Rogers


shomi: Canada’s newest subscription video on demand service

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Cable-and-internet giants Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. are partnering to launch a new streaming-video service, set to debut in November.

The subscription on-demand service — called shomi — will feature 14,000 episodes and titles, 11,000 hours of TV shows and more than 1,000 movies. Users will be access the service on a computer, tablet, mobile device, Xbox 360 and cable set top boxes.

The joint venture will be owned equally by Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications. It will operate as its own standalone entity with its own management structure.

shomi will go head-to-head in the video-streaming space against Netflix Canada, which offers a similar all-you-can-watch-video model for one monthly fee. Earlier this year, Netflix Canada announced that it was raising its price from $7.99 to $8.99 a month for new customers.

The new service will be available first to Rogers and Shaw internet and TV customers and will cost $8.99 a month.

It will combine TV-and-movie recommendations from staff programmers as well as a software-based recommendation engine.

“We’ve taken the time to talk with Canadians to find out what they want and to create an unbelievable user experience,” said Keith Pelley, President, Rogers Media. “They told us loud and clear – they want all the past seasons of the most popular, current TV shows and they want it to be easy. shomi takes the guesswork out of finding what to watch, acting like a new-age video clerk serving up all the best content based on individual viewing habits.”

Barbara Williams, Senior Vice President, Content, Shaw Media, added: ”We keenly understand the media landscape is rapidly changing and that viewers are looking for greater flexibility when it comes to what they watch and how they watch it. shomi is our first step into the new world of content streaming and we’re so pleased to be able to bring this made in Canada service to the market.”

As part of its launch, Shomi has secured exclusive past-season streaming rights to titles such as Modern FamilyNew Girl, and Sons of Anarchy.

Rogers Communications is the parent company of this organization.



Will you accept this rose? Experts weigh in on the ultimate The Bachelorette TV night – Rogers Redboard

Viewing-partyWho could forget when Andi walked out on Juan Pablo in the most dramatic pre-rose ceremony ever! “It’s OK” now because she’s starting her journey as The Bachelorette on May 19 on City.

What does it take to host the perfect The Bachelorette TV night? We asked Cityline host Tracy Moore, City digital media correspondent  Winston Sih and Chatelaine food director Claire Tansey for their hosting tips, including the best ways to use your NextBox PVR to create the ultimate premiere watching party!

How would you incorporate the rose into your night?

TM: Receiving a rose is the ultimate goal for each contestant as they battle it out for Andi’s heart. So, it should definitely be the focal point of the evening. Channel Chris Harrison by greeting each guest with a red rose, or fill your home with rose-scented potpourri to set the romantic  mood. Fresh flowers can be expensive, so seek out fake roses from your local craft store – this way your guests can leave with wilt-free keepsakes.

CT: Offer rosé wine or fill a beautiful pitcher with Rosé Sangria. For even more sweetness, bake and decorate rose themed cupcakes – you can learn how to pipe rosettes from Chatelaine.

WS: Incorporate the rose into your e-vite. Just as Andi will offer the rose to her men of choice, you too will offer it to your preferred premiere viewing attendees! There are many free online programs that let you create your own personalized rose e-vites, and Some Ecards already has pretty hilarious options too.

How do you use your tablet or TV to prepare for, and enjoy, the main event?

TM: Set a romantic, cheesy mood by recording romantic movies using your NextBox or search the classics On Demand (Ch. 100). Play a film in the background while everyone’s getting settled or play a music channel for ambiance.

CT: As a foodie, I’m always seeking out the latest recipe inspiration. You can use the search tool on your TV or tablet and enter keywords such as “cooking” and “baking” for shows that may appeal. I set a bunch of my recordings this way so I’ll have a personal library of shows to check out when I have the time.

WS: Use your tablet to follow fellow fans’ reactions as each contestant is revealed. Seek out Bachelor/ette alumni on Twitter like @AliFedotowsky@EmilyMaynard or even @JuanPaGalavis! Make sure you’re following the popular hashtags and share hilarious updates and trends with your guests … during the commercials of course!

How do you create your dream guest list? Who would you invite and why?

TM: First and foremost, determine which friends are The Bachelorette lovers – no need to have negative guests who may question this “unconventional” way to find love. In a dream world, I would suggest inviting old contestants to provide their thoughts and insights, and of course, Chris Harrison for a personal debrief after the show, and to dish out all the inside scoop! What happens when the cameras aren’t rolling?!

CT: I think the guest list is up to each individual host/hostess, but for me I would truly appreciate the attendance of not only my hilarious friends, but also my favourite female wits. I envision Nora Ephron, Tina Fey and Gertrude Stein all sitting on my couch snacking on my spicy Georgia pecans and providing their two cents.

WS: I’m with Tracy on this one; I’d love to have past contestants in attendance!

What’s your essential viewing party etiquette?

TM: Premiere night may get quite loud, with excited squeals, cat calling, laughter and maybe even some booing for the soon-to-be villains, as your guests ‘meet’ The Bachelorette contestants. To ensure nothing is missed, develop a fun set of rules for when your guests can chime in during the show, you can even write them on post-it notes as reminder.

CT: The evening is all about being social – so serve your guests appetizers, not dinner, so they can mix and mingle with ease. Why don’t you serve snack food with a southern flare, in honour of Andi’s hometown of Atlanta? Might I suggest spicy Georgia pecans – they’re easy to make, delicious and as a bonus they won’t cause any damage if thrown at your TV screen!

WS: As Tracy said, your evening may get rowdy so be sure to ask your guests to keep it down during times of high-stress and drama! However, if this seems like an impossible ask (probably – let’s be honest), this is where Rogers Anyplace TV Home Edition comes in handy. Your friends may think they have control over the remote, but you can pull up your virtual remote on your tablet to pause and rewind the TV without them even noticing.  Also, as a host it’s good etiquette to provide your guests with your Wi-Fi password, so they too can follow along on social media.

How should the evening end?

TM: Once your guests catch their breath after meeting all of the eligible bachelors, invite them to fill out a prediction card. Choose a prize for the person who correctly picks Andi’s future man – a “fantasy date” for two? Or a gift card to the salon to prep hair for a hot date?

CT: Just as Andi had to make tough choices during the premiere, you too can replicate the rose ceremony drama at home and trick your guests into thinking that not everyone will receive a rose-frosted cupcake from you before they leave.

WS: At the end of the episode, while everyone’s nibbling away at their treats, you may want to replay a certain scene. Without interrupting your TV experience, use your tablet again to navigate back to the must-see moments.

Want to share the snark? www.citytv.com/toronto/shows/the-bachelorette will host live chats throughout the season. You can also download the app for online chat and fun facts about the show and the contestants.

The Bachelorette with my friends’ running commentary is my weekly TV ritual, one that my friends are invited to take part in each Monday night. Tweet a photo @RogersBuzz sharing your TV ritual using #RTVNight and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a NextBox set-up and Samsung tablet.

Repost from Rogers Redboard


CRTC says customers can cancel wireless contract after 2 years

Phone locked on white backgroundCanada’s Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission says wireless customers will have the ability to cancel their cellphone contracts two years into their term without early termination fees — even if the term is longer — under a new code of conduct unveiled Monday.

The new code, taking effect Dec. 2, is unveiled after a set of public hearings earlier this year had customers demanding clarity of their cellphone contracts and additional charges on their monthly bill.

Also announced by the CRTC includes a overage data cap of $50 per month, and an international roaming data cap of $100 per month in an attempt to minimize surprise bills.

Customers will be able to unlock their mobile devices after 90 days, or immediately if they opt to pay the full price of the device.

The CRTC said customers will also be allowed to return their cellphone within 15 days of purchase (given they’ve stayed within usage limits) if they’re dissatisfied with the wireless provider’s service.


Attendees react to the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S4

The latest Galaxy phone from Samsung is receiving mixed first-impression reviews from attendees and technology pundits, after having a chance to play with the device first hand.

“For the amount of hype put behind this event, I was hoping for more focus on the hardware, versus just the ‘Smart’ features,” said Shan Yun, a technology blogger based out of China.

Samsung’s latest iteration of their flagship phone, the Galaxy S4, was announced to a sold-out crowd in New York City at Radio City Theater Thursday, as it was being streamed over the Internet for the world to see.

The phone sports a five-inch high-resolution Super-AMOLED display, weighs in at 130 grams (lighter than the current Galaxy S III), and one of the most tweeted-about features from fans is the device’s 13-megapixel camera on the back.

“The really interesting aspect of this device is that it becomes a life companion for you,” Paul Brannen, vice-president of Samsung Mobile said.

Software was a large focus of Thursday’s event.  Samsung played with the Radio City Theater theme, putting on a talent show featuring students from a New York City school.  They applied the phone’s new features into real-life situations, demonstrating “S Translator,” an app that allows you to use voice to verbally translate phrases—perfect for world travelers.

Samsung’s “Dual Camera” feature will enable users to use both front and rear cameras to capture a photo from both cameras simultaneously.  The app will superimpose the image from the front camera with the image from the back camera so that everyone can be in the shot—even if Mom is taking all of the photos at the beach.

“These are the types of features users look for—we know smartphones are powerful, but we want to know what exactly we can do with that power,” Yun said.

Other features include “Smart Pause,” the ability for the phone to sense when you are—and aren’t—looking at the phone. The Galaxy will play and pause the video accordingly, so you don’t miss a moment of your favourite flick.

If health is something you’re trying to buckle down on for 2013, “S Health” turns your phone into a full-fledged fitness tracker.  It will keep you up to date by measuring a variety of factors including your heart rate, weight, blood pressure, glucose levels, and graph it visually so you can get a better idea of your overall health.

“I go to the doctors quite often, and having the ability to go back and show him my health trends over the past few days, weeks, or months is really powerful,” Brannen said.

Technology pundits are saying they were disappointed that certain features were missing from the Galaxy, including longer battery life, new hardware redesign, and a metallic body that would better-survive accidental drops.

“I’m looking forward to see how this phone will shake up the market,” attendee Michael Watt said.  “From what I can see on Twitter, it looks like a lot of—dare I say it—iPhone users will make the ditch for Galaxy.  Only time will tell.”

Specific pricing and availability for the Galaxy S4 have not been announced, but it is set to launch on most major wireless carriers at the end of April.