Saturday, February 20, 2010

Thank goodness for Hulu; Good backup for when Cablevision fails

This week, my Cablevision DVR failed to record the latest episode of ABC’s trippy drama “Lost.” It’s programmed to record every new episode of the show, but this time decided to skip it.
Thank goodness for Hulu though. I was able to watch the episode online and not miss any important plot points. After all, this is the final season of the show and all the big questions are supposed to be answered.
I’ve had my issues with Cablevision, mostly related to its terrible electronic program guide and DVR setup.
Navigating the on-screen guide is frustrating and often fruitless.
In fact, when “Lost” returned from hiatus a few weeks ago, I couldn’t find it in the alphabetical listings. I had to hunt for it on the grid by channel, date and time.
Another problem with the search feature is that it only lets you input the first letter of the show you’re looking for. Then you have to scroll through miles of listings to get to where the show should be.
Once, my son asked me to record a “Pokemon” movie. After inputting the letter P, I had to scroll through scores of listings titled “Paid Programming.” Why is that junk even in there?
Same goes for pay-per-view movies. You’ll be looking innocently for a show and you have to run through the raunchy names of porn movies. Why?
Ultimately I couldn’t find that “Pokemon” movie in the listings, even though the show was being advertised.
In December, the “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” did not appear in the alphabetical listings. But I found it on the time and channel grid under just “Fashion Show.”
Same with the science-fiction drama “V.” It wasn’t in the alphabetical listings.
Another frustration is that the program guide only goes a week ahead. Comcast’s program guide went at least two weeks ahead.
NBC is advertising a new celebrity genealogy program called “Who Do You Think You Are?”, which premieres March 5. But the Cablevision electronic program guide doesn’t have it listed yet. Now I’ll have to remember to do that closer to the show’s premiere. And I might forget.
Cablevision does have a nice online DVR management tool, but it too only has a week’s worth of programming information.

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