Rogers Nextbox 3.0 PVR Playback Issues

nextboxI’ve had issues with my Rogers Nextbox 3.0 with playback on recorded shows.  What happens is that sound and sometimes both sound and image are blank for several seconds and I have to rewind to play it again.  The second time it plays fine but then another gap and I repeat the process.  (Sounds like wash, rinse repeat).

I’ve contacted Rogers and had several people on the phone and in my house not able to find the problem.  So for almost a year I took over an hour to watch a show that should take 40 minutes (without commercials)  So what’s the fix?

Simple, your Nextbox doesn’t work for playback if you record in 1080p (which is supposed to give you the best picture)  Solution is to set your settings for viewing on 720p.  No more problems.

Why 720p rather than 1080i you ask, well 1080i is interlaced and gives you only half the picture 1080p does.  So unless you have a large TV 720p may due you just fine.  I’m no expert so read about it in PC mag

Why doesn’t Rogers know this?  Good question.

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Summer is coming to an end so let’s recap!

Summer is almost over as this is Labour Day Weekend.  I’m going to tell you about my summer vacation.  Sounds just like what a lot of kids do when they go back to school in September.  Write about your summer vacation…

Well my dear wife and I have done a few things over the summer I can share with you as a review of hotels and places to eat, or not.

Wakefield Mill is a resort hotel with spa and restaurants in the Quebec side of the Ottawa region.  It’s less than an hour drive from downtown Ottawa so it’s a nice weekend getaway idea.  But it is only an idea.  In reality it wasn’t the best choice for a romantic weekend.  The room was okay, however it takes a while to get hot water to the shower or tub.  The tub is in the main room and didn’t come with instructions.  But after we cleaned up the flood it wasn’t bad as we both could fit in the huge tub.  The view out the window was pretty good even on a cool rainy and windy weekend.  We had booked ahead for room and spa treatments.  Disappointing for my wife, her therapist called in sick and she had to settle for “not the massage” she booked.  There are several types of massage and what she booked was no longer available due to the sick call. ($95 for something you didn’t want?)

The food available at the Wakefield Mill was not of a high quality.  The words to describe would be, bland, over sized chunks of tofu tempura and a whole baby bok choy tempura, tasteless, did I say bland?  I’m not normally a harsh critic however it was really not good.  My wife ordered the Eggs Benedict and the Hollandaise sauce was like vinegar, the eggs were coddled not poached and the English Muffin may not have been an English Muffin at all.

Rated … I would not go again.

Nest up, we took a night in Montreal.  My wife had a work function to attend and asked me along.  So we headed out to Montreal and stayed at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Old Montreal.  This was a nice room and was close to the event and in Old Montreal which was great for eating out and shopping.  The price was a little high but the location was great.  The included breakfast was unfortunately not what I would have liked.  Sort of DIY everything.  Make your own toast, waffles etc. The cold cereal and coffee were not DIY.

We did eat at a very good restaurant in the area that from appearance I wouldn’t have entered but it got good reviews and I can taste why.  It is called Amigo at 1027 boul st laurent. 2 floor.  Enjoy!

Later in August we traveled by Via Rail to Toronto from Ottawa and stayed at the Renaissance Downtown Toronto so we could attend a Blue Jays game, visit the Ripleys Aquarium and look at the CN Tower from the ground.  Not fond of high things.  The aquarium, in my opinion, is worth the visit.  Sharks, Stingrays etc all abound and much much more.

The Renaissance hotel was a nice treat, however it would have been great if the wifi was free rather than $12 a day.  I’m just saying, even coffee shops have free wifi.  We did make use of the pool and hot tub for the short two night stay.  We did do a lot of walking around the area and had a few meals in a couple nice places.

The first place to eat on my list was Fionn MacCool’s at 310 Front St W, one of Prime Pubs establishments.  The food was very good and the service was extremely friendly.  I’d go here again. Keep in mind it right across from the Blue Jays game so it could get very busy before and after the game.

Another nice pub style place was the Amsterdam Brewhouse.  Now this spot got a lot of mixed reviews and I actually wasn’t even going to visit based on these bad service reviews.  But at the last hour of our stay we took a walk and ended up face to face so… we went in for lunch.  Again a pleasant surprise, the food and service was good, but I should say we were attending off hours as it was after lunch hour and before dinner.  So I’m not sure how bad the service gets when it’s packed and it is a large space to service.  The beer is also good here but keep in mind this is not a large brewery and it’s common that some beers are out of stock or seasonal.

We also stopped for a few refreshments (beer for me) at the Mill Street BrewPub but not in time for a small tour. But the beer was tasty and cold after the long walk to the Distillery District from the hotel.

This weekend, Labour day, my wife and I went to the ByWard Market area and the Rideau Centre to shop and tour around.  Of course we had a meal while there and this time we tried The Courtyard Restaurant at 21 George St. Ottawa. We enjoyed a late Brunch, my wife again ordered the Eggs Benedict (Florentine style) and this time it was delicious.  The Hollandaise sauce was done right and the eggs perfect, spinach fresh and just wilted on an English Muffin.  Chef Ramsey would be proud.

Now back to rush hour traffic and “Winter is coming”.

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LastPass for Online Security

I’ve been using LastPass for over a year now and I highly recommend it.  LastPass makes browsing easier and safer because you can have secure passwords and a different password for every site without having to remember all those passwords.  It’s very safe and secure and you can even use it on your iPhone.



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Banana Republic Review

I’ve made a couple posts about clothing in Canada in the past and this one is a little different.

I’ve been buying from Banana Republic for the past 6 months or more.  Up until today I’ve been very happy with them and their products.  I must say they’re priced a little on the high end, however having said that, they have sales on about every week for 30-40% off.

Now getting to today…  I have bought about $700 worth of clothing their this year and I have 1 t-shirt I’m not happy with.  The hem is curly all around.  See images below.  I’ve washed it as I always do before wearing in cold water and low heat drier.  My drier has a moisture sensor so it doesn’t over dry.  I put the shirt on and went out and then noticed that my hem kept curling up.  I’d straighten it and it would role up again.  I’ve washed it and I’ve tried to iron it out but it won’t stop curling.  I’m sure it’s a defect or a mistake in the hem stitching somewhere as it roles up on front and back in opposite sides.  Unfortunately I don’t have my receipt because I tried everything on before I washed them.  Now I must say I bought many t-shirts and only this one in grey v-neck is the problem.

I took it back today to the Banana Republic store at Bayshore Shopping Centre in Ottawa Ontario.  The manager was called to take a look.  His only question was “did you wear it?”  I explained as up above that yes I put it on and noticed it later.  His reply was that because I had worn it he couldn’t take it back.

Now, I can understand not taking worn clothing back because it’s not saleable goods, however, this wasn’t saleable in any case.  It’s defective.  It’s not like I expect him to take it back and put it on the shelf and resell it.  If it was wearable I’d keep it.

I expressed my dissatisfaction with his management of his shop and customers and told him in no uncertain terms that I would not return to his shop in the future.

What do you all think of this?  Comments welcome.  Images below.

IMG_2665 IMG_2666 IMG_2664 IMG_2663


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Fortora Fresh Finance Software

Fortora Fresh Finance Software for Mac and Windows Review

Well I can say that it’s one of the better Finance software for a Mac, but I’d rather use Quicken Cash Manager on a PC than Fortora.  The main reason I like it is because I like to have a balance forecast for months ahead based on my current bills and expenses that I have in my budget.  There are very few that work well on a Mac.

Having said that Fortora has no reliable or unreliable support for their software.  Plus they keep charging you only a few months after you buy for a renewal of the software.  By the way, the don’t tell you about renewals when you buy nor do they wait for it to lapse.  Your one year renewal comes four months after you buy the software and you don’t get updates after the renewal request.  So basically you have software that has no support.  Don’t bother emailing them either because they don’t reply.  Also there is no contact phone number.

In all I would rate this at a 2 star out of 5 for a MAC and 1 out of 5 for a PC use.  Either way I would try something with some support.

Fortora, if you’re reading this please reply to my emails.  I’m still waiting for support and I’m not paying you again for renewals because the software has no renewals.

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