Tired of getting lost in the labyrinthine menus and listings of your cable guide? It’s nice having hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of channels to choose from, but as cable television moves closer to offering the same range of choices as the Internet does, they haven’t moved any closer to competing with Google’s seemingly instant interface. Here are a few tips for making heads and tails of the often-confusing cable guide:
1. Channel Surf
The only way you’re ever going to figure this thing out is to play around with it. The next time you have an hour to kill, try channel surfing for a bit so that you can get acquainted with the remote and the guide. You don’t want to be scrambling to find HBO thirty seconds before the new Game of Thrones airs, so take the time to familiarize yourself with the interface before then.
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2. Learn to Search
Searching with a remote control is cumbersome at first, typing every letter of a favorite show or channel in with buttons about the size of Tic Tacs, but once you get then hang of it, typing in “Cinemax” is a much quicker way to get to the channel than to scroll, and scroll, and scroll until you find it. The search function is there to make life easier on you, so get acquainted with it. At one time you probably thought that you would never figure out how to send a text message, right? Well, think of your remote as a cell phone for your TV. The want to communicate will ultimately outweigh your resistance to learning how to search with the tiny buttons on the control.
3. Use Presets
A lot of cable boxes now offer a really great feature where you can just take the channels you like and add them to a listing all their own, so rather than searching through six hundred channels, you just search through the twenty or thirty that you bought cable for in the first place. This saves hours of channel surfing and scrolling and lets you jump right to the shows and movies you love without wasting a whole lot of time. If you ever decide that you want to give that new sports channel a try, you need only add that to your pre-set listings as well.
If you just can’t make heads or tails of your cable listings, for instance CableNet.net has a great cable guide to help you figure out where all of your favorite channels are, who airs what, and how to manage your channel surfing settings. Cable television has come a long way in keeping up with the internet, but television still demands a remote control, which simply can’t compete with a mouse and a keyboard. It’s still kind of tricky to search for the shows you want without spending a lot of time straining your thumbs all over the remote; save time and energy by searching an online cable guide for your favorite show listings instead.
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Written by Eric Halberg – Edited by Nizam Khan
Eric Halberg has only had cable TV for a year but he wouldn’t look back. He likes to write about the different options available and offers his tips, tricks and advice on a number of sites online.