To all the cable-loyal people, this article is for you. No matter what the streaming world says, cable TV has its perks, and with the amount of extra time due to the pandemic in our hands, we got to watch cable TV at times we didn’t know were possible.
Unlike Netflix that gets you addicted to the screen; cable TV is more of a controlled form of screen time. And one thing that accents cable TV is a good TV guide. These TV guides are even regionalized, so if you’re looking for a tv guide for Brisbane, it’ll be readily available. The question is, what makes a TV guide good?
In this article, we will talk about the features of a worthy TV guide. Don’t be stuck downloading free apps and going through trials and tests. Here are some points that will define a subscription-worthy TV guide. Let’s get started:
It must enlist different types of programs:
We all love variety in content and not the same story repeatedly. This is why a good TV guide is equipped with categories. They help the user get the best of TV channels. You’re not stuck staring at a screen and can easily set your watch list with reminders of your favorites.
It must warn you about user discretion:
Imagine having a TV on in the background for sounds while you’re using your phone and suddenly, that background sounds too questionable. A great TV guide makes it crystal clear on shows that are 18+ or are family-friendly. It should have dedicated filters to block out the 18+ options or whichever you prefer. Some warnings for gore and horror would also be preferred for people who dislike it.
It must help you manage time:
This has a lot to do with your willpower, but a good TV guide contributes well enough. Imagine there’s a new release coming up and your TV guide tells you about it. It has listings of all the season releases, and you know it will take like an hour of your Sunday or 30 minutes every Monday to Friday. This way, it can help you be productive earlier so that you can enjoy the shows in peace. Consider the start of episode time as a deadline and watch how your procrastination fades.
Comparing this to Netflix, it is a better option. Netflix might get most of its viewership during sleeping hours cause that’s when the user has one eye-open watching Netflix in bed. Cable TV may not be on-demand, but it sure beats this addiction.
It must have ad-free options:
You’re already paying for cable TV, might as well get the ad-free option, right? If people need to instantly access the app to find out the recent release, they’re certainly not waiting for 20 seconds for the ad to end so that they can hit close. The TV Guide app should have ad-free features to avoid the hassle of waiting. In a situation where you’re fine with ads, they should not be too time-consuming. Even on YouTube, the ‘Skip Ad’ button takes 4 seconds, but it feels like ages. The app should not have that flaw.
It must recommend programs in various ways:
This is where the recommendation system of apps comes in handy. The best TV guides have newer and improved ways of listing programs. Some TV guides have enlisted celebrities’ favorite picks and made it a different category. You could be watching the same shows as Jennifer Lawrence or Brad Pitt. It should have separate categories for sports listings, documentaries, popular picks from the company, subgenres, and more. A fine suggestion would be to have IMDb picks and Rotten Tomatoes suggestion list.
Although these features redefine the TV guide experience, there are still areas of improvement to work on. For example, we have seen users complain about the search bar feature of the TV guide. It doesn’t always bring up the right suggestions. There might be extensions that can fix this, but we have seen some TV guides improve over time.
Some of the notable names of TV Guide apps include:
- On TV Tonight
- PPMate NetTV
- FreeGuide TV Guide
Make sure you assess each of the features mentioned above. As new features roll out, we hope these services catch up accordingly to make our experience much better. Till then, judge each by these features, pick one and enjoy the best of cable TV.