At the end of a long day, after the kids are in bed, the lunches have been made, and the dishes done, there is nothing more satisfying then getting cozy on the couch with a cup of tea and having the TV ALL TO MYSELF. But if you are anything like me, figuring out what to watch often takes up much of my valuable me-time. I jump around from platform to platform, checking out what I’ve recorded and what’s live and what’s on demand and trying to decide what to watch. And each of these “jumps” requires a separate remote.
Imagine how excited I was when the Shaw installation team showed up to set up BlueSky TV and handed me a single (yes just one) brand new remote that would replace all my other remotes.
This system is amazing with so many features I’ve never had before in a cable package. It was a difficult process, but I got the list down to my Top 5 (plus one bonus!):
Voice Control Remote
BlueSky comes with a new remote control that allows the user to search for items using voice control. Simply press the microphone button and make a request: “PVR Recordings” or “Movies on Now” or the name of a specific show or movie and it takes you to that menu immediately. You can also search by actor’s name, sports team or channel. Or if you really have no idea what you want to watch, you can ask the BlueSky “What Should I Watch?” or “What’s Trending?” to get a list of suggestions based on viewing history or popular searches. We were all impressed by the accuracy and speed of the voice command as well as its ability to understand everything we said.
Finally a cable technology that keeps all the kids stuff in one place and ensures that they are only seeing appropriate content. After using the system for just a few days, it had already customized to my kids preferences and was offering age-appropriate options based on their previous viewing habits. Plus KidsZone has limits on PVR recordings meaning your kids can’t fill up your PVR with episodes of Spongebob without your approval. For all kids programming (as well as movies outside of the Kids Zone), there is a parental guide with suggested viewing ages and information on the amount of adult situations, language and violence in the program.
How many times have you sat down to watch a show or movie and forgotten what platform is was on? Hmmm … was it On Demand or Crave? Did I PVR that or is it on live tonight? With Shaw’s BlueSky TV it doesn’t matter because this platform integrates all of the platforms into the search capabilities. I searched for “Homeland” and was presented with all of the seasons as options. When I dove in, I learned that seasons 1-4 were on Crave, 5 was hosted On Demand and 6 was airing on live TV. Didn’t really matter to me … I just want to know I can binge watch knowing I’m covered for all episodes.
Sport fan? Then BlueSky is what you’ve been waiting for. Built on the popular Xfinity platform in the US – the built-in Sports App allows for a true second screen experience while watching live or recorded sports program. In addition to providing live stats and standings, the app also allows for playback that highlights the important plays. The BlueSky also allows you to set recordings for your favourite team. And for some live sports – like Hockey and Football – you’ll never miss an overtime again as the BlueSky will record right to the end of the game even if it goes past the scheduled recording time.
Channel Groupings that Make Sense
The channels have been reorganized by category, which is totally awesome. Now all the major networks are grouped together in the 100s, Sports News & Weather in the 200s, Kids & Family in the 300s, etc. So on the off chance that you aren’t using the voice control – and I have to admit I do forget sometimes – channel surfing will now make a lot more sense.
Bonus: The BlueSky voice control has a sense of humour too. Say “Winter is Coming” and Game of Thrones pops up. Or try “May the Force Be With You” to have Star Wars come up. Here’s a little test for you…what pops up with this phrase: “On Wednesdays we wear pink.” ? Have fun!
BlueSky TV just launched in Vancouver after a test run in the Calgary market. If you want to learn more about the platform visit www.shaw.ca/blueskytv.
This post is sponsored by Shaw BlueSky TV. Say it, see it and love it with Shaw’s revolutionary BlueSky TV. A voice-activated remote makes it easier than ever to navigate and discover content. By simply saying a program title, an actor’s name, or even a famous quote from a movie, you can immediately enjoy what you want to watch. Shaw BlueSky TV’s features a specialized KidsZone that’s filled with age-appropriate content, making it the all-in-one TV experience for kids, while providing parents with peace of mind thanks to the easy-to-use parental controls, and program descriptions written for parents by parents.
Kelly is the Managing Editor for VancouverMom and Director of Corporate Development for Crisp Media. She can't function without her morning coffee and hates making school lunches - especially when she forgets its hot lunch day. When not out enjoying the city with her husband and two daughters she can be found on her laptop at a cafe working on her novel.