Dale Dietrich
friedman: always supply your comparative advantage
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Category — broadcasting

Hotspot Shield Works in Canada Again–With Some Annoyances

Categories: broadcastingcanadainteractive mediainternetsoftwaretv
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hotspot shield logoBack in May, 2009 I reported that Hulu had managed to defeat Hotspot Shield. As of September 9, 2010 the latest Hotspot Shield seems to be effective at defeating Hulu’s anti-circumvention measures.

At this moment I can access each of:

  • Hulu: I can access full episodes of shows on Hulu now. Below, for example, is Episode 2 of Season 1 of MasterChef:

masterchef on hulu via hotspot shield

  • Pandora: I had happily used Pandora for a long time before they cut off access to Canadians. I’m delighted that I can access it again.

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A Week of Wimbledon in HD

Categories: broadcastingtennis
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2008 Wimbldeon - in HD on NBC

Ah …. Finally …. Wimbledon in HD!

I’m happy to report that NBC lived up to its promise to provide high def coverage of Wimbledon for the first time this weekend. And, surprisingly, they’ll be broadcasting all of the second week at Wimbledon in HD too.

With the U.S. Feb 17, 2009 digital cut over deadline looming, my bet is that the 2009 Australian Open will be carried in HD too, making all four grand slams available in HD in North America for the first time.

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French Open 2008 First Week

Categories: broadcastingcanadatennis
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French Open 2008 - NBC HD - Nadal There’s not much to love about this year’s French Open – so far. There wasn’t one memorable match in the first week.

Two of my favourites, Davenport (not playing for ‘personal reasons’) and Roddick (out for a rotator cuff injury) are not participating. Three time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten, one of my all-time favourites, formally retired from professional tennis this week after an early round loss (I’ll miss Guga). Clijsters’, Henin’s, & Agassi’s retirements have left big holes in the sport. Hingis was forced out of professional tennis due to a cocaine scandal. Baghdatis, Fish, Mauresmo, Safin, Blake, and V. Williams’ were all early round losers. Significant rain delays resulted in the poor already Super Signal coverage (see below) being even worse than usual.

On a happier note, it was a pleasure to see Hewitt go down to Ferrer and Serena Williams go down (once again with little grace or class) to Srebotnik. I was a Hewitt fan in his earlier years. But his success made him too cocky and arrogant for my tastes. Serena’s always been in my bad books with rarely a kind word for anyone.

French Open 2008 - NBC HD - FedererPerhaps I was spoiled with the terrific first week of tennis at the 2008 Aussie Open. The early round Roddick-Kohlschreiber and Federer-Tipsarevic matches there were probably some of the best matches I have seen in years.

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Global Begins HD Broadcasting in Canada

Categories: broadcastingcanada
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Global HD

Canada’s national television network, Global, is now broadcasting in HD in the Metropolitan Toronto and Golden Horseshoe areas of Ontario on their Hamilton (CHCH) and Toronto (CIII) affiliates. Global is Canada’s last major nationwide network to start broadcasting in HD. It was facing a June 2008 hard deadline imposed by the CRTC to begin broadcasting. It had missed previous CRTC-imposed deadlines.

Global (CHCH on 11-1 and CIII on 41-1) follows CTV (CFTO on 9-1), CBC (CBLT on 5-1), CityTV (on 57-1), SunTV (on 66-1), Omni1 (CFMT), Omni2 (CJMT) and CRC (CBC French) all of which had been broadcasting in HD for some time. TV Ontario is not yet broadcasting in HD.

Depending on their southern exposure, Torontonians can also expect to receive ABC (WKBW on 7-1), CBS (WIVB on 4-1), NBC (WGRZ on 2-1), Fox (WUTV on 29-1), PBS (WNED on 43-1), Think Bright (on 43-3),  CW (WNLO on 23-1), RTN (retro TV on 7-2) and other U.S. networks broadcasting in HD from up-state New York.

All these channels are available free to anyone in Metro Toronto that has an inexpensive UHF antenna and an HDTV or other settop box with an ATSC tuner (a.k.a. HDTV tuner). Many HDTVs have ATSC tuners built in as do TiVo HD and TiVo Series 3 units.

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CRTC Rejects Independent HD Broadcaster

Categories: broadcastingcanada
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Text of Decision

In yet another example of Canada’s broken broadcasting policy, Canada’s national broadcasting regulator, the CRTC, today denied John Bitove’s (XM Canada’s founder) HDTV Network Inc’s application for an eight city Canadian HDTV broadcast network. The network was to be backed by Microsoft founder and Charter Communication’s chairman, Paul Allen.

Most Canadian cities have few or no digital broadcasters. Global has repeatedly missed the CRTC-imposed deadlines to launch its terrestrial HD broadcast system in Canada. Here, a proven entrepreneur was denied the right to do that which a national Canadian broadcaster is unwilling or unable to do.

Why? Because the network was not committing to broadcast enough local Canadian content. Content that most Canadians neither want nor watch.

It was heartening to see one commissioner, Len Katz, dissent.

Canada’s broadcasting policy is in need of top to bottom reform with an emphasis on market-driven competition and integration with U.S. broadcast and telecom policy. Until then, Canadian consumers are left with an increasingly sub-par and antiquated broadcast  system.

Cross-posted to ZNF here.

Update: The San Francisco Chronicle picked up this post here.

Related Posts:

- Using the TiVo Series 3 in Canada (October 15, 2006)

Sources: globeinvestor.com | Financial Post | Canadian Press | Digital Home Canada | Globe & Mail | inside the cbc

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