Posts Tagged ‘tv’
Remember when gaming consoles first became popular? They had just one function: to play video games. Much like how cellphones went from making calls to doing, well, just about everything, consoles have continued to evolve and today, they are much more than just games – they are entertainment hubs.
These days, gaming consoles are a staple in Canadian households, and the new Xbox One bridges the gap between dedicated gamers and average consumers. We spoke to Greg Barber, Vice President, Consumer Channels Group at Microsoft Canada about why Canadians are embracing these new consoles – and what’s coming next.
“Consumers expect much more from their consoles than they did five years ago. They don’t want one device for gaming and another for entertainment,” says Greg. “We created a state-of-the-art gaming platform and fused it with the power of Windows. It brings together the best games, multiplayer, and movies, music, sports and TV together in one place.”
Forget being glued to the couch, the most popular games cause users to break out in a sweat. Greg says that Just Dance 14 or trainers such as Jillian Michaels and Tracy Anderson on Xbox Fitness provide Canadians a new age workout in the comfort of their own home.
Upgraded graphics and functionality enhance the gaming, fitness or entertainment experience: “Xbox One games look and feel incredibly real, with cinematic gameplay that rivals Hollywood. With Xbox One, I can snap two things side-by-side on my TV, and switch from one to another instantly, all controlled by my voice through the Kinect Sensor.
What can users expect for the future from Xbox?
“Xbox One is built for the future; it is built for the digital age using the latest technology and the power of the cloud and it just keeps getting better, the possibilities are almost endless,” says Greg. “Thanks to this, Xbox One grows with you over time. The advanced voice and motion control of the new Kinect Sensor are unprecedented; Kinect responds to your commands and gestures like never before, making new game and entertainment experiences possible.”
Canadians can stream their favourite TV on Xbox One with Rogers Anyplace TV. While tuned in, viewers can play around with their next-gen multitasking apps and use their voice or simple hand motions to make their viewing experience highly interactive. If you have an Xbox One at home, create a Rogers Anyplace TV account for free and log in.
What’s your favourite non-gaming feature of the Xbox One?
From the drama of Lena Dunham’s Girls to the zombie hijinks of The Walking Dead, you can watch all your favourites – new and old – from your desktop with our newly refreshed Rogers Anyplace TV website. Even better news? You can start watching right now – Rogers Anyplace TV gives you access to all the great shows you already enjoy with your digital TV subscription.
Here’s how to start watching:
First, you need to register:
- Go to RogersAnyplaceTV.com
- Click “Register” in the top right corner
- Sign in with your My Rogers account
- OR complete the necessary fields and verify you’re a Rogers customer by doing one of the following:
- Enter your postal code if you’re currently using Rogers internet
- Send a verification code to your Rogers wireless phone
- Enter your Rogers account number
Then you can start watching!
If you have a specific show in mind:
- Type the show name in the search bar on the type right of your screen
- As you type more letters, your results will narrow down to a match
- Click your desired title from the drop down menu
To browse what’s available:
- Click the “On Demand” button on the top navigation bar
- Click “TV Shows” in the sub-navigation bar
- Click the “A-Z” button to sort the shows in alphabetical order and find your show
Or, to see what’s on your favourite channels:
- Click the “On Demand” button on the top navigation bar
- Click “Channels” in the sub-navigation bar
- Click the “A-Z” button to sort the channels in alphabetical order
- Click on your desired channel and find your show
What TV shows will you be watching this winter?
From major NHL and magazine announcements to speedy LTE expansion, travel and tablets, 2013 was a busy year at Rogers! I had the pleasure of joining the RedBoard team in 2013 – but I’m told I’m not allowed to call that a highlight of our year! So, in no particular order, here are 13 highlights of the year that was:
- Hitting high speed: We expanded our LTE network to new cities in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia and hit our goal of launching in 95 new markets in 2013 (you can see the full list here). Deploying more 2600 Mhz spectrum than any other provider also meant bringing our blazing fast speeds to more Rogers customers in Manitoba, Ontario, B.C. and Quebec. For us on RedBoard, it was a chance to share our favourite speedy apps, a new infographic and quiz people on the street about what, exactly, LTE means.
- Tablet talk: We were all about the portable devices this year. We learned a bunch of fun stats as a result – about one in 10 Canadians currently own a tablet and 33 per cent of all time spent with tablets happens outside the home. Neil Shuart shared how tablets are all about speed, Bob Stein focussed on the content and Duncan Stewart looked forward to hybrid devices. We even polled regular Canadians about how they were using their tablets – watch the video with their answers here.
- Wanderlust: We gave into the travel bug this year, sharing blog posts from San Francisco, California, Buffalo and even Prague. We also shared all things roaming related, from debunking myths, finding out just how many of you want to keep tabs on your pets, and sharing our favourite apps and how to control your data use to explaining our new worry-free $7.99 rate.
- Great gigs: We also celebrated our employees this year, starting a new series featuring Cool Jobs at Rogers – from Shelagh Barrett’s work with the Rogers Youth Fund initiative and Elana Schachter’s role in the digital magazine space to Hitesh Lad’s contributions in customer service. LinkedIn also recognized Rogers employees as among the top five in the world for volunteering – measured by those who added “Volunteer and Causes” information to their profiles on the professional social networking site.
- Office perks: Rogers was also named one of Canada’s top 100 employers for 2014. The Mediacorp list recognized Rogers for great office amenities, the employee bonus program and parental top-up payments, among other things.
- Get inside Rogers retail locations: Google Street View has mapped New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the White House, France’s Musee D’Orsay, and even Parliament Hill. And, in 2013, we were able to add Rogers retail locations across the country to that list. To check it out, browse on over to your store’s Google + page (click the “See Inside” option) or visit the website for your local Rogers retail location on your computer or mobile device to load the virtual tour.
- Tackling TV: Would you skimp on sleep to catch just one more episode? If the answer is yes, your TV viewing habits are in line with 80 per cent of Canadians, according to our Rogers Innovation Report. We learned the longest viewing sessions average more than five hours on a weekday and almost seven hours on a weekend, and we took the opportunity to create a nifty interactive infographic to help you decode your TV persona, from “Marathon TV Viewer” to “Multiscreen Tasker.”
- Connected in the community: In June, Rogers announced a new initiative to help provide broadband Internet for youth and low-income Canadian families. Connected for Success, which launched with Toronto Community Housing, offers broadband internet for $9.99 a month, plus the option to purchase a computer loaded with software for $150, thanks to Microsoft Canada and Compugen. We also spoke with educator Neil Price about the importance of digital literacy and what the program could mean for students.
- Magazine buffet: Rogers launched the all-you-can-read digital magazine Next Issue Canada in October. Offering unlimited access to more than 100 Canadian and U.S. titles, we were excited to take it for a test-drive and chat with Next Issue Canada President Ken Whyte about what it means for readers and publishers.
- Rogers Youth Education Day: We took to Twitter and Facebook in September to ask you to share your #BrighterFuture stories about how education made a difference in your life. As part of Rogers Youth Education Day, we were able to donate mobile tech units to each of our 52 non-profit partners across the country – a $250,000 commitment! Thanks for joining the conversation and helping us give back!
- Digital shopping: Bulky wallets, be gone? In November, Rogers announced the launch of the suretap wallet, which lets shoppers make payments with a simple tap of their smartphone. Using the secure SIM card inside an NFC-enabled smartphone, suretap can be used at contactless payment terminals – the same kind that let you tap to pay with your credit card. For even more smartphone shopping power, we also launched Rogers Alerts, which, if you opt in, sends you location-based mobile offers via SMS.
- Tube talk: We hosted parenting expert Kathy Buckworth for a Twitter chat about how she manages screen time at home. She shared her top tips, and love of popcorn, in a noon-time chat that trended in Canada! It was also a chance to share details of the new Rogers Kids Zone, a secure children’s entertainment destination where families can enjoy kid’s TV shows and movies at home, on channel 200, or on the go with RogersAnyplaceTV.com/KidsZone on computers, and on the Rogers Anyplace TV application for smartphones, tablets, Xbox 360 gaming systems and LG Smart TVs.
- He shoots, he scores! We do love hockey at Rogers, and one of the most exciting bits of news we shared this year on RedBoard was announcing the NHL broadcast deal. The 12-year agreement, which starts with the 2014/15 season, includes national rights in all languages across TV broadcasts, internet and mobile streaming, as well as all linear and digital highlights including condensed games and video archives. The deal also includes a partnership with CBC for Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts and TVA for French-language coverage. We also started sponsoring the Edmonton Oilers and are excited to start construction on their new home, Rogers Place!
Happy New Year! What will you remember from 2013?
We’ve never been shy about our passion for sports at Rogers. And this morning we have cemented our sports leadership with a landmark 12-year broadcast and multimedia agreement with the National Hockey League that includes national rights on all platforms in all languages. The agreement begins with the 2014/15 season and continues through the 2025/26 season.
The deal is big news for hockey fans and for Rogers customers. It includes national rights across TV broadcasts, internet and mobile streaming, as well as all linear and digital highlights including condensed games and video archives. On any given night, Rogers will provide multiple game coverage on up to nine TV channels (including City and Sportsnet) plus digital and radio.
And we’re going to partner with CBC for English-language broadcasts of Hockey Night in Canada and with TVA for all national French-language multimedia rights.
Here’s what people are saying about the deal:
“Sports content is a key strategic asset and we’ve been investing significantly to strengthen our sports offering to Canadians. Canadians are passionate about hockey, and through this landmark partnership with the NHL we’ll be able to bring hockey fans more games and more content on their platform of choice. We are proud to select CBC as our partner to carry on the Hockey Night in Canada tradition for Canadians. We are also excited about our long-standing sports alliance with TVA Sports and Quebecor, which will use its many channels and platforms to deliver French-language NHL coverage.” — Rogers president and CEO Nadir Mohamed
“Our fans always want to explore deeper and more emotional connections to NHL hockey, and that is precisely what Rogers has promised to deliver over the next 12 years – channeling the reach of its platforms and the intensity of its passion for the game into an unparalleled viewing experience.” — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman
“Our vision is to build on the NHL’s legacy in Canada with an emphasis on storytelling, innovation, and technology, weaving the NHL, its teams, and its stars even deeper into the fabric of Canadian culture.” — Keith Pelley, President, Rogers Media.
I love discovering the latest raved about TV shows. My colleagues serve as the most reliable sources for my TV intel. Around the office, we regularly discuss which shows are on our radar – and for the most part, people are fairly good about spoiler alerts!
But sometimes when I turn on the TV, those must-watch titles escape me, which inevitably leads to some lengthy channel surfing.
Those days are now gone. Rogers is rolling out a TV Recommendation App for all NextBox customers in Ontario over the next few weeks. A first for cable customers in Canada, the new app means you’ll spend less time searching and more time being entertained. Built right into your TV viewing experience and easily accessible, the app recommends similar programs based on what you’re currently viewing or just finished watching. Suggestions are based on things like genre and the starring actors.
How do I start getting recommendations?
- Press the “Info” button on the remote, scroll over to the information icon and a prompt will appear
- Select “More Like This Show” to review a list of recommended titles
Bonus: there’s also a new “Most Watched” menu that reveals the most popular programs being viewed by other Rogers customers at that very moment, so you’ll always know what’s trending.
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This week, we’ve got television on our mind, with research linking tweets and TV ratings and the launch of our new NextBox 3.0. Plus, we learned that more people are tuning in from their devices than ever before. Finally, for something a little different, we look at the state of social around the world. Learn more in this week’s edition of the weekend reading!
Tweeting and the tube
As reported by 680 News, the study looked at 221 broadcasts, finding that active Twitter conversations boosted the number of viewers for nearly 30 per cent of the episodes. This turned out to be especially true for live sports. Increased numbers of viewers also boosted the number of tweets about the program. That said, not all social media buzz-worthy events also saw great ratings – for example, Sharknado’s numbers didn’t live up to the hype.
Personally, I tend to tweet about sports, but I don’t share potential spoilers from my regular True Blood or movie sessions. Do you tweet about events you’re watching on TV?
Marathon even more movies and shows
While appointment viewing may be the only way to truly spoiler-proof my TV experience, there are so many times when I just can’t be home in time to catch the latest episode – or multiple shows I love are occupying the same timeslot, forcing me to make a tough decision. The PVR has become an essential tool for catching what you want to watch, when you want to watch it – and this week, we were excited to announce our new NextBox ™ 3.0. You can now record up to eight HD programs at once and store up to 240 hours of HD shows and movies. Check out our list of three ways to tell that you and your PVR are BFFs and let us know which shows you just can’t bear to miss!
Video to go
Size may still matter when it comes to traditional sets, but for video content on the go, Fox reports that people now spend the same amount of time consuming media on the small screens of their smartphones and tablets as they do on their laptops and personal computers. This same research estimates that nearly 40 per cent of media consumption in the U.S. this year will be digital – and evenly split between mobile devices and laptops and computers. On average, people spend more than two hours a day watching online video or using social media. Of that time, tablet users spend a larger chunk watching videos than people who are using computers.
What’s your preferred device for screening?
It’s a social, social world
Last week, we learned that Facebook is still dominating the social sphere around the globe – but this week’s research from eMarketer shows that even though we’re all fielding friend requests, different countries have very different attitudes about social networks. In Asia, mobile messaging applications continue to rule, and are evolving to include photo and file-sharing. In China, where Facebook and Twitter are blocked, microblogs (or weibo) continue to grow, with 50.9 per cent of internet users having an account. Only 46.6 per cent of Chinese internet users belong to a social network. In Russia, local networks such as VK and Odnoklassniki.ru are still the most popular, a trend that continues in Germany.
Another fun fact: people who live in the United Arab Emirates are the most likely internet users in the Middle East, with 71 per cent of residents online in December 2012.
I’ve got a pretty robust collection of social network logins, but definitely still focus most of my time on the biggies, including Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare and Instagram. Where do you spend most of your online hours?
Does this sound familiar? You’re cozied up on your couch and notice a show that you‘ve been meaning to check out airing on your TV. Naturally, you click to record the series and then *bam* — a recording conflict window appears on your screen. It’s a moment of sheer panic as you need to make a split-second decision on which show is more important to record.
It’s time to say goodbye to recording conflicts and storage woes with the newly launched NextBox ™ 3.0. The latest TV experience from Rogers is available in Ontario today and it’s tailor-made for the PVR enthusiast. You can now record up to eight HD programs at once and store up to 240 hours of HD shows and movies.
Based on my experience, if you relate to the following three traits, chances are you are your PVR are pretty tight and NextBox 3.0 might be right up your alley:
1. The recording conflict pop-up – as described above
- If other people are present to witness the dramatic ordeal, they’ll probably find your reaction hilarious. I know, because it happens to me all the time. Cut to me yelling “Nooo, nooooooo!” when it’s True Blood versus Long Island Medium on Sunday night.
2. You record entire seasons of TV shows or movie marathons:
- As an avid TV marathoner, I consume my shows back-to-back-to-back. A colleague told me about Ray Donovan and now I’m hooked and in the process of saving the entire season. If a channel is airing all John Hughes movies one night, then my PVR is going to surge with my favourite brat pack flicks.
3. You are a time zone expert:
- With so many favourite shows to record, particularly in prime-time slots, you’re bound to face a recording conflict. You’ve mastered the art of finding your favourite series when they air in other time zones.
Bonus criteria: Without interrupting what’s airing on your TV, you swiftly pull out a second screen (tablet or smartphone) to view and manage your TV recordings. This is where the Rogers Anyplace TV™ Home Edition app comes to the rescue.
NextBox 3.0 opens up a world of possibilities for the ultimate TV viewer. It even lets you skip past commercials. When it comes to your TV, which features are the most important to you?
Kaili is a regular contributor to RedBoard
Whether you’re a marathon viewer watching back-to-back-to-back episodes or a second screen fiend, we want to hear about your video viewing habits. Join us here at noon (EDT) to discuss the findings from the latest Rogers Innovation Report and take part in a trivia contest for your chance to win a great prize, including The Walking Dead on DVD, a Community sweatshirt and goodies from City. (Read the full contest rules here).
Update, June 19, 4:45 p.m.: Congratulations to @Magnalicious, who won our trivia contest prize pack!
What kind of TV viewer are you? When it comes to my TV consumption habits, my friends would most likely describe a scenario akin to a bear in hibernation. I select the series I have been meaning to catch up on and hunker down, keeping snacks at a close proximity (no time to pause and grab food). My only major movement consists of pressing play from one episode to the next.
Cut to me last month: I got totally wrapped up in The Walking Dead. I would immerse myself in post-apocalyptic zombie territory for more than six hours at a time.
As you can probably deduce, I can be classified as a “marathon TV viewer.” And I’m in good company – more than 80 per cent of Canadians have watched three or more TV episodes or two movies back-to-back this year, according to the latest Rogers Innovation Report, released today.
More and more Canadians are watching consecutive TV shows and movies, with the longest viewing sessions averaging more than five hours on a weekday and almost seven hours on a weekend. But really, if the next episode is available on demand, how can you wait to continue the storyline?
When taking part in consecutive viewing sessions, half of Canadians are engrossed in action and drama, while six out of 10 are watching comedy. These viewers are taking their TV away from the comfort of the couch to the bedroom (over half) and the bathroom (one out of 10) and even to work (one out of 10). It turns out that Canadians treasure their viewing marathons more than sleep, too, with eight out of 10 staying up past bedtime to catch another episode, or more. And men are two times more likely than woman to show up late for work the next day due to a long viewing session.
Skipping sleep isn’t the only place the gender divide is obvious: men tend to participate in longer marathon viewing sessions than women, hitting up to 7.2 hours of continuous content on average versus 6.3 hours.
Nowadays, living rooms are sprawled with devices, so it comes as no surprise that the report shows an influx of “Multiscreen Taskers” – Canadians who combine TV viewing with multitasking. Seven out of 10 Canadians who own a smartphone, tablet or computer use of one these devices while watching television. They’re using these second screens to look up information online (over a third), monitor social media activity (one out of five) and text friends (one out of five). Those age 34 or under are more likely (nine out of 10) to use these screens to watch content, too.
In addition to zombies, when I’m marathoning TV, I’m glued to viewing vampires or the never-ending aristocratic Crawley family drama. What’s your TV show of choice when you’re in the mood to marathon?
Kaili is a regular contributor to RedBoard
While we’re hoping the spring weather is here to stay, we haven’t forgotten the chilly nights of curling up in front of a fireplace. As the many fans of the Fireplace Channel (channel 204) have learned, you don’t need a home with a chimney and mantle to relax by the fire. The virtual orange glow and sound of crackling logs is surprisingly satisfying!
But, for those of you lucky enough to have the real thing, we’ve got a great chance for you to showcase how you keep your home fires burning. One lucky winner will get to see – and hear– their roaring flames on the Fireplace Channel for a full year, and win a Rogers Nextbox to boot.
The winning entry will hit the airwaves in November 2013. In the meantime, if you’re looking for some entertainment with a more springtime bent, try tuning into the Sunset Channel (find it on your dial at 206) or the Aquarium Channel (205).
How it works
Starting April 8, 2013, send a photo of your current fireplace setup to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Fireplace contest” and tell us in 100 characters or less why your fireplace should take the starring role on the Fireplace Channel. Make sure to include your full name, email address, phone number and location. We’ll be accepting entries until May 1. The contest is open to anyone living in an area where Rogers cable services are available. Read the full rules here.
UPDATE, May 1: Thanks to everyone who participated in our Fireplace Channel contest! The prize has been drawn and we’ll be contacting the winner by email soon. Keep an eye on your inbox!