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Living #LifeIn4K Watching The Blue Jays!

August 15, 2016 Leave a comment

Samsung UN55JS8500F 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV JS8500 Series

Now that I’ve finally got the space, and as a member of the Rogers Social Insiders (#RogersSI) I recently joined the world of 4K display television when the good folks at Rogers hooked me up with the gorgeous 55″ Samsung SUHD 4K Flat TV Smart TV. This baby has a resolution of 3840 x 2160, produces a super clear and bright picture, and is an absolute joy to watch!

Rogers 4K Nextbox

Equally important, along with the 4K TV Rogers sent me their new “Nextbox 4K” (which is aka Cisco CAV10242HD [PDF Manual]) with a free 4K TV subscription and free cable box rental so I can watch the Toronto Blue Jays playing all their 2016 home games broadcast in 4k! Yes, the Blue Jays are the first Major League Baseball team to broadcast all 81 of their home games in 4K resolutionAccording to Sportsnet they, “are North America’s first 24/7 dedicated sports feeds featuring 4K content…,” which is pretty freaking cool!

You’re probably wondering what it’s like to watch content in 4K and if it’s worth the investment right now so here are my thoughts on the strengths:

Toronto Blue Jays on Rogers Sportsnet 4k Samsung 55 inch 4k TV

  • Baseball: When you’re watching the Jays in 4K there is ABSOLUTELY a difference. Replays are when the picture resolution being 4x as large as 1080p HD shine especially bright. Watching a baseball game in 4K means when you yell at the garbage call the obviously blind ump made you KNOW that guy is clearly an idiot or the commissioner of the MLB really is out to get Toronto. 😉😂😂😂

Nature on Rogers Sportsnet 4k Samsung 55 inch 4k TV

  • Nature/Scenery: On the Rogers 4K Preview Channel (Ch 999 “4KTV”) they have been showing back to back episodes of Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan which is a show that has the actor from “Lost” travelling the world and exploring the nautral beauty of the plant and animal world. Watching the scenery and getting up close to the animals is truly breathtaking and I cannot wait until channels like Discovery and National Geographic start broadcasting in 4K!
  • YouTube: YouTube actually has a dedicated 4K section and because the Samsung Smart TV Rogers gave me has WiFi and is on my home network I’ve been watching a lot of my YouTube on the TV. YouTube has a bunch of 4K content and I have been watching things like The Slow Mo Guys, videos by NASA from outer space, and drone(?) flyover exploration videos of places all around the world on Amazing Places On Our Planet.

Now, while I am in love with the 4K TV and watching television in 4K there are currently a couple of weaknesses that bear mentioning, although I am sure these weaknesses will be addressed and fixed soon as they aren’t major issues.

  • HD TV Now Sort of Stinks: As a child of the 1980s I remember watching TV in the days before HD existed so I’m not actually complaining about the quality of HD or saying it is substandard. But once you start watching things in 4K and then watch 1080p HD shows (especially on a 4K TV) you notice the artifacts in the picture and can’t help but recognize that it’s a lower quality image than your TV can produce. Basically this first one isn’t really a weakness and is very much one of Dan’s #FirstWorldProblems which he should just quit talking about.😀😂😅 So, moving on…

Rogers 4K TV NextBox No Pause live TV, or FFWD, or Rewind aka Trick Plays.jpg

  • No PVR On Nextbox 4K (YET!): The current model Nextbox 4K does not have an internal hard drive which means you cannot record any TV on it. It also means that you can’t pause or rewind live TV. The Rogers Nextbox 4K, of course, CAN be put onto a home network of TV boxes so if you have a standard HD cable box like Rogers’ Nextbox 3.0 with PVR then you can access recordings from that box on the Nextbox 4K. I fully expect Rogers to release another Nextbox sooner or later which will address this.
  • No Picture In Picture [PIP]: When the Raptors were still in the 2016 NBA Playoffs and the Blue Jays were also playing a game, the struggle was real deciding which game to watch when I realized that the Nextbox 4K doesn’t support PIP display (so you can watch 2 channels at once). Luckily, I realized quickly I could watch one game on my computer or phone and the other one on TV so no PIP was really required…of course, this is something which can also be changed with an updated Nextbox release (or maybe even a software update?).

socks Toronto Blue Jays on Rogers Sportsnet 4k Samsung 55 inch 4k TV

All in all, I am loving living #LifeIn4K thanks to Rogers being so awesome and providing me with this TV, cable box, and TV subscription for free to test it out and write about. Keep watch on this space as well as my Twitter, SnapchatInstagram, and Facebook which all share the username TheDanLevy.

Have you watched stuff in 4K or have a 4K TV and/or TV subscription of your own? What do you think?

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Review: Rogers One Number

March 27, 2012 7 comments

rogers one number dialer & reach me rules

First off, thanks to the folks at Rogers who hooked me up with a Rogers line and phone so I could test out the new service now available to all of their customers for free: Rogers One Number (RON).

Rogers One Number is, in Rogers’ own words, ‘is a new service exclusively from Rogers [which] lets you talk, text and send picture messages, and video chat with other Rogers One Number users, all from your computer using your existing phone number.’ The RON dialog on your computer also allows you to add email inboxes so you can manage as many different methods of communication from one spot as possible.

Before I get into my experiences I want to let you know my quick and dirty opinion on RON and if it is right for you. If you’re a Rogers customer sign up immediately. There is absolutely no reason not to, it’s free and it is a great tool to have at your disposal.

The whole thing was extremely easy to set up from the RON website but note that the setup has to be done from your desktop/laptop and cannot be done from your phone. Once my laptop* had it installed Read more…

Learning About MLG And Meeting The @SonyEricssonCA Xperia PLAY & arc From @RogersBuzz

April 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Tonight I came down to Toronto’s historic Distillery District at the invitation of Sony Ericsson Canada and Rogers Wireless for the launch of the new Android phones the Xperia PLAY and Xperia arc.

I really came here in a capacity from a different blog I write for and I had already played with these phones at a sneak peek for them which happened a few weeks back. However, I was more than happy to play with them again tonight and see a whole bunch of friendly faces and even some new ones. Both devices are really cool, and, in fact they are almost exactly the same except the PLAY has slide out gaming controller keys akin to the PS3 (Playstation 3) controller. That aspect of the PLAY was even designed by the guy who designed the PS3 controller itself! The other difference is that the PLAY has a separate processor for gaming so your phone won’t slow down and neither will your gaming. This will give everyone the full experience of gaming and Android. Pretty cool!

The 2 new Xperia devices will be available in Canada exclusively from Rogers on April 28th.

Also, because the PLAY is a gamer’s phone and Sony Ericsson just recently became a sponsor of MLG (Major League Gaming) one of the top Halo players in the world who competes in the MLG, Tom Taylor aka “TSquared” was here along with a couple of other MLG personalities who I do not know. I actually wouldn’t have known who TSquared was if not for David Akermanis’ friend Alex. Alex explained the whole MLG thing to me after I was done joking about how he must watch it on ESPN 8 “The Ocho” (he didn’t get the joke because he didn’t remember the movie Dodgeball, I hope you got it).
Stepping back I realize that these guys who play this game at high levels must be the same as any one who plays any sport. There is a high level of skill and practice associated with playing these games even though all of our parents would look at them and say, “Uch, they’re playing video games?!?!? THIS is a job?!?!?

But when you think about it I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that when Babe Ruth decided he was going to be a pro baseball player his parents probably said the same thing to him. In those days people didn’t make money from playing baseball. It was just a sport and a past time the idea of playing for money was unheard of.

Who knows what will be the new league in another 100 years!

The All New Rotisserie Chicken Channel On Rogers! Bringing You All Chicken, All The Time

February 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Launched today on Rogers Digital Cable is an advertising channel paid for by Swiss Chalet. The channel is called “The Rotisserie Chicken Channel” (yes, I am serious, see the picture above if you don’t believe me) and will feature 6 chickens being rotated around on two rotisserie racks day in and day out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until late May. The only thing that will change about the channel, aside from how well done the chicken is as the looped footage begins or draws nearer to its end, is the ‘special offer’ directing people to the Swiss Chalet’s Facebook page where they have to “Like” the brand first before they can use the coupon code. The data alone gathered by people “Like”-ing the Swiss Chalet Facebook Page is worth something to Swiss Chalet. In fact, when I first checked the page to get a number for this sentence they were at 72,634 “Like”s – including 6 of my friends – and since I wrote this sentence, finished edited the post, and took a look at it again before pushing the Publish button it’s jumped to 72,655 and it’s still going.

According to one of the executive VPs/creative director at the agency responsible for the campaign and quoted by the Globe & Mail he himself will be tuning in, “Of course! Chicken, it’s delicious, the beautiful sound of the chicken crackling, it’s great.” I did tune in, obviously, just to see the channel (it’s Channel 208 on Rogers in case you were wondering) and to take the picture you see above. I like the idea of it as a ploy simply to draw attention to the brand but I have to wonder who is actually going to be tuning into this channel for longer than it takes for the day’s coupon code to show up?

There are other ambient channels that people probably do use (I don’t know if ‘watch’ is the right word) on Rogers such as the Aquarium Channel, the Fireplace Channel, and the Sunset Channel. These, however, serve a purpose in that they give ambiance to a room when you’re having a party or a gathering of friends and don’t actually have an aquarium or a fireplace or just want a beautiful vista as afforded by the Sunset Channel’s numerous sunsets. I can also see the sound of the aquarium and even the fireplace being soothing for some to fall asleep to as sort of a white noise generator.

Aquarium Channel HD, Fireplace Channel HD, & Sunset Channel HD. Now that's some quality HD programming!

Aquarium Channel HD, Fireplace Channel HD, & Sunset Channel HD. Now that's some quality HD programming!

But the Rotisserie Channel I don’t see serving the same purpose ever…unless you’re a die hard rotisserie chicken fan of course. Not only that, but they didn’t even spring for the Rotisserie Channel to have an HD version! I am guessing it is because it is expensive enough to buy one entire channel they decided against buying a second one to broadcast it in HD. But what about those people who want to feel like they’re IN the rotisserie with 5.1 surround sound? They’re unfortunately out of luck.

Kudos to the agency for thinking up this idea because even if no one is really watching the channel or leaving it on for ambient noise, the fact is I am talking about it on my blog, mainstream media outlets such as the Globe & Mail wrote about it, people all over the internet are mentioning, and my mother told me she heard about it on the radio, so it is bringing people’s awareness more to the Swiss Chalet brand. Will this work again if a burger place decides to make the BBQ Channel and has a channel where there are burgers being barbecued on a branded grill? (like one specific company has in their commercials) I doubt it. The ‘shock value’ of this cool, new idea will be lost by then and they’ll just be a copycat. Also, I absolutely LOVE their YouTube Preview video for the channel – the preview is ‘rated R’ (which means Rotisserie not Restricted) “For Scenes With Mouthwatering Images”. Check it out below.

Have you tuned in to the Rotisserie Chicken Channel? If no, are you going to now? Had you heard about it before you read this blog post? What do you think about it?

Maybe Swiss Chalet could throw in some episodes of Robot Chicken every now and again to keep it interesting between now and May? Just send Seth Green some chicken and maybe he’ll sell some episodes to you on the cheap!

Robot Chicken amalgamation made from Robot Chicken Desktop Wallpapers found here and here on AdultSwim.com’s Robot Chicken Page

I have no affiliation with any of the brands or agencies mentioned in the post.

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