Thursday, March 02, 2006

TV Listings

If you want to know what's coming up on the TV over the coming weeks you have a couple of traditional options. You can buy the RTE Guide, TV Times or some other weekly publication for a few euro a copy or you can use the Teletext on your TV.

Alternatively you can find listings on the web. For example RTE do a listing for today and tomorrow in conjunction with the RTE Guide which you can find here. This is fine for your short term planning but not much good for planning next week's viewing.

What we use in the PC Medic household is a web-based subscription service called DigiGuide. This UK-based company does a listing specifically for NTL Ireland subscribers for the princely sum of £8.99 per year. DigiGuide allows you to view channel listings up to 14 days in advance and to view that information in a number of different and meaningful ways (the Grid view is shown in the picture). You can click on any program and set a viewing reminder whereupon 5 minutes before the scheduled broadcast time DigiGuide will give you a spoken reminder of the name of the program, the channel it is on and that it will start in 5 minutes time. Makes missing programs difficult. DigiGuide can be taken one step further if you have a Hauppauge TV card fitted to your PC which, of course, the PC Medic household has. With the help of a small freeware plug-in called PVRrecord, you can right-click on any scheduled program in DigiGuide and choose to record the programme once, or every time it appears in the schedule. This, in effect, gives you similar control of your program recording as a Sky Plus box, albeit in a less elegant way. Having used DigiGuide for nearly two years now, it's hard to see how we managed without it.

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