Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hello, New Phone!

I recently posted an Ode to My First Cell Phone, and then realized I could just as easily share the awesomeness of my new phone. I had put off getting a new phone for so long, than once I finally decided to go for it I had no idea what I wanted. Except for Netflix to work on it. Because, priorities - right? Anyhow, after doing a fair amount of research* and even a little mock up of the design (see above), I went with the Google Nexus 5.

After finally making the decision, I went back to the site and then... they were out of the version I wanted! Ack! So I went bigger and brighter and got the Bright Red 32 MB, and let me tell you ... this sucker is BRIGHT. I would definitely say NEON. At least I will always be able to spot it because that red is... wowza. I was taken aback at first, but I quickly came to like it.

After it arrived it was time to play! I was so happy to find out it was so easy to use. I think I downloaded more apps in the first 5 minutes than all of the apps on my old phone. Oh to be able to watch Netflix! And to finally be Instagram! And get a dictionary app with Word a Day (go go Merriam-Webster!). And Wikipedia. And Goodreads! And TV Tag (formerlly Get Glue). And Songza. And even be able to read Kindle books. Oh my! And all of these apps worked. Simply worked. No mussing, no fussing, all working. Wow. This was a huge relief.

Now that I've had it a while, I've found I can easily record and upload videos to my YouTube channel, and they look way better than videos I record on my camera or via webcam. They take a bit of time to upload, but it's not crazy excessive. The files take up a fair amount of space, but I just delete them after I upload. They look and sound amazing. It's really nice to be able to do a vlog a lot more on the fly. Woohoo.

One of the things I was most looking forward to was being able to to watch Netflix. I really, really wanted Netflix to run smoothy on my phone, and it does! I use it all the time. I also love that I can watch TV shows with the Space Go, CTV Go, and CityTV apps. I haven't used the Global one yet as it won't run without location being set, and I don't really want to turn feature on but we'll see how long I last on that. But I watch something on Netflix every day, and now that the fall season of TV has started I'm sure I'll be watching a lot of shows this way too. I even made sure I got a case with a kickstand just for viewing purposes.

The only things I miss about my old phone are the awesome sonar sound it made and how the IMDb app showed news. That's it. And the only thing I haven't liked about the new one is not being terrible fond of the Twitter app, because there are way too many sponsored tweets. But those few things are far in the back of my mind in comparison to all the amazing things I can now do, plus feeling like I am actually connected and have the ability to easily share pictures and videos. No longer do I have to wait until I'm on the computer to respond to things. It makes all the difference.

Oddly, the thing I use my phone the least for is as...a phone. The first time it rang, I was suprized at the sound it made. And I still can't differentiate what all the little bleeps, zzzzs, pops and whirls sounds mean. I took me a while to figure out how to send texts and to make calls. Funny how what feels like it's primary function is one of the things I use it the least for. I'm sure I'll get more adept at that, as well as finding more apps to enjoy. The learning never ends!

My current question is, now that I've conquered all 120 levels of Marble Legend ...what game to play next?

* A huge thank you to Android Authority and Erica Griffin for their awesome YouTube channels. Watching their videos on both the Nexus 5 and Moto G really helped me figure out which was the right phone for me. And, it made me realize I needed a case after watching drop test videos. I went with a Fosmon case for s 3 layers of awesome sturdiness.

Looking Back at TV from Fall 2013 - Summer 2014

This week Fall TV officially explodes. I noted 18 shows I track either coming back with new series and new series have their premieres. Before I get swept away by this season of TV, I wanted to look back at the past year of TV at the shows I enjoyed watching. Last year I started tracking and rating all the shows I watch, and that was super handy in for this exercise as I what I enjoy, because that is the data I used to come up with these numbers. I entered everything into Excel, and then came up with the average for each shows.

Please note that I rate out of ten based on enjoyment, which is not necessarily the same and quality. Although the two can easily co-exist, it's not what I look for in a TV show. Many lists are of favourite shows, best shows, etc but for me I go by enjoyment. I want to enjoy a show. That's the determining factor I use for TV I watch.

Now on to the lists!  I gave a Top 10 for the Fall through Winter shows (anything that started in one calender year, and went to the next), and then a Top 5 for Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer shows. We have so many seasons of TV these days. 

Fall 2013 - Winter 2014 Shows *
  1. Dracula ~ 9.57
  2. Reign ~ 9.07
  3. The Originals ~ 8.97
  4. Arrow Season 2 ~ 8.92
  5. Shipping Wars Season 5 ~ 8.86
  6. Nashville Season 2 ~ 8.75
  7. Almost Human ~ 8.70
  8. Atlantis ~ 8.67
  9. Grimm Season 3 ~ 8.27
  10. Ravenswood ~ 8.17

Fall (Only) 2013 Shows
  1. Face Off Season 5 (Vets vs Newcomers) ~ 9.40
  2. Witches of East End ~ 9.20
  3. Cracked Season 2 ~ 9.00
  4. Ghost Mine Season 2 ~ 8.75
  5. The Voice Season 5 ~ 8.73

Winter 2014 Shows
  1. Star-Crossed ~ 8.85
  2. Teen Wolf Season 3 Part 2 ~ 8.67
  3. Arctic Air Season 3 ~ 8.45
  4. Masterchef Canada ~ 8.42
  5. Face Off Season 6 ~ 8.27

Spring 2014 Shows
Three Way Tie for First Place!
  • 1. Vikings Season 2 ~ 9.00 
  • 1. Cold Water Cowboys ~ 9.00
  • 1. Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge ~ 9.00
  • 4. Big Brother Canada Season 2 ~ 8.63
  • 5. Hannibal Season 2 ~ 8.31

Summer 2014 Shows
  1. Food Network Star Season 10 ~ 9.71
  2. The Quest ~ 9.50
  3. Longmire Season 3 ~ 9.29
  4. Deadliest Catch The Bait ~ 9.25
  5. Deadliest Catch Season 10 ~ 9.00
  6. 19-2 ~ 8.86

Summer is not totally accurate, as some really high placing shows on my list haven't quite finished so I didn't feel I could include them.  And 19-2 aired earlier than summer, but this is when I watched it.  And I put both Deadliest Catch and The Bait in making the list go to 6. But that was the best I could do for the time of publishing!

I know I watch a lot of TV, and I'm mostly okay with that, but I don't want it to take up all of my time. That being said, looking at these numbers I see that I enjoy these shows a lot. So, will I be more choosy this year on deciding what to watch? Or will I keep watching it all? Only time will tell!

What were your favourite shows of last year?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fall TV 2014 ~ Where to Watch TV Shows Online in Canada

It's time to share where to watch Fall TV for the 2014 season! I can't believe it's been a year since the last Fall/Winter season started with hits like Sleepy Hollow and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. This year we will see several shows like Lost Girl, Glee and Parenthood head into their final season. It's too early to tell how we'll remember this year, but I'm always curious to what the stand outs will be.

I'm looking forward to several of the new shows including Strange Empire, The Flash and Constantine, and am quite curious about Scorpion and Selfie. We also have tons of returning shows to enjoy, I'm eagerly anticipating the returns of Arrow, Grimm, Elementary, Lost Girl and of course The Voice. My tastes definitely are in the science fiction and fantasy vein, a fair few reality shows, and although I'm not a fan of procedurals but a few might slip in. If you want to hear more about the shows I'm excited for, check out my vlogs for New Shows Starting in September and Returning Shows Starting in September over at my YouTube channel. I do these previews monthly, so be sure the check back of TV Musings Playlist for more videos throughout the year.

Things have changed so much in online viewing in the past year, from CTV's Extend giving making more online content to almost all stations having their own apps (I'm in love with the Space Go app). For online viewing, we still do have most stations making less episodes available or for a shorter period of time. I have to admit that now that I have a phone that's capable of streaming shows, I find I'm watching less online but I still want to keep this resource going for those who watch at their computer.

This listing is primarily shows that started September 2014 or later. There are a few summer shows that stay with us going into the fall including Face Off, The Strain, Extant which will stay on the summer page because this one will get mighty full. For a summer-to-fall shows, check out my Summer TV Listing.

This list will be updated as new shows become available at their legitimate Canadian Broadcasters websites including CBC, CTV and CTV2, Global, CityTV, Space, Showcase, Slice, HGTV Canada, Food Network, Lifetime Canada, Discovery and History.

Can't find what you are looking for? Try the individual Canadian TV broadcasters websites video pages:

Sadly, there are always a handful of shows that are not available to watch online, such as Outlander which is one of my new faves, and if history repeats itself Supernatural, The Originals and The Walking Dead all fall into this category. The Biggest Loser S16 Glory Days is another one that's not online, having switched from CityTY to CTS. For these shows, you often have the option to buy via iTunes or at the Google Play Store. The big pay off there is: no commercials!

For online-only viewers, shows often are available for 1 week starting the day after they air, unless you have a cable subscription and can log into the TV station website. The exception to the rule is Canadian shows on specialty channels, which often have the entire season/series available online. Keep an eye on the shows you enjoy and plan your viewing accordingly :)
* A few online viewing options do not have a specific page for watching a singular show, but rather a video player for watching any of their offerings. In those cases I've put the link to the broadcasters website, as opposed to the show. Then either select the show if it's displayed prominently, or click their video library, select your show, the season and then the episode.