Posts Tagged ‘rogers on demand’

‘Every flight begins with a fall.’ Experts weigh in on Game of Thrones Rituals

Game of ThronesThis Sunday, you can call me “Khaleesi” because I’ll be in Game of Thrones mode. If you’re a true fan, your NextBox is already set to record this epic finale.  We asked Cityline host Tracy Moore, City digital media correspondent Winston Sih and Chatelaine food director Claire Tansey for their top tips on how to throw a memorable #GOT finale party.

How should the host/hostess ensure all guests are caught up?

WS: I suggest hosting a mini catch-up party before the finale. Visit On Demand or Rogers Anyplace TV to zip through past episodes. You should also get to know more about the GOT actors – what do they really look like? How did they kick-off their showbiz careers? Cersei starred in Gossip? Does Khaleesi really have dark brown hair? Just type the actor’s name into your NextBox search to discover their non-medieval TV shows and movies.

TM: You can also play GOT trivia to refresh everyone’s memories. This way you can crown the victor as the official expert of the seven kingdoms.

How would you invite your guests to this evening of the dark ages?

WS: Have fun with your invite – you can personalize one online or use a hilarious example like this one from SomeECards.  Address each e-vite with your guests’ official GOT name. How? Use the GOT names generator– just call me “Khal Winstogon Mormont.” For more customization, include an image of a messenger crow and embed music right from the show.

TM: My preference, of course, would be to send a real messenger crow to deliver the invites, but I know this isn’t doable. So instead, I suggest taking the traditional route and creating a hand written scroll – go big, or go throne, right? Identify your House and even use red wax stamps to seal each scroll.

What steps should be taken to set the medieval mood?

WS: Play music that puts your guests in the medieval mood. Check out Songza’s playlists for each of the seven kingdoms.  Plus, have your friends create their own family arms online.  Divide them by their houses and let the games begin.

CT: Ditch the cutlery and provide guests with only finger foods. Just like the royals, offer your guests a bowl of water to dip their hands into prior to feasting. Incorporate dragon eggs into your appetizer menu with Chatelaine’s devilish eggs, offer hearty, messy entrees like steak & arugula sandwiches or lamb kebabs (and have a mock battle with the skewers).  Serve your guests a lemon cake or loaf, Sansa Stark’s favourite dessert. Tyrion Lannister once said “everything’s better with some wine in the belly.” With his advice in mind, make wine-based cocktails like Sangria Spritzers or Orange Ruby Fizz but rename them after key GOT characters – care for a glass of Dragon Lady or Snowy Sangria?

TM: Is your living room going to look more like King’s landing, Winterfell or the night’s watch and the wall?  Use candles and dim lighting to reflect Game of Throne’s darkness and mystery, while playing medieval music as guests enter your kingdom (living room). Check online for amazing props to set the tone, for example who doesn’t love an Iron Throne bean bag?

I also suggest inviting attendees to wear their own crowns and swords. This way you can watch the season finale as you sit beside your very own Arya, Tyrion or Grey Worm. You can also print images on transfer paper (get this at most craft stores), and iron your House emblem right onto your shirt!. This get-up is great for photo ops.

What’s your view on smartphone use during the show?

WS:  I admit, sometimes I get a bit lost while watching Game of Thrones, so I think having a smartphone or tablet on hand can be very useful. Pausing with your remote can really come in handy while you research a romance or storyline online. Social media can either be your ally or worst nemesis when it comes to the GOT finale. To avoid spoilers, check out these tips. If you are okay with following along on social media, track popular hashtags like #GameofThrones, #GOT, and #thechildren, to learn see how fellow fans are reacting.  Also follow key actors on Twitter like @IAMLenaHeadey, @SophieT, and @AlfieAllen. 

TM: While I do agree with Winston, that phones and tablets are certainly good to have on hand to keep track of storylines, I think for the last 20 minutes of the finale you can ask your guests to put away their devices so that you can stick to a complete medieval experience. Ask that each attendee place their device in a basket to ensure your TV screen and candles provide the only light, and let the sounds of warfare fill your living room.

Medieval times were entrenched in traditions. In present day, we have our very own rituals. When it comes to TV night, what’s your routine? Tweet @RogersBuzz a photo of your TV ritual using #RTVNight and  you’ll be entered for a chance to win a NextBox set-up and Samsung tablet.

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Weekend reading: Lego news, decoding Download Booster and a LinkedIn update

Weekend readingThis week, well, everything is awesome because you can now watch THE LEGO® MOVIE on Rogers on Demand. Plus, we learn to use the Samsung GALAXY GS5 Download Booster feature and try out the latest LinkedIn update.  Get all the details in your Weekend Reading.

Family flicks

Awesome news: It’s time to bring all your favourite minifigs home. Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Will Ferrell and more of your favourite celebrities star in THE LEGO MOVIE, which is now available to order on Rogers on Demand! You can also order THE LEGO MOVIE Pack today to get the DVD delivered to your home when it’s released on June 17, plus own the movie on Channel 100 so you can watch it over and over again – even before it’s released on DVD. Order your THE LEGO MOVIE Pack on Channel 100.

What’s your favourite family film?

Get boosted

Around T-minus five minutes to hitting the road, I’m always inspired to download a new album or movie to my smartphone. Of course, completing that massive download normally either delays departure or distracts me from my navigational duties. The new Samsung GALAXY GS5 can fix that problem with its Download Booster feature, which lets you use both your Wi-Fi and Rogers LTE network connections at the same time to download files larger than 30MB even faster. Already have a GS5? Learn how to turn on Download Booster here. Still on the fence? Check out the review on CBC.ca.

What large files do you download on your mobile?

Compare your profile

For me, the most addictive part of LinkedIn is seeing who’s been looking at my profile, as well as how they got there. Was it a search for my name? A shared connection? The possibilities are endless, and my curiosity is always piqued. This week, the professional social network announced a new feature that lets you see how you compare to your network. You’ll find it by navigating to “profile,” then “Who’s viewed your profile” and selecting the “How you rank for profile views” tab. The feature ranks your connections by profile views and also offers customized tips for how you can boost your own page. For me, this meant updating my summary description, joining a few new groups and adding some new keywords.

How do you optimize your LinkedIn profile?

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How to skip the spoilers on social media

Mad MenMy appointment viewing has gotten complicated. Life keeps getting in the way of that primo Sunday night timeslot and I’m finding it increasingly hard to keep plotlines protected until I have time to catch up on Monday night.

Here’s how to keep your social media updates under wraps – no spoiling the latest Don Draper drama or the next debt the Lannisters intend to pay!

Keyword muting

Social media avoidance aside, the best way to silence your friend’s real-time viewing updates on the latest from Sterling Cooper & Partners is to use a keyword blocking app or plugin.

The Google chrome extension Silencer lets you mute people, hashtags, terms and phrases on Twitter and Facebook. I’d recommend including key actors, locations and character names plus all the usual hashtags. Be thorough: for example, use #GameofThrones, Game of Thrones and #GoT to make sure you’re not spoiling life (and death) in Winterfell.

Twitter is where my spoilers have always lurked. If you use an app rather than the web experience, most services, including Tweetdeck, have filter settings hidden in the options panel where you can mute the conversations.

Comment blocker

Even if you avoid news stories on your favourite shows, sometimes spoilers slip in on seemingly unrelated posts. The Chrome and Firefox extension CommentBlocker can hide, block or modify comments on articles and posts.

Search for spoiler warnings

This is an easy one, but worth repeating: most major websites and good friends will include some form of *spoiler alert* warning before going on to reveal a major plot point. So, avoid clicking on headlines or reading posts containing these words – and you can even add phrases like “spoiler”, “spoiler alert” and “spoiler warning” to your filters.

So, you’ve avoided spoilers, now how do you catch up? You can catch the hottest shows, including Girls, Shameless, New Girl, Modern Family, The Americans and Fargo on Rogers On Demand and Rogers Anyplace TV after they air.

To watch On Demand, visit channel 100.

To watch online:

  • Visit RogersAnyplaceTV.com on your computer then register with your MyRogers username and password. Then:
  • On your computer, catch the latest episode at RogersAnyplaceTV.com
  • On your tablet or smartphone, download the Rogers Anyplace TV app from the appropriate app store.
  • On your Xbox 360 or Xbox One, if you have an Xbox Live Gold membership, download the Rogers Anyplace TV app from the Xbox marketplace.
  • On your LG Smart TV, download the Rogers Anyplace TV app from the app store.

How do you keep your favourite shows spoiler-free?

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Weekend reading: Northern habits, special FXX and time-travelling

Weekend readingDid you know Canadians are more likely than Americans to send email from their mobile phones? This week, we’re looking at how we differ from our neighbours to the south, getting the scoop on the new Fargo series and going back in time with Google Maps.

The North-South divide

Americans are checking the weather and sports scores on their mobiles, while Canadians are more likely to send – but not read – emails with their smartphones. As Adweek reports, “Canadians’ smartphone habits show that they are different from Americans in more than just their abiding love of the French language, hockey and snow.” The infographic also shows that Americans tend to get directions on the go more than Canucks. However, there are some similarities: 41 per cent of North American smartphone users check Twitter on their phones, and more than half are logging on while standing in line, eating and commuting. Check out the full infographic here.

My own habits match the stats – I definitely spend a big chunk of my time on my smartphone sending emails for work and fun! How about you?

Fargo on FXX

The Canadian-shot dark comedy series Fargo premiered last week to positive reviews – the New York Times calls it “oddly winning” while Hollywood Reporter says it’s an “extremely impressive concept pulled off with surprising vigor.” The FXX Canada series, based on the Coen brothers’ Oscar-winning film, follows Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) who meets small town insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman) and sets him on a path of destruction. We got a backstage pass to the making of the show and shared five facts from behind the scenes – including that during shooting, production had to shut down due to -37°C temperatures! Watch Fargo Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FXX, which is currently on free preview on channels 64 and 566 for Rogers customers. Or catch up on demand with the new FXNOW Canada video player and app (available on iOS and Android), Rogers on Demand (channel 100) or Rogers Anyplace TV.

Have you tuned in to Fargo? What did you think?

Hop through history

Next time you’re stymied trying to remember what shop was replaced by that new indie coffee house, turn to Google Maps. A new Street View feature lets users time travel back to the service’s beginnings in 2007. You can also check out regions in different seasons and at night. The archival imagery rolled out in the U.S. on Wednesday and was expected to be available worldwide within two days, according to CBC News.

To check out this new feature, which is currently only available on desktop, look for an hourglass in the upper left corner of a Street View image. Click the hourglass for a thumbnail of past images and use the timeline to move through the years. Click on the date to travel back in time. The Wall Street Journal reports major attractions will feature 20 or more time periods to check out, while most locations will have two or three options.

I can’t wait to scope out how my neighbourhood has evolved over the past few years, along with my periodic checks on my childhood haunts! Where will you travel back in time?

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5 fun facts about the making of Fargo on FXX

FargoDid you know Billy Bob Thornton, Bob Odenkirk, Martin Freeman, Kate Walsh and Colin Hanks recently spent some time north of the border filming Fargo? The dark comedy series, based on the Coen brothers’ Oscar-winning film, was shot entirely in Calgary! The new FXX Canada series tells the story of a rootless man named Lorne Malvo (Thornton) who meets small town insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (Freeman) and sets him on a path of destruction.

Here are five more fun facts about this new series:

  1. Calgary’s a cow town, but stars Thornton and Freeman are vegan and vegetarian, respectively.
  1. A Vancouver dialect coach worked with the actors to get the Minnesota accent just right, don’tcha know.
  2. Thornton said Calgary is his favourite city in Canada.
  3. At one point, -37°C temperatures caused production to shut down (yet, Odenkirk said that he doesn’t think Calgary is that cold).
  4. Despite the cold weather, some scenes in Fargo actually required the use of fake snow.

Fargo premiered last week on FXX and FX Canada – and if you missed it, don’t worry! You can watch it on demand with the new FXNOW Canada video player and app (available on iOS and Android), Rogers on Demand (channel 100) or Rogers Anyplace TV.

The ten-episode series airs Tuesdays on FXX at 10 p.m. ET/PT, and FXX is exclusively available to Rogers digital customers on a free preview until June 30 on channels 64 and 566.

Who’s your favourite screen star in Fargo?

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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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