Cutting the Cord Part 3 The HD Antenna

Last week I told you I cut my Optik TV with Telus and have begun exploring some cord cutting options. I have a Sportsnet and Netflix subscriptions to help compensate for not having a TV package.

I already have an Apple TV and a Roku 3 which I blogged about last year. This should help get me movie’s and TV that I am looking for. I’ve also researched some other options too via the web and will tell you about one of them the HD Antenna.

HD Antenna

The HD antenna is something I had not heard of. While you can’t stream with it, it does let you watch live TV. You hook the device into your TV, put it somewhere near a window and see what channels you can pick up.

It’s ideal for local news and sports. Your channel selection depends a lot on where you live, as well as your line of sight to the broadcast location. I checked both London Drugs and Best Buy online and London Drugs had one option for 79.99 the Terk Antenna. Best Buy had a large number of search results for HD Antennas as well.

Tom’s Guide also has a great article online for the best Best Indoor HDTV Antennas. As Tom’s Guide mentions a non-amplified antenna picks up signals across a range of about 20 miles and is good for you if you live in the city. The Mohu ReLeaf costs about $40.

Tom’s Guide also tell us how amplified antennas pick up signals over a range of about 50 miles, but also cost more. Their top pick here was the $40 Terk Trinity. Tom’s Guide is using U.S. prices which is why I have put links into London drugs and Best Buy to give you Canadian prices.

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Cutting the Cord Part Two Looking at streaming boxes

Roku 3Last week I did what I wanted to do and cut my Optik TV with TELUS. TELUS tried to offer a big discount to stay on with The Essentials package at 15 for 6 months versus 38.00$. I said no and eliminated 56.00 dollars from my monthly bill because I had two themes packs as well. One for Sports at 9.00 and another for Entertainment at 9.00.

I currently own an Apple TV and a Roku for streaming things such as Netflix and other content to my TV. Since I bought my HD TV before the SMART TV’s came out, I have had to use these to stream content that I want.

I’ve setup a Sportsnet Now account as I mentioned I’ll miss my live sports. It’s a 24.99 for all sports really except NFL games. The first 7 days are free. It offers me all local Canucks games which I want too. I’m planning to stream through my Apple devices including my computer and iPad. I also have Netflix as well to compensate at 9.00.

In my quest to cut my cable TV I’ve also been looking at the Android TV Box.

Amazon has a long list of streaming boxes including one called the Leelbox which is $56.99. This one does not come loaded with the Kodi needed to run a box. A quick Google search led me to the Kodi site where you can download the one you need. If you are not confident with downloading the Kodi, I suggest having the box come pre loaded as my friend did.

The Leelbox itself is a smart streaming media player with Android 5.1,  support for 4K Ultimate HD and video hardware decoding. The Leelbox also has the Google Play Store and other apps. The Roku has access to the Goolge Play Store which is why I hesitate purchase another box without investigating my Roku first. Stay tuned.

I also found the NinkBox TX8 on Amazon as well. This one is $118.99 and has Android 6.0 and a preloaded Kodi 16.1.  It has a metal shell with an external antenna as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This box has HDMI and AV out ports, Smart TV capabilities, and web browsing. It also allows for quick updating to ensure that bug fixes for Android and KODI can be downloaded.

That’s some good information that should get you started on the Android TV Box and other options for cutting the cord. I’ll still be researching other options for cutting cable TV so stay tuned.

Cutting the cord Part 1

Christmas is the time to load up on gadgets and tech and I am no different but this time I’m doing something I never thought I would do. I’m cutting my cable.

I currently have TV and Internet with Telus coming it at 109 per month. While I don’t dislike Telus or its service I just don’t watch TV enough to keep it running. Other than live sports such as Canucks games, I watch Netflix and other programs that can be downloaded and watched after the fact.

I found a recent CBC article tells us about ways you can save money on TV, Phone, and Internet legitimately. It’s a great read and one that inspired me to consider giving up my TV service.

I’ve already gotten rid of my home phone because I have a cell phone plan that allows me to do so. It’s a generational thing too I think because I’ve become used to the mobile phone and actually enjoy the silence of not receiving home phone calls. Many of them laterally came from solicitors and telemarketers anyways.

A friend suggested an Android TV Box as the way to go. He eliminated his cable package, saved around 80 dollars a month and bumped up his internet speed one notch to compensate. I’ll have watch my monthly download cap which is 200GB on Internet 15 from Telus. I’m going with Internet 25 at around 80 per month with 350GB download. Telus offers unlimited internet for an extra 15 per month.

A Google search also showed me there are a lot of resources out there that can be used to help you find ways to watch TV without using cable. Tom’s Guide seems to be one of them. Great advice here. I’ll put up another post later in the week and report on my findings as well as tell you about my purchase of my Android TV Box.

Find phone, mobile, Internet and TV Service providers in Canada

compare phones in canada

In a dynamic communications marketplace, Canadians have choices in innovative communications service providers. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is helping Canadians find the providers that best meet their needs with a new tool on its website.

Through the new Communication Service Providers in Canada online tool, Canadians will be able to search for phone, mobile, Internet and television services available in their area. Users can also access helpful details such as how different kinds of providers work, and learn about the types of communication technologies they use.

This new online tool includes practical tips to help Canadians make the most of communication services available to them. It also includes facts about switching providers and links to third-party websites that rate and compare the quality and value of communication packages.

The CRTC is unveiling this new online tool 10 days before significant changes come into effect for Canada’s television service providers. Starting March 1, 2016, Canadian TV service providers such as cable and satellite companies must offer a new affordable basic package that costs no more than $25 per month, not including rental equipment. Service providers also must offer either a selection of small channel bundles or give viewers the ability to select individual channels. Service providers must offer both small bundles and pick-and-pay by December 1, 2016.

Quick Facts

  • The new Communication Service Providers in Canada online tool helps Canadians find phone, mobile, Internet and TV services available in their area.
  • Details such as where service providers operate, the technologies they use and practical information including facts about switching service providers are available through this new online tool.
  • Starting March 1, television service providers must offer a new affordable TV package priced no higher than $25 per month, not including rental equipment.
  • Television service providers must also offer either a selection of small channel bundles or the option to pick and pay for individual channels.
  • Anyone can provide information to help update the Communications Service list by logging onto the following web link: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/comm/fourprov.htm

Quote
“During our consultations with Canadians, we have heard repeatedly that consumers crave choice and affordability when it comes to choosing communication services. We listened to what Canadians told us and many of our recent decisions have an important common thread: choice and sustainable competition. We know this is how we can ensure Canadians benefit from a world-class communications system. The new online tool that we are introducing today will help Canadians select service providers that make the most sense for their needs, their budgets and their realities.”

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC

Related Products

Associated Links

 

Ask a question or make a complaint

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SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

For further information: Media Relations, (819) 997-9403; General Inquiries, (819) 997-0313, Toll-free 1 (877) 249-CRTC (2782), TTY (819) 994-0423

 

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Government of Canada

Roku 3 an impressive streaming media player

Roku 3

Having been an Apple TV user for the past two years, when I was offered the chance to try a Roku 3 I thought I would give it a shot.

As someone who uses a MacBook Pro and iPhone 5s the Apple TV makes perfect sense but lately I have found my interest in Apple TV to be waning.

I’m not a fan of the small and clumsy remote that comes with the Apple TV and have found that its interface needs a bit of an update. The Roku 3 remote was a huge improvement and so was its interface.

Roku 3 Setup

When I unboxed the Roku 3 I was impressed by how easy it was to set up and install. I connected both a HDMI and Ethernet network cable to it as I wanted to be able to run through my TV and make sure I had a strong internet connection and not just relying on Wifi. I’ve included a quick video on setup below.

Setup was a breeze and I followed the instructions closely configuring the hardware first and then moving over to the software. Be forewarned you’ll need to make sure that you have enough HDMI ports. I already have an IOGear HDMI Hub because my Samsung TV has only two HDMI Ports. I had to add this to convert my TV to a smart TV.

Roku requires that you create an account so that you can complete setup and for when you want to use any of its paid features including over 1400 channels you can subscribe to in the Roku Channel Store.

I stuck with the basics included in the software which are YouTube, Netflix, I already have an account, Rdio and Google Play.

Google Play

I also checked out Google Play on the Roku. Added last October, Google Play acts like the Movies and TV function on the Apple TV allowing for you to watch new releases or iconic classics for both movies and television.

YouTube

I am avid streamer of channels and music from YouTube and used this regularly on AppleTV so when I saw the option to use it I thought I would check it out.

The YouTube interface for the Roku 3 is a nice one and it was here that I realized I could use voice search to find videos that I wanted. I found this worked reasonable well with about 60 percent of my requests. The remote also has a unique headphone jack for private listening which was nice as well.

All in all the Roku 3 is a great streaming media device and player. I would highly recommend it to anyone that doesn’t own a streaming device or is looking for a change from their current device.

Roku unveils upgraded Roku 3 and Roku 2 Streaming Players

Roku Inc. has unveiled two new ways for consumers in Canada to find and Rokudiscover streaming entertainment on their Roku® players. The first feature, ‘Roku Search’ enables consumers to search for movies, TV shows, actors and directors and view pricing and availability details across top streaming channels. The second feature ‘Roku Feed’ allows consumers to follow entertainment and get automatic updates on pricing and availability. The feature is launching with a focus on ‘Movies Coming Soon’ taking the guessing out of when a box office hit is available for streaming, which services offer the movie or how much it costs. The company also introduced a Roku 3 streaming player with voice search and a new faster-than-ever-before Roku 2 streaming player. The new features, updated mobile apps and new players will be available to customers in Canada beginning April 13.

“With the biggest lineup of streaming channels available, and comprehensive and easy ways to find and discover movies and TV episodes; Roku players make it simple for consumers to stream the entertainment they want to watch on their terms,” said Roku Chief Executive Officer Anthony Wood. “Now with a fast and fun way to search by voice, we’ve made the already popular Roku 3 even better.”

With a focus on giving consumers choice and control over their streaming entertainment, Roku Search gives people the ability to find what they want to watch and the power to decide how to watch it. Roku Search is a convenient and unbiased way for consumers to view filmographies and discover availability and pricing options they otherwise wouldn’t have known about. Consumers can search for movies, TV shows, actors and directors and receive all available results listed by price from top streaming channels. Roku is debuting search with Netflix, Crackle and Popcornflix while more streaming channels are expected to be added in the coming weeks. Additionally consumers can search by streaming channel name within the Roku Channel Store making it fast and easy to find channels from the more than 1,400 options available today.

The Roku Feed lets consumer know when favorite entertainment becomes available to stream — and at what price. Roku is debuting the feature with a focus on Movies Coming Soon, which can be found under the ‘My Feed’ tab on the TV’s home screen. Consumers simply “Follow” popular in-theater movies they are interested in and Roku will deliver automatic updates in the future as relevant streaming information about the movie becomes available. Consumers will receive updates in the Roku Feed when a movie is first released to streaming, becomes available from more streaming channels or changes price

Roku upgraded two of its popular streaming players – the Roku 3 and the Roku 2 – adding to the most complete line up of streaming players that also includes the Roku Streaming Stick and the Roku 1.

The new Roku 3 now includes a voice search capability adding a fun, fast way for people to search for what they want to watch. Like its predecessor, the Roku 3 is the company‘s top-of-the-line streaming player. It’s fast and fully loaded with features. The included enhanced remote control features a button to activate voice search, a headphone jack to enable private listening and motion control for to play casual games. The new Roku 3 will be available starting April 13 from retailers for a MSRP of CAD109.99.

The new Roku 2 was upgraded to match the speed and the performance of the new Roku 3. It is the perfect streaming player for those who want to watch video and music without the new Roku 3 enhanced remote. The new Roku 2 offers an extraordinary streaming experience and a snappy performance for a MSRP of CAD79.99. It will be available from retailers starting April 13.

In addition to using the included remote control, Roku offers a free mobile app to enable consumers to control their streaming player with their mobile device. An updated version of the Roku Mobile App for both iOS and Android devices will be available April 13 and will include support for the new search and discovery features announced today.

Roku will begin roll out of the software update that delivers the new features to all Roku players beginning April 13. Under separate announcements today, Roku also shared details on similar new products and features for customers in the U.S., U.K. and the Republic of Ireland. More information can be found at www.roku.com/about/pressroom.

About Roku, Inc.

Roku is the creator of a popular streaming platform for delivering entertainment to the TV. Roku streaming players and the Roku Streaming Stick® are made by Roku and sold through major retailers in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland. Roku licenses a reference design and operating system to TV manufacturers to create co-branded Roku TV models. Under the Roku Powered program, Roku licenses its streaming platform to Pay TV providers around the world who want to use the Internet to deliver entertainment services through streaming players. Roku was founded by Anthony Wood, inventor of the DVR. Roku is privately held and headquartered in Saratoga, Calif., U.S.

Avigilon showcases first 7K Camera at ISC West 2015

Avigilon Corporation a leading global provider of end-to-end security solutions,  avigilonannounced it will showcase the security industry’s first single-sensor 7K (30 megapixel) security camera at the ISC West 2015 tradeshow in Las Vegas, NV, USA. Delivering stunning image detail, the 7K HD Pro camera simultaneously provides most scene coverage while minimizing bandwidth and storage consumption, redefining the industry standard for high-resolution imaging. Avigilon also announced the release of the 6K (24 MP) HD Pro camera.

A powerful addition to Avigilon’s best-in-class, end-to-end surveillance solution, the 7K HD Pro camera, when coupled with the Avigilon Control Center (ACC) software featuring Avigilon’s patented High Definition Stream Management (HDSM)™ technology, provides the final combination of clear image detail, effective processing power and efficient bandwidth and storage management. A security industry first, Avigilon’s 7K camera offers horizontal resolution exceeding 7,000 pixels and more than 30 million total pixels.

“High definition imaging is core to Avigilon, and we are constantly innovating to create new industry standards. Avigilon is the leader in high-definition imaging solutions since the introduction of our first 11 MP camera in 2006,” said Dr. Mahesh Saptharishi, chief technology officer, Avigilon. “The launch of our 7K HD Pro camera combined with our leading Avigilon Control Center software expands our innovation in the security industry, creating a scalable and valuable solution that provides the highest quality images possible.”

H4 Platform and HDSM™ 2.0 Technology

The 7K (30 MP) and 6K (24 MP) devices join Avigilon’s family of 4K (8 MP) and 5K (16 MP) HD Pro cameras. The premium image quality of the HD Pro family of cameras is made possible by Avigilon’s H4 platform and efficient H.264 compression with the latest edition of Avigilon’s patented HDSM technology, HDSM 2.0. The cameras are also supported by Avigilon’s LightCatcher™ technology, which provides a superior level of low-light performance. The combination of these technologies enables increased resolution, greater processing power, outstanding image quality and efficient bandwidth and storage management.

Availability

The 7K (30 MP) and 6K (24 MP) HD Pro cameras will be demonstrated at booth 22043 at the ISC West 2015 tradeshow from April 15-17 in Las Vegas, NV, USA. For more information on product availability, please contact a local sales representative at avigilon.com/sales-locator.

About Avigilon

Avigilon Corporation is defining the future of protection through creative end-to-end security solutions. Avigilon’s industry-leading HD network video management software, megapixel cameras, access control and video analytics products are reinventing the security market. Information about Avigilon can be found at www.avigilon.com.

SOURCE Avigilon Corporation

#CES2015 HP Reinvents the Desktop PC for the Home

HP Pavilion Mini

If you’re looking for a streaming box for your TV stop and take a look at this first. HP has introduced a very small desktop computer which could be a robust alternative to something like Apple TV or Roku. With this little unit you could have your entire computer connected to your TV. In fact you could transform your TV into a multimedia powerhouse. HP today announced the HP Pavilion Mini Desktop and the HP Stream Mini Desktop, powerful and smart desktop PCs boosting performance in a small, contemporary, and energy-efficient design that looks beautiful in any room in the home.

“The desktop tower PC continues to be a focal point in the home for sharing, creating, and entertaining,” said Mike Nash, vice president, product management, Consumer Personal Systems, HP. “The HP Pavilion and HP Stream Mini Desktops deliver the benefits of a traditional desktop PC in a package that looks good sitting on a desk and is small enough to fit into an entertainment center.”

HP Pavilion MiniConsumers want a powerful and refined desktop PC to complement their personal style and homes without creating more clutter while maintaining a designated place for friends and families to come together to share, create, and be entertained.  At only 2.06 inches in height and weighing just 1.6 lbs.,(1) the HP Pavilion Mini Desktop can fit in the palm of a hand. It maximizes productivity enabled by Windows 8.1(2) and supports processors up to Intel® Core™ i3.(3) Customers can store and connect to more videos and photos with up to 1 TB storage (4) and up to 8 GB of expandable memory.(5) Consumers can also immerse themselves in casual gaming and entertainment using the dual display support with DisplayPort and HDMI compatible ports, giving them the ability to stream and access content on multiple screens, including TV with Quad HD support.

The HP Pavilion Mini Desktop is ENERGY STAR® certified, drawing up to 45 watts of power compared to 250 watts for a typical tower PC.  Built-in Wi-Fi(6) and Bluetooth® allow customers to stream content from any room they choose and connect with Bluetooth accessories. With the decline use of optical DVD media in a more connected digital world, the HP Pavilion Mini Desktop does not include an optical drive.  External USB optical drive can be used through any of the four USB ports. The HP Pavilion Mini Desktop comes in Snow White to effortlessly complement home décor.

Joining the innovative line of HP Stream products is the HP Stream Mini Desktop, providing unsurpassed value in the same small and powerful package as the HP Pavilion Mini Desktop. The HP Stream Mini Desktop comes with value-added services including 32 GB solid-state drive (SSD) for speed and reliability, 200 GB of Microsoft OneDrive Storage for two years,(7) and a $25 gift card for the Windows Store to purchase apps, Xbox games, music and more.(8) The HP Stream Mini Desktop comes in a vibrant Cobalt Blue to match the stunning colors offered in the HP Stream family.

 

Pricing and Availability(9)

The HP Pavilion Mini Desktop and HP Stream Mini Desktop are expected to be available in the United States on Jan. 14, 2015 at www.hpshopping.com, and select retailers on Feb. 8, 2015. Both come bundled with keyboard and mouse.

·         The HP Pavilion Mini Desktop starting price of $319.99 includes Intel Pentium 3558U processor, 4 GB RAM and a 500 GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD).

·         The HP Stream Mini Desktop starting price of $179.99 includes Intel Celeron 2957U processor, 2 GB RAM and a 32 GB SSD.

 

About HP

HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society.  With the broadest technology portfolio spanning printing, personal systems, software, services and IT infrastructure, HP delivers solutions for customers’ most complex challenges in every region of the world.  More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.

 

(1)      Actual weight will vary by configuration.

(2)      Not all features are available in all editions or versions of Windows. Systems may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware, drivers and/or software to take full advantage of Windows functionality. See http://www.microsoft.com.

(3)      Intel’s numbering is not a measurement of higher performance.

(4)      For hard drives, TB = 1 trillion bytes. Actual formatted capacity is less. Up to 30GB of hard drive is reserved for system recovery software.

(5)      For hard drives, GB = 1 billion bytes. Actual formatted capacity is less. Up to 30GB of hard drive is reserved for system recovery software.

(6)      Wireless access point and Internet service required and not included.

(7)      The OneDrive free cloud storage offer is available for a limited time.  Check the activation card inside the package for details. For more information, go to http://onedrive.com/windowsoffer.

(8)      Limited Time Offer and available in select countries. To redeem, visit www.Microsoft.com/HPStream for information on the offer, availability, and terms. Internet service required and not included. Microsoft account required to install apps from the Windows Store. Gift card included with purchase. Restrictions apply.

(9)      Estimated U.S. street prices. Actual prices may vary.

Project Latte Reveals Sci-Fi and Fantasy Collection

projectlattethumbnail

Bell Media revealed yesterday that its upcoming subscription on-demand projectlattevideo streaming service, code-named “Project Latte,will deliver to its subscribers the most-sought after sci-fi and fantasy-themed premium TV content in the country when it launches next month, anchored by genre hits ORPHAN BLACK and BBC’s DOCTOR WHO. In addition to revealing “Project Latte’s” Sci-Fi & Fantasy collection, Bell Media also announced that ARROW and THE FLASH are the first titles confirmed for the service’s Superhero collection. These announcements are the latest in a series of programming confirmations for Canada’s premium TV streaming service, set to launch in December.

“Some of the hottest TV shows on earth now are sci-fi and fantasy-themed, so we’ve strategically curated Project Latte to deliver the best of this type of programming,” said Mike Cosentino, Senior Vice-President, Programming, Bell Media. “In addition to our own ORPHAN BLACK and cult-hit DOCTOR WHO, we are also proud to offer the complete STAR TREK collection – one of the most iconic and beloved TV franchises of all time.”

At launch, the Sci-Fi & Fantasy, STAR TREK, and Superheroes collections will represent more than 1,500 hours of programming for “Project Latte” subscribers.

ORPHAN BLACK and DOCTOR WHO

  • At launch, “Project Latte” will feature past seasons of two of the hottest shows on TV – conspiracy clone drama ORPHAN BLACK (20 episodes), exclusively available on “Project Latte, and BBC’s cult-hit DOCTOR WHO (108 episodes). Last season, ORPHAN BLACK reached a total of 3.7 million viewers and more than 832,000 unique viewers each week on Space. DOCTOR WHO, the #1 series of all time on Space, reached epic proportions in its recently wrapped eighth season, averaging 756,000 viewers weekly, making it the most-watched TV series on Canadian specialty television during its run.

STAR TREK

  • Bell Media has secured the subscription on-demand video streaming service rights for the entire TV catalogue of one of the most popular series of all time, STAR TREK. Every single episode of STAR TREK’s six series, 30 seasons, 715 hours, and 726 episodes can only be found together on “Project Latte” at launch, allowing subscribers to re-live the intergalactic magic from Captains Kirk to Picard to Janeway.
  • While the catalogue has been available to fans in various forms throughout the years, “Project Latte” will be the only service to deliver all six series in their entirety: STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES; STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION; STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE; STAR TREK: VOYAGER; and STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE.
  • Plus, fans get access to the little-known STAR TREK: THE ANIMATED SERIES, voiced by the original cast.

UTOPIA

  • “Project Latte” will also feature the British conspiracy thriller UTOPIA, which earlier this week was awarded “Best Drama” at the International Emmy Awards.
  • From Kudos, one of the world’s leading television production companies, UTOPIA follows five online strangers who are drawn together by the legendary manuscript of a cult graphic novel, and then find themselves pursued by a secret and deadly organization known only as The Network.
  • The U.K. series is being adapted for HBO by director David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, HOUSE OF CARDS) and writer Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl).

SCI-FI & FANTASY

  • Also joining the lineup of ever-growing premium content on “Project Latte” is cop fantasy GRIMM, smoking-hot werewolf drama BITTEN, fan-favourite TEEN WOLF, Season 1 of BBC’s epic adventure drama ATLANTIS, medieval fantasy MERLIN, BBC’s action-packed series SINBAD, comedy horror TODD & THE BOOK OF PURE EVIL, cult favourite military sci-fi series BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA (2004-09), and its spin-off CAPRICA. The iconic and influential THE TWILIGHT ZONE will also be available to “Project Latte” subscribers, in fully re-mastered glory.
  • Coming up later in 2015 is the greatly anticipated new Space Original production KILLJOYS, an interplanetary space drama from ORPHAN BLACK producers Temple Street Productions.

SUPERHEROES

Bell Media announced today the first titles for its “Superheroes” collection, ARROW and THE FLASH, two of the most-watched television programs in Canada, Based on the DC comic characters, ARROW is billionaire playboy and secret vigilante Oliver Queen, while THE FLASH is Barry Allen, the Fastest Man Alive.

Programming announced today represent content from BBC Worldwide, CBS Studios International, Entertainment One Television, Frantic Films, FremantleMedia International, MGM, NBC Universal, Shine Group, Temple Street Productions, and Warner Bros. International Television Distribution.

Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of programming confirmations by Canada’s premium subscription on-demand video streaming service, code-named “Project Latte” and set to launch in December. Devoted exclusively to the best content on television, the service will feature thousands of hours of content representing TV’s top premium brands, including the entire off-air library of HBO’s iconic programming catalogue; an unmatchable comedy slate headlined by SEINFELD and featuring every single episode of MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS; as well as TV programming not found anywhere else in Canada, including MANHATTAN. Additional details about “Project Latte” – including its final name – will be announced in the weeks to come.

About “Project Latte”

Created for TV lovers and devoted exclusively to television, “Project Latte” is Canada’s premium subscription on-demand video streaming service, providing the most robust lineup of superior television content in the country. From TV’s most-acclaimed dramas and beloved comedies to documentaries, music, and factual programming, “Project Latte” will feature more than 10,000 hours of premium non-kids TV programming, with more than 350 unique TV titles. Designed to complement traditional television and available to all TV providers, to date “Project Lattewill be offered via set-top box to TELUS Optik TV, Bell Fibe TV, and Bell Aliant FibreOP TV subscribers at launch. The service will also be available via mobile apps, the web, game consoles, and smart TVs. Set to launch later this year, “Project Latte” is from Bell Media, Canada’s premier multi-media company.

About Bell Media

With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media creates content and builds brands that entertain, tell, engage, and inspire audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s #1 television network; 35 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, Canada’s most-watched specialty channels in English and French; and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca.

Project Latte New Streaming Service from Bell Media

projectlattethumbnail

Project LatteBell Media announced last week it will soon launch a new video streaming service devoted exclusively to the best content on television. From the company with more than a decade of leadership delivering Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed television programming across the Pay, Specialty, and Network TV landscapes, the on-demand subscription service, currently code-named “Project Latte”, will feature thousands of hours of content representing TV’s top premium brands including, it was confirmed today, HBO. With content from all key Hollywood major and independent studios, “Project Latte” does not duplicate existing services, but instead features additive and exclusive programming.

Now available to every TV provider in Canada, “Project Latte” is designed to enhance the value of the subscription television ecosystem. “Project Latte” will be made available to all TV subscribers in the country, pending agreements with participating TV providers, on their traditional set-top box, as well as via mobile apps, the web, and other platforms including game consoles and Smart TVs. Additional details will be announced in the weeks to come.

“We built Project Latte as a complementary service that will delight and amaze viewers with thousands of hours of premium entertainment available on-demand and on the device of their choice,” said Kevin Crull, President, Bell Media. “Project Latte addresses a significant gap in the Canadian TV system and allows TV providers to greatly enhance the value they give to their clients. We are incredibly excited about the potential for this product and how it fits into our overall portfolio of Canada’s best television brands and programs.”

“If you like TV, you will love Project Latte’s program lineup,” said Mike Cosentino, Senior Vice-President, Programming, Bell Media. “Our singular focus on TV series, along with our established studio relationships in Hollywood and beyond, means we are uniquely positioned and hyper-focused on delivering the best TV programs to the most-devoted TV lovers. While our extensive HBO deal is a game-changer and instantly makes us a viewer favourite, HBO content comprises only 10% of our planned inventory at launch. Stay tuned as Project Latte’s complete lineup is revealed in the weeks to come.”

HBO is the first of many world-class content partners announced for “Project Latte”, which, further to Bell Media’s previously announced agreement, will be the Canadian home of the entire off-air library of HBO’s iconic programming catalogue. As confirmed today, “Project Latte” will feature the entire HBO scripted library, featuring some of the most-celebrated television programming of all time. In addition to THE SOPRANOS, THE WIRE, and SEX AND THE CITY, additional Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning HBO classic series to be available on “Project Latte” include SIX FEET UNDER, BAND OF BROTHERS, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM,BIG LOVE, ENTOURAGE, OZ, IN TREATMENT, HUNG, ROME, and DEADWOOD, among others.

“Project Latte” will also showcase the complete HBO Films catalogue of nearly 100 titles that have been the recipients of countless Academy®, Golden Globe, Peabody, and Emmy Awards, as well as the Palme d’Or and other film festival accolades. Among the selections are ELEPHANT, AMERICAN SPLENDOUR, BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, GAME CHANGE, TEMPLE GRANDIN, CONSPIRACY, THE GATHERING STORM, THE NORMAL HEART, and GREY GARDENS.

As well, “Project Latte” is the home to more than 150 titles from the HBO Documentaries library, including Academy Award-nominated 4 LITTLE GIRLS, the Emmy and Peabody award-winning WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE: A REQUIEM IN FOUR ACTS, SIX BY SONDHEIM, and the recent festival favourite SEDUCED AND ABANDONED.

Finally, “Project Latte” will exclusively feature HBO’s lineup of close to 160 iconic stand-up comedy specials featuring some of the biggest names in comedy of all time, including George Carlin, Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Maher, Dennis Miller, Louis C.K., Sarah Silverman, Margaret Cho, and more.

About “Project Latte”

Created for TV lovers and devoted exclusively to television, “Project Latte” is Canada’s premium subscription on-demand service, providing the most robust lineup of hit television content in the country. From TV’s most-acclaimed dramas and beloved comedies to documentaries, music, and factual programming, “Project Latte” will feature more than 10,000 hours of non-kids TV programming, with more than 350 unique TV titles. Designed to complement traditional television, the video service gives viewers the ability to watch thousands of hours of hit past and present TV series. Available to all TV providers, “Project Latte” will be delivered via set-top box, apps, online, and other platforms. “Project Latte” is from Bell Media, Canada’s premier multi-media company.

About Bell Media:

With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media creates content and builds brands that entertain, inform, engage, and inspire audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s #1 television network; 35 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, Canada’s most-watched specialty channels in English and French; and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca.

Slingbox M1 review

slingbox m1

Let me tell you a story about my experience with the Slingbox M1.

The M1 was delivered a few weeks back and at first I thought, “why would I need this? Why do I need to stream TV when I can stream so many other content sources over the Internet?”

I connected and configured the unit and tried it out for a while. Kinda neat I guess.  I could stream live TV to my laptop and computers throughout my house. I could stream to my smartphone and tablet. Then I forgot about it for a week.

Then came Thanksgiving Day (yes, for all our American readers, the Canadian Thanksgiving was on October 13th) and that was when I really was able to test drive the M1. I wasn’t home that day as I went to my mother-in-laws house for dinner. The kids were planted firmly in front of the TV watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the ladies were in the kitchen preparing the Thanksgiving feast. I was bored.

This is when I pulled out my smartphone and connected to my home TV and started streaming the Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks football game. Okay now I was starting to see the value in the Slingbox.

stream live tv

As I sat back and enjoyed the game I started playing with the interface a little more and realized I could create favorite stations which made it a little easier to navigate. I showed the game to my sister-in-law and she asked, “is that really on your TV at home?” I showed her that I could navigate to the Shaw Cable TV guide and she was floored.

Since that day I’ve used the M1 numerous times including while ironing I’ve streamed the Vancouver Canucks game vs Edmonton Oilers on October 17th through my iMac and was amazed with the HD quality and sound. I’ve also streamed content for my daughter via the PVR and she was amazed that we could do such a thing.

All in all I’m finding more value in my M1 everyday. It was a worthwhile purchase and I’ll be enjoying it for months to come.

Jay

 

 

VIZIO HDTVs and Audio Collection now available in Canada

Vizio

VIZIO, the #1 Smart TV and Sound Bar company in the U.S., announced last week the viziotwoCanadian availability of its award-winning portfolio of HDTV and audio products at Best Buy and Future Shop locations throughout Canada as well as online at bestbuy.ca and futureshop.ca.  Consumers can now visit retail locations across Canada to experience VIZIO’s best-in-class technologies for themselves.  Whether in the market for a new HDTV for the living room, or interested in a sound bar to upgrade their home theater, Canadian consumers will appreciate VIZIO’s attainable, beautifully simple products backed by North America-based customer support.

Canadian consumers can now find VIZIO’s popular E- and M-Series Full-Array LED Smart TVs and a range of award-winning audio solutions, including VIZIO’s 2.1 and 5.1 Sound Bars Systems and 2.1 Sound Stand, at retail locations nationwide. Whether looking to buy at retail or browsing before shopping online, Canadian consumers now have access to an informative in-store experience at Best Buy Canada and Future Shop retail locations.

The inviting, interactive VIZIO-branded displays in-store feature both VIZIO E- and M-Series Smart TVs as well as various audio offerings, allow consumers to see, listen and learn about VIZIO’s award-winning technologies before purchasing.

“VIZIO is excited to bring our brand promise of quality, innovation, value and support to Canadian consumers,” said Lily Knowles, Vice President of Product Marketing. “From an outstanding in-store experience, to a newly designed Canadian VIZIO website and national television advertising campaign, VIZIO is committed to Canadian consumers.  Its our mission to engage new VIZIO fans and make sure they get properly acquainted with VIZIO and learn about our technologies so they can make an informed decision.”

Once consumers have a chance to visualize what VIZIO product(s) will work best in their homes, they can go in-store with help from the “Find A Retailer” feature on VIZIO.ca for the full, hands-on experience.  Depending on the site a consumer visits, a VIZIO brand wall may occupy anywhere from an 8- to 12-foot-wide wall in all 135 Future Shop stores nationwide and up to 32-foot-wide section in all 72 Best Buy Canada destinations.  In addition to one-on-one interaction with VIZIO Smart TVs and audio products, consumers also have access to trained Blue Shirts at Best Buy and sales associates at Future Shop to walk them through the benefits of each VIZIO product.

“With Best Buy and Future Shop positioned as Canada’s top two retailers of consumer electronics and lifestyle goods, we’re excited to bring VIZIO’s award-winning product line to Canada,” said Jason Abrams, Director of Televisions, Best Buy Canada and Future Shop. “We are very proud to offer VIZIO’s HDTVs and audio solutions to our customers through leading store networks as well as online and mobile capabilities.”

All VIZIO Smart TVs offered in Canada feature the VIZIO Internet Apps Plus® platform, bringing apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Yahoo! News, Flickr, Crackle and more, right into the living room, bedroom or den. An app dock overlays the bottom of the screen giving consumers quick, at-a-glance access to seven of their favorite apps, without interrupting on-screen content.  With the selected app in center focus of the display, users can easily view the previous three and next three apps in the carousel for faster navigation.

VIZIO audio solutions serve as the perfect complement for today’s slim HDTVs and bring superior surround sound and new convenience features to any room in the house. From the VIZIO 54″ 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar System with Wireless Subwoofer designed for consumers with HDTVs 55″ and larger, to the VIZIO 2.1 Sound Stand which offers room-filling audio in a compact form factor, VIZIO brings a variety of options to consumers looking to upgrade their audio experience or create a personal home theater. VIZIO’s 2.1 Sound Stand was recognized by Digital Trends with a 2014 Best of CES Awards nomination in the home audio category, while Sound & Vision chose VIZIO’s 42″ 2.1 Home Theater Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer as a 2013 Top Pick of the Year.

VIZIO sound bars include an intuitive and easy-to-use remote which features a built-in LCD screen, allowing users to easily adjust input, turn on Bluetooth pairing, enable/disable audio technologies, or select other audio settings. The entire VIZIO audio line-up comes equipped with convenient Bluetooth technologies for streaming music, even when the TV is off, and includes all necessary cables for a quick, hassle-free set-up right out of the box.

About VIZIO

VIZIO, Inc. is headquartered in Irvine, California. VIZIO skyrocketed to the #1 shipper of LCD television in North America in Q2 20071, within five years from their first shipment, and has been in the top 3 ever since2. VIZIO is now also America’s #1 Smart TV company5 and large size LCD TV company3. VIZIO is also the #1 Sound Bar Brand in the U.S4. For over a decade, VIZIO has remained committed to what it does best — focus on the consumer to deliver visionary products at a great value. The brand is consistently recognized for excellence in customer service, and was awarded 19 Stevie Awards, including the Grand Stevie Award in the 8th Annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. VIZIO offers a broad range of award-winning consumer electronics that now include PCs and mobility products.