Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cablevision’s electronic program guide sucks; Comcast has a superior on-screen guide

When I moved from Illinois to Connecticut last month, I switched cable television providers from Comcast to Cablevision.
Lately I’ve been struggling with Cablevision’s electronic program guide, digital video recorder and remote control. Comcast’s setup was much easier to use.
With the fall TV season here, I’ve been trying to program the Cablevision DVR to record new shows and returning favorites. It’s been a bear. Searching for shows to record from the program guide is a pain in the ass.
When searching for a TV show, you can either hunt through the slow-scrolling program guide by channel and time or look it up alphabetically. The latter would be great, but you can only input the first letter of the show. That means you have to wade through dozens of listings to find what you want. Not fun.
When I looked for “FlashFoward,” it didn’t show up in the alphabetical listings. I knew it was on ABC on Thursday so I found it on the weekly programming grid instead. I also can’t find “At the Movies,” the movie review program, on the guide. So I watch that show online.
Comcast’s system lets you type in the entire name of the TV show you’re looking for. Very simple and intuitive. You also can jump forward or backward a day on the program guide with one button press from the remote. This is handy when quickly scanning a week’s worth of prime time shows. The Cablevision remote and guide lack these features.
Cablevision’s program guide also doesn’t contain as many days ahead as Comcast’s.
Hopefully these are things that Cablevision will address.

Photo: Comcast’s remote control

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