try to keep my handset carefully protected with a case and safely tucked away in my purse, rather than balanced atop my coffee cup when winding my way between meetings.
  4. I’ll watch all those saved videos. I record shows and save them, promising myself that I will, eventually, catch up on all those programs. I’m going to have a few solid snowy night marathons then start fresh with new series! Check out the new TV Recommendation App for NextBox 3.0 for suggestions on what to watch now.
  5. I’ll de-clutter my coffee table. It’s currently buried under stacks and stacks of magazines I keep meaning to read, clip and recycle. I’m going to take it digital in the new year with Next Issue Canada. The all-you-can-read digital magazine service is available on iPadAndroid and Win8 devices, and gives you access to more than 100 of the world’s top magazine titles, starting at $9.99 a month for monthly issues plus digital back issues.  My coffee table, and my long-suffering, clutter-phobic boyfriend, will both breathe a sigh of relief.

What are your tech resolutions for the new year?

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Weekend reading: Speed, Santa and photo messaging

Weekend readingWith the holiday – and related vacations – right around the corner, we’re getting into the spirit of the season, looking at Santa trackers and karaoke hits. Plus, we share details of our new Internet packages and look at this week’s photo-sharing announcements. Learn more in this week’s edition of the weekend reading.

Tech-savvy Santa Trackers

‘Tis the season for keeping tabs on the Jolly Old Elf, and this year both Google and Microsoft are joining the holiday fun. Google’s Santa Tracker includes a countdown ticker, while his animated village includes an advent calendar with games, a phone call function and videos. Meanwhile Microsoft has partnered with NORAD to create a tracker and countdown ticker that also includes games, movies, music and a library sharing news about Santa and holiday traditions around the world. Plus, be sure to head on over to our Rogers Facebook page to help Santa deliver presents!

Will you be tracking Santa on Christmas Eve?

Hitting high-speed

We’ve upped our internet speeds again with the roll-out of a new Ultimate internet package. We’re ramping up our download speeds from 150Mpbs up to 250Mbps, doubling upload speeds from 10Mbps to 20Mbps and quadrupling the usage allowance up to 1TB! If you have the Advanced Wi-Fi Modem on the Ultimate (150Mbps) package, you can call Rogers to upgrade to the new 250Mbps package for free. You will need our fastest, furthest reaching modem in order to upgrade. It’s currently available in the GTA and will soon be available to most customers in Ontario.

Private pics

Twitter’s been busy making upgrades this year, and this week, the micro-blogging service announced changes to its mobile apps, including the ability to send private photos. Direct messages also became easier to find in the navigation. The upgrade also ramps up the “discovery” feature that pinpoints popular accounts, tweets and trending topics.

Instagram, meanwhile, announced Instagram Direct on Thursday, which lets users send private photos to friends and groups. The update, which only allows people you follow to send direct photos and videos, is now available for iOS and Android.

Will you try either of these new photo-sharing features?

Sweet sounds

Last week we shared our holiday wishlist, but we’ve still got more seasonal tips up our sleeves. We hosted a live holiday movie trivia chat where we shared our favourite flicks and traditions and  got some great tips from the Rogers Smart Home Monitoring Team on how to keep your home safe over the holidays. For everyone hosting house parties, we rounded up our favourite karaoke tunes to help inspire your soundtrack. Of course, there’s no guest required – you can also just grab a hairbrush and put your skills to use with Rogers On Demand. Find the karaoke channel by visiting Channel 100, navigating to Music, then choosing Karaoke on Demand.

What’s your go-to song?

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Sweet holiday sounds: Sing karaoke with Rogers on Demand

KaraokeThe holidays are prime time for house parties, and music is key for setting the right vibe for your festivities. My friends tend to love the limelight, so our shindigs often end with a little friendly competition over the microphone.

Forget getting up on stage in a crowded bar or booking a limited session in a private space – did you know you can sing karaoke in the comfort of your own home with Rogers on Demand? Find the karaoke channel by visiting Channel 100, navigating to Music, then choosing Karaoke on Demand. No microphone required – a hairbrush will do the trick!

You can choose from hundreds of songs to inspire your inner rock star, including everything from oldies to hip hop and country. You can also set up a playlist of all your choices, to keep the performances rolling.

Have trouble choosing just what to croon? The @RogersBuzz team was happy to share their favourite tunes:

@RogersJenW: My earliest music memories are from the boy band era, so I tend to default to the 90s when making my song choices. The Spice Girls’ Stop is a much-loved favourite – yes, I still remember all of the dance moves – as is anything early Weezer and Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe. Carrying a tune isn’t my strong suit, but I still have fun with it!

@RogersMary: Personally, I don’t sing karaoke publicly because I’m way to shy for that. But in my own living room, it’s an entirely different story ;-) My daughter and I plug in the karaoke machine and sing along to the ROD karaoke channel. I love anything classic Madonna while my daughter tends to lean towards popular top 40.

@RogersElise: For me, it’s: Stop! In the name of love by The Supremes. I was supposed to sing it with two friends at a karaoke once for my birthday. We were at a bar, singing in front of an audience. When we were called, they had disappeared so I started the song by myself thinking they would join me soon. They actually left me by myself for the whole song, and recorded my singing. Of course I was dreadful and I looked ridiculous frantically visually searching the room, but it is now one of my best karaoke memories.

Gina: My favourite karaoke song is “Ring of Fire”, in the style of Jonny Cash, because even if you can’t sing you can still have fun talk-singing.

@RogersSarahM: The first is Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison. From the ages of 10 to 13, I was in Navy Cadets. Once a month, we had a weekend camp, where every Saturday night we did karaoke. The commanding officer of our corps was a giant man in his 50s, who didn’t say much but still managed to intimidate the cadets (including me) in just the right way. His karaoke performance never failed. Every camp, he got up and sang Pretty Woman. It was one of my most endearing memories of him.

The second one is Hey Jude! by the Beatles. About 10 years ago, I sang it with a group of friends. My friend Michelle knocked it out of the park on lead vocals. It was definitely the best karaoke experience I’ve ever been a part of.

Caitlin: Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise, Salt N’ Pepa’s Shoop and Brian Mcknight’s Back at One. They are older songs that everyone can get into (maybe not Brian Mcknight…) but they are fun to do and usually people will start singing along! I have a terrible voice (I’m not just saying that…my parents and my boyfriend have told me so) so it’s always nice when others join in on the song.

@RogersKeith: My go-to song is Eminem’s Lose Yourself, but I also like to shake it up and try something new. Last year it was Psy’s Gangnam Style, this year I tried Ylvis’ The Fox.

What’s your go-to karaoke hit?

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Live: Holiday movie trivia chat

Holiday TVMy family has a beloved holiday tradition of curling up in front of the TV after a feast and promptly falling asleep while watching one of our festive favourites.

Luckily, we all know how The Grinch ends! Of course, there are a lot of films we watch, in their entirety, to help us get in the spirit of the season.

So today, I’m excited to join RedBoard readers for a live chat about all your holiday movie traditions and memories.

And, seeing as it is the season of giving, keep your eyes peeled for some trivia questions that you can answer for your chance to win a cool movie prize pack.

Check out the full contest rules here, and I’ll see you at noon (EST)!

 

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Flick Picks Panel: Kids Zone edition starring The Croods and Monsters University

The CroodsWelcome to the Flick Picks Panel, where our community reviews new releases now available on Rogers on Demand. This week, it’s a special kids-themed edition in celebration of the recent launch of Rogers Kids Zone. The Rogers Kids Zone portal, available across multiple devices, allows Rogers customers  to enjoy Canada’s most popular kids’ programming and movies in one secure and easy to use location.

In this week’s Flick Picks post, Rob Gaudette reviews The Croods (PG) and Nelia Camara reviews Monsters University (G)

The Croods (PG)

If you have kids and want to watch a movie as a family where you, as the young-at-heart adult, won’t be reaching for pain meds, then The Croods is for you.

I have a four-and-a-half-year-old son, and he couldn’t get enough of The Croods, a story about a family of cavemen who go on a trip to find a new home.  Of course, danger awaits them on their journey, including a teenage caveman who has his eyes set on the eldest daughter.

Starring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds, The Croods is admittedly more enjoyable than I initially expected. Cage voices Grug, the father of the Crood clan and as a dad, I can totally relate to his … exhaustion.  Reynolds is Guy, the “new-age” caveman who tries to court Grug’s daughter, Eep (Stone).

OK, so maybe the character names are odd and you’re thinking: “A caveman comedy?” Yes! After all, The Croods are the funniest cave-people since The Flintstones.  The jokes in the movie will make kids laugh and adults chuckle.

Both my son and I had a great time watching The Croods and I think your family will enjoy it, too.

Rob is an avid movie watcher. Well, he used to be. Before falling prey to the blue-eyed lady that is his wife, he worked in a video store (back when they rented VHS!) and immersed himself in all things pop-culture.

Monsters University (G)

In this Pixar prequel, we join a young Mike Wazowski on a school trip to the Monsters, Inc. factory floor. Mike meets a Scarer who boasts about Monsters University being the best there is. Somehow, Mike manages to sneak past everyone into a live scare environment without being noticed. Inspired by his new hero, Mike begins studying hard and makes his way into Monsters University, where he pursues his ambition to become a Scarer.

We quickly find out that Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) weren’t always inseparable. Sulley spends most of his time cruising along on the strength of his family name at the university while Mike spends every waking moment studying to be the best Scarer he can be. Scaring comes naturally to Sulley while Mike needs to work twice as hard.

After being dropped from the program, Mike and Sulley are forced to work together in a fraternity of misfits (Oozma Kappa) in order to compete in the Scare Games to get their second chance at becoming Scarers. The plot had me immediately thinking of the classic Revenge of the Nerds series. The group makes many mistakes along the way but eventually learn that they must work together if they want a fighting chance.

Monsters University deals with the reality of disappointment and the idea that sometimes you need to fail in order to find out what you were truly meant to do with your life. This is a great lesson that shows things don’t always go as planned — and it can work out for the better.

Immediately after watching this, my little one wanted to watch the original Monsters, Inc. and even though it was past her bedtime, I couldn’t resist as I wanted to watch it too!

Nelia Camara loves all things movie, technology and music related.  She’s a contest lover, who enjoys meeting fascinating people (famous or not).

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Weekend Reading: Connected families, early adopters and Rogers Kids Zone

Weekend readingThere’s nothing like those first few chilly winter nights to make you want to curl up in front of the TV. And this week, we were reflecting on our favourite childhood shows and traditions thanks to the launch of Rogers Kids Zone. So read on for this week’s special family-focussed edition of the Weekend Reading to learn more about safe TV viewing and how kids are embracing mobile technology.

Introducing Rogers Kids Zone

Kids Zone is a family-friendly entertainment destination where Rogers customers can enjoy children’s’ TV shows and movies at home or on the go.  Families can access Rogers Kids Zone on TVs via Rogers On Demand channel 200, RogersAnyplaceTV.com/KidsZone on computers, and on the Rogers Anyplace TV application for smartphones, tablets, Xbox 360 gaming systems and LG Smart TVs.

What were your favourite childhood shows?

TV traditions

Parenting expert Kathy Buckworth joined us on Thursday for a tweet chat about family TV traditions, and her rules governing screen time.  We learned that most parents ask their kids to finish their homework and chores before they’re allowed to watch any TV, that multiscreen use is becoming common, and that most parents try to keep the conversation flowing to monitor what their kids are watching. Also that, when it comes to family viewing nights, popcorn might be a food group all on its own!

What rules govern screen time at your home?

Sharing old favourites

As a mom, I love to revisit old TV favourites with my sons. Earlier this spring, Toronto blogger Emma Waverman explained how she uses TV time to bond with her children and share her childhood memories. My family has a tradition of watching old Disney movies from our childhood, such as Aladdin or Bambi, over the holidays. As my children grow, I can’t wait to watch scary Halloween movies with them, and see if they can endure some holiday season romcoms for their mom!

What are your family’s holiday movie traditions?

Early adopters

Kids toting cellphones are becoming an increasingly common sight. Last year, Canadian research showed almost half of kids older than 11 had their own cellphone. According to recent research from Common Sense Media, 17 per cent of American children under the age of 8 use a mobile device every single day, while 14 per cent use a computer.

As parents, we have tough decisions to make – when should I buy my  child a phone? How do I teach my kids to use smartphones safely? Check our “tips for parents” section on Tech Essentials for some advice.  The Boston Globe also has some great tips on talking about mobile use with your children. Among the tips: use the technology with your kids and pre-screen the content to make sure it’s age appropriate.

What devices are popular with the kids in your life?

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Flick Picks Panel: White House Down

White House DownWelcome to the Flick Picks Panel. Each week, our community reviews new releases now available on Rogers on Demand. This week, Brandon Accettura reviews White House Down (18A).

Cale (Channing Tatum) is a divorced father who never sees things through, and thus he has lost the respect of his daughter.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Sawyer (Jamie Foxx) is working on a new global treaty for world leaders.

Cale, a former army man, is now working as security for the Speaker of the House.  He tries to build a better relationship with his daughter by taking her on a tour of the White House, but their group starts just as the President’s office is taken over.

The movie starts out slow, introducing you to the heroes and villains. But after the first bang, it delivers non-stop action through to the final credits.

While the comic relief scenes were mostly welcome, some of the characters were given too much attention and it really made the film drag at parts. I won’t name names, but you’ll know who they are once you watch the movie.

Tatum and Foxx make a great team throughout the movie, and it is very enjoyable to watch.  As the deadline for negotiations gets closer near the end of the movie, there are a lot of game-changers which make it even more exciting.

At one point during the movie, I started to guess who the villain was and then had to reassess after that person had been eliminated.

I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who is looking to sit back, relax with some popcorn and soda and watch a great action-packed movie.  Although it started off slow, it picked up quickly to make the movie very entertaining.

Brandon Accettura is married with two fur-kids (dogs), and lives in Brampton.  He’s a self-proclaimed “Movie Buff” whose favourite movies are comedy, action, and suspense thrillers, but he has gotten stuck watching some romantic movies every so often with his wife.

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Flick Picks Panel: Pacific Rim

PR-ILM-0276_595Welcome to the Flick Picks Panel. Each week, our community reviews new releases now available on Rogers on Demand. This week, Deborah Coombs reviews Pacific Rim (14A).

In the not so distant future, giant monsters (Kaiju) emerge from a rift deep in the Pacific Ocean and begin an onslaught on coastal cities all along the Pacific Rim.

In a war spanning years , bringing massive death and destruction, mankind fights back by means of giant robots (Jaegers), each piloted by two individuals joined together by a neural link.

Pacific Rim is an action-packed movie, with touches of Godzilla, Might Morphin Power Rangers, Transformers, and more. If you are looking for a great story or character development, this is not the movie for you. But if you are a sci-fi action fan in the mood for some mindless fun, check this one out!

Pacific Rim is shot in a very dim atmosphere, and I would have appreciated having a bit more light in some scenes so I could get a better appreciation for the construction of the Jaegers and the features of the Kaiju. However, I appreciate that the darkness gives a distinctly steam punk feel to the movie’s design.

The acting is generally nothing to get excited about, and there are some very cheesy lines in the script, but that is fine for this genre. The one exception to this is Idris Elba, who I think gives a very strong performance as the commander, Stacker Pentecost. Ron Perlman is always entertaining and his is character, Hannibal Chau, has a small, though important role.

Tip: Be sure to watch the credits for a short extra scene!

Deborah is a busy mom, step-mom, wife and friend just trying to keep it all together. Sadly, the only movies she sees in theatres these days are at media previews, but Saturday brings the sacred family movie night in front of the big-screen TV. Popcorn is a must. Deborah has been blogging about her life’s challenges and joys at Raising My Boys since 2009.

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