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    Showcase: Heads up TV season starts Tuesday

    2011 - 08.27

    Looks like Showcase is getting a jump on the competition, and Shaw really does seem to be trying to turn Showcase into a big player.  Here’s some highlights of things which will be happening over the next could of weeks:

    1. Burn Notice (Season 3) starts Tuesday August 30th (10pm)
    2. Royal Pains (Season 2) starts Wednesday August 31st (10pm)
    3. Warehouse 13 (Season 3) starts Thursday September 1st (10pm)
    4. Lost Girl (Season 2) starts Sunday September 4th (9pm)
    5. Covert Affairs (Season 2) starts Sunday September 4th (10pm)

    They are already airing Haven (Season 2), so they’ve got a lot of stuff going on.  Important things to note, if you’re watching in HD on Shaw at least, those 10pm times above are a lie, as there is no western ShowcaseHD, so all those shows air at 7pm, and Lost Girl airs at 6pm on Sundays.  The shows during the week actually air at 7pm and 9pm (10pm and midnight eastern).  If you’re not watching in HD then then times are correct in their ads, etc…

    If you’re paying attention you’ll notice that it’s Royal Pains season 2, even though Showcase didn’t air season 1 (I think Global did last year), it’s Warehouse 13 season 3 even though other seasons aired on Space or CityTV, so it might be weird to join mid-series if you haven’t otherwise been watching.  Both shows air on US networks which don’t have a Canadian equivalent or broadcast partner.

    The others are continuations of series which have aired previously on Showcase.

    One really cool thing worth mentioning is that Lost Girl will have 22 episodes in it’s second season, which is way above the typical specialty channel order of at most 13.

    So if you don’t still have series recordings set up, now is the time to get on that, and BREAK!*

    * “and BREAK!” is a reference to the film Fired Up! definitely not one of the world’s best movies, but funny and if you’ve seen it you’ll know how hard it is to not use that phrase after watching the movie.

    Say What?!?!???!

    2011 - 01.12

    So last night we tried to watch the episode of Burn Notice that we taped on Showcase HD (Shaw 234). It’s really too bad that there’s a lot of shows we like on that channel, because aside from the content there’s a lot of reasons to hate it.

    This particular time there was no dialogue audio track for the first 15 minutes of the episode, there was full music and sound effects but no speech, it was pretty weird, and amusing.  Ultimately however it was unwatchable, so here’s hoping that they get their act together when they re-air it on Sunday.

    So what are these other reasons to hate Showcase HD you ask?  Well, they often don’t have episode information included in the Shaw Guide, instead it’s a generic show description, which means two things: you can’t determine if you’ve already seen the episode or if it’s new, and secondly the PVR’s series recordings can’t tell either.  This seems not to be a problem with Burn Notice at the moment, although historically it had been.  Current, or recent shows with that problem: Haven, Sherlock, Wallander, Lost Girl, Strike Back, Luther and Covert Affairs.  Other things which are annoying:

    • all times in promos are in eastern time, and Showcase HD does not have a pacific time equivalent, so everything airs 3 hours earlier (which sometimes is nice, but it’s annoying that they fail to ever acknowledge this)
    • they have started doing in show commercials, where something pops up at the bottom of the screen and takes about half of it in width, and a quarter in height, and displays a promo for another one of their shows.  They are large, distracting, opaque, and now they even include sound!  Hello, I’m trying to watch and listen to the show I’m watching, and you’ve covering credits, subtitles, information and dialogue with these promos?!?!?!?  It makes you want to just buy the DVD instead.

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