Dale Dietrich
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Canadian Streaming TV Guide

Categories: canadainteractive mediatv
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imageBecause there is no Hulu in Canada,  in the past I have written about various, albeit limited, online TV streaming resources available to Canadians (see, for example here and here). 

Today I received an email from Seppo Sahrakorpi of Pilvi Computing announcing his new ‘Streaming Guide’ which links to all the disparate TV streaming offerings available to Canadians. I tested it and it works well. The interface is rather sparse, yet simple and effective.  It’s a simple alphabetical list of all TV shows that can be watched online in Canada. You can sort by various genres.

While this worked well on my PC, unfortunately, owing to the iPad’s lack of support for Flash, I couldn’t get any of the shows I tested to work on my iPad. Sad smile

Putting this together must have been an awful lot of work. What’s more, to keep it up-to-date, will require a herculean ongoing effort. Let’s hope Seppo is up to the task!  Thanks for all the hard work Seppo.

NOTE: Last I tested it, Hotspot shield still allowed Canadians full access to Hulu.

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Netflix Launches in Canada–With the Cupboards Bare

Categories: canadainteractive mediainternetmoviestv
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image

This week, Netflix launched its long awaited and much coveted Netflix Canada service. Unfortunately, the content selection cupboard is mostly bare.

The limited offerings (and lack of DVD service) explains the $7.99 Cdn per month price. The minimum monthly fee that Americans pay for their Netflix service is $9.95 U.S.. For that they get a DVD-by-mail service and a substantially broader array of on-demand offerings.

Limited Launch Offerings:

Browsing through their movie and TV offerings, it appears that there are only about 100 older movies available – too many of which are third-rate movies. There are no new movie offerings.

There are only 18 TV series available at launch, with Heroes seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4 constituting four of the 18.  Mad Men seasons 1, 2 and 3, but not any of the current Season 4, make up another three of the 18. Several of the available TV series I’ve never heard of (Hoarders, Paranormal State, The Boondocks, Drop Dead Diva?). Aside from Heroes and Mad Men, there are no other past or present broadcast or cable network prime-time hit TV series available at all.

Happily, the service is not chock-a-bloc full of the made-in-Canada TV content that riddle the Canadian versions of the Apple TV & Xbox 360 on-demand services. In fact, there isn’t a single made-in-Canada movie or TV show available through the service.

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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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Canada’s Global Network Also Offers Full Primetime TV Episodes Online

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 24 being streamed on globaltv
Following my recent ‘Canada’s CTV Puts Full Primetime TV Episodes Online’ post, my commenters (see here and here) have justly schooled me in Canada’s current TV episode streaming offerings. While I was aware of the rather piddling offerings that had been available over the last few years, as of late, it seems, there is a lot more on offer than I was aware.

Case in Point – GlobalTV.com’s increasingly impressive array of full-episode primetime and daytime TV streaming offerings. Global is one of Canada’s three nation-wide broadcasters. It carries about half of all U.S. primetime network content. 

The index of shows available from GlobalTV.com is here. Only clips are available for some shows like Survivor and ET Canada. But recent full episodes (plus indicated bonus materials) for the following shows are available:

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Canada’s CTV Puts Full Primetime TV Episodes Online

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imageCanada’s CTV Network hast recently started putting full-length episodes of prime TV shows online. CTV is one of Canada’s three major television networks. It carries about half of the major U.S. primetime shows in Canada. Global carries the other half.

The new service is available here (see the ‘Watch Online at CTV.ca’ heading to the right). Episodes can be viewed full screen, though the resolution is quite low by Hulu standards. Episodes are divided into segments/clips, presumably matching how shows are segmented between commercials when broadcast. Canadians can fast forward and rewind or jump from segment to segment. Users cannot, however, fast forward through the short commercials (about 10 to 15 seconds each) that play before some, but not all, segments. So far I haven’t seen many commercials. Below is a picture of the interface:

ctv.ca prime time tv episode viewer

A FAQ is available here. Multiple seasons/episodes of some shows, like ‘The Daily Show’ are available. Only the most recent of others, like Lost  and Grey’s Anatomy, are available. I’ve tested several shows and so far the system works well – though the resolution certainly needs a boost.

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Starbuck with Starbuck at Starbucks

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Dirk Benedict (Starbuck from the 1978 Battlestar Galactica) with Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck from 2004 ‘reimagined’ series) at Starbucks 1
I thought these pictures of Dirk Benedict (the original Starbuck from the 1978 Battlestar Galactica series), with Katee Sackhoff (the new Starbuck from the 2004 ‘reimagined’ Battlestar Galactica series) at Starbucks were compelling.

I snapped these from the BattleStar Galactica Finale Special that aired on Space TV on March 20, 2009. It looks like they was taken towards the beginning of the ‘reimagined’ series given how young Katee Sackhoff is in them.

Click on the images for larger views.

Dirk Benedict (Starbuck from the 1978 Battlestar Galactica) with Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck from 2004 ‘reimagined’ series) at Starbucks 2   Dirk Benedict (Starbuck from the 1978 Battlestar Galactica) with Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck from 2004 ‘reimagined’ series) at Starbucks 3   Dirk Benedict (Starbuck from the 1978 Battlestar Galactica) with Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck from 2004 ‘reimagined’ series) at Starbucks 4

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XBox 360 Teases with Temporary MSNBC iVoD in Canada

Categories: canadageekinteractive mediatv
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I recently read Brent Evans’ ZNF post on Vista Media Center’s (‘MC’) new MSNBC video on demand service. As with virtually every-other Internet-related video distribution announcement these days, I fully expected this service not to be available in Canada.

Here’s a typical message I get when I try to access this type of MC functionality from Canada:

windows media center - sorry, there is no internet tv content available for canadaVirtually none of the movie, TV, or other media-related services our American friends take for granted in MC are available in the Great White North.

Much to my surprise, as I was testing out the Xbox 360 media-extended piece of the latest MC upgrade (the upgrade got my MC working again for the first time in over a year), I saw the msnbc.com item (circled below) on the 360’s MC screen.

news msnbc.com item on media center screen

Fully expecting the usual ‘Not Available in Canada’ notice, I clicked on it anyway. To my surprise, however it worked.

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So You Think You Can Dance (Season 4 – Top 14)

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So You Think You Can Dance - Cat Deely in Tuxedo Outfit - July 2, 2008 [Top 20] [Top 18] [Top 16] [Top 14]

Here are my thoughts on the on July 2, 2008 performances of the seven couples making up the season 4 top 14. This week they have two routines each and Comfort and Thayne are dancing together for the first time. (Click images for larger view)

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Jessica/Will

1. Jive (Choo Choo Ch’Boogie – Five Guys Named Moe): Good jive. Terrific jump over/under through the legs (see picture below). [Watch on YouTube] buy mp3

So You Think You Can Dance - Jessica and Will - Jive - July 2, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance - Jessica and Will - Lyrical Jazz 2 - July 2, 2008 So You Think You Can Dance - Jessica and Will - Lyrical Jazz - July 2, 2008 2. Lyrical Jazz (Alone – Heart): Finally! A memorable and enjoyable dance from these two. What a terrific opening jump (click picture on left). I now think I might ‘get’ what people see in Will. My third favourite performance of the night. [Watch on YouTube]

Comfort/Thayne – first time as a couple

So You Think You Can Dance - Comfort and Thayne - Broadway - July 2, 20081. Broadway (Cool – Bernstein and Sondheim): Liked him. As always, didn’t like her. How can anyone not  love the music from West Side Story?  [Watch on YouTube] buy mp3

So You Think You Can Dance - Comfort and Thayne - Smooth Waltz - July 2, 2008

 

2. Smooth Waltz (Hov Arek Sarer Jan – New Age Armenia): Not bad. Especially for Comfort. I didn’t expect her to pull a waltz off as well as she did. Nonetheless, she’s my weekly first choice female to be voted off. [Watch on YouTube] buy mp3

[July 3 Update: Comfort and Thayne were in the bottom 3 couples this week. Unfortunately Comfort survived to stay on the show for another week.]

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So You Think You Can Dance (Season 4 – Top 16)

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The Guy Known as 'Sex' on So You Think You Can Dance[Top 20] [Top 18] [Top 16] [Top 14]
Here’s the rundown on the June 25, 2008 performances of the remaining eight couples making up the season 4 top 16.  Susie and Marquis were voted off last week. (click images for a larger view)

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So You Think You Can Dance - Twitch and Kherington (Twitchington) - Hip Hop - June 25, 2008Kherington/Twitch – Hip Hop (Don’t Touch Me – Busta  Rhymes): Who chose those So You Think You Can Dance - Twitch and Kherington (Twitchington) - Hip Hop 2 - June 25, 2008hideous orange overalls and why that song? They danced well enough, but the routine annoyed me. I don’t understand how the judges enjoyed it so much. In fairness, hip hop is about looking cool and tough. There’s nothing Kherington can do to pull off  an image of being tough given who she is. [Watch on YouTube]

So You Think You Can Dance - Courtney and Gev - Rumba 2- June 25, 2008Courtney G./Gev – Rumba (Wishing on So You Think You Can Dance - Courtney and Gev - Rumba - June 25, 2008a Star – Rose Royce): Wow! What a spectacular outfit for Courtney. What a vixen! Terrific rapport. Quite the subdued rumba. A bit stilted a few times, but I liked it a lot. The best performance by these two so far. [Watch on YouTube] buy mp3

So You Think You Can Dance - Comfort and Chris - African JAzz - June 25, 2008 Comfort/Chris – African Jazz (Beautiful People – Marilyn So You Think You Can Dance - Comfort and Chris - African Jazz 2 - June 25, 2008Manson): Finally, a routine I enjoyed with these two. Lots of  fun and well done. I still want to see Comfort voted off. Love the Marilyn Manson song. [Watch on YouTube] buy mp3

[June 27 Update: Comfort and Chris were in the bottom 3 couples this week. Chris was rightly voted off. Comfort was not. Why the judges like Comfort and keep her week after week is beyond my comprehension.]

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So You Think You Can Dance (Season 4 – Top 18)

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So You Think You Can Dance Judges[Top 20] [Top 18] [Top 16] [Top 14]
Rayven & Jamie were voted off last week. Below are my thoughts on the on June 18, 2008 performances of the nine remaining couples making up the season 4 top 18. (click images for a larger view) weigh in.

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Chelsea T./Thayne – Jazz (UntouchedThe Veronicas):  While I enjoyed the routine, it didn’t match up to last week’s performance. But I chalk that up to the poor choice of song and Mandy Moore’s choreography more than the lack of performance. Terrific costumes. [Watch on YouTube] buy mp3

[June 19 Update: Chelsea T and Thane were voted into the bottom 3 this week.]

So You Think You Can Dance - Chelsie and Mark - Argentinean Tango 3 - June 18, 2008So You Think You Can Dance - Chelsie and Mark - Argentinean Tango 2 - June 18, 2008 Chelsie H/Mark – Argentinean Tango (Mi ConfesionGotan Project): Loved her outfit!  A slight hesitation at one  point. I’ve seen better but it was superior to Jessica’s and Will’s tango last week. I thought it was hot and very sexy – what a tango should be. Two very good weeks in a row. [Watch on YouTube] buy mp3

Jessica/Will – Hip Hop (Whatever U Like – Nicole Scherzinger): Two weeks in a row with a sub-par performance. Aside from a couple of moves here and there, it just didn’t do it for me. Nowhere close to Katee & Joshua’s hip hop last week. [Watch on YouTube]

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Tim Russert – My Issue This Sunday

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Tim Russert - Waves Goodbye Tim Russert (1950 – 2008) believed that “being informed is the first job of being a good citizen”. I do too. For more than a decade I have watched Tim interview his guests each and every Sunday. I rarely missed Meet the Press.

I was saddened to hear of Tim’s passing last Friday. I’ve been watching the bountiful tributes with misty eyes. I respected his intelligence, preparation, passion for what he did, his omnipresent big smile, good humour and down-home humanity.

Tim’s relationship with is father, Big Russ, was inspiring. When he announced his book, Wisdom of our Fathers, I purchased a copy to give to my dad on father’s day. I used the page included in the book to write a bit about what my father meant to me. My dad liked that.

During every U.S. primary, caucus or election night, I would be keenly interested in what Tim had to say. I never found myself disagreeing with him. I don’t remember a partisan moment. If he said it, I took it very seriously.

It’s Sunday morning as I write this. Tom Brokaw is doing a tribute show for Tim in the background. I have never watched Meet the Press under another moderator. He helped to keep me informed. Sunday morning won’t be the same without him.  His chair will be tough to fill.

Tim Russer's empty table at Meet the Press

Click to watch interview with Tim’s son Luke.

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So You Think You Can Dance (Season 4 – Top 20)

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image[Top 20] [Top 18] [Top 16] [Top 14] 
I’ve been a fan of So You Think You Can Dance since the first season. Here are my thoughts on the on June 11, 2008 performances of the ten couples making up the season 4 top 20. (Click images for larger view)

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Rayven/Jamie – Hip Hop (American Boy – Estelle ft. Kanye West): Yikes … fish out of water …. boring … I was fearful for the show after this performance. [Watch on YouTube]

[June 12 Update: Rayven and Jamie were voted off the next day.]

Susie/Marquis – Waltz (Dark Waltz – Hayley Westenra): Nice enough but too many mistakes. Was happy Susie showed more substance than she presented in the earlier audition/Vegas shows. Better than expected from her. He was very good. [Watch on YouTube] buy mp3

Kourtni/Matt – Jazz (Tainted Love – Soft Cell): Kourtni was one of my favourites coming into tonight. She didn’t do much for me in this yawner. The second worst of the night … how disappointing… I hope she makes it through.  I’d like to see her do a Mia Michaels emotive/contemporary routine. She’d be a natural. [Watch on YouTube]

So You Think You Can Dance - Chelsea and Thane - Cha Cha - June 11, 2008 Chelsea/Thane – Cha Cha (Oye Como Va (Latin/Trance Mix) -  Celia Cruz): Hot, hot hot. Chelsea looks to be a permanent passenger on Mary’s Hot Tamali Train.  Thane was good too. That was sexy. [Watch on YouTube] buy mp3

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