The Battle of the TV Listing

Dec 2, 2013 cable tv, google, tv, 0 Comments
TV.com TV Listing Cover


There are so many TV show choices today that it can be hard to plan your schedule, especially when you’re on the go. Frequently, you need to record one show (or sometimes two), while you watch another. To plan your viewing and recording choices, you need to find yourself a TV listing that works for you.

If you’re wondering why some people might choose these TV listings over their Cable TV provider’s listings, understand that not everyone has TV listings from their provider, or they are cumbersome. Also, many people use antennas, with no Cable TV service, which means they need to use the Internet to offset not having a cable box.

I’m going to review a few of the more popular choices across the web.

Top TV Listings: Zap2it.com

Zap2it.com has a visible grid that covers three hours at a time. The channels are separated into random blocks by a banner advertisement. There are left and right arrows that enable users to move forward or back in time by three-hour increments. To see more channels, you have to scroll down the screen. Drop-downs enable the user to move to a specific date or time.Zap2it TV Listing

Advantages

  • As you scroll down through the channels, the time moves with you.
  • It has a calendar function that shows dates of upcoming TV shows.
  • They have a favorites list that lets you set a reminder for whichever show you want to watch.
  • When you click on an interesting program, you will see start time, end time and show duration.
  • There is a print function that allows you to print out the listings you currently see on your screen and they give you a preview of the printing, It is a straightforward three-hour grid with no advertisements.
  • They allow you to customize your grid, so you exclude channels you don’t get or have no desire to ever watch.

Disadvantages

  • Does not offer anything beyond its normal custom listings.
  • Users are restricted to only adding TV shows to their favorite listings. If you want to watch something different, such as an upcoming sports event, you will need to leave yourself a sticky note.

TV Guide

TvGuide.com has produced good quality content for many years and most of us are familiar with them from the magazine listings that graced our tables in our youths. They have been in the industry for over 50 years, so you would think that they would have a good handle on television listings.

Their website shows listings in a two-hour grid, which is broken up by banner advertisements. The grid enables scrolling of the listings via double arrows to jump by day and single arrows to advance listings by the hour.TV Guide TV Listing

Advantages

  • They have a favorites list that lets you leave yourself a reminder about any program that you want to watch.
  • Allows users to add as many channels as desired to their “favorite” function.
  • There is a print function that allows you to print out the listings you currently see on your screen.

Disadvantages

  • Users are required to pay a fee to add anything to their favorites list.
  • When you click on a program that is interesting. TV guide does not show the time that a movie will end, they only show the duration and start time.
  • The print option does not give you a preview of what you will print.

TV.com

TV.com has a grid of three hours that seems to scroll down and cover all of my available channels without any annoying banner advertisements to break it up. Like the others, they have later and earlier buttons that assist you in scrolling through future and previous listings. They also have a drop-down that enables users to move to a specific channel, time or date and has an option to print the listings.TV.com TV Listing

Advantages

  • No banner advertisements.
  • Extremely simple to remove an unwanted channel, by simply clicking the X on the channel itself.

Disadvantages

  • Their content seems to have gaps and is missing several of the less popular channels, such as 2.1 and the extra HD Channels, so it does not cover all aspects, unlike the other type of TV listings.
  • There is no print option.

Google Search

Google TV ListingA while ago, Google added TV episode listings to its search results and we thought we would give it a spin. Google has advanced in that one can get TV listings and airing dates from the search. One can get information and history about a show by inserting the program title.

Advantages

  • Users have easier access to information about show times and specific episodes details. A simple search can give you a rundown on past episodes, so you can catch up before you watch the next episode.
  • They give you air dates for past, current and upcoming episodes.

Disadvantages

  • You have to know what you are looking for.
  • The listing information shows up in a smaller box to the right of the screen.

And the Winner is …

In my opinion, the best TV listing is Zap2it, with TV Guide following as a close second. They both have easy-to-use interactive grids. I prefer the ad-free listings of TV.com, but they seem to be missing several local channels. What put Zap2it ahead is their print function, if there is something I want to watch at a certain time, I want to be able to slap a note somewhere to remind myself. The Google TV listings is only worth your time if you know what you are looking for and you want to catch up on what you have missed before.


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A lost Canadian that woke up one morning and found herself in the U.S. with a husband, child and a mortgage. April is a gear head and a geek that loves tinkering with cars and computers; but strangely the two never meet as she likes to keep her 1940 Oldsmobile in its all original state and her computer updated and running sweet.

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