Around the House (Sept. 20, 2016)

Around the House is a weekly roundup of news items related to smart devices, tools, kitchen gadgets and anything else worth mentioning that affects how we live at home.

Philips Hue Motion Sensor coming to Canada in October

Philips is adding more ways to control its Hue line of connected bulbs and lighting devices with a new wireless motion sensor. Available in Canada this October for $39.95, the Hue Motion Sensor allows users to run certain scenes during set times. This means that if you want your Hue bulbs to only turn on in “Nightlight” mode when motion is detected between midnight and 6 a.m., you can set it up that way. I can see this being very useful when my son wakes up in the middle of the night.

Hue Motion Sensor

The Philips Hue Motion Sensor will be available in Canada for $39.95 this October.

CraveTV scoops up Rolling Stones doc at TIFF

Right before its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last week, Bell purchased the exclusive rights to The Rolling Stones road movie The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé! : A Trip Across Latin America for its video streaming service CraveTV. The film follows The Rolling Stones during their 2016 Latin American tour, which saw them stop in 10 cities, including Havana. CraveTV subscribers will be able to stream the film beginning Oct. 14. Check out the trailer for it below.

Lay’s taking Chalet Sauce chips mainstream

It seems that Canadians love Lay’s Swiss Chalet sauce flavoured chips so much that the company has to ramp up production to meet demands. The chips have been selling out since they arrived at select Swiss Chalet locations earlier this month and now Lay’s says that along with restocking restaurants, the chips will be available in limited quantities at grocery stores across the country beginning Nov. 1. Expect to see a lot of these out at holiday parties this year!

Apple helping teach kids to code with Swift Playgrounds app

Learning to code is becoming more popular with kids and now Apple is helping with their new iPad app Swift Playgrounds. The free app allows users with no programming experience to get a better understanding of coding concepts and experiment with the Swift language, which is used by professional developers to create apps. Along with app templates, Swift Playgrounds also features lessons and challenges to keep users interested. Swift Playgrounds is available via the App Store.

Swift Playgrounds

Apple’s free Swift Playgrounds iPad app helps teach kids to code.

Amazon Echo coming to Germany and the UK (but not Canada)

Amazon announced last Wednesday its popular Echo device is coming to Germany and the UK this fall, giving us Canadians hope it will be available here at some point soon. Amazon also announced a new (cheaper) Echo Dot that gives users more control of the Echo throughout the entire home. It’s also not available in Canada.

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You can now stream CraveTV on the XBOX One

CraveTV

Many popular TV shows, like ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘Seinfeld’, are available to stream on CraveTV.

Canadian XBOX One users just got a lot more video content as Bell’s CraveTV is now available for subscribers to stream via the gaming system.

“XBOX One delivers an amazing user experience with a user-friendly design, elevating the CraveTV experience for subscribers,” Domenic Vivolo, President of Content Sales, Marketing, and Digital Products at Bell Media said in a press release.

RELATED: CraveTV now available to all Canadians

After downloading the CraveTV app to the XBOX One, subscribers of the service will be able to instantly stream straight from the homescreen, giving them easy access to the content they want to watch.

“Our commitment to bring CraveTV to Canadians on the platform of their choosing continues with today’s launch on XBOX One,” Vivolo said.

The service, which costs $7.99 a month, features premium television content from the likes of HBO and Showtime. Popular shows, such as The Sopranos, Sex and the City, The Wire, Entourage, South Park and CSI are available to stream, along with original programming like the hilarious Letterkenny and Jason Reitman’s Casual. In total, the service offers over 300 series, 500 specials and documentaries and 20 curated collections.

RELATED: Apple TV gets The Shopping Channel in Canada

CraveTV is also available to stream online at cravetv.ca, on iOS, Android and Windows 8.1 devices, via Google’s Chromecast, the Apple TV and select Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray players. It’s also available through cable and satellite set-top boxes from providers like Bell, Telus, EastLink and SaskTel.

CraveTV competitor shomi, owned by Rogers and Shaw, is also available to stream on the XBOX One.

Are you excited to stream CraveTV via the XBOX One? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

CraveTV now available to all Canadians

CraveTV

Many popular TV shows, like ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘Seinfeld’, are available to stream on CraveTV.

You no longer need a TV subscription to sign-up for Bell’s CraveTV streaming service, the company announced Thursday.

The service, which features exclusive content from HBO and Showtime, is now open to all Canadians for $7.99 per month.

“We’re very proud to enter into the next phase of this incredible service, offering the most premium TV content in Canada at the best price,” said Bell Media president Mary Ann Turcke in a press release.

RELATED: Netflix releases first images from ‘Fuller House’

CraveTV is available to stream online at cravetv.ca, on iOS, Android and Windows 8.1 devices, via Google’s Chromecast, the Apple TV and select Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray players. It’s also available through cable and satellite set-top boxes from providers like Bell, Telus, EastLink and SaskTel.

Unlike other streaming services, CraveTV focuses on television content over movies and includes episodes of popular shows such as The Sopranos, Sex and the City, The Wire, Entourage, South Park, Cheers, CSI and Seinfeld. In total, they offer over 300 series and 500 specials and documentaries, along with 20 curated collections.

“Some of the best television in recent memory is available on CraveTV, and we’re delighted all Canadians with access to the Internet will have a chance to discover and enjoy this content, when they want, on the device of their choice,” Turcke said in the release.

Bell also announced Thursday that they will be adding more HBO content, with episodes of The Jinx, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire and The Newsroom coming to the service soon, and that they will be streaming episodes of Showtime’s new series Billions, starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis, on the same day and date they air in the U.S.

WATCH: Trailer for Showtime’s new series Billions

Canadians can try CraveTV by signing up for a free one-month trial at cravetv.ca. After the trial it’s $7.99 per month.

The Rogers-Shaw owned streaming service shomi became available to all Canadians last August with an $8.99 monthly fee.

Share your thoughts on CraveTV in the comments below.